Archive for the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Category

Frequently Asked Questions: Mother of the Occasion

As a mother, choosing your own ensemble for the wedding can be intimidating. You might find yourself dropping to the very end of your “to do” list.  Luckily, The White Dress by the shore only needs an hour and a half to make you look and feel as beautiful as you deserve.

To make the process simple for you, here is what we reccomend~

You’ll set your appointment, so that we may give you our undivided attention in the comfort of our private mother of the occasion studio.

You’ll meet one of our highly trained stylists, who will be your personal expert in fit and construction.

You’ll explore multiple collections, hand-picked by owner Beth Chapman, at varying price points, so we can accommodate your taste and your budget.

And then, with your figure flattered in a celebration of your personal style…you’ll dazzle.

All of our dresses are made to order, so we’ll need a minimum of five months for proper delivery and alterations.

images by Abbey Scott

Below are some frequently asked questions and responses from one of our mother of the occasion specialists. We hope that this information will help you to navigate through the process.

Do I need to schedule an appointment?  Yes!  The White Dress by the shore is a by appointment only boutique, so that we may provide you with exceptional, personalized service.  Each appointment is 1.5 hours in length, where you will work one on one with a stylist.

What if I just wanted to come in and browse?  As our goal is to provide you with the exceptional, personalized service you deserve, we strongly encourage an appointment.  Although browsing may seem more relaxing to you, it does not allow us to give you our undivided attention…and we wholeheartedly believe you deserve that.  The majority of our collection is customizable.  Simply viewing the collection without an associate will not allow you the opportunity to discover the myriad of style and color options available. 

Are there dresses that will coincide with my budget? It is helpful to come to your appointment with a budget in mind.  This will help your dedicated stylist to guide you to the dresses that are applicable.  Although mother of the occasion dresses range in price (dictated by a number of variables), we certainly have a diverse selection, accommodating various budgets.  Our mother of the occasion collection ranges in price from $500 – $1500.

Do I have to wear the same length dress as the bridesmaids?  The quick answer is that length is dictated by “personal preference.”  However, sometimes other variables come into play, which can be discussed during your appointment.  These may include, but are not necessarily limited to, bride’s preference, venue, setting/location, tone/feel of the day, what the bridesmaids and/or other mom is wearing.

Do you have anything that won’t make me look like a “typical” mom?  We certainly have a variety of silhouettes and designs to choose from.  Some moms choose a “mother of the occasion” dress from our selection, while others choose a less formal dress from our “bridesmaid” collection.  In our consultation we will determine what option is best for you based on your budget and style needs.

What can I do if I don’t want my arms to show?  Some moms have a concern about their arms, although you all look terrific!  Our collection offers many options.  We can customize many of our dresses to add a sleeve or we can compliment your ensemble with a coordinating jacket,  bolero or stole.   

I do not want strapless.  Are there other options?  Absolutely!  Generally speaking, any dress is customizable, whether through the designer or in alterations.  We can provide you with a “visual” during your appointment, allowing you to see your options.

images by Abbey Scott

Are the colors on the rack the only available options?  The sky is the limit, or close.  Color options vary by designer and fabric, whereby the selection is quite extensive.

Are the dresses available in other fabrics?  Fabrics, like colors, vary by designer’s choice. Once the silhouette is chosen, we can advise what other fabric option may be available.

Can you accommodate large sizes?  Of course!  Although size charts and special sizing vary by designer, we do our best to make the dress happen for you.

What is required to order a mother of the occasion ensemble (gown/outfit)?  Once we have determined your selection, three things need to happen to place your order with the designer- 1. we take your measurements, in order to determine the appropriate size according to the specific designer’s size chart; 2. you sign a policy form, which not only confirms your size but provides additional information regarding your order; 3. payment, which is required in full.

How much do alterations cost, and/or are they included in the price of the dress? Unfortunately we no longer offer alterations for mothers, however, we have a great network of outside seamstresses that we may refer you to.

How far in advance do I have to order?  Although the lead time for a mother of the occasion dress is not necessarily as long as a bridal gown, you still need to plan ahead!  Your dress should be ordered 5-6 months prior to the wedding in order to accommodate any alterations.  With that said, dresses can be ordered with a lesser lead time, however, please be prepared to pay a rush fee (this varies by designer).

I don’t have enough time to order a dress, what are my options? Not to worry! We have an incredible selection of sample gowns that we sell off the rack- meaning gowns that were once our floor models are now being sold ‘as is’ at a great, discounted price! Click here to link to our selection- keep in mind, we usually only sample our Mother of the Occasion styles in one size and color so this option can be more limiting. The size of these gowns usually ranges between 8 and 18. Additional alterations and repairs may be required when purchasing a sample. 

Image by Abbey Scott

 Ring us at 860.669.4596 today to work with your personal stylist to find your mother of the occasion ensemble. 

xoxo, TWD 

Frequently Asked Questions: Modern Trousseau Muslin Process

We are so fortunate to have one of our favorite designers, Modern Trousseau, based in Connecticut. Their gowns are designed and manufactured right in Woodbridge! Having the designer so close gives us the benefit of allowing our clients to work directly with the designer to create a custom gown that will accommodate both their body type and personal style.

One of our brides, Mandy, worked with Modern Trousseau to customize her gown for her Costa Rican wedding. Mandy’s muslin fitting process was captured on film by in WHITE member, Vintage Cinema.

To get the full picture of Mandy’s bridal experience, you can watch a video of her selecting her gown during one of our White Carpet Appointments here. Mandy’s wedding  pictures were also featured in the Fall 2012 issue of  Inside Weddings Magazine!

As part of our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ series, here is a bit more information about the muslin garment and fitting process that our brides go through when doing a custom Modern Trousseau gown.

What is a muslin?
A ‘muslin’ is a wearable fabric pattern made to your measurements that is constructed out of a simple cotton fabric called muslin. It is custom fit to the bride and then taken apart and used by the patternmaker as the pattern to create the actual garment in the real fabric of the gown.

Why would you need a muslin?
Muslins are created for either clients whose measurements don’t fit perfectly into the designer’s size chart or if a custom change is being made to a gown (i.e. a change in the neckline, sleeve or skirt shape).  The beauty of the muslin is that it allows the client to see the silhouette of the gown in process. That way, design and fit changes can be made prior to the garment being produced. The muslin allows a custom, couture fit.

What is involved in the process of fitting the muslin?
We recommend that muslin fittings be done at Modern Trousseau’s design studio in Woodbrige so that each client can experience working with the designer, Callie Tein, and her skilled patternmakers. At the first fitting, the garment will be in muslin form. The patternmaker will pin the muslin and write notes on the fabric as per the client’s personal designations, which will assist her as she is creating the gown. After this fitting, the muslin is taken apart and used as the pattern to cut the fabric for the gown. At the next fitting, the garment will be made, but the zipper will not yet be sewn in. The garment will then be pinned to fit the client. At the final fitting, the zipper will be sewn in, and any final tweaks are made to the gown.

How much does a muslin process costs?
A muslin for a bride is $750. Alterations (including your hem and bustle ties) are included in the cost of the muslin fee.

Partaking in the muslin process not only allows for a perfect fit, but it also enables the client to be part of the creation of their gown. It is a special and unique service that we are proud to offer at The White Dress by the shore. Please feel free to give us a ring at 860.669.4596 for further information.

xoxo, TWD

Engaged and Confused? Your Wedding Preparation Checklist

Did he ‘put a ring on it’ over the holidays? Wondering what to do next?

Here is our suggested wedding preparation checklist involving many of the important, fashion-related steps as you begin your journey down the aisle. The White Dress by the shore is your one-stop destination for all of the following, so be sure to give us a ring at 860.669.4596, as we would be delighted to help you with every last detail.



For more information when beginning this process, be sure to check out owner Beth Chapman’s shopping tips.

Photographs above are from various photographers including: Carla Ten Eyck, Robert & Kathleen, Steve Depino, Alissa Dineen,  Justin & Mary, Dani Fine Photography

xoxo, TWD

Frequently Asked Questions: Bridesmaid Ordering Process

With our Amsale Bridesmaid Trunk Show fast approaching (November 14-16) we wanted to share a little refresher of the attendants ordering process with our readers!


Join us to view Amsale's Spring 2014 Collection Thrusday, November 14th- Saturday, November 16th.

Join us to view Amsale’s Spring 2014 Collection Thrusday, November 14th- Saturday, November 16th.

Bridesmaid dresses take 3-4 months to produce. We recommend placing the order for your bridesmaid dresses 5-6 months in advance of the wedding to ensure a timely delivery and to leave time for alterations. We can often reduce the lead-time with a rush fee.

Following are the steps required to place your attendant’s order at The White Dress by the shore. The order will not be placed until all of the 4 steps have taken place:

step ONE

SIZING. Each attendant needs to be measured professionally. If attendants are not local and are unable to come into our boutique, they may visit a local tailor or seamstress to be measured. Please take note of your measurements and call us at 860.669.4596 so we may determine the size that is best for you. Keep in mind that bridesmaid sizing may be different from your ready-to-wear size- this is perfectly normal; our stylists make the best size recommendation in order to ensure proper fit and minimal alterations.

step TWO

POLICY FORM. After the size has been determined, read, sign, and note the size on the bottom of our Policy Form- which can be reviewed here. This form can be submitted
online, via fax or in person.

step THREE

PAYMENT. We require payment in full for bridesmaid dresses. Payment can be made over the phone at 860.669.4596 or in person at the boutique. *Keep in mind that during a trunk show, maids do not need to be present in order to receive the 10% discount- they can simply call in their payment over the phone during the trunk show dates. Measurements can be submitted at a later, designated time.*

step FOUR

ARRIVAL & SHIPPING. All gowns ordered through The White Dress by the shore arrive at the boutique and undergo a strict check-in process to ensure quality and accuracy to the original order. Following this process, we call the designated point-of-contact for the bridal party to alert her to the gowns arrival. We DO NOT SHIP dresses from our store. We do have a relationship with the local UPS store and can coordinate shipping through them. We are not responsible for any dresses shipped through the UPS store. Any questions regarding tracking information should be directed to them at 860.664.0066 or

In order to have attendants dresses shipped, the bride must submit this form to us via email or fax.  We must receive the shipment authorization form completely filled out with all of the attendants’ shipping and credit card information and all dresses will be shipped at once. The completed form can be submitted online here.

Give us a ring for any additional questions in regards to bridesmaid shopping, sizing, payment and ordering at 860.669.4596.


xoxo, TWD


How Engagement Ring Style Determines Gown Choice…

You have a style that is all your own. It’s how you convey to others who you are. And because your sweetie knows you so well, in most cases your engagement ring will reflect your taste and personality.

For example, if you have a modern sensibility with a love for clean lines and architectural details then your ring will most likely have a similar feel.

If you have a eclectic, artsy side  your ring will have a delicate, uniquely bohemian vibe that makes it your own.

If you would describe your style as classic, your ring may have a Tiffany cut and use your grandmothers vintage stone.

And if you would describe yourself as a true romantic, your ring will most likely have darling details and a rose gold hue.

To take this further, it can’t be denied that your ring style usually sets the tone for how you wish to look and feel overall on your wedding day. This is a discussion we have with most of our brides.  We love talking about rings and engagement stories and we find that more often than not, the bride wants to make sure that the gown ties in with the feel of her ring,  as it is a reflection of who she is (and who she loves).

Our boutique offers a wide variety of gowns, and in working with one of our expert stylists you are sure to find the one that is perfectly ‘you’. Scroll below for our take on how your wedding ring choice translates into finding the right gown at our boutique!



If you ring looks something like the one above (found here), then we would suggest pairing it with a dress that is equally modern. The Amsale ‘Harbor’ gown makes a statement without being over the top- we love its clean lines and one shoulder detail. The shape is minimal, yet sexy.  


If your ring has a uniquely natural feel like this one (found on one of our favorite online shops,, we would suggest that your dress will also have an organic, ethereal vibe that reflects your individuality. We love Ivy & Aster’s ‘Poesy’ gown as it is not your typical wedding dress. The lovely cotton lace and low back make it something to talk about, while the sheath silhouette keeps the focus on you.


If your ring style is completely classic like this traditional Tiffany cut (found on then your gown too, will be a reflection of that. We have selected one of newest styles from Rivini, ‘Aurora’. She totally fits the bill as a classic New England bride’s dream dress- the silhouette and details work perfectly in a formal setting.


If your ring has a peachy champagne stone surrounded by diamonds, like this beauty (found on none other than,, then you will most likely be looking for a dress to reflect the beautiful hue and ultra-romantic feeling your ring evokes. Modern Trousseau’s ‘Finnley’ gown is the perfect match! Her blush lining, intricate lace pattern and alluring silhouette says romance all around!


We hope you enjoyed our engagement ring and gown pairings! If you are looking for the ‘perfect match’ be sure to ‘give us a ring’ to book your appointment- 860.669.4596.


xoxo, TWD

Bridal Undergarments: “The perfect fit starts with the perfect foundation”

It’s nearly mid May, and at The White Dress by the shore that means we are beginning to enter the height of our alterations season. The most important item that you can have at your fitting is the proper undergarment for your gown.


Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 12.48.09 PMImage by Alissa Dineen  

The key to a perfect garment fit is the proper foundation. As we always say, “they call it a foundation for a reason”, as a well fitting bra and undergarments are essential to creating a perfect fit. If your gown is strapless, backless, heavy or very light weight ,your undergarment will need to make up for the elements your gown may lack. Your wedding gown and your choice of undergarments “support” each other (pun intended)! 

Selecting your undergarments is as important as selecting the perfect gown. It is essential to take the time to be fitted for your undergarments prior to your first fitting.  If you do not have the proper undergarment at your fitting, we may not be able to proceed with your alterations, as the undergarment has a drastic effect on  the fit of your gown.

In order to ensure that you have the proper fit for your body and the gown that you have chosen,  speak to us at the The White Dress by the shore or we reccomend that you visit Josie and Heidi at Beneath the Gown in downtown Branford. Beneath the gown was once located within our boutique, but has since moved to a larger location.  BTG offers  an exceptional selection of lingerie and foundations. Josie, a seamstress herself, is an expert in garment fit and construction. She is able to asses your needs and find the bra that will work best for you and your gown.  She also customizes her pieces to ensure the perfect fit! Ring her at 860.304.7399 to book an appointment.

If you are comfortable, you may pick up your gown from us and bring it to Josie to try on with undergarments in her space.  If that is not possible, just bring her a picture- she’ll know what to do!

Below are some examples of bra silhouettes that our clients choose  (all styles carried at Beneath the Gown).  Our first choice for under your gown or your mother of the occasion dress, if the style allows, is a long line bustier.  We find that this silhouette provides brides and moms with the proper support that they need and creates a smooth line under the gown.  If you are not a ‘bra person’ and have an A or B cup, then we can either sew cups into your gown or you may select a self adhesive bra, like the one pictured below.



For further information about the alterations process, take a peek at this Frequently Asked Questions Post or ring us at the boutique- 860.669.4596.


xoxo, TWD

Frequently Asked Questions: Veils


We could spend this whole blog post diving into the different lengths, widths, shapes and trims of veils but to be truthful, veils are not a science- its about the feeling not the fabrication. So with this in mind, we choose to answer one very common question we are asked when discussing veil length- the rest of the things you are wondering are best answered by the way you feel when trying on different options with one of our talented stylists.  Join us for an appointment tomorrow evening, April 11th from 5-8, where we can choose the veil perfect veil for you at a 15% discount.  Even if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, we have a range of custom options so that you can wear anything you dream up.

Q: My gown has a long train and I want to wear a long veil- where should the veil fall in regards to the train?

A: The general rule here is that the veil must be longer than the train length, never shorter- 6″ longer, a foot longer, four feet longer- it doesn’t matter as long as it extends beyond the gown’s train.


We hope to see you tomorrow for our Veil Event and the kick off of the Modern Trousseau Runway Preview Trunk Show! Ring us at 860.669.4596 to book an appointment.


xoxo, TWD

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