Archive for the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Category
image: Melanie Zacek
As many brides are beginning to shop during this time of year, we thought it would be helpful for re-post some frequently asked questions about our boutique and shopping experience.
What is the price range of your gowns?
We have hand-selected a collection of gowns that are priced between $2,500 – $11,000. We have two designers with a small selection of gowns priced between $1,200 – $2,000: Jenny Yoo and Theia. These gowns are unstructured and tend to be for a less formal wedding. We also always have a selection of store samples that are discounted and being sold directly off the rack. *Please note that these gowns are generally sample size 10.
Do I need an appointment to shop in your boutique
Yes. We are by appointment so that we can provide each of our clients with our undivided attention. The majority of what we sell is special order, and many items can be customized. Working with a dedicated associate allows you to be educated on all of your options, as well as all of the unique services that the boutique has to offer. You can schedule an appointment by ringing us at 860.669.4596 or you may request one here. *Please note our cancellation policy below.
Are you open on Sundays?
We have limited hours on select Sundays from November – March. If you are interested in a private shopping experience on a Sunday, click to learn more about about our White Carpet Appointments and Bridesmaid Soirees.
How long will my appointment be?
Our appointments are 1½ hours in length.
Can I schedule bridal and bridesmaid appointments back to back?
We strongly recommend that you make separate appointments. Bridal appointments can be emotional and require making quite a few decisions. If your schedule allows, we recommend that you try to schedule separate appointments so that you can get the most out of each appointment. If your schedule limits you to requiring bridal and bridesmaid appointments on the same day, we do require a credit card to reserve these two back to back time slots on a Saturday. If the appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, your card will be charged $50.
We do offer Bridesmaid Soiree appointments where you and your bridal party can have 2 hours of exclusive access to chic by the shore, our bridesmaid atelier. You and your bridesmaids will enjoy sweets and mimosas while experiencing a private shopping appointment. For further details, check out the Bridesmaid Soiree page on our website.
What should I bring with me to the appointment?
If you wear a bra or shoe size that is especially small or large, your may want to bring your own. Otherwise, we have both to offer you during the appointment. You will be working with a dedicated stylist, so feel free to bring any photos of gowns that you admire.
When should I arrive for my appointment?
Please arrive at the time that your appointment is scheduled for. We often have appointments immediately before your appointment and (especially on a Saturday) will not be able to take you early. Furthermore, if you are late, this will cut into your appointment time. We also often have an appointment immediately following yours (especially on a Saturday) and therefore, we may not be able to extend your appointment time due to a late arrival.
Is there a limit to the number of guests that I can bring?
As we are a small boutique, we ask that you limit your guests to no more than 5. We understand that there are many special people in your life that want to be a part of this momentous decision; however, too many opinions can actually be detrimental. Try to limit your guests to those who understand your personal style and the overall look and feel of your wedding so that they can assist you in selecting a gown that compliments both.
If you feel that you want to make a big reveal of your decision for your bridal party or your extended family, we offer White Carpet Appointments. These appointments provide you with 3 hours of exclusive access to the boutique. You are treated to champagne and sweet or savory treats during your visit, and a photographer is present to capture all of the wonderful memories as they unfold. You will leave the appointment with a SWAG bag full of bridal goodies. For further details, check out the Pricing Details page on our website.
Are photographs allowed?
They are allowed, but we ask that you refrain from taking them until the end of the appointment when we have helped you narrow down your choices to 3 gowns. Taking them throughout the appointment can be distracting and may not be the best use of your time.
We also ask that when viewing the photos to remember that our gowns are samples and may not be in the color or condition that your gown will be upon it’s arrival. Also, the gown has not been professionally fit to your body and therefore may not be lying exactly right.
Can I bring small children to my appointment?
We adore children, but our boutique is filled with delicate, expensive items and it is not an appropriate environment for them. Children require a lot of care and attention and we also feel that caring for them takes the attention away from the bride, which in our world, is always the star of the show! We kindly request that you leave small children at home.
What is your cancellation policy?
For appointments that take place on Thursday evenings (5 and 6:30), Saturdays and trunk shows, we require a credit card to reserve your appointment. Your card will be charged $25 only if you cancel your appointment in less than 24 hours notice or if you don’t show up for your appointment.
Will you discount or haggle on price?
The only time we discount is during a special event or trunk show. For further details, check out the Discounting Policy page on our website.
We do offer a 5% discount on bridesmaid purchases from our bridesmaid designers if you purchase your gown with us.
What is a trunk show, and what is the advantage of purchasing your gown at one?
A trunk show is when a designer sends in an extended version of their collection. There is frequently a special offer that is provided during the event as an incentive to buy. Very often, the designer or a company representative is present at the trunk show, which allows you to fully experience the nuances and beauty of the collection.
What is the difference between an accessory appointment and your Styling Service?
Accessories Appointment – This appointment is an hour and a half in length. We will have you try your gown on, and one of our trained stylists will assist in selecting the perfect veil and accessories to compliment your gown.
Styling Service – This appointment is three hours in length. This service is for the bride who needs a lot of guidance or is overwhelmed by all of her options and wants assistance in editing her selections. Prior to your appointment, you will receive our styling questionnaire, which provides us with the overall look and feel of your wedding. During your visit, we will assist in styling all of your wedding day looks, from shower, to rehearsal dinner, to the wedding itself. You will also receive a beauty profile, providing hair and make up style suggestions. If you have style changes planned for your wedding day, we will communicate those to your photographer so that every detail is captured. To ensure that you are picture perfect and no hair, bustle point or accessory is out of place, we also offer a Dressing Service on the day of your wedding.
How far in advance should I purchase all of the items for my wedding?
Following are our recommended lead times for each of our categories:
Bridal Gown 9-12 months in advance of the wedding
Bridesmaids and Mother of the Occasion Dresses 5 months in advance of the wedding
Little White Dress 4-5 months in advance of your wedding related event
Accessories 2-3 months in advance of the wedding
Veil 2-3 months in advance of the wedding
Shoes and Undergarments 1 months in advance of your fittings starting (Your bridal alterations should begin 4 months in advance of your wedding)
Do you offer in-house alterations?
We have two seamstresses that perform fittings in our store for our brides. Our alteration services are ala carte, so we charge for what needs to be done to the gown. We would be happy to provide you with an average price range and a complimentary quote for our services once you have been measured for your gown. Our seamstresses are bridal specialists, so we reserve their talents and craft to perfect our wedding gowns. We have a network of talented out-of-house seamstresses that we have fully vetted and can refer for bridesmaid and mother of the occasion alterations. We can only accommodate a certain number of bridal alterations per month. It is best to purchase your wedding gown a minimum of 9 months in advance of your wedding if you want to take advantage of our in-house alterations service. When you purchase your gown, you are automatically added to our alterations que, up until the time that our monthly quota is met. To learn more about our unique and extensive alterations process, view this video.
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.
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.
Ring us at 860.669.4596 today to work with your personal stylist to find your mother of the occasion ensemble.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.*
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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, catbirdnyc.com), 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 tiffanyandco.com) 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, etsy.com), 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.
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.
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.