curious about what makes shopping at a&bé an experience unlike any other? find out more about what you can expect at our no-fuss, one-of-a-kind, stylish boutique.
We hope that you love what you see on the website and are as excited as we are to have you come visit us. And while you are probably a pro at shopping, bridal shopping can be a little bit different so here's answers to our most common questions:
Q. Are appointments required?
We ask that appointments are made for every day except Thursday. We're open Tuesday - Saturday (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am - 6pm, Thursday from 12 - 8 pm and Saturday from 9am - 5pm). Appointments help us ensure that we can give you our full attention. But, we know that not everyone likes the fuss of a formal appointment. If you are the type of girl who would like to stop by and shop inconspicuously, or are more of a spontaneous-type gal that would like to pop in and look for your gown without all the hassle, we’d love to have you come say hello on a Thursday afternoon. We're open from noon to 8pm and we don't take appointments. This means it may be a little hectic or, hey, maybe it's just you in the boutique. You can just browse and see the collection or you can linger a little longer and find your gown. We will still have expert stylists on hand to answer any questions and give awesome advice. (Only if you want them to, of course.)
Q. This is my first time shopping, how many people should I bring and how long should I plan on being there?
We know that you may want to capture this moment by bringing your mom, your bff, your aunt suzy, your grandma, your future mother-in-law, your bridesmaids, your neighbor, your work colleague and so many more. But if you can limit this to a couple of key people, we promise that your shopping experience will be that much more enjoyable! It's hard to hear your own voice when you're focused on pleasing too many opinions. And, keep in mind that this is your time. You want friends who will be honest, but you also want friends that first and foremost will be supportive. We'll never rush you through the process, so we are one of the few shops that schedules all of our appointments for a full hour and a half. For many, this is enough time to find your dress (yup, even on your very first visit) and if you're not ready to decide, after 90 minutes it's probably a good idea to give yourself a rest.
Q: What size samples do you have to try on during my appointment?
Most of the samples in our shop are a bridal size 10. Depending on the designer this equates to about a street size 6 or 8. We do have a selection of gowns in sizes 12-18 as well. All of our designers have slightly different size charts so every size 10 will fit a little bit differently. We understand that it can be difficult to envision your wedding dress when the sample that you try on doesn't fit perfectly, but we've got all sorts of tricks to help you get a close(r) vision of what you will look like on your wedding day. We've got pedestals to stand on to add length, clips to close in fabric, and panels to add fabric. While we wish we could carry our dresses in more sizes, we are often at the mercy of the designers who cut samples in standard sample sizes.
Q. Help! my wedding is in a few months, can i still get a dress?
Absolutely! We have lots of dress options that can either be ordered with a quick turnaround as well as several options that are available to take with you that very day!
Q. I just got engaged and my wedding isn’t for another year (or more!), when should I start shopping for my dress?
Finding the perfect dress can happen at any point during the wedding-planning process, so it completely depends on you and what you envision for your big day. For some of our gowns that are stitched here in the USA by small boutique designers who require a bit more time to complete your dress. If your heart is set on one of these made-to-order gowns, we recommend allowing 6 to 8 months from start to finish. Plus, the earlier you decide on a dress, the more time you have to plan all the other details of your wedding, or just relax and get excited for your big day!
Q. What about alterations?
We select the gown size based on your measurements, but we can pretty much guarantee that your dress will need alterations to get the best fit. We don't provide alterations in shop as we know that there are experts who have the best equipment and skills to assist with the alterations. We're happy to make recommendations, but you are not required to use our recommendations.
Q: When should I order my veils and accessories?
Most people are surprised to learn that the veils and accessories are all made to order and are not sold directly off the rack. While this means that you know the piece is being made especially for you, it also means that it takes some patience for the piece to arrive in the shop. Standard production time for veils and accessories is between 6 and 8 weeks. And while we can always accommodate a rush, it may cost a little bit more! We'd love to save you some bucks so we recommend ordering at least two months before your wedding.
Q. What is your return policy?
We want you to LOVE your dress! We have gowns that are sold both off-the-rack (you get to try on the dress in your size and can even take it with you that day) as well as gowns that are ordered. If you are ordering the gown, you will place a deposit of half down in order for your dress to start being made. On the very rare occasion that the dress comes in and you decide it's just not right, no worries - we'll happily apply your purchase to another gown in the store*
*for a complete list of qualifications and criteria for the Love your Look policy, please contact your a&bé store