Bridal Q and A! Buying your gown

We have put together a series of Q and A's from all the questions we receive from brides. Buying your gown is a big deal and one of the biggest decisions you will make about your wedding, other than choosing your groom of course. Our first set of Q and A's is all about buying your gown - what sizes, how does it work, budgets... 

Q.  How does it work getting a gown from Astra Bridal?

A.  We have extensive range of gowns across our four stores.  Working with a consultant you will try as many on as you need, in one hour appointments, to find the gown of your dreams.  If the one we have isn’t in your size then we have the fantastic option of ordering you in a new one.  If you order you can specify the colour you would like from the options offered by the designer.

Q. What size dresses do you have?

A. The gowns we carry in store are anywhere from a size 4 to a size 26.  The majority are between 10 and 16, but we do pride ourselves on having the largest plus size range in New Zealand.

Q.  I have a tight budget so can I still get a fabulous gown?

A.  There are definitely gowns for every budget. Don’t be tempted to buy something online.  Copy houses illicitly using pictures, seemingly offer a designer gown at a bargain price.  Don’t be caught out, it isn’t a designer gown and if they will rip off a designer won’t they rip you off just as easily?  Try to look for discounted gown sales and outlet stores, like our own Bridal Outlet.

Q. What makes a gown so expensive?

A. Typically the quality of the components and the intricacy of the design.  Fabric is one consideration – laces are the most expensive and taffetas the most economical.  The type of beading is another; glass beads are cheaper than Swarovski crystals.  A gown may seem expensive as a first look, but when you look closely at the construction and fabric, you will see where the cost comes.  It does take extra time to make the perfectly constructed gown.

Q.  I wanted to wear my mother’s gown on the day, but it doesn’t fit?

A.  This is a gorgeous sentiment, but sometimes not only fit can prevent this happening but also fabric deterioration.  We have some cute ideas to use the fabric at your wedding.  How about a flowergirl dress or detailing on the dress?  You can incorporate it in to the decorations, e.g. wrapped around your bouquet stems, textile rosettes to feature on the cake, create handkerchiefs for you and the mothers.  Don’t forget to consider your mothers veil as an option. 

Q.  What is the best day to come to the store?

A.  If you can organize it weekdays are best.  Saturdays get crazy busy so weekdays can be calmer and you won’t be fighting for mirror space.  This is especially important if you want to bring more than two people with you.

Q.  What is involved in alterations?

A.  This is the process of fitting your ready made gown exactly to your body.  It might be a tweak on the bust or having the hem taken up to the height of the shoes you have selected.  Alterations are done by a specialist bridal person and charged in addition to the gown.  For us we have recommended experts that are willing to work to suit your timetable.

Q. I am travelling overseas for my wedding – how do I transport it?

A.  Unless you are lucky enough to be travelling first class the airline will say no to helping with your gown when booking the tickets.  But never fear, experience tells us that ground and crew are more than happy to help.  So carry you gown in the gown bag we have provided. Any travel crinkles will usually drop out once hung on arrival. You can also hang it in the bathroom while you have a shower as the stream will help.  

Photo credit Amanda Wignell Photography