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Congratulations! You are about to embark on a wonderful search, the search for the wedding gown of your dreams. We at TROUSSEAUX would like to help make your decision-making a fun and memorable experience. Chances are your wedding gown will be the most expensive clothing item you will ever purchase. Even if only a handful of people will see you dressed as a bride, or hundreds will, you’ll want THE GOWN to make a statement.

In The Beginning
If you’re like 95% of all brides, within 24 hours of getting engaged you’ve been on the Internet or flipping through a bridal magazine. Both are excellent sources in the beginning stage. Right away you can zero in on favorite looks, or rule out certain others. Most brides have thought or dreamt of their wedding gown look from the time they were little girls. Here’s you chance to be a Princess Bride.

With many thousands of new bridal grown designs produced each year by a huge variety of manufacturers, you have tons of options available to you. For some brides, price is the most important factor in determining which dress to buy. For other, looks are the key.

Ask yourself – what kind of wedding do you envision having? a formal affair in a huge church? a casual beach wedding at an exotic location? There are no hard fast rules – YOU are the bride, YOU are the belle of the ball. But certain styles of weddings call for certain styles of gowns. Some churches may frown on or forbid low cleavage or backless gowns. It’s a good idea to research the church rules before starting your gown search.

Have you selected your wedding date? The season of the year may impact your choice of styles. Nowadays, though, strapless gowns are worn year-round. Almost all strapless gowns come with a pair of spaghetti straps that can be attached. All designers offer gowns with sleeves, but there are fewer than in years past.

Your wedding date will also tell you how much time you have to spend shopping, ordering, and customizing your gown. Many custom-ordered gowns require three to six months for delivery, and alterations may take another month or two, depending how busy seamstresses are (in March – June there are prom gowns needing alterations, as well as bridal and bridesmaid gowns). Even if you buy a gown off the rack, it will take some time to have it altered. Thus it’s wise to start your gown hunt 9 – 10 months before the wedding date.

Most companies will do a rush cut for a custom dress, so it will be completed quicker than the normal delivery, but there’s a charge, usually $50 – $100 extra. Some companies keep an inventory of a few of their dresses in stock, or available with one-week delivery. The bridal consultant can call the individual company and find out if the gown in your size and color is already in stock, or how long it will take to have it made.

Be realistic in your search – photographed gowns worn by a 5’11” size 4 model, airbrushed to perfection, will not look exactly the same on the average figure. Keep an open mind, and be willing to try on a variety of silhouettes.

Come Prepared
An appointment at a bridal salon is not always necessary, but is a good idea. The consultant can block off time to give you personal attention; here at TROUSSEAUX we’ll have tea and cookies ready for your group.

Bring along pictures you may have found of gowns you like, and describe to the consultant the style of your wedding, and the date and time, along with any budget restriction. Be honest – no sense in trying on gowns that are financially out of your reach.

Don’t bring a crowd on your first outing – select one or two people whose opinion you value. A group of ten will mean ten differing opinions, and some friends / relatives can be brutally honest. Wait until you’ve narrowed down your choices, then invite the bridal party.

Wear correct undergarments (panties that you’ll feel comfortable revealing in front of others, a strapless bra), and bring elastics and clips for putting your hair up. A bridal consultant will be in the dressing room with you – the gowns are expensive, and difficult to get on / off. Bring shoes of the approximate heel height. A strapless bra is a good idea, and pantyhose look better with the gowns than striped socks. Go easy on your makeup and perfume; they can smear onto gowns that can be sold off-the-rack.

Limit your try-ons to five or six gowns at a time – otherwise, they just blend together. We will start a file, listing your favorites, so at the next visit you don’t have to start all over.

When it’s time for measurements to order your gown (if the store doesn’t carry your size), the consultant will measure you in bra and panties. Using the size chart specific to the gown’s designer, you and she will decide on what size to order. Don’t be upset or surprised at the sizes; all wedding gowns run a size smaller than your usual size. It is usually best to go with the size for your largest measurement, as it’s easier to take in than to let out. Remember, unless you pay extra, you’re not getting a customized sizing. You’re getting the standard size closest to your measurements. The majority of gowns require alterations, and bustling (pulling up the train using hooks or ribbons so you can dance).

TROUSSEAUX’s prices for gowns don’t include alterations (some gowns don’t need any). Instead, we refer you to a seamstress experienced in bridal. Sometime the design company will change a gown to your specifications (example, lace-up back, more beadwork, added sleeves), but they will add a fee.

Once the dress is ordered all sales are final, so be sure, be VERY SURE. Expect to put down a 50% deposit to order the gown. The balance is non-refundable and due within a month after the gown comes in, or before alterations are begun.

If you need your gown sooner than the standard shipping time (typically 10 – 14 weeks), there will be a rush charge.

Your Gown Arrives
The store will call when the gown comes in. We will do an initial steaming of the outside (and a steaming of the entire dress after alterations and right before the wedding).

Bring your friends and relative now to try on. It is much easier to select your jewelry and tiara and / or veil when you are wearing the gown. TROUSSEAUX offers custom-made veils, to match your gown. A new service is custom-made jewelry, created with YOUR gown in mind.

Alterations should be done 4 – 6 weeks before the wedding to allow for weight fluctuation. Seamstresses can advise you how your gown will bustle best, depending on style, fabric, and trim. Your maid of honor will be shown how to get you into the dress, how to tie a lace-up back, and how to fasten the bustle.

Wedding Day
You make an unforgettable entrance in THE GOWN.

TROUSSEAUX offers a cleaning service, or cleaning / boxing service, for your wedding gown, to ensure it stays in perfect condition for years to come.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the specific written permission of TROUSSEAUX © 2008

Katie, a DuBois bride, modeling her beautiful wedding gown and veil
Katie, DuBois Bride