Wedding Etiquette Forum

Bridal Shop Etiquette? No pictures? Is this normal?

Stopped into a bridal shop today just to see if they had it and price it out. Sales assistant was shocked that my wedding is in May and I haven't started looking around yet (we just got engaged last month; quick engagement, I suppose); suffice to say, she talked me into trying some on...

With my fiance there. Worst.idea.ever. My friends and family are all 3,000 miles away in San Diego; I'd planned to take my FMIL with me and maybe FSIL when I went, but I guess I just got excited/scared into trying some on now....suffice to say, worst.idea.ever. It was so awkward and uncomfortable for both of us (he was in there with a bunch of woman and one of the sales associates must've commented "well, this is a first!" about 10x and then I realized we were breaking tradition/rules by having him there...and really, it was awful; lesson learned!).

Ok, that aside, there were huge NO PHOTOS PLEASE hanging everywhere. This kind of threw me off. No photos? If I'm going to drop that much money on a dress that I will be photographed in a million times, you'd better believe I want a photo to make sure I like it. That aside, my mother is the one buying my gown and she's in California, so I was relying on texting her pictures of winners. Is this normal?

And if it is the norm, anyone know the rationale? Or have an opinion on it?

Regardless, I snapped a photo of me in the only dress I didn't dislike. I almost want to post it on here for comedic effect. I look so uncomfortable and am not even pretending to smile. Naturally, when I sent it to Mom, she didn't like it. At least she was nice about it: "you are too beautiful for such an unflattering dress." Awww Momma.

Thanks all!

PS--I'm sure everyone on here wouldn't dare commit my faux pas (and I agree, I'm not a fan of men in 'woman areas,' like spas and salons--like, really, I don't want a man seeing me like that, so I agree it made it super uncomfortable for the women there, too, and I feel bad about that)...but if you were ever thinking of taking your FI to the bridal salon: DO NOT ;)  Also...I realize: I do want it to be a total surprise when he sees me in our wedding day.

Thanks!

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Re: Bridal Shop Etiquette? No pictures? Is this normal?

  • I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience!

    The no photos thing is quite normal from what I've seen. Reason being, my step-sister and her mother went bridal gown shopping, took up someone's time looking at dresses, and then went home and her mother made the one she picked, rather than them buying it. I think they're trying to prevent you from taking up their time and then going home and trying to find it cheaper online. My salon wouldn't give me the style number of my dress either, even after I bought it, which I thought was a bit extreme, but I guess I see their reasoning.
  • Some shops don't allow it.

    But really, taking your FI to the bridal shop is far from a faux pas.  I would refuse to buy my dress there just because of how obnoxious (not to mention pushy) they were.

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  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    When I went and tried on dresses, they had no problem with us taking pictures. I've heard the rationale behind it being that people take photos and go make the dress or find it at a discount store. I think it's stupid because you can just look at dresses online or in a magazine and try to replicate them.
  • Taking pics IS necessary in my opinion.  Things look way different in a mirror than in a pic, I feel like I can judge myself better in it. I have never seen that before.

    This is random too, but one bridal shop that has a huge selection of bridesmaids dresses that I wanted to shop at charges $10 per person to TRY ON DRESSES!!! I think that is such rude business etiquette and they say they will deduct it from your purchase but that they don't want to "waste their time if you aren't going to buy."  Needless to say, we did not go shopping there.

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  • I went to two salons when I was dress shopping. The first allowed pictures, and the second didn't. I ended up buying my dress at the second place and after I'd been measured we were "allowed" to take pictures. 

    Honestly though, I declined to have the saleswoman come into the dressing room with me and asked if my sister could join me instead, so we definitely could have taken all the pictures we wanted. Shrug. 
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shop-etiquette-no-pictures-is-this-normal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:7bf68ace-5abb-4fd2-a9d3-ad106f99d2e3Post:5fa3ded3-f1d9-430e-a115-836f2458eaf2">Bridal Shop Etiquette? No pictures? Is this normal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Stopped into a bridal shop today just to see if they had it and price it out. Sales assistant was shocked that my wedding is in May and I haven't started looking around yet (we just got engaged last month; quick engagement, I suppose); suffice to say, she talked me into trying some on... With my fiance there. Worst.idea.ever. My friends and family are all 3,000 miles away in San Diego; I'd planned to take my FMIL with me and maybe FSIL when I went, but I guess I just got excited/scared into trying some on now....suffice to say, worst.idea.ever. It was so awkward and uncomfortable for both of us (he was in there with a bunch of woman and one of the sales associates must've commented "well, this is a first!" about 10x and then I realized we were breaking tradition/rules by having him there...and really, it was awful; lesson learned!). Ok, that aside, there were huge NO PHOTOS PLEASE hanging everywhere. This kind of threw me off. No photos? If I'm going to drop that much money on a dress that I will be photographed in a million times, you'd better believe I want a photo to make sure I like it. That aside, my mother is the one buying my gown and she's in California, so I was relying on texting her pictures of winners. Is this normal? And if it is the norm, anyone know the rationale? Or have an opinion on it? Regardless, I snapped a photo of me in the only dress I didn't dislike. I almost want to post it on here for comedic effect. I look so uncomfortable and am not even pretending to smile. Naturally, when I sent it to Mom, she didn't like it. At least she was nice about it: "you are too beautiful for such an unflattering dress." Awww Momma. Thanks all! PS--I<strong>'m sure everyone on here wouldn't dare commit my faux pas (and I agree, I'm not a fan of men in 'woman areas,' like spas and salons--like, really, I don't want a man seeing me like that, so I agree it made it super uncomfortable for the women there, too, and I feel bad about that)...but if you were ever thinking of taking your FI to the bridal salon: DO NOT </strong>;)  Also...I realize: I do want it to be a total surprise when he sees me in our wedding day. Thanks!
    Posted by jenferian[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I had my FI with me when I tried on dresses. What's the big deal? I understand that wasn't what you really wanted, but some people do.  And in specific regards to the bolded, that is kind of offensive.  So because he is a guy he can't go to certain places of business. So because I'm a girl, I can't go to a car repair shop. It just comes aross as very closed minded.  

    </div>
    image

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Given that wedding gowns are very expensive and generally once-in-a-lifetime purchases, I think that the stores that sell them are worried about not being able to make sales because brides do worry a lot about how they look in the dresses, and do try on lots of dresses before making a purchase.  Sometimes dresses may get damaged inadvertently while being tried on-especially if they're very popular designs or very complicated, and then they require repairs or even being remade, at significant cost to the store.

    So even though it's poor customer service, the stores do everything they can to push the brides into finalizing the sales of the dresses while they're there, including no photo requirements.  I agree that it's a pain in the butt, especially when you want the approval of people who can't be there to see you try them on.  But that's what's going through their minds.
  • edited January 2013
    There's nothing wrong with having a guy (your FI or not) along to a bridal salon. It's not a "woman's only" area. I'm sorry if the sales associates made it super awkward for both of you, though. 

    Some salons have the no picture rule, others do not. I was allowed to take pictures at my salon, and I probably wouldn't have bought from a salon that wouldn't have allowed me to take pictures. 

    Edit: My mom went crazy and even took pictures of the price tags (which included size, price, designer, dress #, etc). The places we went had no problem with this.
  • rajahmdrajahmd Galifrey member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_bridal-shop-etiquette-no-pictures-is-this-normal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:7bf68ace-5abb-4fd2-a9d3-ad106f99d2e3Post:5fa3ded3-f1d9-430e-a115-836f2458eaf2">Bridal Shop Etiquette? No pictures? Is this normal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Stopped into a bridal shop today just to see if they had it and price it out. Sales assistant was shocked that my wedding is in May and I haven't started looking around yet (we just got engaged last month; quick engagement, I suppose); suffice to say, she talked me into trying some on... With my fiance there. Worst.idea.ever. My friends and family are all 3,000 miles away in San Diego; I'd planned to take my FMIL with me and maybe FSIL when I went, but I guess I just got excited/scared into trying some on now....suffice to say, worst.idea.ever. It was so awkward and uncomfortable for both of us (he was in there with a bunch of woman and one of the sales associates must've commented "well, this is a first!" about 10x and then I realized we were breaking tradition/rules by having him there...and really, it was awful; lesson learned!). Ok, that aside, there were huge NO PHOTOS PLEASE hanging everywhere. This kind of threw me off. No photos? If I'm going to drop that much money on a dress that I will be photographed in a million times, you'd better believe I want a photo to make sure I like it. That aside, my mother is the one buying my gown and she's in California, so I was relying on texting her pictures of winners. Is this normal? And if it is the norm, anyone know the rationale? Or have an opinion on it? Regardless, I snapped a photo of me in the only dress I didn't dislike. I almost want to post it on here for comedic effect. I look so uncomfortable and am not even pretending to smile. Naturally, when I sent it to Mom, she didn't like it. At least she was nice about it: "you are too beautiful for such an unflattering dress." Awww Momma. Thanks all! <strong>PS--I'm sure everyone on here wouldn't dare commit my faux pas (and I agree, I'm not a fan of men in 'woman areas,' like spas and salons--like, really, I don't want a man seeing me like that, so I agree it made it super uncomfortable for the women there, too, and I feel bad about that)...but if you were ever thinking of taking your FI to the bridal salon: DO NOT ;)  Also...I realize: I do want it to be a total surprise when he sees me in our wedding day. </strong>Thanks!
    Posted by jenferian[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>I'm a bit annoyed by your last little bit.  Some of us actually like taking our future husbands with us. Mine came with me. I figured his was the most important opinion to get and the one I trusted the most. It wasn't awkward at all. In fact, our consultant loved it- she kept gushing over us and how neat it was that we were looking together. As someone who was dreading the dress shoppping experience, having my fiance with me (and no one else) made it much more bearable (not to mention romantic).</div>
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  • All of the places I went to allowed pictures, and my fiance' ended up going with me to make the final decision on my gown. His feelings about it were most important to me out of anyone else's. The salon we purchased from were totally accommodating under all circumstances, and even took pics for both of us when he teared up upon seeing me. Everyone said that it will ruin the "moment" when he first sees me at the wedding, but we feel like we had our "first look" moment in the salon, and as an older bride, I am ok with it being so. He won't even look at a picture now, and wants to let the "image" fade before the wedding, but I have no worries that he won't love it. I already know he does. It is a very special time in your life. Enjoy it.
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    The place I bought my dress wouldn't allow photos if just trying on.   If you found your dress and bought it, they let you take photos.  I took it that they didn't want you to try on a dress, take photos, then try and find it elsewhere cheaper.
  • I've heard of many bridal shops not allowing pictures. Two I went to did not, while one did. It just varies store to store. Once you purchase a dress, you can snap away.

    It's not a faux pas to bring a man whether it be your FI or father or brother or whoever, to see you try on dresses. It really is just personal preference and I know many girls who do have their FIs come along.


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  • A lot of the consultants in bridal shops work on commission, so basically they don't want to waste their time with you if you aren't going to buy the dress there, and if you can take pictures, you can find the dress cheaper elsewhere. I did not want to feel like I was being pushed to make a decision, so I only went to shops where they allowed pictures/did not work on commission (I called to find out before going). I had a really hard time deciding between two dresses, and had I not had pictures it would have been that much harder. Plus, my consultant was so much fun and did not pressure me at all because she was getting paid regardless of whether or not I bought the dress from her, and I think that made my exprience a lot better.
  • I agree that it's helpful to see yourself in a picture.  I bought my own dress today and I wasn't completely sold until my best friend took a picture from the front and the behind and when I saw it, I burst into tears.  It wasn't until then that I saw myself in that dress as a bride so the picture made a huge difference to me.

    This particular store sounds obnoxious.  I hope you find a friendlier one to deal with!
  • The places I went to generally didn't allow pictures.  One did (or we didn't get caught- not sure which case it was!) but the others were very strictly no-photo.
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  • The salon I worked in did not allow pictures until you had purchased the dress. For us it was because we carried lines of dresses that were not available anywhere else locally, and the owner did not want the styles copied by dressmakers. I didn't work on commission either, and tried to make sure that each bride I fitted had the best experience, whether she had already tried on a hundred dresses, or it was her first time.

    I had lots of men in the salon - fathers, brothers, grooms ... everyone was welcome!

    The only reason that my FI hasn't seen my dress is because he didn't want to - he wants the surprise. I'm with the PPs - I trust his opinion more than anyone - having him see me in it wouldn't bother me at all.
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  • I totally understand why they don't allow pictures. And i guess i agree with it. I mean, it makes sense. but it's annoying. When I went with my friend to try on dresses there were signs up, but I fully ignored them and snapped pics of her, anyway. The saleswoman turned a blind eye because I think she knew she was going to make a sale and she did. 
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  • The no-photos-til-you- buy rules are pretty common at salons around here. How else do you think Chinese knock off sites get pictures, up close, of the various angles and details of dresses that they try to scam? A lot of inidividual designers will not allow salons to carry their lines without a photo ban in place.
  • The bridal shop that I went to had the same signs, but I told my consultant that my mother was unable to join me and that I wanted to show her my favorite dresses. The consultant was kind enough to take the pictures for me.
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  • Just this past weekend I took my mom and all my bridesmaids to a couple dress shopping appointments.  I've gotta say the "big box store" David's Bridal was definitely much better customer service than the tiny family owned shop we went to (though this is not always the case!).  At David's our helper encouraged us to take pictures as she said it's very difficult to decide and reviewing pics the day/week after helps.  I left with a card of 3 great gowns written down and a camera full of pics.  Then we went to Chantal's (Winnipeg) where the woman was extremely bossy & pushy in general.  She just left a bad taste in my mouth, y'know?  She refused to let us take pictures or tell me the price of the dress I liked, then ironically, was pressing my girls for info on their bridemaid dresses while I was in the change room - "Do you have your dresses yet?  Oh?  Well where?  How much were they?"  My bridesmaid replied "Well, I guess if I could take pictures, I could tell you how much they were."  Hahaha!  I love she has a backbone, because I sure didn't that day.  My patience however did run out when I asked the price of the dress I was in love with and when she finally told me, I found it was $300 over budget & I politely informed the woman it was over my budget and she of course jumped in with "well, we can do something for you".  I'm thinking, "Ok, great! Maybe I can get my dream dress within my $1000 budget!" and keep in mind here I am a number cruncher and we are on a strict $8000 budget for the WHOLE wedding.  I asked what price she could do and she refused to answer.  She said she had to think about it.  I told her nevermind - as I couldn't take pictures, the dresses would be forgettable anyway and if I can't even get a price quoted to budget into my spreadsheet then I don't even want to play guessing games.  Thank you for your time" and we walked out.  The dress is by a designer I can get in 4 different stores in Manitoba, so you can bet your last dollar I sure as heck won't be purchasing it through her.

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