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You’ve started looking for that perfect, just right for you, gives you goosebumps when you put it on, wedding dress. Congratulations! Whether you’re recently engaged, approaching your wedding date, or are still pre-engagement, there are few things in the bridal journey more exciting (and nerve-wracking) than hunting for your gown,
There are so many details to consider when planning this shopping trip. Who will you invite along? What style and silhouette are you looking for? How much are you willing to spend? What should you wear to the appointment? Should you even make an appointment or just walk in?
With all those things taking up space in your mind, allow this post to help guide you to some of the best dress shops in Rochester, NY. Wedding dress shops are not all created equal, so below are some local recommendations. But first, let’s talk about what makes some bridal shops stand out more than others.
It may be possible to buy your dream dress at any number of wedding dress shops, but finding a shop with fantastic customer service, knowledgeable stylists, and low-pressure salespeople can make the experience far more enjoyable. A truly great bridal boutique goes above and beyond to ensure that each bride who shops with them not only finds that dream gown but also has a lovely time while looking and trying it on. It should be easy to make your appointment. Communicating with staff should be stress-free. You should have no trouble staying up-to-date on any important information about your order.
Quality bridal shops should also have knowledgeable, attentive stylists on hand to help guide your search. The shop’s staff should know the dresses currently in inventory so well that they can take your critiques of any dresses you try on and pull more gowns that are closer to what you are looking for. It is essential for your shopping experience that the stylist takes time to listen to and understand you throughout the whole process of finding and ordering your dress.
Lastly, good wedding dress shops should be low- or no-pressure sales environments. When you’re searching for that once-in-a-lifetime gown, there is nothing worse than having a salesperson aggressively up-selling you or insisting you have to increase your budget to find “the one.” The sales team at a quality boutique should partner with you in finding gowns in your price range and help you find ways to make them exactly what you’ve envisioned for your wedding day.
Located less than 13 miles from downtown Rochester, this shop has a large variety of styles and silhouettes to choose from. With gowns that are boho, traditional, trendy, romantic, and more available in sample sizes 4 to 34, you are sure to find something to love! Scheduling a bridal appointment secures you a dedicated stylist who can guide you through the hundreds of designer dresses they keep in inventory. Heart to Heart Bride prides itself on having the largest selection of designers available in the Rochester area, plus their own privately curated collection available only to their clientele.
Brides who have shopped here find the stylists and staff to be good listeners who genuinely care to understand their wedding dress dreams and make them as comfortable as possible. The staff gets to know a bit about your style and pulls dresses before your appointment begins so that you can take the full time to try on dresses and figure out what you love. Let these experienced stylists help guide you towards that perfect-for-you wedding dress!
Located about 3 miles from the heart of Rochester, this shop offers dresses that are modern, elegant, whimsical, romantic, couture, and more! Silk is a full-service bridal boutique with accessories, jewelry, and veils also available for purchase, along with in-house alterations. The great selection and knowledgeable staff set this one apart.
Brides who have shopped here find the sales environment to be comfortable and no pressure. They appreciate the honesty and attentiveness of the staff. Stylists are excellent at pulling amazing dresses that fit whatever wish list you can describe. Make an appointment here and you just might fall in love with a gown that you wouldn’t have picked for yourself.
Located about 10 miles outside of downtown Rochester, this shop carries designer gowns in elegant, whimsical, modern, traditional, and classic styles, as well as a fair selection of gowns for plus-sized brides. Newly opened, Under the Arbor Bridal is owned and operated by a mother and daughter duo who believe that both the bride and the mother-of-the-bride should get a special experience when shopping for their dresses. They offer a handful of luxury bridal designers at affordable prices.
Brides who have shopped here find the owners/stylists to be very helpful without any pushiness to decide or buy right away. Instead of being confined to a strict, one-hour appointment window, you are free to take your time, keep looking, and try on as many gowns as you need to. Under the Arbor is most characterized by the owners’ kindness and by its accessibility for all different body types.
Located less than 2 miles from the heart of Rochester, this shop has a constantly rotating stock of dress styles and sizes. Scarlet specializes in new, off-the-rack sample dresses that have been discounted from their typical sale price. More than just being budget-friendly, this means you have the ability to buy your gown and take it to a seamstress for alterations on the same day!
Brides who have shopped here love the personalized attention and customer service they received. The owner helps each bride herself. This little shop has multiple 5-star customer reviews to back it up. If you are on a time crunch, want access to higher-end gowns at lower prices, or simply like the idea of skipping the stressful ordering process, Scarlet Bridal is the right boutique for you!
Located less than 4 miles from downtown Rochester, this shop specializes in carefully curated, couture, designer dresses. Susan Deborah offers New York City styles right here in Rochester. They also do in-house alterations!
Brides who have shopped here trust the experienced staff. They also love that the seamstress is sometimes willing to work last-minute fixes at the final alteration appointment in order to ensure your gown fits just right on the wedding day. While this is the priciest shop on the list, it offers a couture bridal experience without the need to travel to NYC.
Be clear on your budget before you start shopping. Even in low or no-pressure shops, it is easy to find yourself falling in love with gowns that are way outside your budget. Get clear on your absolute cap and be sure to factor in any extra costs such as sales tax, shipping fees, expediting fees, etc.
Give yourself plenty of time between shopping and your wedding date. Unless you plan to buy on consignment or off-the-rack, be sure to start looking for your dress at least 5 or 6 months before your wedding date. Dresses take months to make and longer to ship, so be sure to get your order in early.
Make appointments. It’s better to make an appointment than to simply walk-in at just about every bridal boutique out there. Making an appointment often ensures you will have a dedicated stylist to help you find and try on the gowns you’re interested in.
Speak up! As you begin trying on dresses, communicate clearly about what you do and don’t like. If you feel like the stylist isn’t quite understanding your vision, say so! There is nothing worse for you or the stylist than wasting an appointment trying on dresses you just are not interested in. Letting your stylist know when you’ve gotten off track can help you both pause and change the direction of the appointment.
Once you’ve said “yes” to that perfect gown, take a moment to celebrate! There might still be a million things to do before your wedding, but you’ve checked a huge, beautiful item off your to-do list. Yay you!
As you finalize the details of the rest of your wedding-day look, remember that the best way to immortalize those carefully selected details is with high-quality photography. Tressa Marie Photography has captured timeless memories for over 300 happy clients and would love the chance to do the same for you! Take a look through my portfolio and contact me today to start the conversation about your wedding day photos.
Bonus: 2 more noteworthy Rochester, NY wedding dress shops to check out: Lovely Bride & Stella’s Bridal Boutique!