Trying on dresses can be one of the most exciting parts of getting married – apart from the actual getting married part! But is this process expected to cost you? Do bridal shops and boutiques expect a payment for the pleasure? Perhaps you are not even getting married and just want to try on a few dresses for fun. Is that even possible? Well, that’s what we are going to be finding out here today.
So, can you try on wedding dresses without buying? You can try on wedding dresses without buying. Though, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind, such as potential costs for appointments, the kind of establishment you visit (and their policies), how much the salespersons know about your intentions, and even what your entourage knows about what you are doing.
If you have been thinking about trying on wedding dresses, you are in the right place.
I am going to break down whether you have to actually book an appointment, as well as give you some good tips to help you along the way.
Whether you are engaged but not ready to buy or you are just curious about what you would look like in a wedding dress.
Can You Try On Wedding Dresses Just For Fun?
You can definitely try on wedding dresses, even if you have zero intention of buying a gown, although some people think this is an etiquette faux pas.
If you really want to try on wedding dresses for fun but are still unsure, think of it this way.
Many brides have multiple appointments with different bridal salons because it is unlikely you will settle on a dress the first time around.
So, it won’t be that out of place if you spend an hour trying on dresses but don’t actually hand over any cash.
Keep in mind that many bridal salons have a very long waiting list, and it will be unlikely that you can just walk in without an appointment and start trying on wedding gowns.
You might also want to keep this in mind if you do go ahead and book a bridal salon appointment with no intention of buying.
You will be taking up a valuable spot from another bride who is more likely to purchase a wedding dress.
If you are happy with this, then go right ahead and have all the fun you want.
Why Try On Wedding Dresses For Fun?
There are many reasons why you might want to try on wedding dresses just for fun.
Many brides-to-be have no idea what kind of dress style will suit them.
After all, not many of us wear formal ballgowns every Saturday. These brides often book appointments just to figure this out.
Even if they don’t want to purchase a gown just yet, by trying on wedding dresses for fun, they might find that the dream ballgown they envisioned looks horrendous, but a stunning a-line gown gives them the very look they were dreaming of.
Others have always been curious about what they would look like in a wedding dress.
Even if you aren’t getting married, or you aren’t even engaged, it might have crossed your mind what a wedding dress feels like.
This can be a common reason why some people book appointments with bridal salons even if they won’t be buying a gown.
Do You Have To Book To Try On Wedding Dresses?
You do typically have to book appointments with most bridal salons.
This is a common expectation for brides as it can help reduce no-shows for bridal salons.
You might assume that most brides wouldn’t just up and decide not to show up to their wedding gown appointment, but many do just that.
These no-shows not only cause a bridal salon to lose money, but it means one of those valuable appointments has been wasted and can’t be handed to the next bride-to-be.
Another thing you might want to keep in mind is that many bridal salons charge a booking fee.
Although most booking fees aren’t any more than $50, do you really want to pay that kind of cash for an hour of trying on dresses?
I suppose it depends on your intentions and how in favor you are of a particular bridal boutique/salon.
Then again, even if you are not entirely committed, you may have the budget to spend $50 or so and still feel it’s worth it for the day out/pleasure!
Tips And Suggestions When Trying On Wedding Dresses Without Intending To Buy
If you are planning to try on wedding dresses just for fun, here are a few tips and suggestions to help you plan your appointment and be respectful of the bridal salon you visit.
Visit Certain Bridal Shops
In theory, you can visit any bridal salon you like, but you might want to think again.
If a bridal salon requires a booked appointment and a booking fee and can’t squeeze you in for at least a year, I suggest you give that one a miss.
If you have no intention of buying, you will be pinching a spot from another eager bride who should probably get the appointment instead of you.
So avoid popular and booked-up bridal salons.
If you can, go to bridal salons that don’t require you to book an appointment at all.
Not only will you just be able to walk in whenever it suits you, but you won’t be hogging an appointment unnecessarily.
Some other stores that you might not have thought about that are perfect for trying on wedding dresses for fun are vintage stores and thrift stores.
No appointments are needed, and more often than not, they will have a good selection of beautiful wedding gowns.
Stick to the bigger versions of these stores, and you will have hours of dressing up fun.
Be Clear With Your Intentions
Different people will have different advice when it comes to telling the bridal salon your intentions of not purchasing a gown.
Bridal boutiques are accustomed to welcoming bride-to-be or women who know they are about to get engaged but probably won’t purchase.
Most of the time, they will be very accommodating to those who are transparent about their intentions, but some bridal salons, especially the busier ones, won’t want to book anyone who isn’t serious about finding a wedding gown.
Many bridal salon salespeople earn on a commission basis, so they won’t be overly impressed if you turn up and announce you won’t be buying but still want to try on their dresses.
Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to let the salon know, but if you decide to keep it a secret, make sure you keep up the ruse, or you’ll end up embarrassing yourself and the employees.
Make Sure Your Party Know The Deal
If you are trying on wedding dresses for fun and decide to bring friends or family with you, it can be helpful to let them know you won’t be buying anything.
Not only does it mean you can avoid the awkward ‘you should get this one’ comments, but if you are purposely keeping your intentions from the salon employees, you won’t end up being ratted out by one of your friends or family members.
Tip Your Salesperson
Most salespeople earn on a commission basis, so giving them a tip at the end of your appointment can be incredibly respectful, especially if you know you weren’t going to purchase anything.
Now, a tip isn’t necessary, and if you can’t extend to that cost, that’s ok, but it’s something to keep in mind if you are going to try on wedding dresses just for fun.
After all, they have given you their time, attention, and expertise regardless of whether you intend to purchase a gown or not, and a tip is a lovely way of showing your appreciation.
Expect A Shorter Appointment
If you hold your hands up and decide to be completely honest with your intended boutique and they are still happy to let you book an appointment with them, expect that you may have a shorter appointment than others.
This gives you time to have fun or work out what kind of dress style you love but doesn’t take too much time away from more serious brides.
You may even have to pay a little extra for your booking fee, but if it is something you really want to do for fun, then it could definitely be worth it.
Trying On Wedding Gowns Without Necessarily Buying
The idea of trying on wedding gowns without necessarily buying, or even just for fun, can be considered a massive etiquette faux pas to some, but others see it as a little bit of an adventure.
So if you do decide to go and try on some wedding gowns and you’re really not sure whether you will be committing to a purchase, make sure you stay away from in-demand boutiques, keep your family and friends who come with you in the loop and give a nice tip to the salesperson for their time at the end of your appointment.
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Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!