The sales contract you will sign to finalize the order is designed to protect both you and the retailer. It will, of course, include your name, address, phone number, and method of payment. Your wedding date and last acceptable date for delivery of the gown should also be included. Be sure to allow time for portraits and/or alterations in the last acceptable date. The sales contract should include the manufacturer’s name, style number of the gown, size and color you are ordering, a description of the gown, and a picture reference, if available, for designer wedding dresses list the designer’s name. A reputable retailer should not keep this information from you. It should not be acceptable to allow a store code in place of the actual manufacturer name and style number. At the bottom of the contract is the disclaimer or “fine print”. Be sure to read this and ask questions if you have them.
If you plan on wearing a veil, first consider the venue: “A long cathedral veil is beautiful for a traditional religious ceremony, but it could be distracting on a windy beach,” Risatti says. Depending on your preference and budget, you can buy off the rack, order from a bridal designer, or have one made by a veil specialist. (A high-end salon can give you names.) Wait until you’ve chosen the gown to start shopping so that you pick the right length and shade of white; get a swatch from your dress to match it exactly. Custom can take up to six months. In all other cases, just buy it in time for hair and makeup trials.