With over 75 years as one of the world's top bridal and bridesmaid design houses, Alfred Angelo has dressed millions of customers in beautiful dresses for their special day.
Below our Bridal Specialists answer some of your Frequently Asked Questions. If you have one that is not addressed here, post your question on our Facebook fan page and we'll answer you!
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? Bridal Gown Shopping Questions
- How far in advance of my wedding should I shop for and buy my wedding gown?
Wedding gown shopping is probably the most fun part of your wedding planning (at least we think so!). Most brides like to jump right on it as soon as they say “yes" to his proposal. (Or he says “yes" to yours.) Others wait until they have selected a date and a venue for the ceremony.
We suggest you purchase your gown a minimum of 6 months prior to your wedding or portrait date. (Note the emphasis on the word minimum.) You should plan for your gown to take approximately 3 months to arrive at your store and you will also need time for several stress-free alterations fittings and time to properly press your gown before you need it. Ask any former bride-to-be – the earlier, the better.
If you find your gown right away, even 2 years before your ceremony, we suggest you buy it. Not only will you feel a great sense of accomplishment, and have the chance to try it on over and over before your big day, but gowns are discontinued regularly, and if you wait, your dream dress may no longer be available.
- Where should I begin in my gown shopping?
We suggest you start your shopping by reviewing gowns on our website and saving the ones you like best to “My Favorites." It is a good way to compare your top styles and it is a great tool to print and bring with you to your bridal shop appointment.
- What should I bring to the bridal appointment?
Of course you should bring a print out of “My Favorites" from your alfredangelo.com Passport and any pages you have saved from bridal magazines showing styles you like.
You should bring mom, sis or a trusted friend. You will find that it is best to bring only 1-2 people with you. When it comes to opinions besides yours, less is more! You want honest opinions from your entourage only after you form your own.
Your bridal consultant will be helping you try on your selections, so wear underwear. If you plan to wear shapewear under your gown, wear it to try on dresses. You should wear a bra and shoes the approximate height that you expect to wear on your wedding day. The store where you shop will probably offer you both, and a crinoline, but you might prefer your own.
- Why do you take my measurements?
As part of the ordering process, your Sales Consultant will measure your bust, waist and hips and help you select a size that is closest to our size chart. You should consider the style of gown/dress you selected when choosing a size. For instance, if you pick an empire style, the bust measurement is the most important since an empire style will not be form fitting at the waist and hips. If you select a dress with a lace up back, you should consider how wide you want the laces to be. If you want it small, order a larger size. If you want the laces to stretch across your back, order a smaller style. It is best to discuss your expectations with your sales consultant so you end up with the look you want and minimize your alterations. But remember, gowns and dresses are cut to size, not to your measurements so unless your measurements are exactly the same as the size chart, you will require alterations. It is less expensive to take in a garment than it is to let it out.
- I found the same dress online for a lot less than my local store is selling it. Shouldn't I buy it?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! The gowns that unauthorized stores and websites sell are not authentic. If you receive anything at all from them, the quality and sizing will not be the same as the gowns you find in your local store. It may have been previously worn by someone else. We hear horror stories all the time from girls who think they found a great deal only to find they were duped. Don't risk it!
Our suggestion is to buy only from stores listed on our store locator. We stand behind these stores and the Alfred Angelo merchandise they offer. If there is anything wrong with the dress you receive from them, we will fix it or replace it.
- Do I need to pay in full for my gown or dress when I order it?
Policies vary from store to store. Most stores require a minimum of 50% down to place your order. In these cases you will be expected to pay your balance when your gown arrives in the store.
- I need a dress in a hurry. Do you offer any bridal gowns for immediately delivery?
We are pleased to offer RUSH delivery available for nearly all styles in our collection. Your local store can help you determine the extra fee that would apply to your order. Rush means 8-12 week delivery from our factory to your local store. Check with your store for actual delivery date.
- I'm planning to lose weight before my wedding. How long should I wait to order my gown?
OK, first things first. He fell in love with you the size you are now. Even so, almost every bride wants to lose weight for her wedding. Many do, but typically the weight they lose does not change the size they need to order. Plus, just about everyone needs alterations to their dress. You should plan on it and know that it is much less expensive to take a gown in rather than let out the seams.
One helpful hint for you waist watchers…If you buy a gown with a lace up back you can simply tighten the laces to show off your slimmer silhouette after you drop a few.
- Lace-up or zipper back. You mean I have a choice?
As a matter of fact, on many styles, you do! We are designing more and more dresses available with an option for a zipper or lace-up back. And to make it even better, this customization comes at no extra charge. Of course not every dress is available this way, but do ask your store sales consultant.
- Can I buy an Alfred Angelo bridal gown or bridesmaid dresses online?
Some of our Partner Stores operate online stores in addition to their brick-and-mortar stores. We suggest these stores for convenience if you are not near a store that is authorized to carry our line. However, these stores do not discount our gowns online. You may find lower prices or some added perks in a salon environment. If you choose to buy online, be sure the store is listed in our store locator. Only stores listed on our store locator will sell genuine Alfred Angelo styles.
- Can I buy a Disney bridal gown online?
No online retailers are authorized to sell Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo gowns online. Any online store claiming to offer the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo bridal line is not a legitimate store. Do not buy your gown from them.
- Who can alter my dress?
Most stores that carry our line either offer alterations or refer an outside seamstress to alter the gowns they sell. You are under no obligation to use the services of the store where you purchased, however we do recommend it since we stand behind all Signature Store and Partner stores and can offer sewing advice, extra fabric and embellishments to stores that need it. If you have your alterations done elsewhere, be sure they have experience altering bridal gowns.
- How can I personalize my bridal gown to make it uniquely mine?
Affordable Personalization of your Alfred Angelo gown is one of the things we are particularly proud of!
- Choose your color – Gowns are available in white, ivory and many are available in subtle all-over color options like glacier, blush, aqua mist or rose mist.
- Add color – Select a Dream in Color™ bridal gown and pick the color accents on your gown from our palette of 50 options. Use your highlight color for your bridesmaid and flower girl dresses for a perfectly coordinated party.
- Choose your train length – On styles with a train that is chapel length or longer, you can add 24" to the length of your train. There is a fee for this customization.
- Choose zipper or lace up back – many styles are available with your choice of a zipper or lace up back at no extra charge.
- Add Sleeves – Several strapless and sleeveless styles can be modified to three-quarter or long sleeve versions. Sleeve versions are slightly more expensive than the non-sleeve versions.
- Choose your length – Every gown is available in three lengths. Our standard length is for women approximately 5'8". You can also order your gown 3" shorter or 3" longer than standard for an extra charge.
- Add accessories – Choose from veils, jackets, capes and belts made to complement our bridal gowns. There are hundreds of ways to personalize your look with our wide range of accessory options.
- My friend received a personalized gown certificate when she received her dress. How do I get one?
When you buy your bridal gown in an Alfred Angelo Signature Store your name is associated with your gown as it is being made. Right before it ships to the store, we create a Personalized Certificate of Authenticity as a keepsake so you will remember your Alfred Anglo bridal gown was made just for you. Only Alfred Angelo can provide you with such a personal experience at an affordable price.
When you buy your gown at a Partner Store, your gown still receives the same close attention and it is made for you. We do not track the name of our Partner Store brides so we cannot print a personalized certificate for you at that time. If you would like one, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the serial number sewn into your gown along with your complete name and address. We will research your production date and ship a certificate to you within 60 days.
- How will I know how to Bustle my gown?
When your gown arrives in the store you should schedule an appointment with an alterations specialist to discuss bustle options, plus there are so many to choose from! Your alterations specialist will attach buttons& loops or ties to your gown so it can be easily bustled after your ceremony. Bring your Maid of Honor to your final alterations appointment so she can learn how to bustle your gown. (It is one of her jobs at the wedding!)
? Questions About Your Store Experience
- What is the difference between a Signature store and a Partner store?
Alfred Angelo Signature Stores are owned and operated by the Alfred Angelo family. In these stores you will find the widest selection of Alfred Angelo, Sapphire and Disney bridal styles in a variety of sizes.
An Alfred Angelo Partner Store is a privately-owned bridal shop. These stores have been carefully selected by Alfred Angelo to sell our gowns and dresses. Some carry our entire product line while others carry only certain categories. You should check the store locator to see whether the line you are seeking is available at the stores near you.
- Some Partner Stores are listed as Platinum, Gold or Silver on your store locator. What does that mean?
These preferred stores are our best customers and usually have a larger selection of Alfred Angelo styles than stores without this designation. All stores listed on our store locator are authorized to sell Alfred Angelo styles. If you do not see a store listed on our website, do not buy from them.
- Do you accept returns?
Due to the special order nature of our gowns and dresses we cannot accept returns or refunds on any garments. We offer hundreds of color, size and customization options so it is rare that we receive the exact same order from more than one bride. Please select your styles carefully. We donate canceled orders to charities such as Operation Homefront and Brides Against Breast Cancer.
- My consultant and store experience was fantastic and I want others to know about it. How should I do that?
We would love for you to tell us about your experience on our Facebook fan page or write a Google, Yelp or Yahoo review. We monitor these channels and communicate your compliments to the owners of our company and congratulate the staff involved in your experience.
- I did not enjoy my experience with Alfred Angelo. I want someone to know about it and fix it!
We appreciate you letting us know when we have not met your expectations. Give us a chance to make it right! Your first call should be to the manager at the store where you shopped. If the Manager is not able to satisfy you please email us at email@example.com. Please provide information about the store you visited, your name and your telephone number so we can call you and help resolve the issue.
- How can I get extra fabric?
Most of the fabric and laces we use in making our dresses can be ordered in one-yard increments though your local authorized retailer.
? Your Bridal Party
- When would you suggest I select my Bridesmaid dresses? How should I go about it?
We suggest you order your bridesmaid dresses at least 4 months prior to your wedding date. With that said, years of experience tells us that once you select the style your maids will wear, there will be at least one maid who doesn't order right away, and this will cause you anxiety. Enlist the help of your MOH as the enforcer!
Here's what you should do….After you select your bridal gown, bask in the afterglow of a beautiful gown. After about a week, start looking online and save your favorites to your Alfred Angelo “My Favorites" gallery. Select a few colors you like…we have so many to choose from. Then set up an appointment with your MOH to go shopping. Together the two of you should pick the gown everyone will wear (assuming you want everyone in the same dress), make a decision and get it done. Let your maids know the style number and color you selected. (You can email it from our website or share your “My Favorites" gallery with them.) They can visit the store where you purchased your gown or visit any store on our store locator that carries Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dresses. There are about 1,000 nationwide, so everyone should have one relatively close to where they live. You don't have to worry about dye lots with Alfred Angelo. Just be sure they order their dresses with plenty of time before your wedding. Remember, they will probably need alterations too.
- I want each bridesmaid to select the style that looks best on them and that they can “wear again," but I want my bridal party to look cohesive and planned. How can I accomplish that?
The Alfred Angelo bridesmaid collections make it easy to create a polished look for your bridal party while offering your bridesmaids the opportunity to select the style that is best for them. For the most unified look, select a color, gown length and fabric you like. Then let your bridesmaids choose any style from the Alfred Angelo collections using these guidelines. There are close to a hundred styles they can choose from, so you can be sure everyone is happy.
- How can I make my Maid of Honor stand out from the rest of my bridal party but still look like she belongs?
You might want to consider our Color Mix™ bridesmaid dresses that allow you to combine two Dream in Color™ shades in one style. For example, your bridesmaid dresses could be Persimmon with an Espresso trim and your MOH could wear an Espresso dress with a Persimmon trim. You may want select a flower girl dress with a Persimmon trim as well. Your sales consultant would be happy to help you pull it all together. The great thing is that the Alfred Angelo collections offer you so much flexibility.
- I need a dress in a hurry. Do you offer any bridesmaid dresses for immediately delivery?
Alfred Angelo is pleased to offer RUSH delivery available for all styles in our collection. Your local store can help you determine the extra fee that would apply. You can get the styles you love shipped in as little as 6 weeks, but honestly, that's not the best way to go. It will stress you out and it will cost you more. Why make yourself crazy? Shop early. You'll be glad you did.
- How can I track the status of my bridal party dress orders?
If you purchase your bridal gown or bridal party dresses from an Alfred Angelo Signature store, you can log on to http://brides.alfredangelo.com and track the progress of your order(s). All bridesmaids in your party are grouped under the bride's customer number. Simply enter your customer number and log into the “track my order" tab. You can enter the contact information for your bridal party and will be able to track every style for your wedding. You'll see as the dresses are ordered, move through production, are completed and shipped to your local store. Of course someone from the store will call you when your bridesmaid dresses are ready, but it sure is comforting to be able to watch it all happen. If you purchased at an Alfred Angelo Partner Store you will need to follow up on your order directly with the store. That's because when stores order from us, the order is logged in the store's name, not yours. We're working on improvements to offer the http://brides.alfredangelo.com site to all customers, regardless of where they purchased their gown. We're just not there yet.
- I have a multi-sized bridal party…can you fit everyone?
Every Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dress and our Mother-of-the-Wedding special occasion separates are available in Missy sizes 0-18 and women's sizes 16W to 26W. We recently updated our size specifications with our Modern Fit that takes into account the more athletic shape of today's women. You will be pleased to see that we can fit almost anyone. Bridesmaid styles are offered in standard and extra length. If you have teen or "tween" attendants, you'll be pleased to know that all of our bridesmaid dresses are available in Junior bridesmaid sizes 8JB to 14JB. We even offer a few maternity styles for your pregnant attendants.
- Why do you need my bridesmaids' measurements?
As part of the ordering process, your Sales Consultant will measure your bridesmaid's bust, waist and hips and help select a size that is closest to our size chart. Working with her sales consultant, your bridesmaid should consider the style of dress when choosing a size. For instance, if you pick an empire style, the bust measurement is the most important since an empire style will not be form fitting at the waist and hips. If you select a dropped waist dress, the waist and hips are equally as important as the bust. But remember, our bridal party dresses are cut to size, not to your BMs measurements, so unless their measurements are exactly the same as the size chart, they should expect that they will require alterations at an additional charge. We typically suggest you order the size that is based on your largest measurement, but the decision about the size to order is ultimately the customer's decision.
- Can we phone in my bridesmaids' measurements instead of everyone taking time out to visit a store?
The store where you purchased your bridal gown will usually accept phone orders from you for bridesmaid dresses. Please review our measurement instructions if your bridesmaids are not being professionally measured.
- Can I buy an Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dresses online?
Some of our Partner Stores operate online stores in addition to their brick-and-mortar stores. We suggest these stores for convenience if your bridesmaids are not near a store that is authorized to carry our line. However, you may find lower prices or special perks when you buy in a salon environment. If your maids choose to buy online be sure the store is listed in our store locator. Only stores listed on our store locator will sell genuine Alfred Angelo styles.
- How can I get a bridesmaid fabric swatch?
Our bridal party swatch cards are available for purchase on our website or through Alfred Angelo Signature stores. Many partner stores will provide you with a small fabric swatch of the color you selected upon request.
- Do you offer wraps or jackets for bridesmaids?
Wraps and jackets that match our bridesmaid and Mother of the wedding collections are available through our Signature Stores or Partner stores. Please contact your local retailer for styles available. These make great bridesmaid gifts.
- When should we order flower girl and Mother-of-the–wedding dresses?
These VIPs always seem to wait until close to the wedding date. “The Moms" want to lose weight and make sure everything is in order before thinking about her dress. The flower girls grow every time you turn around, so you might be afraid to commit to a size too far ahead of time.
For mom…pick up a Special Occasion catalog at your first bridal appointment and get mom thinking about what she will wear. Review it with her and tell her what you like and what you don't. (Yes, you do get a vote.) She will still wait a while, but she should really order her outfit when you order your bridesmaid dresses. (At least 4 months before your wedding.) Remember, his mom and any step-mothers have to wait to select their dresses until after your mom selects hers, so be thoughtful and get your mother's dress taken care of early. You want your mother-in-law to be happy, and look great at your wedding, don't you?
We also recommend you order your flower girl dresses at the same time as your bridesmaid dresses. Most flower girl styles are not form fitting, so a few month's growth is not usually an issue.
- What is your flower girl size range? How long does it take to get them?
Flower girl dresses are available in sizes 2 toddler up through girls size 16. Our standard delivery for flower girl dresses is 12 weeks. Of course rush delivery is available for an additional charge if you just can't make your selection earlier.
? Other Great Questions
- How can I get an Alfred Angelo catalog?
We offer three ways to receive a printed bridal, bridesmaid or mother-of-the wedding catalog.
- Print a catalog you can preview on our website.
- Visit a Signature Store or Partner Store and pick one up! There is no charge for catalogs provided by these stores.
- Order a catalog online. Please note there is a postage and processing fee for catalogs and swatch cards sent in the mail. Please allow 4 weeks for delivery.
- I ordered invitations or gifts from your online store. Who can I call to change or follow up on my order?
Please call Alfred Angelo Invitations and More Customer Service at (877)290-8487 or (507)386-2320 using access code YLN15. Hours of operation are 7AM-7PM (CST) Monday through Friday and 8AM to 1PM (CST) on Saturdays. You can also email Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org
- How is my registration information used by Alfred Angelo?
The information you provide in your registration is used to tailor email and direct mail messages to your shopping needs. It is also used to identify and save favorite styles so you can return to alfredangelo.com and find the styles you had previously selected.
When you register you are automatically entered to win a free bridal gown or four free bridesmaid dresses. We select a winner every month and notify the winner by telephone and email. Winners are required to complete a prize acceptance form and are responsible for all applicable state and local taxes.
Your registration is periodically forwarded to a store in your area so they can personally invite you into their store to try on styles that you like. Your favorites styles are not sent to the store. That is yours to share or not to share.
If you opt in for Wedding Vendor Partner information, your registration is provided to local, trusted, wedding service providers Alfred Angelo recommends to our customers. If you prefer to not receive these solicitations, please select “no" when asked whether you want to opt-in for Wedding Vendor Partner special offers or when asked during your store visit.
- A wedding services vendor called me and told me they received my name from Alfred Angelo. Can I opt out?
Absolutely yes. If you initially opted-in to receive Wedding Vendor Partner information and now wish not to, please send an email to email@example.com. Your name will be removed from the wedding services database and will not be provided to any additional vendors. Your “My Favorites" will continue to be save on alfredangelo.com and you will continue to receive emails from Alfred Angelo unless you unsubscribe from our email list at firstname.lastname@example.org. This link is included at the bottom of all emails we send.