6 Tips For Making Your Shopping Experience A Happy One

I don’t know about you but I LOVE shopping.  Seriously, I love it.  I don’t even have to buy anything and I’m happy.   Just ask my husband.  If I’m ever down in the dumps just a little bit, he takes me shopping.  Instant happy!  Of course, in full disclosure, I usually come home with some little treasure that I just “had to have.”  But, again, I’m happy.  Pharrell Williams is literally dancing and singing in my head!

So, can that same bliss be translated to the bridesmaid dress shopping experience?  Does it have to be THE most dreaded part of your wedding planning?  I offer a resounding “NO”.

Over the next 6 emails, I will share with you some simple tips to make your search and shopping a delightful breeze.


First and foremost, make anAPPOINTMENT.  Seriously, call ahead!  I know we all like to just walk in a store and browse, but this is your wedding we’re talking about, not seeing what’s new at J. Crew or Zara, as exciting as that is.

87771079-547d-4347-a21c-5a643c8ac84eSalon owners and sales people really do want to help you.  By making an appointment and setting a time just for YOU and your ladies, you’ll receive specialized attention and the time you spend shopping will be more fruitful.

But, what if I’m just looking around you say?  I like to shop too!  That’s a valid point and it’s perfectly ok.  You have to start somewhere and any customer service-oriented store would be happy to have you browse and then offer to make an appointment at another time.  Just try to remember that if you do walk in unannounced, you may not get the best customer experience.  It’s not easy for the sales team to have to run interference by servicing more than one customer at a time, so have a little consideration if they can’t help you immediately.  They really don’t want to be rude and turn you away if they can’t help you.  (By the way, if they are rude or turn you away at the door, you should ask yourself  “Do I really want to shop there anyway?”)

Are you ready to set up an appointment? We’re here and ready to assist you when you’re ready!


This next tip is second on my list because I believe it is almost as important as making an appointment. Tip #2 – Check REVIEWS! Reviews are extremely important. For bridesmaid dresses, we recommend two places: Wedding Wire and Yelp.


Not all stores and their staff are created equal.  You want to visit and work with someone who wants to work with you AND who is happy to see you. Before scheduling an appointment or dropping in, taking the time to read reviews of other experiences will help prepare you on what to expect or where to avoid so that you can continue on with a happy shopping experience.

We’re very happy to share our Wedding Wire reviews with you – check them out!


So, now that you’ve booked your appointment and read the customer reviews, you’re all set to go forth and shop on – right? Well, one fun tip that we are excited to share with you, but one that is still just as important…


TIP #3 – YOUR VISION! Before you go on your shopping trip, try to have an idea of what best represents your VISION.   Long or short dresses, color palette, the “I want my girls to look like fairies” concept (okay I’m just kidding here).  Try to have some idea of what you are looking for, so the sales personnel can present their best options.


We recently did a survey and it was amazing the feedback we received. One very important thing we learned – everyone’s vision really is completely different! Regardless of what seems to be in fashion or most popular, every bride is unique and that’s so much fun for us!

Is your wedding coming up? We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email and share your vision – info@annaelyse.com

I’m just going to get right to this next tip.


Tip #4 – Consider BUDGET.   Ok, this is a delicate one ladies, but ask your girls what they can afford.  They love you and want to be part of your special day.   And, they’ll love you even more for being considerate of them and their wallets.
But a word of caution – don’t choose a dress solely based on price.  Buying cheaply made dresses just to save money up front often just adds another dress to the “bridesmaid dress” section of the back of the closet.  And, low-cost, tacky dresses, while wallet friendly, will not enhance the vision you have created even if they save a few bucks.

Consider instead a well-made dress that perhaps costs just a bit more but that can be worn again as a cocktail dress and that can stay in the front of the wardrobe.  It’s worth skipping Starbucks for a week to look great.

I hope you’ve been enjoying these tips – just a hint into tip #5 – think “outside the box”.



Alright, we’ve covered Making Appointments, Checking Reviews, Knowing Your Vision and Considering Your Bridesmaid’s Budgets. So, on to the next tip…


Tip # 5 – Be willing to have an OPEN MIND about style by thinking “outside the box” design-wise.  All shapes are not created equal and the style you chose in the magazine or online may not look good on everyone.

If you have more than one type of body shape in your bridal party (most brides do), the right combination of styles in a coordinated look, rather than one style for everyone will make each of your bridal party members feels special and will also enhance the vision you are trying to create.


Don’t live near our Flagship Salon or one of our retail partners and want to try on Anna Elyse styles? Now you can shop Anna Elyse dresses right from home! Check out our Shop At Home page.

It’s been so fun sharing these Bridesmaid Dress Shopping tips with you! I hope it has helped you as you being your journey. And now – last, but not least – my final tip.


Tip #6 – Finally, and I know I sound like a “mom” saying this, but don’t forget to say THANK YOU to the store owner and sales persons after your appointment.  It’s the two little words that aren’t heard as often as you’d think.  It will not only make them feel good, but you’ll feel good too.

Let’s do a quick recap:
Tip#1 – Make an appointment
Tip #2 – Read shopping reviews
Tip #3 – Find your vision
Tip #4 – Consider budgets
Tip #5  – Be willing to have an open mind
Tip # 6 – Say Thank You!

So go ahead, sing the “Happy” song and go shopping for your bridesmaids’ dresses.  It should be and can be a fun experience for everyone.  If Pharrell were a girl, I’m sure he’d feel the same way.


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