Off the rack or Special Order:
A guide to shopping the right bridal store
When it comes to finding the perfect wedding gown, brides often face the decision between “special order” gowns and “off the rack/out of stock” options. Each choice has its own advantages and considerations, and knowing the differences can help you make an informed decision. Here at Refined Bridal Co. we offer out of stock options to take home the same day and our sister store, Blush Bridal Boutique specializes in customizations and special orders . In this blog we will explore the differences between off-the-rack gowns and special order gowns, outlining their pros and cons to help you choose the best option for your special day.
Pros of Special Order Wedding Gowns
- Customization: Special order gowns allow you to personalize various aspects of your gown, including neckline, silhouette, fabric, and embellishments. This ensures your gown perfectly reflects your unique style and vision.
- Perfect Fit: Unlike off-the-rack collections, special order gowns are made-to-measure. Production on your gown is started once the order has been placed. This means it can be made closer to your measurements and results in a more custom fit.
- Exclusive Design: Special order gowns offer unique and exclusive designs. At Blush Bridal Boutique we have Bespoke by Blush, an in-house designer who works with our brides to curate finishing touches to their gowns, veils and accessories. Bespoke by Blush offers custom sleeves, bridal robes, and custom hand-embroidery. This can help you achieve a more distinctive and one-of-a-kind look.
Cons of Special Order Wedding Gowns
- Longer Lead Time: Special order gowns require a longer lead time of 6-9 months. This means you need to plan well in advance to allow for alterations and unexpected delays. At Blush we suggest our brides start their shopping process a year in advance.
- Potentially Higher Price: Special order gowns typically come with a higher price tag due to their customization and exclusive designs. This may impact your budget, so it’s essential to consider your financial limitations.
Pros of Off-The-Rack Wedding Gowns
- Immediate Availability: Off-the-rack gowns are readily available for immediate purchase, making them suitable for brides with shorter timelines or for those who simply don’t want to wait.
- Cost-Effective: Off-the-rack gowns are generally more budget-friendly compared to special order gowns. This allows you to find a beautiful dress without exceeding your budget.
- Pared Down Options: Some brides find dress shopping daunting or by nature are easily overwhelmed by too many options. Inventory at out-of-stock stores like Refined Bridal Co. have a smaller variety of styles in each size. This helps brides narrow their focus and creates a very streamlined and easy experience.
Cons of Off-The-Rack Wedding Gowns
- Limited Customization: Off-the-rack gowns often come as-is, with limited opportunities for customization. While you may find the perfect dress, it may not align perfectly with your specific vision.
- Quick Changes in Availability: Off-the-rack bridal shops have a faster turnover system where it is first come, first served. At Refined Bridal Co. we encourage our brides to act swiftly when selecting your wedding gown. It is a common occurrence for the next gown sold to be the one a bride just walked away from to “sleep on it”.
Choosing between special order wedding gowns and off-the-rack options ultimately depends on your preferences, budget and wedding timeline. Special order gowns provide customization, perfect fit, unique designs and nearly limitless customization, but require longer lead time and may come with a higher price tag. Off-the-Rack gowns offer immediate availability, cost-effectiveness, and some adjustability, but customization opportunities may be limited. Consider your individual needs, style and timeline when making this decision. Remember that the true beauty lies in finding the gown that makes you feel confident and radiant on your special day.