FAQ’s

Shopping for a Wedding Gown

Do I need an appointment to come in and try on?

We do recommend appointments as we are a small, family-run shop. Appointments allow us to schedule our time and provide our customers with the best possible customer service. We especially encourage appointments on the weekends and evenings. However, we would never turn someone away and will do our best to accommodate everyone.

What can I expect at my appointment?

We will spend a couple of minutes talking and getting to know your wants and thoughts for what you’d like to try on. If it’s your first time trying on dresses, we will choose a few from each style to help you decide the shape you prefer. Once you know the shape, we can revisit the racks and pull more dresses from that shape. In an effort to keep your appointment moving smoothly and have a positive vibe, we will typically only come out of the fitting room to show your guests the dresses that you like the best.

Wedding gown appointments usually last about one hour.

How many guests can I bring with me, and may I bring children?

Our Bridal Suite accommodates 5 comfortably. We are family oriented, and well-behaved children are welcome to attend appointments. We ask that parents or other adults carefully monitor childrens’ behavior and not allow them to touch mirrors or run through the inventory and we ask that you not bring candy, such as lollipops.

Do you have gowns in every size?

We have gowns available in sizes 6 to 30. If a sample dress does not fit exactly when you try it on, we use clips and pins to help you visualize how it will fit in your size.

How will I know what size to order?

When you are ready to order your gown, we take your measurements to determine what size makes the most sense to order for you. We never choose a size based on how a sample fits, because sometimes they do not fit the way a brand new dress will fit. We strongly advise against coming in to the store simply to try on dresses to determine a size to order online. Not only is this an inconsiderate waste of our staff’s time, the sizes of our designers’ dresses will not be the same as those you will find online. Please see the warning, above, for more information about online ordering.

Do you have gowns available for sale right away?

We always have a nice selection of gowns available to brides who are getting married soon and don’t have time to special order a gown. Some of these are samples (current dresses we are selling off the rack) and some are sale dresses (discontinued gowns). 

What if I don’t want white?

We keep samples in a variety of colors, and most dresses are available in several colors, such as champagne, mocha, and cafe. 

If I am searching for a specific dress, can I call you to see if you have it?

Yes, please do! We will need the name of the designer and the style number. 

What designers do you carry, and what are the price points?

The easiest way to answer that is to suggest to visit our website pages dedicated to each category. There are links to those designers’ websites. Our bridal price points range from $600.00 to $2,000.00. Bridesmaids are between $125.00 to $250.00  Mother of the Bride ranges from $199.00 to $499.00.

If I am searching for a specific dress, can I call you to see if you have it?

Yes, please do! We will need the name of the designer and the style number. 

How much do you require to place an order?

All special orders require a 50% deposit. The balance will be due within two (2) weeks of the item arriving.

Do you rent wedding gowns or buy used items? Do you consign items?

No, we do not.

Shopping for a Bridesmaid Dresses

My bridesmaids live all across the country! What do I do?

Out of town bridesmaids are no problem. Just choose the dress you want for your girls and ask your out of town girls to be professionally measured locally. They can submit their measurements and deposit using the link “Submit Formal Wear Measurements.” They can also indicate on that form if they want their dress shipped, and what address we should use to do that.  We will communicate via e-mail with out of town customers to confirm her order.  (By the way, this is essentially the same procedure for our out-of-town groomsmen).

How do I begin selecting bridesmaids dresses?

Everyone goes about this a little bit differently. Some brides want the same dress for everyone in their party. Some don’t mind if each girl has a different dress to suit their unique figures. Although there are quite a few dress styles that are nice for almost every body shape, others may not be so flattering. At your appointment, your girls can all try on different styles and it will soon become clear what everyone seems to like. If you have a very large bridesmaid party, sometimes many opinions can become overwhelming. It may be a good idea to bring your maid of honor and one or two girls to pre-select a certain number of dresses that the rest of the girls can then come in and choose from.

How do we decide what size to order?

Just like bridal, we will measure each bridesmaid and compare them to the size charts for each designer that we carry. Gowns are made according to the size chart, not custom to her measurements. Keep in mind that sizes run differently than regular clothes, and you will probably not order your normal size, Also, extra size charges apply to certain sizes, and if you are over 5’8” and plan to wear heels, you may have to order extra length.

I want to order my bridesmaid dress online. Can I come in and try on your dresses to figure out what size I should order?

No.

I am a bridesmaid in a wedding out of town. Can you measure me?

Of course. We charge $15.00 to measure for an out-of-state wedding. This fee includes communicating the measurements to the shop where the other dresses are being ordered.

What can my girls expect to pay for a bridesmaid dress?

Bridesmaids dresses range from $125.00 to $250.00, with an average being about $195.00 to $210.00.

One of my bridesmaids is losing weight. Can we order her dress later?

We will certainly do whatever you ask us to do. However, we will most likely warn you of the possibility that the colors may be slightly different. It is always better to order all of the dresses at the same time. Since a loss of about 12-15 pounds equals one full dress size, a bridesmaid would need to plan on losing about 30 pounds to justify waiting to place an order. An experienced seamstress can usually take in a dress about two sizes.

Ordering

How far in advance should I order?

Most brides begin searching about a year out, and we typically recommend having orders placed by 9 months.  For bridesmaids and mothers we suggest 6 months. We recommend that tuxedo rentals be completed between 2 to 4 months (starting your process 4 to 6 months) before the wedding, and accessories can range from 2 weeks to 4 months, depending on customizations.

How much do you require to place an order?

All special orders require a 50% deposit. The balance will be due within two (2) weeks of the item arriving.

What is your Refund or Return Policy?

The standard in the industry, as well as here at Sweethearts, is that there are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations. There are rarely exceptions.

What kind of payments do you take?

We accept Cash, Debit and Credit Cards, or Checks.  However, we do not accept checks when paying the remaining balance of your dress and you are taking the dress with you. Thanks!

What happens After I place the Order?

Once your order is placed, you can rest easy knowing that Sweethearts will contact you, when your order arrives. We ask that customers come in within two (2) weeks of their orders arriving to come in and try their dress on and pay any balance. You will then be able to take your dress home until it is time for alterations to begin. Please understand that the appointment to come in and try on your dress is NOT considered a “fitting.” Fittings are done with the seamstress. See “Alterations” for information.

Will you store my gown once it arrives?

We unfortunately have very limited storage space at Sweethearts, so we will probably ask that you take your gown home or make arrangements with a friend or family member until alterations begin.

Alterations

Do you have an In-house Seamstress?

We do! Her name is Camrin, and she is known for her amazing eye for detail and great prices. Camrin’s alterations are done as a separate business from Sweethearts, but she does all her work in our shop. All of your fittings will be done at Sweethearts’ location. Camrin sets her own schedule, and all requests for appointments, or other questions about alterations should be directed to her. The quickest way to make an appointments is to fill out her contact form at camrinedwards.com. You can also call her at 215-910-2234.

Are Alterations included in the price of your gowns?

All alterations are a separate fee; this enables us to keep our prices to the cost of the gown alone. Cost varies according to the work that needs to be done to each gown, and there is no flat rate. This means customers do not end up paying for unnecessary alterations. For prices contact our seamstress, Camrin at 215-910-2234. If you purchase your gown at sweethearts and have alterations done with our seamstress pressing is included.

What is the Time-Frame for alterations?

Our Seamstress starts 2 months prior to the wedding for Bridal (please contact her about 4 months prior to schedule your first fitting) and 1 month prior for Bridesmaids and Mothers (please contact her for your first fitting about 2 months prior).bFor dates sooner than that a rush fee may apply. Please contact our seamstress directly for any questions.

Tuxedos

My Groomsmen live all across the country! What do I do?

Out of town groomsmen are no problem. Just choose the tuxedo or suit you want for your guys, and ask that they go be professionally measured locally. They can submit their measurements and deposit using the link “Submit Tuxedo Measurements.” They can also indicate on that form if they want their tuxedo shipped, and what address we should use to do that. We will communicate via e-mail with out of town customers to confirm the order.

How Soon Should we Think About Tuxedos?

The tuxedo process should be scheduled between 4 to 6 months before your event. (If you suspect some of your guys will procrastinate, you may want to start at the 6 month mark). A good goal is to have everyone measured, all deposits made, and the order ready to be placed no later than 2 months before the wedding date.

Can Our Guys Just Stop in to be Measured?

We do require an appointment for tuxedo fittings We can either make an appointment for all of your groomsmen to be measured at the same time, or they can call to make individual appointments.

When Can The Guys Pick Up the Tuxedos?

Tuxedos will arrive no later than the Wednesday before the event. Sweethearts Bridal will contact the groom when the tuxedos arrive, and we will set up a convenient time (or times) for everyone to try on their rentals.

What Happens if Something Doesn’t Fit Right?

The designers we work with are fantastic about providing replacement pieces, whether due to ordering error, or the general comfort or fit of an item.  Usually there is no charge, but if a party member is unable to try on their rental prior to the evening before the event and an overnight fee is assessed, that charge will be passed on to the customer.   

What Happens if Something Doesn’t Fit Right?

The designers we work with are fantastic about providing replacement pieces, whether due to ordering error, or the general comfort or fit of an item.  Usually there is no charge, but if a party member is unable to try on their rental prior to the evening before the event and an overnight fee is assessed, that charge will be passed on to the customer.   

When Do The Rentals Need to Be Returned?

Tuxedos are due back Monday afternoon by 3:00 p.m. The groom’s credit card will be charged a daily late fee of $20.00 beginning Wednesday morning for all tuxedos not returned.

Store Policy

Deposits

DEPOSITS – A FIFTY-PERCENT (50%) DEPOSIT, OR MORE, IS REQUIRED FOR ALL ORDERS. ALL SALES ARE FINAL AND ALL DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. Please make your selections carefully.  By signing the sales order, you are agreeing to the size, color, and style to be ordered for each item shown on the order, as well as to your measurements as taken on the date signed.

Layaways

For in-stock wedding Gowns of $500 or more a 4 week layaway option is available. Half down is required and we need a valid Credit Card on file to charge at the 4 week mark.

Returns

Special Order items are hand-made specifically for you. Although we understand “buyer’s remorse,” the items ordered cannot be returned to our vendors. As such, NO RETURNS, EXCHANGES, OR REFUNDS are permitted on special ordered items.

Cancelled Items

We sympathize with cancelled or postponed events, however, since the items we special-order cannot be returned to our vendors, members of bridal parties that are cancelled or postponed will still be required to make final payment and take possession of their special order items in accordance with store policy item #5. 

Delivery

We require delivery of gowns at least a month prior to the wedding date, in order for us to place orders. Delivery dates are out of control of Sweethearts and come directly from the designers. Although WE CANNOT PROVIDE A GUARANTEED DELIVERY DATE due to import/exporting issues or manufacturing delays, we will provide an estimated ship date for each item to be ordered based on the information currently available from our vendors. Please allow sufficient time for any delays.

Final Payment

You will be contacted immediately upon our receipt of your garment. We will ask you to make an appointment to TRY IT ON AND PAY THE BALANCE WITHIN Two (2) weeks. In the event a party member does not contact Sweethearts Bridal to make final payment/pick up their item within this time-frame, or does not at least contact us to discuss the issue, the garment will be considered forfeited and will become the property of Sweethearts Bridal.

Pressing and Steaming

If you use our seamstress for your alterations, or if your garment does not require any alterations, steaming and pressing is free. For garments removed from Sweethearts Bridal for storage until the event, it is the customer’s responsibility to contact us at least 2 weeks prior to event and bring the item in for pressing. IF YOU REMOVE THE GARMENT FOR OUTSIDE ALTERATIONS, THIS FREE SERVICE IS FORFEITED.

Alterations

At your appointment to try on and pay your balance, you will be given the contact information for the seamstress with a projected date on which you should contact her to begin your alterations process. Although the seamstress works out of our location, her business is a separate entity from Sweethearts. As such, APPOINTMENTS, QUESTIONS, AND ALTERATIONS ISSUES MUST BE COMMUNICATED DIRECTLY WITH THE SEAMSTRESS.  Alterations are never included in our prices in order to keep the cost of our inventory down. All garments MUST BE PAID IN FULL PRIOR TO BEGINNING ALTERATIONS.

Bridesmaids

We ask that all bridesmaids dresses be ordered at the same time to reduce the possibility of color variation. We will ask the bride to set the final date she wishes all her girls to have deposits and orders placed.  In the event that a bridesmaid has not placed an order by that date, and if the order must be placed to avoid rush fees for the other party members, the order will be placed, and the bridesmaid will be responsible for any rush fees and a single shipping fee.

Accessories Orders

Accessory special-orders and in stock accessories must be paid in full.

Measuring

Our employees have been professionally trained to measure for our vendors. Your measurements will be recorded on your sales order, and in our point of sale system. At the time you place your order, we will discuss your measurements with you. Since each garment is hand-made, we assume no responsibility for the variations in size. Please be aware that each designer manufactures their dresses differently. We will advise you as best we can of the experiences we have had with certain dresses, and/or the designer.

Weight Loss/Gain

In the event a garment does not fit due to weight loss or weight gain, you will be re-measured and you will be asked to make an appointment with the seamstress to discuss what options there are in altering your item. If alterations are not sufficient, you will be responsible for purchasing a replacement garment, as well as any rush fees.

Ordering or Production Error

If it becomes clear that the garment has been incorrectly made we will do whatever is necessary to get the designer to make you a replacement garment. If one of our employees made an error in placing an order, we will be responsible for getting a replacement garment.  If the customer has signed for her measurements and the size to be ordered however, store policy Item #1 applies.