INFORMATION AND TIPS BEFORE YOUR VISIT
Appointments are always required. This makes sure that your Bridal Suite is reserved and your Bridal Consultant’s full service and attention is just for you. Saturdays are often the busiest day of the week for bridal shops. If this is the only day you can shop, please make your appointment well in advance. We will respect the time set for your appointment and be prepared to start right on time. Appointments can run as long as 90 minutes, but most Brides are able to say yes to their perfect dress in less than an hour.
When do I need to make my appointment to try on wedding gowns?
Call to schedule an appointment a minimum of one to two weeks in advance. Scheduling your appointment allows us to provide you with undivided attention. You will have a Bridal Consultant dedicated specifically to you and a reserved Bridal Suite. Keep in mind that it often takes 6 – 9 months to create many wedding gowns. You should begin shopping for your gown 9 – 12 months in advance of the wedding to allow enough time for alterations once the gown arrives.
I’m getting married in less than 4 months – is it too late to get the perfect wedding gown?
No, it’s not too late, but every second counts! Your options still include buying one of the gowns we have in the store and working with your Consultant to determine which designers can meet your time frame for a special order gown. Don’t worry! We are experts at helping you find your dress!
How long is my appointment?
Bridal gown appointments last from an hour to an hour and a half on weekdays (Monday – Friday), Appointments on Saturday are one hour due to the higher number of appointments. The store is normally closed on Sunday except during prom season. Appointments can be scheduled on some Sundays. So, if you are only available on a Sunday, call and let us see how we may be able to help. Appointments start and end at the time scheduled. Be sure to arrive on time to get the most benefit. Please call us as soon as possible if you need to change a time or reschedule.
Who should I bring?
Bring people you trust. Don’t invite a crowd of people with you. Two people—your mom and a close friend—are plenty. Three or more will make decision-making stressful and difficult, especially if they’re offering conflicting opinions. Bring the closest friend or family member whose opinion you value and who knows you well and with whom you want to share the experience of buying your gown. Bringing more than 3 others can take the focus off of you. Due to our space we ask that you limit guest to three or fewer. If you need more than three people involved we can suggest ways to help keep the appointment group smaller.
Should I get a sitter for the kids?
Yes. We love children; however, when shopping for your gown you need to be able to focus and concentrate without distractions. A bridal boutique has many fragile and easily damaged items. It is not a fun place for kids, and they will get bored quickly. A bridal salon is also not a safe place for children due to loose pins and other hazards.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Bring pictures of dresses you’ve seen on our website, in magazines, or on the internet. Bring an open mind: don’t be surprised if you find “the dress” on your first visit to Merle Norman of Asheville, Bride, Prom & Tux (most Brides do!). If you have any special accessories that you plan to wear on your big day – bring those too! (Grandmother’s Pearls?)
Keep an open mind
Take some time to look through our Bridal Collection Book Which has many of the styles currently carried. Pin the dress styles you like and let us follow you. This also helps us be prepared when you arrive. You can print your favorite styles and bring them with you too. Knowing when, where and the time of day your wedding will take place will help your Bridal Consultant suggest ideal options for your day. Begin shopping for your gown early. It is best to allow plenty of time to order your gown and have time for alterations.
What size gowns are available for me to try on?
We service Brides and all shapes and sizes. Our gowns have a wide range from size 4 to size 32w. Most samples are sized from 8 to 14 but we service all Brides and all shapes and sizes.
May I take pictures of the gowns while I try them on?
Absolutely! Take pictures throughout your appointment. We want you to document this important day and hope you capture many wonderful memories!
Can I complete my entire look in one appointment?
Yes! Many brides find their dress on their first visit to Merle Norman of Asheville, Bride, Prom & Tux, and find all their accessories (veils, headpieces, shoes, jewelry) on their first visit.
Will I be able to see gowns at Merle Norman of Asheville, Bride, Prom & Tux that are different from what I’ve seen everywhere else?
Yes! We have our own private line with a wide selection of exclusives designs that cater to any taste.
How far in advance do I need to buy my gown?
Special-order wedding gowns often take a 6 – 9 months. We strongly recommend start the process of order your gown at least 9 months prior to your wedding date. This allows plenty of time for alterations.
What is the best way to handle alterations?
There are many excellent seamstresses in town. Wedding gowns often have more structural items than regular apparel. Having someone with bridal experience is important. We recommend Mary’s Magic located here in Asheville (we use her ourselves). She has over 25 years of experience and pays close attention to every detail.
How do I pay for my gown?
We accept Discover, MasterCard, and Visa, as well as cash and checks. If you are ordering a special-order gown, a 50% deposit is paid at the time you order your gown. When the gown arrives at it is carefully inspected. Once it passes our quality control, we’ll contact you to schedule a first try on. At that point the remaining balance is normally paid or the dress can be placed in layaway to make payments until closer to the wedding date. Many brides make payments along the way. If you’ve requested that we ship your gown out of state, your balance must be paid for in full before it can be shipped. We do not accept checks for the final payment.
Will you ship my gown out of state for me?
Yes! We can ship a dress anywhere you need it. Shipping fees apply.
What is a rush order?
If your wedding date is sooner than the time needed by the designer to have a special order gown made, we consult with the designer about placing a rush order for an additional fee. In this instance, your gown will arrive based on the dates provided by the designer. Details will be outlined in your agreement.