Below are some of our most frequently asked questions, however feel free to get in touch if we've missed anything!
WHEN SHOULD I BEGIN DRESS SHOPPING?
We recommend that you begin shopping for your gown approximately 8-10 months before your wedding day, as it can take up to 6 months for your dress to arrive (our designers offer rush orders for an additional fee), plus you should allow between 1-2 months for alterations. We do carry one designer that can typically get your gown back to us in just a few weeks. In a case where there isn’t enough time to order the dress, and the sample size fits, we will consider selling some sample gowns off the rack. Our veils and bridal accessories are all made to order as well, with a typical turnaround time of 4-6 weeks.
WHAT IS YOUR APPOINTMENT CANCELLATION POLICY AND WHY AM I BEING ASKED TO ENTER IN MY CREDIT CARD DETAILS WHEN BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT?
We totally understand that things come up! Since appointment times are limited each day, and we often have a wait list, we ask that you give us at least 24 hours cancellation notice. When booking your appointment through our online scheduling system, it will ask for your credit card number, which is simply used to reserve your appointment. Please note that there will be a $50 cancellation fee for any brides who do not show up for their appointment and/or cancel with less than 24 hours notice. If rescheduled later, we would be happy to apply the $50 cancellation fee towards a future purchase.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN I BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT?
While we love a big party, we believe that your fitting should be as intimate as possible and all about YOU! We’ve found that sometimes too many opinions end up overwhelming the bride's vision and ultimately her decision. PLEASE KEEP YOUR SUPPORT CREW TO NO MORE THAN 3 GUESTS, AS OUR BOUTIQUE IS SMALL. Alt. Brides is also not appropriate for babies, kiddos, or pets so please plan accordingly.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT?
It is extremely helpful to bring along undergarments, such as no-show undies and a strapless bra (preferably nude). We also recommend bringing shoes that you’re considering wearing on your wedding day, if applicable. All of these items play an important role in envisioning yourself on your wedding day.
CAN I BRING A BOTTLE OF BUBBLY?
Yes! Feel free to bring a cold bottle of bubbly or white wine for us to open and serve, and for you to enjoy. We'll provide the glasses and a bottle chiller.
HOW CAN I GET TO ALT. BRIDES?
We're located at 709 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 in the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood. Like most SF neighborhoods, parking can be tricky. There are parking meters, and the Civic Center BART station is about an 11-minute walk (through a few streets of the Tenderloin). There are several public parking garages just a few blocks away, including but not limited to:
1101 Sutter Street ($6/hr)
818 Leavenworth ($6/hr)
1234 Pine Street ($5/hr, each additional hour $4)
WE ASK THE YOU PLEASE ARRIVE AT YOUR SCHEDULED TIME (NOT EARLY OR LATE) AS WE DO NOT HAVE A WAITING AREA INSIDE OF OUR SHOP.
DO YOU OFFER/INCLUDE ALTERATIONS?
We do not provide in-house alterations and you are welcome to choose whomever you’d like. The cost of alterations is not included in the price of the dress. We’d be happy to pass along a trusted alterations referral for San Francisco and Oakland. Please note, we are not affiliated with any specific seamstresses, nor do we receive any payment from them for your business. Be sure to factor in 1-2 months for alterations after you have received the dress.
WILL I NEED ALTERATIONS?
Yes. Since we are all shaped differently, alterations are almost always needed for a custom fit. Our designers make their dresses in standard sizing with a standard size chart. If you find "the one," we will take your measurements and order your dress as close to your current size as possible. It is store policy that we cannot share your measurements with you, or which size of gown you are, until after your order is placed with us.
WHAT IS YOUR RETURN POLICY?
As soon as we collect payment (50% or 100% deposit) for a gown and/or accessories, the order is submitted to the designer that same day. All of our designers have a very strict policy on not allowing changes or refunds once orders are placed, since everything is custom made and goes into production. Therefore, Alt. Brides cannot allow any changes or refunds to an order after a deposit has been collected. ALL SALES ARE FINAL.
CAN TWO BRIDES SHOP AT THE SAME TIME?
Our bridal shop has one fitting room, so we don't recommend combining your appointment with another bride who is also looking for a gown. Time flies by and we don’t want our brides to feel rushed. Please let us know if you are scheduling your appointment for two brides.
WHAT SIZE ARE YOUR SAMPLE GOWNS?
We carry sample sizes that range from size 6 to size 18. We strive to carry samples that will work for most people and have tricks and tools to help provide an idea of how the dress will look in your size.
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