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Sarah Belle Bridal

Swindon and Southwest Wedding & Prom Gowns

Swindon and Southwest Wedding & Prom Gowns

Fre­quently Asked Questions

  •   Do I Need to Make an Appointment?

    No, you can drop in. But, if we are serving a cus­tom­er with an appoint­ment, we won’t be able to guar­an­tee to help you as much as you or we might wish. If your vis­it is essen­tial to your plans, it’s best to make an appointment.

    If you know you’re com­ing, even if you’re on your way, call ahead and let us know. If you have to speak to the answer-phone, we’re prob­ably busy dress­ing anoth­er customer.

  •   How Long Will My Dress Take?

    Most of our design­ers deliv­er dresses in 12 to 16 weeks. Excep­tion­ally some of our design­ers can provide a dress with­in a week or two of an order.

  •   Why Do Other Shops Say I Must Buy My Dress At Least 6 Months Before The Wedding?

    We don’t know! We work closely with our design­ers so that we can deliv­er dresses well with­in six months of the wed­ding date. We know that order­ing too far in advance of the wed­ding can cre­ate issues due to changes in body shape. So we will agree with you the most reas­on­able date to get your dress on order. How­ever, you’re in charge, and if you want your dress here 12 months before the wed­ding, it won’t be a problem.

  •   When Should I Buy My Dress?

    For a wed­ding dress, we recommend:

    • Choos­ing a style 9 to 12 months before the wedding.
    • Book­ing your final meas­ure­ments appoint­ment 6 or 7 months before the wed­ding. The decision on when to book you in for meas­ure­ments will depend on a num­ber of factors, includ­ing the Designer’s lead time, any weight/​shape aspir­a­tions you may have and sea­son­al factors, e.g., Christmas/​New Year shutdown.

    For brides­maids, we recommend:

    • Choos­ing your style 6 to 9 months before the wedding.
    • Book­ing final meas­ure­ments 5 to 6 months ahead of the wed­ding. The decision when to meas­ure will depend on a num­ber of factors, not least the avail­ab­il­ity of the brides­maids to vis­it the shop. If we haven’t got the lux­ury of time we can deliv­er brides­maid dresses on a 6-week rush-cut (but there are addi­tion­al costs).

    For prom dresses we recommend:

    • Choos­ing and order­ing 5 to 8 months before the prom. By buy­ing early you secure that style for your school. No one else going to the Prom will be able to buy and wear that same style – Our Prom Prom­ise – not some­thing the high street or Inter­net can guar­an­tee, but we can!
    • If you’re wor­ried about choos­ing the size so early, don’t – we have lots of exper­i­ence in this and can advise you appro­pri­ately as to the best size to order tak­ing into account growth spurts – upwards and out­wards – which can occur at this time of your life!

    For flower girls we recommend:

    • Choos­ing 6 to 9 months before the wed­ding, in line with your brides­maid choices.
    • Order­ing 3 to 4 months ahead of the wed­ding. The decision will depend on the Design­er you choose but our recom­men­ded Design­ers offer short lead-times so that we can guar­an­tee a good fit on the day.

  •   Are Alterations Included In The Price?

    No, they are not. Alter­a­tions are a sep­ar­ate charge raised by our dress­makers. The dress­maker will quote based on indi­vidu­al require­ments and will do as much or as little as you want.

    We have found that it is more cost-effect­ive all round to con­tract dress­makers on your behalf. You are not obliged to use them, but we have con­fid­ence in their qual­ity of ser­vice and their prices.

  •   When Should I Buy My Shoes and Undies?

    You will need your shoes and bra by the time of your first fit­ting with the dressmaker.

    We have a large selec­tion of fab­ulous shoes in the shop, so we can often help with your shoe decision when you order your dress.

    We don’t sell under­wear but can advise based on the dress fit and the look you want.

  •   When Do I Have To Collect My Dress?

    Once your dress is in from the Design­er, you are in con­trol. If you wish to col­lect straight after your ini­tial fit­ting, just let us know so we can have it steamed for you.

    If you want to use our dress­mak­ing ser­vice and store your dress in the shop until your wear date, that’s not a prob­lem for wed­ding and brides­maid dresses. Our only stip­u­la­tion is that you book your col­lec­tion for at least a day before the wed­ding. Pick­ing up on the day of the wed­ding is a no-no – so many things could go wrong!

    We can store your prom dress up to the date you see our Dress­maker. After alter­a­tions, we no longer the capa­city to do that. We have so many dresses cyc­ling through the shop dur­ing prom season!

  •   What Can I Expect When I Collect

    Your dress will be fully steamed (so per­fectly crease-free) and hung in a dress bag to keep it in pristine con­di­tion. We will advise you how to hang your dress when you get home or to the hotel. We will also make sure you are con­fid­ent about how to put the dress on. Sounds mad, but we have a few tips to help reduce your stress – you’ll prob­ably be put­ting your dress on with less than an hour to go.

  •   Do you offer credit?

    No – but ask us about our depos­it lay-away scheme when you come to the shop.

  •   Should I Be Worried?

    About world poverty? Yes. About any­thing we do? No.

    We pride ourselves on our cus­tom­er ser­vice. Your needs are our needs.

    It is our respons­ib­il­ity to man­age our Design­ers and Dress­makers. It is your respons­ib­il­ity to man­age your­self and your team, brides­maids, flower girls, Mum, Dad, fiancé, Regi­ment­al Band and Mas­cot etc. All we ask is that you help us to help you by book­ing and keep­ing appoint­ments and sort­ing out any addi­tion­al items needed.

    If you are at all wor­ried about any­thing we have or haven’t done or any­thing you believe needs to be done, talk to us – don’t suf­fer in silence.

  •   Can I Get Ties To Match My Bridesmaid Dresses?

    Yes, you can! We recom­mend you order your ties or gent’s/boy’s ties and handker­chiefs at the same time you order your brides­maid dresses. That ensures they are all cut from the same roll of fab­ric. It’s like buy­ing wall­pa­per or paint: they always recom­mend you buy from the same batch.

  •   How Many Times Will I Need To Visit The Shop?

    You can expect to vis­it between 1 and 5 times:

    1. Choose dress & place order (or choose and col­lect stock dress)
    2. Ini­tial fit­ting (ideal but optional)
    3. Ini­tial fit­ting with dress­maker (assum­ing needed)
    4. Final fit­ting with dress­maker (assum­ing needed. Pick-up can be at same time)
    5. Pick-up dress
  •   My Bridesmaid Is Pregnant, What Should We Do?

    Give her a great big hug, but carefully.

    We see a lot of preg­nant brides­maids, and some brides too. Come and dis­cuss it as soon as pos­sible and we can go through all the options: delay­ing or advan­cing the order, order­ing two sizes up or down, or just smil­ing sweetly at the dress­maker. We don’t do prob­lems, only chal­lenges with solutions.

  •   What’s Your Prom Promise?

    Our Prom Prom­ise is a guar­an­tee from us that no one else from your school will be wear­ing the same style dress from us, in any col­our, at your prom.

    We’re able to hon­our the Prom Prom­ise because:

    • We have an exclus­ive rela­tion­ship with our Design­ers. They will not allow anoth­er shop to stock their col­lec­tion with­in a 10 to 20-mile radi­us of our shop in Swindon.
    • We main­tain a detailed list­ing of which dresses we sell to pupils at each school.
  •   How Much Will Alterations Cost?

    It depends what’s needed, but our dress­makers enjoy a repu­ta­tion for cost-effectiveness.

  •   Do You Offer Discounts?

    Yes, at times we do, so ask when you come to the shop.

  •   How Much Can I Expect To Spend?

    That depends on your plans, but as a gen­er­al guide you can expect, before any applic­able dis­counts or offers:

    • Flower­girl dresses from £115
    • Brides­maid dresses from £130
    • Wed­ding dresses from £250
    • Prom dresses from £130
  •   Why Are Your Prices So Good Compared To Other Boutiques? Should I Be Worried?

    No, you shouldn’t be wor­ried. We offer cus­tom­ers real sav­ings over oth­er boutiques because:

    • We’re not greedy. We are a small fam­ily-run busi­ness with simple needs but a real pas­sion for doing the best we can for our customers.
    • We main­tain an excel­lent rela­tion­ship with renowned Design­ers in the industry, we buy wisely and so can sell real wed­ding dresses to our cli­ents at unreal prices. We wear our labels on the inside and tend to think your dress looks bet­ter like that; hence you won’t pay a massive premi­um for a name no one’s going to see.

  •   Can I Order And Pay Over The Phone?

    Yes, you can.

  •   Not All My Bridesmaids Are Local. What Do We Do?

    It’s best to see every­one, try on dresses and meas­ure pro­fes­sion­ally. Where this isn’t feas­ible, we can achieve it remotely.

    We have suc­cess­fully dressed brides­maids from Fin­land, New Zea­l­and, Aus­tralia, USA, and Ger­many who we hadn’t been able to see; and we sup­plied a wed­ding dress to a bride in Ger­many, hemmed and fit­ted to per­fec­tion and all achieved by email and over the phone!

  •   I’m Getting Married Abroad, How Do I Transport My Dress?

    We can advise how best to trans­port your dress in either a dress bag or flight com­pli­ant wed­ding case. We sell both at our shop.

  •   I Didn’t Buy My Dress From You, Is It Ok If I Come With My Bridesmaids?

    Nev­er be embar­rassed, we love meet­ing people and chat­ting through your wed­ding plans. If we couldn’t help you out the first time we met, we’d love to be able to help you out later.

    So wheth­er it’s 10 brides­maids, just a veil, a pair of shoes or some­thing for your hair – give us a call, pop in and we’ll do what we do best.

  •   Do I Have To Use Your Dressmaker?

    No. You are in con­trol. We are happy to man­age the entire pro­cess for you or to help you do it differently.

  •   I’ve Bought A Dress Secondhand / Online, Can You Help Me With Alterations And Creases?

    Yes, we can. We often see dresses bought from the Inter­net delivered with no pet­ti­coats included and often pack­aged so small the postie can fit them through the let­ter­box. Give us a call and pop into the shop. We can hire an appro­pri­ate petticoat/​hoop to make the dress look bet­ter and can steam the dress ready for your big day — prices on application.

  •   I’ve Been In To See You But I Can’t Remember Everything You Told Me, What Was It Again?

    Read through the web­site and if you’re still in any doubt give us a call.

  •   Do You Buy Secondhand Dresses?

    We call them pre-loved dresses, but no, we don’t buy pre-loved dresses, worn or unworn.

  •   I’m Thinking Of Buying My Dress Online. Do You Have Any Advice?

    It would be obvi­ous to say, Don’t do it,” so we won’t. What we will do though is let you know what we’ve seen and what we’ve heard:

    We’ve seen

    • Dresses pack­aged so tightly that they fit through your let­ter­box and can only be cor­rec­ted by pro­fes­sion­al steam­ing (at a cost).
    • Dresses made with no underskirts/​petticoats so the bride had to buy a pet­ti­coat to make the dress look as full as it should.
    • Shoddy sew­ing work on dresses which needed to be cor­rec­ted by a dressmaker.
    • Dresses with burns, tears and marks which we could not fix.
    • We have helped cus­tom­ers write let­ters to cred­it card com­pan­ies to claim their money back because of most of the above.

    We’ve heard of

    • Girls were wear­ing identic­al dresses to their prom because the Inter­net can’t guar­an­tee a Prom Promise.
    • A bride paid £10 for a dress but got an £80 import duty demand from Cus­toms & Excise. She also had to pay £80 p&p. And one bride who received a 2nd bill from Cus­toms & Excise for anoth­er £80. With our wed­ding dresses start­ing at £250 … You do the sums.
    • Dresses fall­ing apart on the day because seams are glued instead of sewn, and the glue melted away with body-heat!
    • Dresses that did not arrive. Cus­tom­ers who did not get their money back, even when they ordered and paid over six months before. And yes, we were able to help a bride out on the day of her wed­ding when her two brides­maids came to us, in floods of tears and with only an hour to go before the wed­ding! They had waited for the post­man to deliv­er on that morn­ing! The girls found match­ing dresses in store and walked out of the shop dressed and into the Rolls-Royce.

    So, our advice is to be very care­ful with Inter­net pur­chases. Have low expect­a­tions and be pre­pared to lose your money. Buy well in advance of the wear date, with enough time and money in your budget to be able to walk straight in to see us and buy off-the-peg or place an order.