FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - BRIDAL:
1.) How far in advance should I order my wedding gown? Most manufacturers require 4 -6 months for delivery to the store. We do have about 15 styles that can be ordered and delivered in 3-4 weeks. Also, make sure to order your dress early enough to have plenty of time to get any alterations that may be needed. Many brides prefer to purchase the gown off the rack so that they know exactly how it fits and they can immediately show their friends and family what they will be wearing on their special day.
2.) Given that you measure me for my gown, will I still need alterations? Measuring you will allow us to get a dress very close to what you need. However, every person's body is slightly different and many brides do require alterations. There is an additional cost for alterations and we do offer an in-house seamstress that can make your alterations, if needed, at very reasonable rates.
3.) Will my gown be sent to my home or to your store? All gowns are shipped to our store so that we can inspect them, and steam & press them. We immediately store your gown in a zippered bag to protect it and we will store your gown in our store at no charge to you. Many brides like the idea of having alterations done at our store to reduce the handling & transporting of their gown. You are welcome to come in and try it on whenever you wish and to show your friends & family.
4.) Should I make an appointment or just stop in? We do accept walk-ins, but for your convenience, we do recommend that you make an appointment with one of our experienced bridal consultants. A typical appointment will last 90 minutes and we would like to make sure that we have a dedicated staff person available to work exclusively with you to ensure that you enjoy the experience. You will have a very large changing room that can comfortably seat 3-4 people, so you may want to bring some friends & family. We try to accommodate as many walkin's as possible, but without an appointment, we cannot guarantee that we will have a consultant available to provide you with the service you deserve. For the ultimate experience, try a champagne appointment.
5.) Should I place a special order or purchase the gown off the rack? This is a matter of personal preference. Some brides don't mind waiting 4 - 6 months to receive their gown and others like the idea of purchasing the one in the store, so that no one else will be able to purchase the same gown.
6.) Can I browse your store and try on whatever dresses I want or do I have to work with a consultant? We require brides to work with one of our consultants to make sure that our gowns are handled with the proper care. In fact, many of our in-stock gowns are stored in zippered bags to protect them. We don't mind people browsing our vast inventory, but when it comes to actually trying on dresses, we want to make sure that you have your own dressing room, and a bridal consultant to answer any questions you have.
7.) Are prices cheaper on the internet? This is a common misconception and a source of many complaints by consumers. Many fakes and factory seconds have shown up on the internet. There have also been numerous complaints of scams where a bride never even receives their gown and they have very little recourse. In fact, we have had several brides call us in a panic to get a dress at the last minute due to being scammed by an online company. We price our gowns at the lowest price allowed by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer discovers that a store is pricing gowns below the required minimum, they will stop deliveries to that store and you won't be able to get your gown. Why risk the most important part of the wedding? Also, most brides love the experience of trying on gowns, coordinating maids, flowergirls, tuxedo's, etc. all at one store that they can visit whenever they want.
8.) My wedding got cancelled, can I return my dress? Unfortunately, no. Your dress is special ordered for you and we cannot accept returns.
9.) Do you offer layaway options? We require payment of at least 60% of the purchase price in order for us to order your wedding gown. All other purchases (maids, veils, tiara, jewelry, etc.) are required to be paid for prior to us ordering them.
10.) Do you offer wedding gowns for destination weddings? Yes - Many. These are typically less extravagant and designed to be easily packed in your luggage. Also, given that the prices are very reasonable, in the $200-400 range, some brides elect this choice for a church wedding. There's also a popular trend where some brides purchase a large extravagant gown to be worn in church and then a second, more simplistic gown for the reception.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - OTHER:
1.) Is there an additional charge to place a special order for a prom gown? No. In fact, many of our most popular styles are "order only" until mid-February to make sure that we don't sell all of our stock without others being able to see the hottest styles. If you shop early in the prom season, we have no problem getting in your gown in plenty of time for your prom.
2.) Will you sell the same prom gown to another person at my prom? No. We register all prom purchases to make sure that we will not sell the same gown to anyone else at your prom. Some stores offer similar policies where they will only sell one color per school, but at Elaine's we will not even allow another girl to purchase a different color of the same dress. Unfortunately, we have to tell a lot of girls that we cannot sell them a gown because someone else already has it for their school, but at least this will save an embarassing situation for both girls. We carry several prom lines that are not available at other local stores, so this should minimize the chance that another girl will have the same gown as you. In fact, some of our manufacturers (ie. MoriLee) make dresses exclusively for Elaine's and those styles are not available at other stores, even if those stores carry MoriLee. For 2013, we will have over 100 dresses from MoriLee that are not available at any other stores in Wisconsin!
3.) What is the best time to come to your store? We have a very large store with an enormous inventory and finding the perfect dress can take quite a while and be a lot of fun. However, we have some days, like Saturday, where every one of our 28 dressing rooms is being used. For a less hectic experience and more personable service, during the week is the best time. We are also open on Sunday's from 11:00-3:00 from January through the end of April.
4.) Do you offer any special deals or discounts? We price our gowns at the lowest price allowed by the manufacturer, but we can offer a variety of package deals or quantity discounts. For example, we offer discounts on bridesmaids if the bride purchases her gown at our store. We offer discounts on veils, tiara's, jewelry, and shoes when you purchase your bridal or prom gown from us. Ask about current specials and discounts when you visit our store.
5.) I see a dress I like on your website, do you have it in the store? Maybe. Our website shows all of the dresses available from all of the designers that we order from. We can order any dress that is on our website, but we only have about 30-40% of the total collection physically in our store at any time. For prom, we will have almost all of the dresses in the "Top Ten" collection, as these are the most popular styles from ten different designers.
6.) I found a dress that I like at a different store for a lower price, will you match prices? Absolutely. However, we price our gowns at the lowest price allowed by the manufacturer, so you usually will not find it any lower priced than we have it. However, if you do, we will match any other local store's price.
7.) Do you recommend that I purchase a "Gown preservation kit?" Not Really. We provide a very nice zippered bag, free of charge, with every bridal and prom gown purchased. This bag provides adequate protection over a long period of time. However, some brides do prefer to purchase an actual "preservation kit" at the cost of $159. For more information, please see the sample in our store.
8.) Can I take pictures of dresses in your store to show my friends? Unfortunately, no. Due to manufacturers copyrights, we cannot allow anyone to take pictures of the dresses. In fact, we have to sign a contract with some of the manufacturers stating that we will not allow pictures.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call us (920-498-8998) or email us at: Elainesweddingcenter@yahoo.com