The term “bridal salon” can be used to describe two different types of businesses: stores that sell wedding clothing and beauty salons that specialize in providing beauty services to brides and wedding parties. In both cases, the employees of these businesses are trained to address the specific needs of brides and their attendants. Both types of establishments may operate differently than similar businesses. Bridal shops may require the advanced booking of an appointment to view dresses, and beauty salons that specialize in wedding-day styles may request that a bride visit multiple times so as to determine the best hair and makeup style for her wedding day.
Some beauty salons specifically focus their services for brides and bridesmaids. This is because the hair and makeup styles worn by wedding parties tend to be more formal and elaborate than those worn on an everyday basis. A bridal salon that provides makeup and hair services may specialize in helping brides decide on a hairstyle that matches their wedding headpieces and veils and may also be able to work with large wedding parties to create a harmonious look for each bridal party member. The salon’s stylists may also be experts in applying makeup that is suitable for photography. This is often very important, as many brides place a high value on the quality of their wedding photographs.
The other type of bridal salon, a shop that sells wedding apparel, sells wedding dresses, bridesmaid’s dresses, and in some cases other types of formal-wear, such as evening gowns and prom dresses. These shops often also sell bridal headpieces and veils. In many cases, the bridal salon does not stock ready-to-wear garments, but instead assists brides in choosing dresses for themselves and their bridesmaids that are then ordered from the manufacturer. The bridal salon may also perform alterations on the dresses after they are delivered. In some cases, a designer of custom-made wedding gowns may open his or her own salon, designing and making wedding dresses to order.
Unlike many retail shops, a bridal salon may require that individuals book an appointment before visiting. This is because the choice of a wedding dress is very personal and typically requires a significant amount of personal attention from an expert salesperson. Brides and bridesmaids may try on dozens of dresses in order to select the right one and must then typically be measured so that the correct size can be ordered. Follow-up appointments are typically scheduled after the dresses are delivered to the bridal salon so that alterations can be performed.