Frequently Asked Questions

Alternative Bridal Boutique London

What’s your price range?

Our made-to-order gowns start from approximately £1,500, all the way to £4,000. Most of our range is around the £2,000 mark. 

Do I need an appointment?

We want to make sure your wedding dress shopping experience is as stress-free as possible, and that you have our undivided attention during this time. For this reason we operate an appointment-only policy. During your appointment you will have exclusive use of our bridal studio, where you will be able to browse the collection and try on the dresses you like in an intimate environment, with one-on-one assistance from our friendly consultants.

How long is my appointment?

Each bridal appointment is normally 60 to 75 minutes long, which allows you to try on several gowns with different accessories to find your dream dress!

Do you charge for appointments?

We take pride in the relaxed and laid-back environment that we have strived to create, and we want to keep it that way. However we are a very small business without a shop front (we are hidden away in a second floor private studio and don’t take walk-ins), and last-minute cancellations or no-shows do affect us badly. For this reason we charge a £35 consultation fee for evening (after 5 pm) and weekend bridal appointments, and a £15 fee for daytime weekday appointments (before 5pm). The consultation fee will be payable when your appointment is booked and will go towards your on-the-day purchase. However, if you fail to turn up for your appointment or cancel less than 48 hours prior to your appointment, the fee will not be refunded. 

I want to come back for a second appointment. Do I have to pay again?

In the unlikely event that you don’t find the perfect dress on first appointment, you are welcome to come back for a follow-up to retry on your top favourites and say yes to the dress! Follow-up appointments incur in a £15 consultation fee during the week, and in a £35 consultation fee on weekends. The consultation fee paid will be deducted from your order if you order and pay on the day.  

Can I come and have a browse at your collection?

Our whole collection is available to browse online, so we do not take browsing appointments. Every time a bride has come in for a browse they have always ended up being disappointed because time restrictions do not allow them to try on any dresses. So we would rather save you the double trip - browse the collection online and book a bridal appointment once you're ready to try things on!

How soon do I need to order my gown?

You will need to order your gown at least 8-10 months before your big day. Dresses can take up to 6 months to be delivered, and you need to factor in any additional time required for shipping and alterations (typically 6-8 weeks at least). We can usually accommodate orders with a wear date of less than 8 months for an additional fee (pending approval from the designer). However we reserve the right to reject any orders with a wear date less than 6 months away, as we find the experience to be too stressful for everyone involved - and especially for you, the bride! Please feel free to enquire if your wedding is at short notice, we’ll do our best to help!

Who should I bring? How many people?

We kindly ask you not to bring more than 3 people to your appointment, as our studio is quite small. Too many people with different opinions might confuse you and make your decision harder, so make sure you pick a few valuable people whose opinion you really trust.

Will you serve champagne at my appointment?

We don't serve champagne during appointments as that requires an alcohol licence. We'll always offer tea and coffee though!

Can I take photos during my appointment?

We want you to fully pay attention to how the dress makes you feel! For this and many other reasons we don't really encourage photos during the appointment.

Can I bring my baby/toddler/dog along to my appointment?

As much as we love children (Cecilia, the owner, is a mum herself to two small children), we kindly ask you not to bring them at your appointment, as the environment is not suited to them (think pins on the floor, mirrors, pristine white dresses…!). Also, children demand a lot of attention and will deflect that attention away from you! Likewise, please refrain from bringing dogs into the studio.

What do I need to wear/bring?

We recommend plain, nude-colour undergarments. Bring heels if you have a certain shoe height in mind, and shapewear if you plan on wearing any on the day. That way you can see how the dress will fit and properly lay. Please refrain from wearing spray tan and/or heavy make-up like foundation and lipstick in order to prevent stains on our dresses.

What size are your samples?

All gowns are sample gowns and we only carry one size per gown. We try to keep a selection of sizes between 8 and 16, and the majority of our samples is in size 10-14. We have also recently introduced a selection of gowns in sizes 18-22, which we are working hard to expand. When you place your order, we will take your measurements and order the correct size. Keep in mind alterations are to be expected with any gown purchase to get the perfect fit for your body.

I really love a style by one of your designers, but you don't carry it - is it possible to borrow it?

We can sometimes borrow styles we don't carry from our designers, provided they have them available. There is a £30 fee to borrow styles from designers based in the UK/Europe, and a £100 fee for overseas-based designers. This goes towards covering shipping costs and will be redeemable against the purchase of the gown.

How does payment work?

Payment in full is encouraged for us to process your order. We prefer card payment to cash, and we take all major credit and debit cards including American Express (for a surcharge).

Do you accept returns, refunds, or exchanges?

Because of the nature of what we do, which is mostly made-to-order, we are unable to offer any refunds, returns or exchanges at any stage in the process once the order has been placed and paid for. Likewise, if you purchase an ex sample dress off the floor you accept it in the condition it is, and we are therefore unable to accept returns on sample sale dresses.

I want to try on a specific dress at my appointment. Will you have it in stock?

We tend to have most of our stock in the studio at all times. However, sometimes samples need to be pulled off the floor for several reasons (press requests, styled shoots, dry cleaning, repair, etc.). If you are set on a specific dress (or more than one), please let us know at the time of booking your appointment and we'll endeavour to have it available for you to try on at your appointment.

I'm going to be late for my appointment, will I still have time to try on dresses?

We understand that travelling in London can be hard sometimes and that delays can occur. However because of the nature of our work, any delays will eat into your appointment time. If you are more than 20 minutes late, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment. We try to be as accommodating as possible, however if we are booked back-to-back any delay will cause a knock-on effect on subsequent appointments. In any case, if you are running late, please do notify us as soon as possible. On a similar note, please make sure all your guests arrive at the same time as you for the appointment as late-arriving guests can sometimes be a disruption to the flow of your appointment.

Do you provide alterations?

We are no longer offering in-house alterations. We will be more than happy to refer you to a trusted external partner for all your alterations needs. However you are more than welcome to take it anywhere you want and are in no way obliged to go with out recommendation! Any alterations will incur in an additional cost, which is not included in the price of the gown.

Once my dress has arrived, can I store it with you?

Due to lack of space and insurance costs, we are unable to keep dresses in storage. We kindly ask you to collect your dress within 14 days of being notified of its arrival. If you are unable to collect in person, we can ship your dress via a major courier for an additional fee that includes shipment and insurance for the value of your dress.

I'm coming to collect my dress by public transport, will I be able to carry my dress on the train/tube?

Our dresses are mostly really light and travel really well. We double bag them in a breathable garment bag that can be folded and put inside a carrier bag for ease of transport.

What is a trunk show?

A trunk show is a special event, usually a weekend, during which a designer sends their whole collection to the studio. As we only carry a small selection of styles for each designers, this is a truly unique opportunity to try on and purchase different styles. Appointments take place as normal, just with a wider selection. Trunk shows can be by either existing or new designers.

If you have any more questions, do get in touch!