Your bridal ensemble is arguably the most important outfit you will ever wear, and shopping for the gown is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This alone makes it special, but dress shopping at a local bridal boutique can really elevate that experience. Finding the perfect dress is a process that should delight and wow a bride, not confuse her and induce anxiety! In a world of chain shops and online shopping, let’s take a look at the often overlooked benefits of shopping small:

Individual Attention

At Caryn’s, every bride gets a personal, dedicated consultant to assist with trying on, provide information, and make recommendations. We love building relationships with our brides and the individual attention a bride receives shopping in-person means she’s more likely to find a gown suited to her needs as well as her personality. This also gives a bride a point of contact throughout the whole process, so if any extra questions pop up down the road she knows who to ask!

Try Before You Buy

Another obvious benefit of shopping at a store is that you get to try the dresses on before you buy. Time and time again, a bride has come in thinking she wanted a particular style only to discover she didn’t find that ballgown as flattering as a curve-hugging fit-and-flare gown. The best way to determine what works for you is to try it on.

Quality Guarantee

Being able to see and feel the gown for yourself will also set your mind at ease about the quality of the product. The temptation of finding a designer gown well below retail price online is a road best left untraveled. Why? Think stiff and scratchy fabrics, unflattering cuts, crooked seams, discoloration, and improper fit. Plus, most boutiques run sales where the savvy shopper can acquire her dream dress at a dream price.

Unique and Exclusive

It’s true, you can find a lot of wedding dresses online—and so can everyone else. Most designers, however, don’t sell their gowns online, preferring instead to work with local retailers to sell their lines exclusively. Every bride wants a wedding dress that is uniquely hers and a bridal boutique is the best place to make that happen. While shopping small isn’t a complete guarantee that no one else in the world has a dress like yours, each shop carries different designers and accessories so the chance that you’ll see someone with your exact look is greatly reduced.


Even if buying online is too good to pass up, you’ll likely still need to find a shop to alter your gown once you receive it. At Caryn’s we do our own in-house alterations at a drastically reduced rate for our brides only, and most shops do at least partner with an outside seamstress they will refer their brides to (likely with a referral discount, too). Alterations on a poorly fitted gown of lesser quality often end up totaling well above the cost of the dress itself.

Giving Back

Shopping at a brick-and-mortar boutique means your money is going back into your local economy and promotes thriving, vibrant communities! Spend it online, and nothing stays at home. A wedding is, at it’s very core, your own community of friends and family coming together to celebrate you and your love. What better way to further celebrate your own personal community than by shopping local? Spread the love!