SHOPPING WITH W.E.
Do you rent gowns? Just as each bride is different, every body is different. Because we want to provide our brides with their best fit, we do not offer gown rental. If you are looking to save money, we regularly sell our sample gowns at a discount and host sample sales throughout the year. Check out our event page for more info!
How much do your gowns cost? Our bridal gowns range in price from $700 - $2500 with the majority of the gowns between $1000 and $2000. If you are curious about a specific designer you can visit our designer page or just give us a ring: 860-274-1988. Do you discount gowns? You can always purchase a sample gown “off the rack” at a discount. Samples are discounted between 10% and 40% depending on age of the sample, condition, and designer.
Do gowns really take months to arrive? Yes! Most of our bridal gowns are designed in the U.S. but constructed overseas. Because of intricacy of the gown construction, shipping, and customs, dresses really can take up to 6 months to be manufactured and shipped! Good news though, some designers are catching on! By keeping some of their most desirable gowns in stock and pre-cut in a variety of sizes and colors; more and more gowns can be shipped quickly to accommodate short engagements! Our goal is always, if time allows, to receive your gown at least 8 weeks prior to your event.
When should I start shopping? We recommend starting your search about 9 - 12 months before your wedding and buying your gown 6 - 9 months prior to your wedding date. This will allow your gown a 4 - 6 month production period and leave about 8 weeks for alterations.
Do I need an appointment? Yes please! Booking an appointment allows us to truly help you! It ensures you’ll have a fitting room and the help of a WE Embassador! Your Embassador will introduce you to our gowns, provide you with information about working with W.E. We’ll also clip you into the gowns and help with any questions or concerns you might have! Our Embassadors are always honest, super entertaining, very creative, and ready to help you find “the one”!
When are you busiest? Our showroom is busiest on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturdays. If you’d like to shop during a quieter time, consider a weekday before 5:00 p.m. or, if you have a large group or an out-of-state entourage, consider a Champagne Sunday?
How long are your appointments? Our Bridal shopping appointments are an hour and half long. We take our last appointment one hour before we close and stay with you until your appointment is complete
What sizes are your samples? What size can you order?! Currently, our samples range from a size 4 through a size 26W, though the majority of our inventory is between size 12 and 16. Throughout the year these ranges fluctuate slightly and during trunk shows one size group (smaller or larger) can increase depending on the designer we are feature.
We can order the entire size run offered by any of our designers, and in some cases we can order custom sizes! Most designers offer gowns between a size 0 and 32W, though each measurement chart is different. Please ask your sales person or give us a ring for more information!
What should I bring with me? Inspiration is awesome! Pinterest boards, magazine tear outs… if there’s an image you’ve fallen for bring it with you! And… WE Embassadors always appreciate full bottomed panties! You should bring any undergarments you’d like to wear with your gown and that you are comfortable in...strapless bras, corsets, and spanx are all great. Shoes you’d like to wear are a plus but not necessary; you’ll be on a pedestal most of your visit!
Who should I bring along? Our viewing areas can fit between 3 and 6 guest comfortably (we suggest larger groups consider a Champagne Sunday)! It can be so tempting to bring the whole bridal party, moms, family, friends… etc… but it can also make your decision a lot harder! We suggest keeping your guest list small for the initial visit and asking those with opinions you value most. Once you find “the one” you can always visit again and introduce your gown to the whole crew!
What about bringing Kids? Kids can be an adorable addition to the wedding day, but may not be the most attentive shopping companion; while an hour and a half flies by for our brides it can feel like an eternity for kids! Busy days can be overwhelming and distracting for children and their moms, we suggest making it an adult-only day!
...or Champagne? Finding “the one” totally deserves a celebration! While WE strive to create an awesome experience for you and your shopping entourage, we ask that you are courteous to all of our customers and careful with our gowns! We allow just one bottle of champagne per group, no mixers or snacks can be brought in. Absolutely no food or drink is allowed in our alteration area, as our brides are finalizing details on the gowns they will wear on their big day!
Where is the shop? Our 200 year old reclaimed factory building can be a little tricky to find! We are located in The Old Pin Shop in Oakville, sandwiched between Watertown and Waterbury. Our building is large and has several addresses associated with it. We are located at street level under the awning numbered 1900.
Where do I park? Before 5:00 p.m. you may park on the street in front of the building. You can also park in the lot behind the building but you’ll have to walk around to the front of the building to enter the shop. After 6:00 p.m. you may also park in the small lot directly across the street from our entrance.
Alterations with W.e.
Do you provide Alterations? Yes we do! While you are not obligated to alter your gown at WE, we do have several talented seamstresses available to fit your gown! Seamstresses are available by appointment, each on a designated day of the week. Seamstresses are selected based ease of availability, gowns style/construction, and anticipated alterations.
What should I expect at my first fitting?
- Typically a first fitting is schedule 8 weeks prior to your wedding date; first fittings are scheduled well in advance to ensure we have time to complete your alteration.
- First Bridal Fittings are an hour long, bridesmaids are 30 minutes. Follow-ups can be between 30 minutes and 15 minutes.
- From May - Oct. you could experience a wait prior to your appointment. While we are continually improving your workflow occasionally a bride needs a little extra work, misses an appointment, etc… We ask that you are patient with your fellow brides as we will provide everyone with the time and attention they need.
- Our fittings rooms are large enough to accommodate you and your gown and our viewing areas can seat 2 guests comfortably. If you’d like to bring a larger group, may be consider a Show-&-Tell appointment.
- Your seamstress will pin your gown, discuss the work that needs to be done, in some cases discuss undergarments, shoes, accessories. She will describe the work that’s needed and the cost of your alterations. Your seamstress sets your price, not the Wedding Embassy - please address cost questions directly with your seamstress
- If at any time you have a question or concern, please ask it! It’s best to speak directly to your seamstress while you and the gown are right there with them!
- If you don’t have your shoes your gown will not hemmed! Please bring you shoes, undergarments, and final payment to your first fitting.
Do I have to do alterations at WE? No, you not obligated to alter your gown at W.E. Alterations are not included in the price of your gown. If you live more than 30 minutes away we strongly suggest altering your gown closer to home. Keeping your seamstress conveniently close can be a stress-saver! If you’d like we can provide you with a list of recommended seamstresses.
How much do alterations cost? Each of our bridal gowns has it’s own CAP of either $400, $500, or $600. This CAP is the maximum amount a Wedding Embassy seamstresses can charge (and a bride can pay) for regular, standard alterations. Bridesmaids are capped at $85. Caps do not apply to samples, garments from other stores, custom alterations, style changes, maternity alterations, and excessive beading. Our seamstresses are always happy to set up a consultation to answer any questions or concerns you might have; unfortunately our Embassadors cannot provide alteration quotes.
Why is my first fitting so early? As wedding season gets busier, our alteration schedule books up really quickly! Booking early allows us to schedule at least three fittings before your wedding day. Your seamstress will determine the schedule for any follow up fittings. Your last fitting is typically 1 - 2 weeks prior to your event.
When is the latest I can schedule my fitting? Ideally, no closer than six weeks prior to your wedding date! Our seamstresses require at least two weeks between fittings, often we cannot accept fittings booked within four weeks of the wedding date. In certain cases a quick turn around can be accommodated, though a rush fee may apply.
How many fittings will I need?
- Brides: Most brides need at least three fittings. Your first fitting is to pin the gown, the second is to check the work that’s been done. Your third and/or final fitting is to check any additional work and learn to bustle! It’s always best to bring a responsible “bustle buddy” to your third or final fitting. Alterations involving style changes or customizations may need between 4 and 6 fittings.
- Bridesmaids: We strongly suggest bridesmaids commit to at least 2 fittings. If time allows, we will press your dress following your final fitting (it takes about 20 - 30 minutes) or, if you’d prefer not to store your gown, you can schedule a pick-up closer to the wedding date.
What should I bring to my fitting appointments? It is necessary that you bring your shoes and undergarments to each fitting. We are not responsible for alterations that have been done without consistent shoes and undergarments.
What is the difference between a "final fitting" and a "pick up" appointment? Your final fitting is the last time you’ll try on your gown before the big day. It’s best to bring along a bustle-buddy to learn how to put up your bustle on your wedding day and to make sure you are satisfied with your alterations. A pick up appointment is scheduled just a few days before the wedding. At your pick up you will not pick up your gown we are happy to sc
When do I pick up my dress? Most customers prefer to pick up their gowns the week of their event. Your gown (and any accessories) will be steamed and pressed, packed on a bust form and bagged for pick up. You will not try it on. In most cases you will leave WE and bring the gown to safe place where it can removed from it’s bag. Traveling? NO problem! Bring us your suitcase and we’ll pack her up!
Why does my seamstress take “paper not plastic” for payment? Our seamstresses are private contractors that have agreed to meet with W.E. customers on designated days and adhere to our pricing structure. WE do not pay our seamstresses, you do! Our seamstresses are small business women who spend the season sewing continuously. Paying with cash is the preferred. It not only allows your seamstress to be paid as soon as the work is complete, it keeps name changes and busy bank accounts for becoming an issue (as can sometimes happen with checks).
Tuxedos by W.e.
How much are tuxedos? Our tuxedo package prices update every year however our prices range remain consistent: $155 - $225. Packages include Jacket, Pants, Shirt, Vest (or suspenders), Tie, Shoes, replacements, alterations, studs and cufflinks. You may also rent individual pieces or consider retail ties, pocket squares, and suspenders.
I bought my bridal gown and bridesmaids dresses at WE, do my groomsmen get a discount? Unfortunately our tuxedos discounts are not linked to gown purchases. We offer standard discounts for grooms, dads, and ring bearers based on the total number of renters in your party.
When should we pick out tuxedos? We suggest selecting your tuxedos 4 months prior to the wedding and having your party members measured about 2 months prior to the wedding. Booking early gives us the best opportunity to provide you with your first choice styles and colors.
When do tuxedo arrive? Tuxedo rentals, are RENTALS, thus they arrive much closer to the wedding and require very little alteration. Standard delivery is Tuesday the week of the event. Each renter is contacted on arrival and asked to schedule a fitting.
When should tuxedos be returned? Tuxedos should be returned on the Tuesday following your event. We are open from 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.; you may drop off any time. PLEASE check your pockets, thanks!
Do you have samples to try on in the shop? We do not have samples of everything in the shop! We have catalogs, several swatches books, and samples of some of our favorite rentals. If you’d like, we can order an entire rental in your size to see and try on. "Try-ons" are a great way to check the fit and the style well in advance of your wedding date! Try-ons are available June through March, but not during prom season!
Trouble with your GPS? Try: The Old Pin Shop 20 Main St. Oakville CT 06779 Lost? Give us a ring: 860-274-1988
We strongly urge you to schedule an appointment to shop for wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses. While you are always welcome to browse our racks, we may not have a fitting room open or Embassador available to answer questions and fit gowns. Scheduling an appointment really allows us to help you have the best experience at W.E.!
Alterations are always by appointment, scheduled Tuesday through Thursdays. Due to the nature of this work and the demand on our seamstresses we must keep a strict schedule. Please note, weekend availability is inconsistent and cannot be guaranteed. Schedule is subject to change.
Holiday closings or closings due to inclimate weather are posted on our Facebook page. Customers with scheduled appointments will be contacted by text, email, and/or phone. Thank you!