Wedding Dress Shopping FAQs
Here’s some info about us and how it all works. Click on the tabs below to reveal answers:
What are Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room’s opening days and hours?
We’re are open Tuesday to Saturday including some evenings. We are closed on a Sunday and Monday. Late nights for the Groom’s Room are Tuesdays and Thursdays and suit returns from a Saturday wedding is on Tuesday please. Our one to one appointment system ensures that every customer gets the time, privacy and attention required. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements and our available time slots.
What’s different about Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room?
With multi award winning VIP customer service and entirely private appointments every Bride, Groom, Mother of The Bride or Bridesmaid’s party is made to feel like our only party! Our focus is fabulous and beautiful wedding dresses and wedding day products and a unique and special customer experience. At Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room you wont have to browse alongside other customers, share mirrors or wait for staff’s attention. You’ll have the whole department to yourself with a relaxing seating area and complimentary refreshments. Sometimes customers pop in and we’ll try wherever possible to accommodate walk in’s but this can only happen when consultation rooms are available. We’re proud to be different offering a unique and completely private service and feedback from our customers about how we operate and our customer experience is excellent.
When should I start looking for bridalwear, bridesmaid dresses or menswear?
Most brides start looking about a year or so before their big day which allows time for choosing, ordering and alterations. For your own peace of mind we recommend that brides have made their final decision and ordered at least 6-8 months before the big day as wedding dresses can take up to this amount of time to arrive and alterations are also usually required which can take time too. If you are a Bride that has less time do not despair we have Designers and Suppliers that can turn dresses, garments and accessories around very quickly and the Seamstresses that we work with can also help at short notice. Wedding dresses that are made quickly are sometimes known as ‘rush cuts’ and they may incur a surcharge. We also have a bridal collection of sale dresses and can sometimes sell our bridal dress samples off the peg at a reduced price. So whatever your time frame don’t despair, we’ll be able to help you find your dream dress some how!
The same timescales and rush cut fees apply to our bridesmaid dresses if they need to be made quicker than the standard delivery.
Menswear outfits are usually chosen after the bridesmaid dresses have been decided so that appropriate colours for neckwear and suit styles can be selected according to your wedding day theme and colours. Measurements for the Groom and his attendants can be taken as late as a few weeks before the wedding day but from an organisational point of view we would advise that these are decided and ordered sooner rather than later, it saves unnecessary last minute stress and we can be sure to book your outfits on the system.
Who should I bring along with me?
It’s tempting to bring along a large group of friends and or family to help chose your wedding day outfits and although everyone is made to feel welcome, we suggest that larger groups attending with you is avoided. Our experience is that the more people there are the more usually varied opinions you will receive. It’s heart breaking to see a bride fall in love with a dress only be to be told by a strongly opinionated friend or family member that they don’t like it or prefer something that simply isn’t suited to the Bride’s shape and sadly this can happen. So; to get the most of your appointment enlist the help of one or two trusted friends or relatives who won’t get bored and whomever you decide to bring along don’t forget it’s all about your day and you will need to make the final decision about your dream outfits! We understand that sometimes babies and children need to attend appointments too but equally we know from experience that Mummy’s always find it less stressful if childcare arrangements are in place so that they can relax and focus on their wedding planning. We always support our customers to the best of our ability whatever the situation but from a safety point of view young children are not allowed to run around and play in the shop or under the dresses.
Why do I need an appointment?
An appointment is required so that you can enjoy the entirely private and personal service that we are re-known for. If you would like to pop in without an appointment you are welcome too but if there is a consultation taking place in the department that you wish to view; you may have to wait to be seen or return on another day. Of course if the department is free we would love to show you around and discuss your wedding day requirements but we do not want your journey to be wasted or for appointments to be interrupted and that’s why appointments are advisable.
How do I know when I have found ‘the one’?
Finding ‘the one’ is very much an individual experience, sometimes it’s the first dress sometimes the fourth! Either way you will know when you’ve found ‘the one’ because it will be the dress that makes you feel special and you won’t want to take it off. ‘The one’ is the wedding dress that you will adore and feel really excited about wearing. We believe it’s a personal journey and only you will know when you’ve found it, it’s all about how you ‘feel’ in a wedding dress and therefore only you can decide upon it.
Some Brides feel disheartened if they’ve tried lots of dresses on but still haven’t had their emotional ‘moment’ in a dress. But not all Brides brake down or leap around proclaiming ‘it’s the one’ when they find their dress and sometimes it can be as much of a process of elimination as it is a process of selection ie ruling out dresses can also often lead you to ‘the one’. See our shopping advice page for more information.
What size wedding dress samples does Abigail’s Collection have in stock for me to try?
We hold a variety of bridal and bridesmaid dresses in sizes up to size 38.
How many different colours of bridesmaids dresses are there to choose from?
We stock a large and fabulous selection of bridesmaid dresses, and we think, by the worlds best bridesmaid dress designers! We are often told that our selection is the best and most varied and that we have a fantastic collection of styles, sizes and colours to select from.
The Alfred Angelo range of bridesmaid dresses are available in 48 different satin, chiffon and organza colours and the Hilary Morgan dresses are available in 60 satin, chiffon and organza options and 15 taffeta colours.
What kind of bridesmaid’s styles are available?
We stock a beautiful selection of bridesmaid dresses and have approximately 100 different styles to choose from including long and traditional or shorter modern t-lengths. Our wide selection has something for everyone including flattering styles for the fuller figure. You may have a strong idea about the style that you want but if you need some guidance then we aim to help you chose a style that compliments all of your bridesmaids figures, skin tones and age groups.
What sizes of bridesmaids dresses are there available to try?
We hold a variety of sample sizes up to size 26, we know that it can seem like an impossible task trying to find a shape and style to suit everyone in the party but we’re confident that we are able to make this happen and have a variety of sizes for bridesmaids to try on too.
When do the bridesmaids need to get measured and the dresses ordered?
Bridesmaid dresses take 6-8 months to arrive but ‘rush cuts’ are available at a surcharge. Please note that alterations have to be carried out and these may require another series of appointments. It is advisable to start shopping for your Bridesmaid’s dresses as soon as you can after your bridal dress has been chosen.
Can I buy as well as hire suits from The Grooms Room at Abigail’s Collection?
Yes, in addition to our hire service and by popular demand we are pleased to be able to offer a made to measure suit service. A three piece bespoke suit design starts at just £475. This service is also by appointment to ensure a professional and private consultation but we will always accommodate walk in customers whenever possible.
Can I hire formalwear from The Groom’s Room at Abigail’s Collection for other occasions?
Yes as well as wedding outfits we provide tuxedos and dinner jackets for corporate celebrations, balls and graduations.
How many waistcoat and cravat colour options are there?
Our fabulous range includes 60 different waistcoat designs, colours and fabrics to chose from and with 78 colour variations of ruches, ties and cravats we are certain we have something to suit every taste and every wedding theme.
How much is it to hire?
It depends on what you would like to hire. A two piece suit is available to hire per Gent from £39. Or for more of a traditional look budget approximately £95 per outfit which includes a more formal jacket (is tails or Price Edward), trousers, waistcoat, shirt and cravat and handkerchief.
Not everyone is based locally or in the UK. How can we get them measured for their hire suit?
After obtaining the wearers e-mail address, we’ll forward a measurement guide from which we can receive measurements and order their suit. After it’s delivered (and after the wearer has tried it on) if there are any size changes or replacement items required providing we have 48 hours left we can arrange an exchange of garments (free of charge). We strive to ensure that everyone in the party looks fantastic and would always suggest that if someone is able to come into store to be measured that they do so. The Groom’s Room customers are predominantly looked after by our professional and friendly team of Boys which consist of Rob, Tom and Charlie who all look forward to welcoming you!
When do the men need to get measured and outfits ordered?
This is usually the last group of wedding day outfits to be decided and they are selected to match the wedding day theme and usually chosen to compliment the bridesmaid dresses. These items can be ordered just a few months before the wedding day and the men in the wedding party can be measured up to a few weeks before the big day itself. Many brides and Grooms select their menswear outfits after the bridesmaids dresses have been ordered. Due to us providing a very popular menswear service in Colchester and for our Essex Grooms we would always suggest that if you do intend on hiring from us that you book in as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.
When do we collect the suits and when do they have to be returned?
Hire suits are collected in the two weeks preceding the wedding and returned to The Groom’s Room at Abigail’s Collection on the first open day after the wedding day.