1. Sarah Belle
  2. Bridal
  3. Sarah Belle Bridal
  4. Believe in the Beauty of Your Dreams

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I Need to Make an Appointment?

    No, you can just drop in. But, if we are serving a customer with an appointment we won’t be able to guarantee helping you as much as you or we might wish. If your visit is important to your plans, it’s best to make an appointment.

    If you know you’re coming, even if you’re on your way, just call ahead and let us know. If you have to speak to the answer-phone we’re probably busy dressing another customer.

  • How Long Will My Dress Take?

    Most of our designers deliver dresses in 12 to 16 weeks. Exceptionally some of our designers can make and deliver a dress within a week or two of an order.

  • Why Do Other Shops Say I Must Buy My Dress At Least 6 Months Before The Wedding?

    We don’t know! We work closely with our designers so that we can deliver dresses well within 6 months of the wedding date. We know that ordering too far in advance of the wedding can create issues due to changes in body-shape. So we will agree with you the most sensible date to get your dress on order. However, you’re in charge and if you want your dress here 12 months before the wedding, it won’t be a problem.

  • So When Should I Buy My Dress?

    For a wedding dress, we recommend:

    • Choosing a style 9 to 12 months before the wedding.
    • Booking your final measurements appointment 6 or 7 months before the wedding. The decision on when to book you in for measurements will depend on a number of factors, including the Designer’s lead time, any weight/shape aspirations you may have and seasonal factors, e.g., Christmas/New Year shutdown.

    For bridesmaids, we recommend:

    • Choosing your style 6 to 9 months before the wedding.
    • Booking final measurements 5 to 6 months ahead of the wedding. The decision when to measure will depend on a number of factors, not least the availability of the bridesmaids to visit the shop. If we haven’t got the luxury of time we can deliver bridesmaid dresses on a 6-week rush-cut (but there are additional costs).

    For prom dresses we recommend:

    • Choosing and ordering 5 to 8 months before the prom. By buying early you secure that style for your school. No one else going to the Prom will be able to buy and wear that same style – Our Prom Promise – not something the high street or Internet can guarantee, but we can!
    • If you’re worried about choosing the size so early, don’t – we have lots of experience in this and can advise you appropriately as to the best size to order taking into account growth spurts – upwards and outwards – which can occur at this time of your life!

    For flower girls we recommend:

    • Choosing 6 to 9 months before the wedding, in line with your bridesmaid choices.
    • Ordering 3 to 4 months ahead of the wedding. The decision will depend on the Designer you choose but our recommended Designers offer short lead-times so that we can guarantee a good fit on the day.
  • Are Alterations Included In The Price?

    No, they are not. Alterations are a separate charge raised by our dressmakers. The dressmaker will quote based on individual requirements and will do as much or as little as you want.

    We have found that it is more cost effective all round to contract dressmakers on your behalf. You are not obliged to use them but we have confidence in their quality of service and their prices. .

  • When Should I Buy My Shoes And Undies?

    You will definitely need your shoes and bra by the time of your first fitting with the dressmaker.

    We have a large selection of fabulous shoes in store, so we can often help with your shoe decision when you order your dress.

    We don’t sell underwear but can advise based on the dress fit and the look you want.

  • When Do I Have To Collect My Dress?

    Once your dress is in from the Designer you are in control. If you wish to collect straight after your initial fitting, just let us know so we can have it fully steamed for you.

    If you want to use our dressmaking service and store your dress in the shop until your wear date, that’s not a problem for wedding and bridesmaid dresses. Our only stipulation is that you book your collection for at least a day before the wedding. Picking up on the day of the wedding is a no-no – so many things could go wrong!

    We are able to store your prom dress up to the date you see our Dressmaker. After alterations we will no longer be able to store your dress – sorry about that but we are very busy during prom season!

  • What Can I Expect When I Collect?

    Your dress will be fully steamed (so perfectly crease-free) and hung in an appropriate dress bag to keep it in pristine condition when you collect it from the shop or the dressmaker’s studio. We will advise you how to hang your dress when you get home or to the hotel. We will also make sure you are confident about how to put the dress on. Sounds mad, but we have a few tips to help reduce your stress – you’ll probably be putting your dress on with less than hour to go.

  • Do You Offer A Credit Facility?

    No – but ask us about our deposit lay-away scheme when you come to the shop.

  • Should I Be Worried?

    About world poverty? Yes. About anything we do? No.

    We pride ourselves on our customer service. Your needs are our needs.

    It is our responsibility to manage our Designers and Dressmakers. It is your responsibility to manage yourself and your team, bridesmaids, flower girls, Mum, Dad, fiancé, regimental band and mascot etc. All we ask is that you help us to help you by booking and keeping appointments and sorting out any additional items needed.

    If you are at all worried about anything we have or haven’t done, or anything you believe needs to be done, just talk to us – don’t suffer in silence.

  • Can I Get Ties To Match My Bridesmaid Dresses?

    Yes you can! Normally we recommend you order your ties or gents/boys sets (e.g., tie and hankie) at the same time you order your bridesmaid dresses. By doing so we can ensure the ties are cut from the same roll of fabric (assuming we’re using the same fabric). It’s a bit like buying wallpaper or paint: they always recommend you buy from the same batch.

  • How Many Times Will I Need To Visit The Shop?

    Lots, we hope, we love a good chat – but you can expect to visit between 1 and 5 times:

    1. Choose dress & place order (or choose and collect stock dress)
    2. Initial fitting (ideal but optional)
    3. Initial fitting with dressmaker (assuming needed)
    4. Final fitting with dressmaker (assuming needed. Pick-up can be at same time if needed)
    5. Pick-up dress
  • My Bridesmaid Is Pregnant, What Should I Do?

    Give her a great big hug, but carefully.

    We see a lot of pregnant bridesmaids, and some brides too. Come and discuss it as soon as possible and we can go through all the options: delaying or advancing the order, ordering 2 sizes up or down, or just smiling sweetly at the dressmaker. We don’t do problems, only challenges with solutions.

  • What’s Your Prom Promise?

    Our Prom Promise is a guarantee from us that no one else from your school will be wearing the same style dress from us, in any colour, at your prom.

    We’re able to honour the Prom Promise because:

    • We have an exclusive relationship with our Designers. They will not allow another shop to stock their collection within a 10 to 20 mile radius of our shop in Swindon.
    • We maintain a detailed listing of which dresses have been sold to pupils at each school.
  • How Much Will Alterations Cost?

    It depends what’s needed but our dressmakers enjoy a reputation for being cost-effective.

  • Do You Offer Discounts?

    Yes, at times we will offer discounts, so ask when you come to the shop.

  • How Much Can I Expect To Spend?

    That depends on your plans but as a general guide you can expect, before any applicable discounts or offers:

    • Flower-girl dresses from £115
    • Bridesmaid dresses from £130
    • Wedding dresses from £250
    • Prom dresses from £130
  • Why Are Your Prices So Good Compared To Other Boutiques? Should I Be Worried?

    No you shouldn’t be worried. We offer customers real savings over other boutiques because:

    • We’re not greedy. We are a small family-run business with simple needs but a real passion for doing the best we can for our customers.
    • We maintain an excellent relationship with renowned Designers in the industry, we buy wisely and so can sell our customers real wedding dresses at unreal prices. We wear our labels on the inside and tend to think your dress looks better like that; hence you won’t pay a massive premium for a name no one’s going to see.
  • Can I Order And Pay Over The Phone?

    Yes you can.

  • Not All My Bridesmaids Are Local, How Would I Order?

    Naturally we prefer to see everyone, try dresses on and measure professionally. Where this isn’t feasible we can achieve it remotely.

    We’ve successfully dressed bridesmaids from Finland, New Zealand, Australia, USA, and Germany who we hadn’t been able to see; and we supplied a wedding dress to a bride in Germany, hemmed and fitted to perfection and all achieved by email and over the phone!

  • I’m Getting Married Abroad, How Do I Transport My Dress?

    We can advise how best to transport your dress in either a dress bag or flight compliant wedding case. We sell both at our shop.

  • I Didn’t Buy My Dress From You, Is It Ok If I Come With My Bridesmaids?

    Never be embarrassed, we love meeting people and chatting through your wedding plans. If we couldn’t help you out the first time we met, we’d love to be able to help you out later.

    So whether it’s 10 bridesmaids, just a veil, a pair of shoes or something for your hair – give us a call, pop in and we’ll do what we do best.

  • Do I Have To Use Your Dressmaker?

    No. You are in control. We are happy to manage the entire process for you or to help you do it differently.

  • I’ve Bought A Dress Secondhand / Online, Can You Help Me With Alterations And Creases?

    Yes we can. We often see dresses bought from the Internet delivered with no petticoats included and often packaged so small the postie can fit them through the letterbox. Give us a call and pop in to the shop and we can hire an appropriate petticoat/hoop to make the dress look better and can steam the dress ready for your big day. Prices on application.

  • I’m Really Worried About Getting Into My Dress On The Day, Any Advice?

    If you want to remove all possible stress, we offer a service where we come to your house or hotel an hour or two before the wedding and help you get dressed. The service includes helping your bridesmaids on with their dresses, shoes, jewellery, etc., straightening Dad’s tie, making you a cup of tea and slice of toast, walking the dog if it needs it and generally helping to ensure that everything is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

    Interested? Chat to us in the shop and we can agree availability and price.

  • I’ve Had to Change my Wedding Date, What Should I Do?

    Let us know as soon as you can and don’t fret. We can normally accommodate storing your dress until your new wedding date.

  • Can I Bring My Children With Me?

    Yes, within reason.

    Common sense rules apply: we ask children to respect our dresses and furniture, don’t empty packets of crisps on the carpet and allow Mummy to enjoy herself!

    It helps to bring someone with you who can keep the kids occupied, and to bring a book or some toys so they don’t get bored.

  • I’ve Been In To See You But I Can’t Remember Everything You Told Me, What Was It Again?

    Read through the website and if you’re still in any doubt just give us a call.

  • Do You Buy Secondhand Dresses?

    We call them pre-loved dresses but no, we don’t buy pre-loved dresses, worn or unworn.

  • I’m Thinking Of Buying My Dress Online. Do You Have Any Advice?

    It would be obvious to say, “Don’t do it,” so we won’t. What we will do though is let you know what we’ve seen and what we’ve heard:

    We’ve seen

    • Dresses packaged so tightly that they fit through your letter box and can only be corrected by professional steaming (at a cost).
    • Dresses made with no underskirts / petticoats so the bride had to buy a petticoat to make the dress look as full as it should.
    • Poor sewing on dresses which needed to be corrected by a dressmaker.
    • Burns, tears and marks on dresses which could not be fixed.
    • We have helped customers write letters to credit card companies to claim their money back because of most of the above.


    We’ve heard of

    • Girls wearing the same dress to prom because the Internet can’t guarantee a Prom Promise.
    • Brides receiving a £80 import duty demand from Customs & Excise for a dress they paid £10 for, plus £80 p&p. And one bride who received a 2nd bill from Customs & Excise for another £80. With our wedding dresses starting at £250 . . . you do the sums.
    • Dresses falling apart on the day because seams are glued instead of sewn, and the glue melted away with body-heat!
    • Dresses not arriving and customers not getting their money back, even when they’ve ordered and paid over 6 months before. And yes, we were able to help the bride out on the day of her wedding when her two bridesmaids came to us, in floods of tears and with only an hour to go before their Mum got married! (They had actually waited for the postman to deliver on the morning of the wedding). Girls found matching dresses in store and literally walked out of the shop dressed and into the Rolls-Royce.


    So, our advice is to be very careful with Internet purchases. Have low expectations and be prepared to lose your money. Buy well in advance of the wear date, with enough time and money in your budget to be able to walk straight in to see us and buy off-the-peg or place an order.