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Wedding Dress Shopping FAQ

Ella Park Bridal offers a special incentive to brides who say “Yes to the Dress” during their first bridal appointment. We understand this is a big decision and is NOT meant to pressure you. If you are ready to commit, it is a little bonus for being decisive.

Purchase your wedding dress during your first visit appointment and earn a $100 Accessory Credit and a FREE white breathable bridal bag.

*TERMS & EXCLUSIONS: Must make an appointment at least 24 hours before your scheduled time. Credit expires on your wedding date. Wedding dress purchase must exceed $1000. Any discounted wedding dress is not eligible. Credit cannot be combined with other offers/promotions.

Budget – Know what you want to spend on your dress prior to going shopping. Why? You do not want to purchase something that you cannot afford or will not leave enough room in your budget for something else. Also, if someone is buying your gown for you, you should discuss this in private as it is sometimes a sensitive topic.

Ceremony/Reception – Having an idea of a date, location, theme, and formality will help the dress selection process. For instance… if you have a formal, indoor wedding in the winter versus an informal, outdoor wedding at a destination.

Magazine Tears & Pinterest – For your appointment, you are welcome to bring in magazine tears or pin any looks from our Pinterest page that you want to try on! Is there a must-have on your list? For instance, do you want sleeves, straps, and/or lace? Most people do not know their must-haves until they begin shopping, but if you do, letting your consultant know will help in the selection process.

If you find the right dress, we suggest buying it… even if it is a year in advance. Purchasing your bridal gown is not only a great accomplishment, but it allows you to focus on the rest of the wedding planning. Because of the time it takes to make a gown, we recommend coming in eight to twelve months prior to the wedding to create a stress-free buying experience. Need it here quicker? Ask your consultant about available rush and/or in-stock options.

Special Order Bridal Gown

Ella Park Bridal primarily sells special order bridal gowns. A special order bridal gown is one that is made just for the bride. The bride will choose the size and color of her dress from the designer’s available options. Some of our designers also offer adjustments to the length and back closure (i.e. zipper and lace-up) to create a more customized look.

Once you have been notified that your wedding dress has arrived, you will need to…

  • Call and make a “Try-On Appointment” within 10 days of being notified at (812) 853-1800. Appointment is typically 60 minutes with your Bridal Consultant (if available).

During your appointment, you will…

  • Inspect and approve the condition of your wedding dress for proper size, color, fabric, and length.
    • If you paid for a custom hem, please bring in your shoes to ensure the wedding dress is the proper length.
  • Pay for balance owed on wedding dress (if applicable) within 14 days of being notified.
  • Complete your look by purchasing accessories (i.e. veil, belt, jewelry, shoes, etc) while your gown is on. Plus! Take advantage of your bridal savings on your purchase. Please take into account special order accessories typically take 4 to 8 weeks to come in.
  • This is not an Alterations appointment. If someone from our Alteration Team is available during your appointment, you may get a quote for your alterations. The quote is an estimate and is subject to change between now and your First Fitting.

Why is this appointment important? The Try-On Appointment is for your benefit – to make sure you are satisfied with your wedding dress. We do not want to wait until you start alterations, or three months prior to wedding, for you to try on your gown for the first time. We know the importance of your wedding day, and while we do not anticipate any issues, we want to be proactive if there should be any.

Timing Is Important | We require starting your alteration process 3 to 4 months prior to the wedding. If you alter your gown too early and your measurements change after your fitting, it could affect the fit of your dress, resulting in an additional fitting fee. If you do not allow enough time for your alterations, you run the risk of not having enough time to make all the desired changes and/or paying rush fees. Note the amount of time you need depends on the amount of work required.

Appointment Required | Alterations are available Monday through Friday by appointment only. You will call our Alterations Department at (812) 853-8595 to schedule your appointment.

  • First Fitting
    • In order to reserve your spot in our alterations schedule, you must call (812) 853-8595 and setup your first fitting 3 months prior to your wedding.
    • Appointments are limited and cannot be guaranteed.
    • 60 minute appointment to pin your bridal gown for proper fit.
    • After your appointment, you will make your Final Fitting appointment and pay for your alterations.
    • Please note any measurement changes after this appointment will cause an additional fitting fee.
  • Final Fitting
    • Typically made one month after your First Fitting; will be scheduled during your First Fitting.
    • 30-60 minute appointment to ensure proper fit and how to put you in your gown and bustle the train.
    • We recommend having your makeup and hair trial run prior to this appointment.
    • You will take your wedding dress home after this appointment. We have white, breathable bridal bags available for $10.

Bring in your wedding dress to the store to have it preserved with The Wedding Gown Preservation Co. Click here to learn more about this service.

At Ella Park Bridal, our bridal gowns range from $1000 to $2500. During the appointment process, your bridal consultant will ask for your gown budget so we can be respectful of it.  The worst thing you can do is fall in love with a gown you cannot afford.  You will also notice that we do not hide our prices as they are boldly displayed on each dress price tag.

Ella Park Bridal accepts cash, *check, and all major credit cards (VISA, Discover, MasterCard, American Express).

*Payment by Check:  Please note we will delay ordering merchandise until we are notified by the bank when the check has cleared.  This may take up to 10 business days.  Checks can NOT be used as final payments.  Returned check fee is $25.00.

Yes, Ella Park Bridal offers interest-free layaway or payment plans on bridal gowns and accessories.  A customer has three options when purchasing special order merchandise — pay in full, a 60% deposit, or making a payment plan with a minimum of 25% down.  Please note all merchandise has to be paid in full before being taken out of the store and/or starting alterations.  Ask your bridal consultant if you have any questions/concerns.

60% deposit:

  • Payment 1: 60% of total order at initial appointment > Merchandise will be ordered.
  • Payment 2: 40% of total order within 10 days after merchandise arrives

Payment Plan:

We require a minimum of 25% deposit at your initial appointment.  The next three payments of 25% will be made one month apart for the next 3 months.  Once 50% of the order has been paid, we will order the gown and/or accessories from the designer.  Please note the merchandise will come in a month later than the current estimated delivery date.  Payment plans can not be used on in-stock purchases unless 50% of total order is met.  See example below.  Please note a credit card must be put on file for all payment plans.


  • Payment 1: 25% of total order at initial appointment
  • Payment 2: 25% of total order one month later; Merchandise will be ordered.
  • Payment 3: 25% of total order is due 2 months after the original order was created
  • Payment 4: Remaining balance is due 3 months after the original order was created

Professional opinion?  No.  Ella Park Bridal recommends ordering your current size. Any dress can be taken down at least two sizes without affecting the look of the dress.  And, not all dresses can be let out because of the dress construction. Be realistic in case you do not meet your goals. Our experience shows that while you could lose weight, it might be in the wrong places. Really determined to lose weight? Ask your consultant if you have time to purchase at a later time so that you can get measured closer to your goal.

Your deadline for any weight loss goals needs to be finished by your first alterations appointment, or three months prior to the wedding. Please note any differences in measurements after this appointment will result in an additional pinning fee.

A trunk show is a special in-store event for a particular designer for a limited time.  The designer sends us an exclusive collection of gowns not typically found in our store.  If you find the wedding dress of your dreams, be prepared to make a decision that day as the gown will not be in the store afterwards.

At Ella Park Bridal, we also will give you a special incentive for making your decision during the trunk show.  Follow us on social media and our website to be notified of upcoming store events like this.