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FAQs

Finding your dream dress

How long are bridal appointments?

Appointments are 75 minutes. The boutique is closed to other customers for you, so you get our full attention and can feel completely comfortable.

Am I allowed to bring guests with me?

Yes of course, we have no limit to the number of guests you can bring along to your bridal appointment. However there are only two chairs in the boutique for guests, so any additional guests will have to stand.

What underwear should I bring?


It is not necessary to go out and purchase new underwear especially for your appointment. However if you have the following, then nude or light coloured items are best, and a strapless bra is helpful.

Do I need to bring my wedding shoes with me?

This is not necessary, but if you have them, or know what size heel you are going to wear, then feel free to bring along if you wish. We have a small selection of shoes that can be tried on with dresses to give an idea of heel heights.

How will I get in and out of the dresses?

Your bridal consultant will ask you to un-change down to your underwear and then help you in and out of the dresses.

Will you help me select dresses to try on?

Yes, we give our honest opinion and encourage you to try on styles we feel would suit you. Often brides leave with a dress they would never have thought of even trying on!

What else do I need to know before my appointment?

To help care for our dresses we ask- no, or minimal make-up, and no fake tan or body creams.

How many dresses can I try on?

As many as you wish within the time frame.

Can I come in and try on a dress and then order it a few months later, when I am ready to buy?

No, we work differently to normal bridal shops. All dress are sold off the rail- once a dress is sold, it is gone. We cannot order more of the same dress- which is why it’s important that you are in a position to buy when you visit us. If the dress is still with us months later, then of course you can buy it, but we can’t guarantee it will still be with us.

How do alterations work?

If you find your dream dress with us and need alterations work- which is normally the case, we give you a list of our recommended and trusted wedding dress seamstress’s local to Chilham Bridal.

You then contact your preferred seamstress the week following your dress purchase and she will book you in for your fittings, which will be carried out privately in their home studios, and generally start a few months before your wedding.

Is there anywhere nearby to go to after my appointment for a refreshment and to think about the dresses I have tried on before committing?

Yes, within the barn there is a Tea Room where you can grab a hot drink and slice of cake, or a light bite before or after your bridal appointment. The Tea Rooms are open Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 4pm.

How do I pay for the dress?

There are two payment options available at Chilham Bridal:

  • You fall in love with your dress, pay in full and take the dress home with you the very same day.
  • If you need a bit of time to get funds in place or to sleep on it before committing to a dress, you can pay a £100 non-refundable deposit. This will secure the dress for one week- no one else will be able to view or try on the dress during this time. You have until the end of the week to come back and pay the balance and take the dress home. If you decide the dress is not for you then you lose your £100 deposit. The £100 is not transferable to another dress.
How do I store my dress until the big day?

Your dress will be packaged in a breathable, cotton dress bag with a zip, and will be completely safe stored in the bag until your big day. Store away from light and hang or lay flat somewhere safe.

Can I get my dress dry cleaned through you after my wedding?

We do not offer a dry cleaning service, but we do recommend Master Johns Dry Cleaners in Canterbury. They offer Chilham Brides a 20% discount. http://masterjohn.co.uk/.

Is there parking nearby?

Yes, there is ample free onsite parking at Chilham Bridal.

Are there toilets available?

Yes, toilet facilities are available.

Selling your dress

How long do dresses take to sell?

It is impossible to predict how long a dress will take to sell. We have had dresses come in and sell on the very same day, others take days, weeks, months, and others don’t sell. It totally depends on who walks through the door- what style of dress they are looking for, and what size and height they are.

How long will you keep my dress?

The contract period is 6 months from the date the dress arrives at Chiham Bridal.

What happens if my dress doesn’t sell at the end of the six months?

We will contact you. If interest in your dress has dwindled we will ask you to come and collect your dress. If your dress is still getting tried on and is still popular, we will offer to keep the dress on for another few months, to give more chance of selling.

Do you take on accessories?

We take veils and belts. Not shoes or jewellery.

Do you take on bridesmaid dresses?

No we do not offer our service on bridesmaid dresses, only wedding dresses.

I wore a hoop with my dress, will you take that on?

If you are happy to give the hoop free with your dress, then yes.

Do you keep the box/bag that my dress is in?

We do not have the storage space for dress boxes or dress bags, so if you arrive to the boutique with your dress in either, we will ask you to take it back with you. We can dispose of dress bags if you wish. Unsold dresses will be returned in a dress bag but this will not necessarily be the one you bought the dress in with.

What are your commission rates?

Our commission rate is 40% for wedding dresses, and 30% for accessories.

Will you take care of my dress?

Dresses are fully cared for and insured whilst with Chilham Bridal.

What if my dress is marked or damaged when with you?

Please be assured that your dress will be looked after carefully and is fully insured whilst in our care. Chilham Bridal will handle all items with upmost care, and to date we have never had an issue with dresses being damaged or marked through being trying on.

If my dress does not sell and I need to collect it, are there any charges?

If your dress does not sell during its time with us, we charge a £30 fee- to help cover admin/marketing costs for the time your dress has been on the Chilham Bridal rails. Please note this admin fee is not paid if your dress does sell. 

I need to get my wedding dress dry cleaned before going ahead, do you do this?

No, we do not offer a dry cleaning service, but we do recommend Master Johns Dry Cleaners in Canterbury. They offer our customers a 20% discount. http://masterjohn.co.uk/.

I do not live local, can I still sell my dress through you?

Yes, we can arrange for a fully insured courier to collect the dress from you. The cost for this is £35 which is pre-payable.