Do I need an appointment to visit Chameleon?
Brides: We are always happy to help and you are welcome to visit our store without an appointment. However, we do recommend that you arrange an appointment if you would like a one-on-one consultation with our experienced staff and to ensure a fitting room is available should you wish to try on any of our bridal gowns. You are welcome to contact us in various ways to arrange an appointment; by telephone, facebook or e-mail.
Mums: If you want to try our mother of the bride outfits, no appointment is necessary. We do have 2 fitting rooms available for use and we operate a first come, first served basis. We can get busy – particularly on Saturday afternoons, so if you would prefer not to wait too long, we recommend coming to see us in the week or early morning.
Do you stock bridal dresses in all sizes?
We usually only carry 1 size of a specific gown for our brides to try on. We do stock samples in sizes UK10-UK22 in store. However if the dress is a little too big or small, we have lots of tricks up our sleeve to make it appear to fit you so you can get a good idea of what it would look like in your correct size.
Once you have chosen your specific gown, we will take your measurements and order you a brand new dress in your size.
When should I start shopping for my dress?
The short answer is 10-12 months before your wedding is ideal!
The long answer is more complex – so brace yourself! Ever been shopping with no money or at the wrong time and then when you have to find something, you can’t? Although not exactly the same, it’s a similar concept. Unless you are ready and prepared to find your dress, then actually trying on dresses before this can be a confusing and sometimes futile exercise.
Don’t shop too early: you’ll risk falling in love with a gown which could then be discontinued by the Designer before you’re ready to buy. In addition, we recommend booking your wedding venue first and then move on to the dress. What is suitable to wear in a Country Manor is different to what you would wear in a tipi. So decide your venue first and then come and see us.
Don’t shop too late – and we may not be able to get your dress in time. Did you know that some dresses can take up to 5 months to make? These dresses are not kept in vast quantities in warehouses. They are made to order for brides. You need to allow time for this.
When considering timescales, you will also need to factor in 2 months for your alterations to ensure that your gown fits you absilutely perfectly and the hem is exact to your heel height.
On this basis, then you need to be ordering your dress at least 8 months before your wedding to allow a stress free time. On this basis – starting your dress hunt 10-12 months before the wedding is best, 8 months is good, 6-7 months is cutting it really fine and will place you under a lot of pressure for alterations, 4-5 months will really reduce your options and/or may incur additional rush fees, and 2-3 months before is likely to limit your options to sample gowns only.
Don’t let yourself be under this stress and shop in good time.
What should I expect from my appointment?
Our appointments are approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. We are committed to giving each bride a professional and personal consultation in which your bridal consultant will help you decide what to try on and provide you with relevant and honest advice. There is no obligation to buy a wedding dress after an appointment, however if there are timing issues with your gown or limited stock our non-commission based consultants should advise you of this.
Who should I bring to my appointment?
It is always helpful to bring someone you trust to your appointment and whose opinion you value. We ask you only bring 2-3 people ideally as this makes for a more relaxed experience. In our experience bringing a large crowd although tempting can be overwhelming for the bride to be as there are often too many conflicting opinions! We also advise that bringing children with you can be stressful and distracting.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
We advise you wear neutral and supportive underwear to your appointment and some brides find it helpful to bring a strapless bra. Most of all we ask that you bring an open mind! Many brides have an idea of the type of dress they would like, however you should trust your Consultant. They will be able to tell you what style will suit you and identify those dresses which look inconspicuous on the hanger but fabulous on you! If you choose to use our fitting service once your gown has arrived, you will need to bring the shoes and underwear you will be wearing on your big day, this is very important as it makes a big difference to how your dress fits.
Can I take Photographs?
Yes of course! We offer Wifi access and have specific hashtags for you to use. In the world of social media, we understand that you and your tribe may want to document your experience with us. We understand that buying your dress is a big decision and you may wish to reflect on the dresses you have tried.
However a word of warning: the more photos you take, the less time you have for trying on gowns! We would therefore recommend only taking photos of the favorites. Also, some brides do find taking photos ruins the memory of the feeling, as they begin to scrutinise themselves rather than remember how they felt. A quick snap on a phone does not always do any of the dresses justice as you miss the intricate detail of the dress (such as beading/delicate lace) which makes the dress so special. One photo at a bad angle can really put negativity on a dress you loved in the flesh! So exercise caution!
Do you have parking at the shop?
We have two customer spaces around the back of our premises. If these are full, there is on-street parking available in the side road opposite.
Can you make changes to your dresses?
You’ve come to the right place! We specialise in bespoke changes, little matching straps, embellishments and belts. We will always advise you and help you with all the options available. We also have two extremely talented seamstresses, along with pattern cutters and design experience, if it’s possible we can do it!
Do you store the dress for me before the wedding?
Yes. We offer an in house storage option. There is a one off fee for taking advantage of this facility of £30 the dress will also remain insured under our policy.
I have fallen in love with a dress from a Designer you stock, but you do not have this particular dress in stock. Can you order it in for me to try?
We get the exciting privilege of visiting our Designers and choosing which dresses to stock from their newest collections. This means that we do not carry every single dress in their collection, but a good selection. All the dresses we stock can be seen on our website. We hold trunk shows where we are able to order in specific gowns that you wish to try on.
At all other times, we can order in any gowns from Maggie Sottero, Madi Lane, Enzoani Blue and Essense of Australia at a cost of between £20-£50 per dress depending on the designer. This cost is the cost charged to us by the Designer for carriage and insurance so we will ask you to pay this. However if you do order from us, we will take that fee of the cost of your dress.
If you have fallen in love with a dress from a shop that is some distance from your home (perhaps you were visiting a friend) and we stock the designer, we are able to order this for you if you would prefer to stay more local.