Q & A with BIG ROCK LITTLE ROOSTER
Congratulations! You are engaged and about to start on a very exciting adventure of planning the most romantic and wonderful day of your life! You will have lots of questions and ideas as you begin your research for the right steps to take to make the day smooth and memorable. Big Rock Little Rooster wanted to share the answers and solutions to some of the questions we hear daily…
Photography courtesy of Jacquelyn Poussot
Q: When should I order my wedding gown?
A: Nine to Twelve months prior to your wedding date.
When you come into Big Rock Little Rooster, you will most likely not walk out the same day with a dress in your hand. While we do offer sample gowns for sale ‘off the rack’, we typically help a bride select her dream gown, then partner with the designer of that gown to make her a brand new one, special just for her. This production process takes typically 18-20 weeks. This time line is set by the designers. The gowns are made by a small production teams under the supervision of the designer or her production manager. Keep in mind that this small team also producing the orders from other boutiques that carry the same designer gowns from around the world. In some cases, our gowns are made by only two or three seamstresses that have been trained by the designer themselves! Yards of silks, Chantilly lace and other luxury fabrics are not cut until your pattern size is set and prepped on a bust form…then each piece is carefully draped, pinned and sewn… this process takes meticulous care and slow and precise methods. Once your gown arrives to Big Rock Little Rooster, you may find you still need some fine tuning at a local level. These gowns are produced on a bust form whose curves and shape are not exactly yours… Don’t be surprised if enhancing the fit requires bringing it in at the waist and shortening the hem. Minor alterations should be expected and planned for. Most experienced and reputable alterations specialists prefer to have 6 to 8 weeks for alterations. This by no means implies that your gown needs weeks of labor to correct it, but rather, your seamstress will also be tailoring gowns of many other brides and clients, and maps out her own schedule to accommodate the timing needs of many customers.
Q: I saw my dream dress in a picture; can you get it for me!?
A: Yes, so long as it is by a designer we carry!
Big Rock Little Rooster is proud to be a small intimate boutique. Our square footage does not allow us rooms for hundreds of gowns. We stock the most recent and most requested gowns and styles by our designers. But our variety does not end there. Our designers offer several solutions to brides who can not make it to New York City to see every gown still available. Waiting to see a broader assortment at a Trunk Show can be a simple solution to wanting to test more options by a designer you find inspiring. Many times our designers can accommodate specific requests for certain gowns to come to the trunk show. The second solution is to borrow the sample gown from the designer. Most of our designers have a sample loan program. Some designers charge a shipping and stocking fee, and others will send a sample if it is available right away with no charge. Your Big Rock Little Rooster stylist will be able to help you plan for the most efficient and easiest solution for your peace of mind when considering gowns by our designers not in our regular inventory.
Q: My wedding is in less than 6 months, can you help me!?
Big Rock Little Rooster has several solutions for brides that need a gown in a shorter time frame then the normal production and delivery schedule as set by our designers. We do offer samples for sale off the rack. Typically these gowns are a bridal sample size 10. Bluntly this means that if you are a 8 or 10, the gown will be a near perfect fit, if you are a 4 or 6 there will be minor alterations needed, and the option could be a perfect solution…if you are a 0 or 2 the sample gown is still an option, but you should be prepared for the expense of an alterations specialist to reshape the gown proportionately to your size. It can be done, but it isn’t a fast or cheap process. Another option remains considering a “RUSH” delivery from our designers. Depending on the time of year, our designers do offer rush solutions for last minute needs. Beginning with a minimal additional cost, gowns can be completed in less than 14 weeks and as the production time shortens the rush fee increases, but it is all do-able for the gown of your dreams. Don’t rule out ordering a gown made just for you!
Q: What is a trunk show?
A: A Trunk Show is when the designer sends multiple collections to a shop so that the brides in that town do not have to travel out of state to see additional variety…as yes…sometimes the gowns arrive in trunks.
A Trunk Show sounds so much bigger than it really is. Big Rock Little Rooster still functions by appointment, servicing one or two brides at a time. The word ‘show’ can be misleading. There usually is no additional fluff and fuss…It’s very simple: More gowns and discounts or purchase perks and sometimes a chance to meet the designer. A Trunk Show is a great time to see all the variety that a designer offers. If you have a comfortable time frame to your wedding date, a trunk show can be worth the wait!
Q: Why do you require an appointment, can’t I just come in and look around?
A: We want to give each of our brides our undivided attention in an intimate personal session that is completely focused on her and her guests.
Finding the perfect wedding gown is a very special and important decision. Big Rock Little Rooster respects that a designer gown purchase is a financial investment, and that many brides have questions or needs that deserve immediate research and attention to help ensure the most efficient solution to their personal needs. Remaining focused on one bride at a time allows us to best service her so she is not left waiting for answer options. Also, being a smaller intimate boutique, we often seat the bride’s guests on our sales floor amidst the other gowns while the bride is changing in the fitting room. Many times brides bring guests that they do not get to see very often, so the appointment is not only a dress shopping experience but a reunion of sorts with dear family and friends. If we are not in the midst of servicing a bride with a set appointment, we are very happy to accommodate walk in traffic!! You may often find that our doors are still closed to allow us to service brides who call in on the phone as well. It never hurts to knock and ask if you can look around, or give us a call that morning and see when we have a free few minutes. We completely understand that a bride or helpful family and friends want to peer over the assortment before deciding to set an appointment to ‘try on’. Big Rock Little Rooster welcomes such traffic! Designer gowns can sound exciting and intimidating at the same time. We regularly take appointments of brides who just want to look and talk to us about questions they have. No pressure is ever put on a guest to buy simply because they have set an appointment with us. Please understand that every bride and her few or many questions are equally important to us, and we ask that you allow us to give you the same undivided attention and quality service as we would the next bride.
Q: What do I need to bring for my dress shopping appointment?
A: Your wedding vision… (your vision is usually shaped by a wedding date or season, venue location and personal style inspiration)
Big Rock Little Rooster gowns are created and produced with enhancing fit structure and skirt shaping slips sewn right in. When you try on a designer gown from Big Rock Little Rooster you enjoy the ease of simply stepping into a gown, zipping it up and being ready to go. Our gowns fit best when a bride does not layer with a corset. You will have a style specialist help you change in and out of the gowns you are considering, for that reason you may be most comfortable wearing neutral full coverage underwear and a strapless bra. We do have heels you can step into so you aren’t barefoot, however, if you have a shoe that is inspiring your wedding accessory pallet, by all means, bring those!! You never know, we may have a flower sash or cowboy hat to match!! Your Big Rock Little Rooster stylist will ask you various questions to better understand your wedding vision. While we believe that if a bride really wants to wear the biggest princess satin ball gown for her August beach wedding…she should…but we also realistically understand that satin and August are not the most comfortable combination. We will try to partner your personal style, wedding location and venue to gown shapes, fabrics and accessory options that will tie everything together and leave you feeling like the most comfortable, beautiful version of ‘you’.
Q: Who should I bring with me to my appointment?
A: Who knows you best and will provide insight not based on his or her own personal preference but for what you need to feel your personal best?
For each bride, this answer is extremely different. Some brides come alone, select a dress and surprise EVERYONE on their wedding day, even mom and sister. Other brides look forward to a day of planning with mom and grandma and even make special dinner reservations to wrap up a meaningful and magical day. Some brides have co-workers or friends who know them better them best and provide sound advice. And still other bring the fiancé…(yes the man they are marrying) to provide input on this most important purchase. There is no ‘right’ combination of who to bring. No matter who it is, the guests that you ask to join you should be ready to support you, think of your best interest and be happy for you. Typically groups of three or less are easiest for a bride to contemplate feedback and input from.
Q: Why does everyone ask about a budget?
A: There are so many options and choices available in every aspect of your wedding planning, knowing a ball park price range you are comfortable with helps businesses make recommendations that give you beautiful selections to choose from that respect your financial parameters.
At Big Rock Little Rooster we do not group our gowns by price point. You will find gowns hanging side by side each other that could have a $3000 difference between the two. Our designers set the price of their gowns, and each dress is priced based on luxury fabric costs, skilled labor needs and hand finished details that make our gowns wear-able works of art. Our prices are clearly marked on our tickets, but we also want to save you the frustration of selecting a gown that you have advised us is outside of your budget comfort zone. We are happy to let our brides try on any and every gown in our shop, but we respectfully like to remind you when the gown you are eyeing breeches your personal set limit.
Q: I have always had fit challenges on formal gowns, which designer is best for me?
A: There is a world of difference between a wedding gown with fit support built into a very structured bodice, and a cocktail gown sold off the rack at a department store.
Petite? Very Chesty? Tall with an exceptionally long torso? The joys of working with a gown that isn’t produced until you order means simply that fit adjustments can be made as the gown is being cut and draped, rather than desperately trying to “alter” something after it has been created. Big Rock Little Rooster works directly with the production manager and sometimes the designers themselves to figure out the best fit adjustments for your personal fit challenges. Many of our gowns have immediate solutions such as opening the bodice to support a d-cup size bust, or raising the neckline a half inch to better cover the cleavage zone. Other gowns can have the waist line or hip line raised or lowered based on your torso length and height challenges. If you feel you have concerns with fit options, call and talk to us first, we are happy to think thru solutions to be better prepared when we meet you face to face!
Q: I have ordered my gown, but now some drastic style changes have been made to my wedding, what should I do?
A: Call us!
Many brides don’t realize, but the accessories and styling details is what makes a gown translate into your personal style and vision. You may be pleasantly surprised at the ease of transforming the gown you fell in love with into a different image projections. The style shift could really be as simple as selecting different jewelry and headpiece options and revisiting your hair and makeup agenda. We can’t help you solve a concern or dilemma if we don’t know about it, so give us a call so we can work together to reshape your wedding day styling and once again make it perfect for you!