FAQ

When should I start looking for a dress?

We want your wedding dress shopping experience to be fun, easy and memorable for all the right reasons so we suggest you start dress shopping once you’re ready to make a purchase.  It’s important to have some of your wedding details in place such as your venue and the date for the big day.  Dresses can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to arrive.  We can sometimes place a priority order if you need it sooner, but the designers will charge extra for rush orders.  Finally, most brides will also need to allow at least 4 weeks for any alterations to be done.

Who should I bring to my appointment?

We believe less is more.  Having lots of different opinions could make it much harder to come to a decision.  Many brides bring their mum and maybe their sister or best friend.  Above all, we recommend you bring someone you trust and whose opinion matters the most to you.

How long will my appointment take?

Each Black Swan appointment lasts 90 minutes.

What should I bring to my appointment?

Pictures! We’d love to see your Pinterest account or an iPad brimming with dresses you like. Nude undies work best.  And when it comes to your bra, strapless is best.  It’s a great idea to bring heels about the same height as the ones you’re going to wear on your wedding day, so you can see where the hem will be.

What sizes are available?

Our sample dresses are all size 12s.  If this is the first time you’ve tried on a dress, it’s important to know that buying and sizing for a wedding dress isn’t like any clothes shopping.  Wedding dresses tend to be on the small size and can be quite structured so we really focus on fit to make sure they look amazing so sizing is crucial.  It’s our rule of thumb to order on the larger size as it is easier to take in then let out – but don’t let this dishearten you!

I’ve seen a dress on your website, can I check you stock my size?

We don’t have dresses in every size.  When you book an appointment, we will make sure we tell you all about the sizes we stock.

Do you offer alterations?

We don’t offer alterations at the Studio, but we have an incredibly talented seamstress http://carmelina-seamstress.co.uk/ who we love working with.

‘Carmelina has an eye for style and detail which spans over 20 years in the fashion industry including retail; working in several designer boutiques, designing and dressmaking bespoke ladies evening and bridal wear.  After leaving college with a BTEC National Diploma in Fashion, she worked for a fashion house in Rome.  She then joined her mother’s business, together becoming “Caterina & Carmelina Couture Dressmakers”, an established business with a vast and loyal client list.  Caterina’s experience in made to measure dressmaking spans over 50 years in Oxford.  Over the years Carmelina has retained the loyal client base and her work continues to be highly sought after.  Her work has also featured in Vogue Brides magazine’.

I’ve found a dress by a designer you stock, but you don’t stock it – can you order it for me to try on?

We will happily speak to our designers for you and see if we can help.

Can I take photos when I try the dresses on?

The general rule regarding photography at your appointment is; unless you have a photographer and make up artist on hand, it’s best to avoid. We don’t mind you taking a snap of the dress on the hanger as a reminder or to show your nearest and dearest we just don’t want any amateur piccies altering your judgment on how the dress will ultimately look. You’ll have thousands of amazing photographs once you’re wearing it down the aisle but for the time being it’s about how the dress makes you feel and then, getting it professionally fitted ready for the big day ❤

How do I book an appointment?

We are appointment only. Please call or email or fill in the link on this page and we’ll book you straight in.

How can I pay?

We accept every type of Credit and Debit card.  To place an order, we ask for a 50% deposit.

How long will my dress take to arrive?

Each designer has different lead times.  Dresses can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to arrive.  We can sometimes place a priority order if you need it sooner, but the designers charge extra for rush orders.  Finally, most brides also need to allow at least 4 weeks for any alterations to be done.  We can discuss the options at your appointment.

Do you offer bridesmaids dresses / Mother of the Bride / Flower Girls / Grooms Outfits?

We’re all about the brides!  The Black Swan Studio is a bridal studio, specialising in premium, hard to find wedding dresses and hand picked accessories. We don’t stock bridesmaids dresses, Mother of the Bride outfits or anything for the men in our lives.

Do you rent dresses?

No, we don’t offer rental arrangements.

What’s your price range?

Our dresses start from £2350.

Do you sell off the rack?

Not as a rule, but we will always do our best to help in any way we can.

I love your dress, but I’m not ready to say YES, please can you hold it for me?

Yes, with a non refundable deposit that will be taken off the price of the dress.

Can I bring my baby/toddler?

We have nothing against children but If you can avoid it at all, please don’t bring them with you.  We don’t have anything to keep them occupied.  Children get bored quickly.

Can you recommend other suppliers?

Oh yes, we have a little black book full of hidden gems that we’re more than happy to share with our brides.

How much do you charge for appointments?

We’re an appointment-only bridal studio so we only take in a very limited number of appointments each day.  Last minute cancellations and no-shows have an impact on our business and mean we sometimes have to delay appointments for other brides.  We’ve made the decision to charge a £35 consultation fee, as of 1 January 2018. We want you to have the dress of your dreams for your big day, so of course this fee will be taken off the cost of any purchase made at Black Swan Bridal Studio. We really hope you understand.

Will the dress I order be made to my exact measurements?

No, dresses are made to standard UK sizes and alterations may be required once it arrives to fit your body perfectly. This will need to be organised directly with your chosen seamstress once you’ve collected your dress.  Weight fluctuations from ordering to receiving of the dress may result in larger alterations costs.

Do you do the alterations in the shop?

No, once the dress has been ordered and delivered we will arrange for you to collect the dress. From that moment onwards any additional alterations and transactions regarding those alterations will need to be organised with your chosen seamstress. But if you don’t have a seamstress known to you, we will recommend a highly qualified one.

Once I've paid for my wedding dress in full with you, can you store the dress for me?

I’m insured to store purchased wedding dresses free of charge for brides for one month (30 days).  There will be a one off £20 charge to cover the insurance for time periods over 30 days  – If a bride prefers she can collect the dress within the 31 days and store it personally. 

Do i need an appointment?

Yes, we are an appointment only Studio and are recommended for brides who are ready to purchase their dress.

Is the studio doggy-friendly?

We LOVE dogs in a major way, but white sofas and bridal gowns are not a match made in doggie heaven.  Please don’t bring any dogs or pets in general to your appointment – but we’re always keen to see photos of your fur-babies!

What is the process of purchasing a dress?

Your initial appointment will include a tailored, 90 minute dress up session with our stylists, where you will try on our sample dresses. If a made-to-order dress purchase is made, we’ll take your measurements / order the closest dress size to be made.  Once the gown arrives, you’ll come back in for a follow up appointment to pick up your gorgeous dress and do final inspections.