#How to choose the perfect wedding dress

How to Open a Bridal Dress Shop: all you need to know in 2024

Did you know that the total number of marriages in the U.S. is 2,065,905? (based on the  National Marriage and Divorce Rate). The further calculations show that it’s approximately 6.2 marriages per 1,000 total population. Thus more than 2 million brides were looking for the wedding dresses of their dreams. 80% of them bought dresses in bridal dress shops. What does this mean for every potential entrepreneur? It's a sign that the bridal shop business is on the rise!

Together with our main wedding dress designer, Maryna Vasylieva, we have gathered the most important recommendations and requirements that will come in handy for everyone who is thinking of starting their own bridal dress shop. Maryna started her career as a wedding dress seller and then grew to become a prominent wedding dress designer, working in large wedding dress corporations. Therefore, she knows the drill and can't wait to share her experience in the wedding dress business with you. So, read on in our article to dive into the details!

1. Opening a Wedding Dress Shop: Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Wow, you've decided to open your own bridal dress shop, that’s amazing! We’re more than happy to welcome you in the exciting wedding dress business! What can be better than to make women happy by choosing for them a perfect wedding dress? Always keep in mind this noble goal and let’s dive deep into not so romantic and more pragmatic nuances. 

First of all, you need to make sure that your business will be launched and grow in accordance with legal requirements. The specifics of making business in the USA is that you need to cover a triple legal responsibility. You need to manage all the business processes in accordance with local, state, and federal laws. 

So what should you do first? Think of a legal form of your business. It can be a sole owning, a partnership, or a corporation. Then you can move on with registering your business name (it should be unique and available for registration). Take care of all the required retail or wholesale licenses. 

The next important  thing  you should pay special attention to are taxes. Tax permission from the Department of Revenue (or equivalent state body) is a must. By the way, if you have chosen a partnership or LLC format, you should get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

The other important legislative questions also include intellectual property, consumer protection laws, employment laws, data protection and privacy and so on. We strongly recommend consulting on all these aspects with highly-qualified layers. 

One of the most popular questions among entrepreneurs that are going to launch their bridal dress shop is how much it will cost to cover all the registration processes. Well, it’s almost impossible to provide precise numbers as it depends on different factors (for example, legal form of your business or location that required additional permissions). In general, the total registration cost of a wedding dress store can vary from 200$ up to 2000$. Let’s take a look at approximate cost in details (keep in mind that all the provided numbers can differ significantly depending on your region):

Process Cost
Legal Form Registration
Sole Proprietorship free or up to 100$
Partnership 100$ - 500$
LLC 100$ - 800$
Registration of Business Name
Name Availability Checking Process free or up to 50$
Registration Fee 50$ - 200$
Licences
for each license depending on its specifics 50$ - 500$
Employer Identification Number free
Registration with Federal Agencies 50$ - 400$

Usually the registration process takes from several days to several weeks depending on the complexity of your business structure and other specific nuances. Hope these calculations will help you plan your time and budget wisely and all the paperwork will go smoothly without chaos and nerves.

2. Choosing the Perfect Location for Your Bridal Boutique

Congrats on moving on to the next important stage of your wedding dress business — picking an amazing location for your shop! Friendly recommendation: don’t spare money on professional services of reliable real estate agents. They will definitely be the best place for your business preserving the most optimal cost-quality ratio exactly for you. However, if you want to do this on your own or simply want to understand all the pitfalls of the process better, here are some tips based on our experience:

  • Analyze your target audience: where the potential buyers of your bridal salon live, work, or spend their free time most often? It will be perfect if they can get to your bridal dress shop conveniently and without spending extra time on the road.
  • Competitors research: analyze the market, are there any other bridal dress shops nearby? Think of the special benefits that you can provide for your customers to outpace competitors.
  • Visibility and accessibility: location with high foot traffic and parking is a must if you want to ensure great brand awareness and high level of customer loyalty. 
  • Attractiveness: if you’re going to promote your wedding dress shop on Instagram or other social networks, try to find a building with a fashionable facade and beautiful landscape, take care of places that can serve for your business as a recognizable photozone.
  • Plan each square meter carefully: keep in mind that bridal dress shops are specific. You need dress displays, fitting rooms, lounge space and a place for office work. Your planning should be ergonomic, so that you arrange dresses in groups but avoid accumulating too many models in one place to help your customers focus on particular models with ease. 

Speaking of location cost for your bridal boutique, it depends on what you’re going to do: purchase a real estate or rent it.  Let’s compare rental and purchase expenditures in large USA cities like New York or Los Angeles (100-150 square meter premises in central locations):

Rental Costs starting from 5000$ monthly
Purchase Costs $500 000 - $1 500 000

Of course, if it’s your first business and you don’t have a huge budget (yet!) start with a renting option. However, buying your own premises is much more beneficial for you in the long-term.

3. Finding Suppliers for Your Wedding Dress Shop

Do you want to sell not only the most beautiful but also high-quality wedding dresses? Do you want to exceed expectations of the brides-to-be? Do you want to cover a wide target audience, ensuring that almost all brides can find in your shop the wedding dresses of their dreams regardless of the budget they have? Well, one of the important things that will help you achieve the desirable goals is finding a reliable wedding dress supplier. Working with top-notch suppliers will help you get a competitive advantage, ensure a diverse range of wedding dresses of different styles and fabrics, and bring customer satisfaction and loyalty to the new level.  As a result, working with great suppliers drives sustainable growth in your business, strengthens brand reputation and provides better income. 

Here are proven recommendations that will help you find the best suppliers for your wedding dress shop:

  • Networking works the best. If you have an opportunity, try to visit as many bridal forums and other specific events as possible. Try to make connections with other bridal dress shop owners because they can provide you with valuable feedback and recommendations.
  • When you find several suppliers and have to make a final decision, ask if you can visit their showrooms or manufacturing facilities. This way you can assess the real quality of their products. You can also ask for wedding dress samples. It’s important not only because you can check the quality but the general aesthetics of the models as well so you will know for sure if these wedding dresses fit the style of your wedding dress perfectly. 
  • Check reviews or ask personally for feedback from other clients who work with this supplier. 
  • Customization is a must. Pay special attention to the opportunity to tailor or adjust dresses specifically for the bride — it’s of crucial importance for many brides.

One of the best wedding dress suppliers that we can recommend is Yedyna Wedding Studios. They provide amazing price-quality ratio, have a vast selection of wedding dress models of different sizes, styles, and fabrics. They are one the biggest wedding dress suppliers in Europe with headquarters in the USA and other countries. With Yedyna Weding Studios you can not only satisfy your offline buyers but get offline customers as well. Check out their Store Finder feature: through their website, the bride can find all the boutiques where Yedyna wedding dresses are available. Once becoming partners with you, they will add your bridal store to the list and you will be able to get an additional channel for attracting customers.

4. How Much Does It Cost to Open a Bridal Shop?

Previously, we calculated the approximate cost of the bridal dress shop registration process. Now let’s add other potential expenditures to define approximate total cost.

Registration process 200$ - 2000$
Rental / purchase costs from 5000$ per month / 1 500 000$
Marketing and advertising (online and offline) 500$ - 1500$ monthly
POS system and other required technologies for customer and inventory management 5000$ - 15000$
Wedding dresses, accessories and other bridal staff 50 000$ - 200 000$
Interior redesign or design from scratch + furniture 20 000$ - 80 000$

To sum up, the total cost to open a bridal dress shop can vary significantly from 80 700$ up to 1 798 500$ and more. Everything depends on the scale you want to achieve, initial budget that you have and potential to attract investors. 

IMPORTANT: we didn’t include costs for salaries, staff training and other ongoing operating expenses (electricity, water, security etc) in our calculations as they can differ significantly depending on the size of your shop and team and consumption specifics.

5. BONUS: Starting a Wedding Dress Shop: Top 3 Channels for Effective Brand Promotion

You can have the best wedding shop in the world but without effective promotion no one will know about it. To attract more customers and increase your brand awareness, you should find the most resultative promotion channels for your bridal dress shop and combine them wisely. Here is our top 5 recommendations on how you can promote your bridal dress shop:

  1. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest are the most popular social networks where wedding dress shops can demonstrate their amazing dresses, engage with customers and build a loyal community
  2. Collaborations with influencers: wedding bloggers or other professionals and brands that work in wedding niche are a great source of inspiration and target audience exchange
  3. SEO optimization of your website is the must if your want to increase its visibility and attract organic traffic
  4. Wedding expos and different bridal events are perfect for networking and creation of long-lasting partnerships that will bring your brand reputation to the new level
  5. Email marketing and partnership with wedding magazines can make your wedding dress shop more popular and encourage visits to your store

WRAPPING UP

Launching a new business, especially in the wedding niche, can be challenging. However, we believe that with our detailed recommendations and strong support of industry experts you’ll achieve success! We provided the main points you should consider and the approximate budgets — now everything is in your hands! Plan carefully, act with love and patience to your bridal boutique business.

If you have any questions or need a consultation on how to partner with Yedyna Wedding Studios to become the best wedding dress shop in the USA, contact us.