Everything You Need to Know About Your Wedding Dress Contract

Before you swipe your credit card, you'll have to sign a wedding dress contract (yes, it's actually a thing—and a really important one too).
The Knot
Updated Nov 28, 2018

There will be no shortage of decisions you have to make when planning your wedding day, from the design of your invitations to the flavor of your cake, but one of the biggest (and most exciting) will be your wedding dress.

And whether your wedding dress is off the rack or made especially for you, every gown is essentially custom—it's altered, hemmed or taken in to get you that perfect fit and make sure you look stunning. Once you find the one, and your measurements are taken and the dress is ordered, you'll be required to sign a wedding dress contract. This piece of paper will have everything you need to know about the dress, including the designer, the size and when it will arrive. Like with any other legal document, read your wedding dress contract carefully and thoroughly, and double-check that all the information is correct. If it contains incorrect info and you sign it, unfortunately the fault is yours, and you could end up getting the wrong wedding dress (or the incorrect size or color). You'll also want to make sure any extras, like alterations to the original design, are clearly listed and included in the final amount you'll be paying.

You'll need to leave a deposit once you sign the contract as well. While the actual amount can vary from salon to salon, you should expect to put down around 50 to 60 percent. The remainder of the balance will be due once the dress arrives from the designer.


Your wedding dress contract will include a lot of details (except preservation, which you'll need to remember to take care of yourself), so it's important to know exactly what to look for before you sign.

You can expect to find important details like the bridal salon's name, address, phone number and email address; the names of the consultants who assisted you, as well as the date and time of purchase; the total amount (including any extra charges); the amount you deposited and how it was paid (ensure this amount is marked clearly on the bridal salon contract!); the amount still owed and the date the remainder of the balance needs to be paid; how many fittings are included in the price (if any) and the cost of each additional fitting; and the means of payment and what the alterations will be.

Additionally, the contract will include the designer name of the dress, the style number or name of the dress, the exact color, and the exact size and measurements sent to the manufacturer.

We know, we know, it's a lot—and we don't mean to make you nervous—but your dress could end up less than perfect if you forget to simply read the fine print.

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