Frequently Asked Questions

Appointments

We welcome brides to visit our salon without an appointment to browse our collection.

However, in order to ensure that each of our guests is given proper attention and customer service, an appointment for a consultation with one of our stylists is required in order try on gowns.

If you do decide to come and browse, please keep in mind that our schedule is by appointment and calling ahead (415.956.5657) will ensure that the salon is open. 

Once you have purchased your gown you are welcome to take photographs.  

We are open for wedding gown consultations Tuesday - Saturday.   We are closed on Sunday and Monday.  Because our schedule changes occasionally, it is best to give us a call at 415.956.5657 for up to date scheduling information.  You can find the details of a typical weekly schedule here.

Appointments at the Amy Kuschel Bride salon typically last one hour.

Our in-house production team allows us great flexibiltiy with rush orders. A salon visit is imperative to review styles of interest and explore fabric and schedule availability as well as rush fees. We will try to accomodate your rush order, however rush fees (10% - 25%) may apply depending on the timing of your order, our current production schedule, and fabric availability.

We like to have at least 5 months to make your gown and schedule your fittings. However, brides who give us more time will have more flexibility and opportunities with fitting schedules (Saturday appointments book up quickly). More importantly, the more time you give us, the more time you will give yourself to plan all of the creative details of your wedding. We can usually accommodate rush orders. Orders taken with under 5 months time may incur rush fees.

Gowns

Each and every Amy Kuschel gown is made in our San Francisco design studio, located on the floor above our flagship salon at 23 Grant Avenue in the Union Square district.

We know that many of our competitors make their gowns overseas.  While there is a tremendous cost savings with outsourcing production, we think it's smarter to make our gowns right here in San Francisco. Our team of designers, pattern makers, cutters and seamstresses are all located on the premises.  It's beneficial to our brides and also eco-friendly.    The nature of our custom couture process produces less waste and builds better fitting gowns. 

We enjoy a very hands-on approach with every gown we make.  Rest assured, your gown will be in our hands, every step of the way!

Made in America.  It's an old fashioned concept, but we think it's clever! 

We are proud to offer several fabrications that are made in the United States.  We also import many of the fabrics used in the Amy Kuschel collection from Europe and Asia. We select the highest quality laces available from the United States, France, and Italy. Our silk mikado, silk gloss organza, and silk gazar are also imported from Italy. We've found quite unique fabrications in England as well. Several of our silk satins and organzas are imported from Japan and China.

It's our goal to find textiles that are beautiful, luxurious to the touch, and of the highest quality.  

While we no longer offer sample sale gowns in our San Francisco Salon, we sometimes offer gowns in "limited availability"  fabrics from our design room and overstock.  These offeringa are available at reduced prices.  Great value and custom made to your measurements in San Francisco!

Still have your heart set on a sample sale gown?  Belltown Bride in Seattle is the exclusive retailer of Amy Kuschel Sample sale gowns!  www.belltownbride.com

Most gowns within our collection are available in 2 different sizes for trying on, typically a size 6 and a 10/12.

During your appointment, we will do our best to temporarily alter the fit of each gown by clipping, adjusting, or extending to suggest the appropriate fit that you can expect once a gown is customized for you.

Most gowns within the Amy Kuschel Bride collection are offered in a shade of white and ivory. Each silk fabrication has its own subtle version ranging from soft white to antique white, pale candlelight hues of ivory to true ivory and deep ivory. Reflection also plays a part in color; shinier fabrics may seem lighter in color due to the 'light' radiating from the weave whereas matte finish fabrications highlight the true shade. Luxurious color accents are available on several styles with sashes or underlays.

All brides will receive a care card with their finished gown with details about gown handling and pressing. Please review our recommended vendors for professional dry cleaning options

Our bridal gowns range in price from $2000 to $6500 with most styles falling within the range of $2500 - $4000. All of our bridal gowns are designed and made in San Francisco, California. Brides visiting our flagship salon in San Francisco will order their gown to be custom-made to their measurements; this is included in the price of the gown.

While we do not offer custom designed wedding gowns for individual clients, we have achieved great success with slight design modifications to styles within our couture collection. When you visit our salon, one of our stylists will work closely with you to find the fit, fabrication, and customized detailing that will best fit you and your wedding day.

We will collect a deposit for half of your pre-tax order total when you order your Amy Kuschel gown. Payments can be made by check, debit card, or credit card; we accept American Express, Visa, and MasterCard.

The balance of your payment is due at your 1st fitting.

With the increasing popularity of beach and garden weddings, more and more brides are requesting that the train on their gown be shortened or entirely removed. If you are ordering a custom made Amy Kuschel Bride gown, we can alter your pattern to modify or eliminate the train from most of our designs. We will work with each bride individually to determine the appropriate train length and adjust the pattern accordingly. Additional charges often apply. Before deciding to modify your train, keep in mind that a long train looks simply elegant in an outdoor setting and can be bustled after your ceremony.

Advice

A strapless gown slips for a number of reasons, but the most common problems come with improper fit and unnecessary fussing.  If your gown is fit properly to your figure and you're comfortable wearing a strapless style, you will likely have nothing to fuss about.

A gown that is too big through the waistline will fall to the hips creating an uncomfortable shift that prompts a bride to pull her gown into a higher position. Our goal with our custom made to measure process is to be certain that each strapless gown is properly fitted, especially through the waistline, to ensure that it stays in place.  

It's critical that a bride maintains her weight, to the best of her ability, as her wedding day approaches.  Multi-tasking mixed with pre-weddding jitters can shed unnecessary pounds.  If you've lost weight after bringing your gown home, it might be beneficial to try and squeeze in one more alteration, even if it means an additional alteration fee.

Proper undergarments are also important, especially for full busted brides needing more support through the bodice.

Many brides are not accustomed to wearing strapless gowns and often find themselves tempted to pull on their wedding dress even if it isn't actually slipping. For these brides we can add straps to their strapless gown.  But keep this in mind...it helps to trust the natural placement of the fit of your gown; this is where it wants to sit once you're all zipped in.  Every bride's shape is different and each gown will sit in a slightly different place.  We often find that brides who are not accustomed to wearing a structured strapless dress find themselves pulling their gown up to a more modest location.  The slipping occurs when this position is higher than where the gown is fitted to.  A bride will pull it up, but the gown will eventually go back to it's resting point, so the bride pulls again.  Getting comfortable in a strapless gown and trusting that it will slip into position, but not fall further is key to looking graceful and elegant.  

If all of this is stressing you out, perhaps a strapless gown is not the right choice for you.  Trust your instincts and pick a dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident.

Our custom made to measure process is ideal for pregnant brides. Depending on your specific needs, we will recommend appropriate styles and schedule your fittings based on your wedding date as well as your due date. 

Selecting the perfect wedding gown is uniquely individual to each bride.

It is often helpful to get advice and input from close friends and family, but the ultimate decision is for you, the bride.  Take some time to envision yourself on your wedding day. Think about how you want to feel that day and the specific look that you want to capture.

A handful of key buzz words can be very inspirational and help you focus your thoughts.  Are you looking for something "sassy and modern" or "vintage inspired", or maybe you're the "preppy" type looking for "classic and traditional with a modern vibe". Don't be afraid to make it your own!  

Your wedding location will also weigh into your decision. A romantic, ethereal wedding dress is ideal for a beach setting while a dramatic and regal bridal gown is perfect for a formal cathedral event.

Our consultants are eager to hear your story and help you navigate through the different looks in our collection.  We want to make your experience relaxing and enjoyable.  

Ultimately, it's your day... follow your heart.

Fittings

There is less bridal stress when you come prepared for your Pre-Fit appointment!  Here are the key ingredients:

1.Bring your SHOES.  You'll have an opportunity to review your shoes (please, 2 - 3 pairs at most) and decide which pair makes the wedding day cut.  Be ready to commit, as we need to measure your heel height for your custom made-to-measure gown.  Sorry, we don't offer shoes for purchase.  

2. Choose your UNDERGARMENTS.  We'll work together to select your final undergarments, considering your body type along with your gown selection.  We carry a nice assortment of undergarments that work well with our gowns and for most body types, including strapless bras, adhesive and non-adhesive cups,  bustiers, shapers, and undies.  If you have a hard to find size or have had difficulty in the past finding something that fits you well, we recommend that you bring your own undergarment options to compare with ours.  Once your undergarments are selected, we'll take your official measurements while you're wearing these actual pieces.  

3. Take your MEASUREMENTS.  Your actual wedding gown will be made based on the measurements taken at your Pre-Fit appointment. It's key that your shoes and undergarments are consistent throughout your fitting process, as well as maintaining a consistent weight from this point forward.  Please bring your new wedding day shoes and undergarments to each and every fitting.

4. Style me PRETTY.  If time allows, you'll have the opportunity to revisit our sample gown and select accessories for your big day.  We have a hand picked assortment of elegant jewelry and ethereal veils that compliment our wedding gown collection.   Fancy a cage veil and vintage earrings? Whatever your style, from Sara Gabriel to Elizabeth Cole, we'll help you fashion your wedding day presentation.

You will need your wedding day shoes for your Pre-Fit appointment and all subsequent fittings, as your shoes are closely linked to the fit of your custom made gown. We specifically need them to determine your exact hemline, unless you're wearing a tea length or knee length dress, in which case you're off the hook!

If you don't have your shoes, please call us to discuss rescheduling your time-line. We'll do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs.

You are welcome to bring a guest to your fitting.  Please keep in mind that our goal is to perfect the fit of your dress and focus on the technical needs of making your wedding gown.  

Although not required, you may want your maid-of-honor, mother, or wedding consultant to come to your final fitting to understand your bustle.

We're looking forward to seeing you in your gown!

Purchase your wedding shoes before your Pre-Fit appointment and bring them with you to your first fitting, and every fitting thereafter.  You are also required to bring the same undergarments to each and every fitting.

Having a gown custom made to your measurements is a unique and rewarding experience that requires a high level of attention and workmanship.  Your undergarments and shoes are closely linked to the fit of your dress. 

If you do not have your shoes or undergarments, please call us and we will do our best to reschedule your fitting timeline.  

If you change either your undergarments or your shoes after your measurements are taken, the work that we've put into your unique pattern and gown will need to be reviewed and possibly re-worked.  If so, this may result in additional fees.  

We welcome your inquiries; please don't hesitate to call us with specific questions and concerns: 415.956.5657

Each bride's couture fitting process and timeline is unique.  That being said, many brides will be ready to take their wedding gown home approximately one week before their wedding day. However, we have many factors to consider when determining each bride's alteration timeline and appropriate scheduling, so pick-up dates will vary.

Rest assured, your wedding gown is in good hands!

Once your measurements are taken at your pre-fit appointment, or in some cases at the time of your order, we recommend that you maintain this size and weight.  We will base the fit of your actual gown on these initial measurements. Having a gown custom made to your measurements is a unique and rewarding experience that requires a high level of attention and workmanship; consistency in weight and size is ideal.   

If your size changes after your measurements are taken, the work we've put into making your custom pattern and gown will need to be reviewed and often times re-worked. This usually results in additional fees.  

If you intend to lose significant weight (more than 5 pounds) or if you expect fluctuation, please let us know in advance so that we can discuss alternative scheduling to minimize additional alterations and charges.

We'd love the chance to speak with you about any questions or concerns that you might have. Please don't hesitate to call us at 415.956.5657.

Our made-to-measure couture process typically includes a series of two to three fittings.

Each bride begins with a pre-fit appointment for accurate, up-to-date measurements.  Committing to shoes and undergarments is also key at this time.  

From here we begin making your actual wedding gown.  You'll get to try on your custom made dress in its initial phase at your first fitting.   Our fit experts will determine accurate adjustments for your custom made-to-measure gown at each fitting, taking it step by step, until everything fits beautifully.

Remember, every gown is made on site. So rest assured, you're in good hands...every step of the way.

Once we've determined the appropriate hemline for your gown it is preferable that your shoe height remain the same. Please notify us immediately if you've changed your shoes so that, if possible, we can make the proper adjustments.

If your new shoes are higher than your original shoe your gown may be too short.  If the new shoe is lower, your gown will likely need additional hemming or pattern alterations.  Additional fees may apply. 

Policies

We can ship your gown to any residential or business address within the United States. Your gown will be carefully packaged and fully insured using United Parcel Service. We will also include instructions on proper care for your wedding dress.

Additional fees apply for shipping and handling.

We do not collect California sales tax for brides getting married outside of the state of California.

Salons

In the Fall of each year we present our new collection in New York to the media, our retail partners as well as new prospective retailers. Please check our store directory in November and December for new store listings. Another option is to travel to a retailer in an area that you'd enjoy visiting again for your fittings. Brides often travel to our San Francisco salon to see our entire collection and select the gown that is most appealing. You can purchase your gown at our salon if you're available to return for fittings (at least 2 additional trips). You can also purchase your favorite gown from any salon carrying our collection, even if they don't have that particular style. Keep in mind that all of our retail partners require that the gown be purchased in person so that appropriate measurements can be taken. We do not accept telephone or mail order requests.

 Each of our retail partners selects their own assortment of Amy Kuschel gowns to showcase in their salon. When viewing our list of stores, take note of boutiques with "limited selection" as they will have fewer gowns represented. Before visiting a salon you can inquire as to which styles they have in their current assortment by calling the retailer directly.