How to Begin a Bridal Salon Business

If you have a flair for fashion and enjoy helping others realize their dreams, owning a bridal salon offers the potential to use your skills while making money. According to the Bridal Association of America's Wedding Report for July, 2006, an average of $2,527 was spent on bridal accessories and clothing per wedding. In 2009, there were an estimated 2,326,485 weddings with a growth rate of 2.37 percent in the industry. estimates the start-up costs for a bridal salon were between $5,000 and $50,000 as of May, 2009.

  1. 1.

    Survey the local market. Take the time to visit local competition and see what types of dresses and services they offer. Seek a location where there is a need for bridal services. Consider whether or not the other bridal boutiques in your area offer additional items like dresses for proms. Proms can add revenue to your store, but if you are already flooded with wedding alterations, taking on alterations for proms might be too much for a small boutique.

  2. 2.

    Find a location. The market research you've already completed will help you choose a general vicinity, but you'll also need to make several decisions about store space. If you are on a tight budget, you can start a bridal salon out of your home office. If you choose a brick and mortar store, ensure the layout is open enough to have wide clothing racks, a space for dressing rooms and mirrors and a back room to complete alterations. Wide windows offer a display area for the latest styles.

  3. 3.

    Buy clothing racks, counters, mirrors, alteration equipment and wedding dresses and accessories. Purchase separate racks for different dress designers, bridesmaids dresses, flower girl dresses and mother-of-the-bride dresses. In addition, purchase counter space to write out orders and display cases for hair accessories. Consider how you will display items like shoes, veils and handbags. Finally, choose the initial dresses for your inventory.

  4. 4.

    Choose a theme for your store, and decorate and layout the equipment and inventory. The theme of a bridal shop can be elegant, girly or funky and fun. Decide on a general theme and decorate accordingly. For example, add a wall that each bride can sign and list her wedding date as she picks up her wedding gown. Small touches, like artwork and statues can add to the ambiance. Next, choose the layout of the store. Keep popular items near the front of the store and consider how much room the bride will need to display dresses to her family and friends.

  5. 5.

    Hire and train employees. In addition to sales clerks to help pull dresses for clients, you will also need at least one tailor. As the business grows, add fashion consultants, an accountant and additional sales people and seamstresses. In addition to the job each employee performs, they should also be trained in customer relations. The attitude of employees should reflect your overall philosophy toward your clients.

  6. 6.

    Get the word out about your salon. Create business cards and pass them out to family, friends and anyone you meet who is getting married. Set up a booth at local bridal shows and let brides-to-be know about your new salon and any special services you offer. Run an add in the lifestyle section of your local newspaper. Team up with other wedding businesses, such as bakeries, flower shops and bands and cross-promote one another. Ask satisfied clients to tell others about your store.