Frequently Asked Questions

Hope's Bridal & Prom


Do I need an appointment? When should I come?

Brides on the hunt for a wedding dress, please schedule a bridal appointment so we are prepared to help you. Fitting rooms and stylists are limited. We have a shared bridal stage and like to take a team approach in helping our brides, but it’s important to serve each individual one-on-one as well. If you know you will be shopping for your wedding party, please give us a call with an idea of when you will be coming and how we can help you.  Walk-ins are welcome.

Are you shopping for prom or another formal event? Please just stop in; no appointment is necessary.

If you prefer a quieter shopping experience, we recommend visiting us on a weekday. On weekends, please be prepared for an exciting atmosphere with lots of people and a mini fashion show experience!

When should I shop for my wedding dress?

We recommend shopping for wedding dresses 8-12 months ahead of your wedding if your timeline allows. Ordering a gown can take up to six months, and you will want to allow at least one month for alterations. We can accommodate shorter time frames as well. Almost all our bridal gowns are available to buy off the rack if needed. 

Do you offer payment plans?

We offer flexible interest-free financing when you pay by check or cash. If you would like to pay by credit or debit card, we ask that you please pay in full, as you can finance it through your card/bank. 

Can I buy my dress on your website?

We sign contracts with many of our designers to not sell their prom and wedding dresses online, as it is important to them (and us!) to provide a service-oriented experience and high-quality product. (If you see the "same" dress for sale online, there is a good chance it is a counterfeit, being sold illegally, or used, so please be careful.) If you do not live locally but would like to shop with Hope's, please give us a call. 

Do you Carry my size?

To start with, please know that bridal industry sizing is different from ready-to-wear. Be prepared to try on wedding gowns that are a bigger size than you wear in street clothes. Don’t worry about what the tags say! We have wedding dresses in stock in sizes 0-36. It’s important to us to have beautiful styles for EVERYONE to try. However, please keep in mind that we usually buy just one sample of each style to be able to offer you the wide variety of gowns we do. Most of our dresses are sizes 6-22, as those sizes tend to be the most commonly tried on and ordered. Most of our gowns can be ordered in different sizes and colors, so you are not limited to just the dresses stocked in your size. It is worth trying on gowns outside your typical size to get a feel for what you love! 

What should I bring with Me when I visit?

We ask that all our guests please remove their shoes to protect the integrity of our gowns. With that in mind, you are welcome to bring comfortable socks or slippers for you and your party.

We recommend trying on gowns with undergarments similar to what you will want to wear on your wedding day. A lowline strapless bra and shapewear are common and will help you feel comfortable in the fitting room.

Pictures of dresses you like or inspiration boards you have put together are helpful for your stylist as she is pulling dresses with you.

We also recommend carefully choosing a small group of people to accompany you. We need to limit weekend shopping parties to five people to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. On that note, we truly love kids but have to remind guests that a bridal shop is not a good environment for littles, particularly during busy times. If you want to bring a baby or child along while shopping, please try to visit on a weekday so it is safer, calmer, and more comfortable for everyone (especially the little one!)

What should I expect when I shop for my wedding dress?

Hope’s is a family-owned and operated business with two locations (outside Cedar Rapids & in Davenport). We want everyone who comes into our stores to feel like they are a part of our family and truly valued.

We will start your visit by asking some questions to get a feel for how we can best help you as you are wedding planning. Then we will show you around, so you are able to look at all the beautiful wedding dresses on the racks. (There are literally HUNDREDS in each store!) Your stylist will help you pull some gowns while your party gets comfortable in the viewing area. Your stylist will help you into and out of dresses. This allows us to protect our precious inventory (who knows, one of those dresses could be the one you choose to wear down the aisle!), provides time for you to develop a relationship with your stylist, and gives your party a chance to sit back and enjoy the experience. Our bridal viewing area is a shared stage, so you may see other brides while checking yourself out in the big mirrors. 

A typical bridal appointment will last between one and two hours. We allow pictures to be taken of you in dresses you like because we know how important wedding pictures are. We just ask that your party waits to take pictures until you narrow down your choices to two or three favorites. (Trust us, you don’t want to go through 100 pictures of you in dresses you don’t like.)

If you find “the one”- AMAZING! In the bridal industry, all sales are final and we know it’s a very big decision; we want you to feel 100% confident saying, “YES!” Our staff is not on commission, and you will feel that difference. Of course, we need to sell dresses to stay in business, but if you can’t decide that day, no problem. We will keep track of your favorite gowns in our system, so we can pull them for you when you come back. If you know that is your dress and are ready to buy, we will celebrate with you in that big decision checked off your to-do list!

What happens after I find "The" dress?

Check out our SERVICES page to see all we offer to our Hope’s Brides! We have been a leader in this business for over 45 years, so you can expect we will do everything we can to provide exceptional, caring service throughout your wedding planning journey. 

Many of our brides book a follow-up appointment to come back with their wedding party to shop for bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos, etc. If you order your gown, you will hear from us in about 4-6 months that it has arrived. If you purchase off the rack, we will spot clean and mend your gown as necessary. You are always welcome to come visit your dress! We ask for at least 24 hours’ notice to have it pulled from storage for you. We are always excited to see you again!