FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below you'll find answers to common questions! Feel free to contact us if you require any other information, we're happy to help!
WHAT IS THE ORDER PROCESS?
Once you find an item you're head over heels in love with, ensure that you select your desired options from any drop down menu on the item's product page. This may include size, train length, colors, etc.
After you've completed your purchase, we will be in touch with you within 48 hours to begin the detailed measurement process. You can complete the measurement and sizing form at home with the help of another person, otherwise you can bring it to a trusted tailor or seamstress and they can assist you.
Once you send the form back to us, we will advise you on the size to order based on your measurements. There's more information on sizing selection below. We can also offer made to measure options.
After you've confirmed the size, we begin the item-making process! From the time of size confirmation, your order will take between 16-24 weeks to be created. It will then be delivered to your mailing address with priority insured shipping after the final quality inspection.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED ORDER TIME?
Orders generally take 16-24 weeks to be created after you've submitted your measurement form (explained above) and confirmed your sizing. If you require an item in less than 16 weeks, please get in touch with us directly to inquire about a rush order and we will let you know if it is possible (this generally depends on current fabric availability and whether we can accommodate a rush order at that time). A rush fee will be applied which will vary depending on the circumstances listed above. Generally, this ranges from $175-$250 (Canadian dollars).
WHY SHOULD I ORDER FROM A STOCKIST WHEN I CAN JUST ORDER ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Although we welcome direct orders and will support you every step of the way during your purchase if you're not close to a stockist, we also love supporting other wonderful businesses, aka, our retailers! The benefits of ordering from a stockist include:
- You'll get to try on the dress or skirt first, prior to purchasing.
- You'll have a professional there taking your measurements so there's less room for error when your order is submitted.
- You generally won't have to pay duty fees or import taxes when you order from a stockist that isn't located in Canada.
- Bridal boutiques have a great network and knowledge of recommended local seamstresses in the area for your alterations.
- Bridal consultants are pros at recommending accessories and jewelry that would look fab with your design choice.
- You're supporting amazing local businesses that are primarily female-led and paving the way for the next generation of awesome women, of course!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 'MADE TO ORDER', 'MADE TO SIZE', AND 'MADE TO MEASURE'?
Here at SWF, our items are made to order. We also offer a made-to-size and made-to-measure option. Made to order means that we do not carry stock, and that the gown or skirt you order will be specifically and specially made for you (made to order), in your confirmed size (made to size) or alternatively, to your specific measurements (made to measure). It will more than likely require adjustments by a qualified, trusted seamstress or tailor after you receive it, regardless of which sizing option you choose. There is a common misconception that made to measure dresses do not require alterations. This is completely false! It is so common for a bride to fluctuate in size prior to the wedding, that the chances of the dress fitting perfectly at the time of it being delivered are slim, so it is very important that you remember that adjustments will almost ALWAYS be required, regardless of whether the dress was made to size or made to measure. It is best to get an understanding of your local tailor/seamstress' costs beforehand so that you are not blindsided come alterations time. We typically see standard alterations costing brides anywhere between $150-$550 and this can increase or decrease depending on where you live.
HOW DOES THE SIZING WORK?
As stated above, our items are either made to measure or made to size. All sizes for items are listed in US dress sizes via our size chart which you can find here. Keep in mind that like many bridal brands, our size chart may vary from other US size charts so please refer to the SWF size chart when referring to sizing with our items. When you first purchase, we only require a general selection of whether you fall into a US2-US16 category or a US18-US22 category so please select the appropriate option from the drop down when you add the item to your cart.
Once you've purchased your gown, we will be in touch with you to go through the measurements process which varies depending on which item you've selected. A long sleeved gown requires more measurements than a skirt, for example. You can do your measurements at home with the help of another individual, or you can take the measurement form to a trusted seamstress or tailor and they can assist you. Once you've sent us back your measurement form, we will advise you on which size you are falling under. A lot of the time, a bride will fall in between two different sizes, and we always recommend that you order the larger of the two sizes. This is because it is much easier for a seamstress to alter a dress down (make smaller) than it is to make bigger. You can also opt for a made to measure option.
We hear a common question regularly, which is, "What if I lose weight before my wedding? I want to be a dress size smaller."
Firstly, you do not need to lose weight, you're beautiful the way you are! Secondly, we highly recommend you never order a size smaller than what you are at the time of purchase. The unnecessary stress of forcing yourself to fit into a smaller size come the time of your wedding is not only silly (because you're already beautiful), but it's just that; unnecessary stress. By ordering a dress in your current dress size, this allows you to not stress out about your dress not fitting, and if you do end up being smaller come the time of your wedding, a seamstress can alter your dress down accordingly.
WHY IS THERE A 7% FEE FOR SIZES US18-US22?
The 7% additional fee for ordering a dress that falls between US size 18-22 is completely due to fabric cost. Since we will require more fabric to create the dress, we must reflect that additional spend in our pricing.
DO YOU ACCEPT RETURNS OR EXCHANGES?
Please refer to our terms & conditions to fully understand how the returns process works.
WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
We are so happy to be a Canadian company! All of our items are designed on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in between the magical old growth forests and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. We work with our talented, global dress making team and fabric suppliers in Asia and Europe to hand select unique fabrics from all over the world in order to provide you with stunning on trend designs at an affordable price point. All items ship from British Columbia, Canada.
WILL I NEED TO PAY CUSTOMS FEES?
All items ship from British Columbia, Canada, so if you are purchasing from outside of Canada your local customs bureau may charge you import fees/taxes. It is up to the customer to pay any fees associated with customs. We advise our brides to check with their local customs office if they wish to inquire about these fees. View our terms and conditions for more information on shipping.
HOW LONG WILL SWF DESIGNS REMAIN AVAILABLE?
We can never guarantee that any particular design will be available for any given amount of time. This can be due to fabrics being discontinued, the demand of a particular product, or other factors. For that reason, we always recommend that if you see the dress or skirt of your dreams, to go for it while it is still available!
Be sure to read our terms & conditions for more information, and feel free to contact us at any time with questions you may have!
DRESS COLOR OPTIONS
Any dresses that can come with different color options have this stated in their listing. If it does not state this in the listing, it means that other color options aren't available. Please also remember when looking at the color swatches in the listings, that everyone's monitor can slightly adjust how colors are displayed. Bear this in mind that your computer screen is probably not 100% accurate in its color display.
HOW DO YOU DO YOUR LACE WORK?
The vast majority of our gowns have lace that is carefully and meticulously hand stitched onto an underlaying fabric, such as tulle. If it is not a constant repeating pattern, the lace has been hand sewn with care and utmost attention to detail. Please keep this in mind that due to the handsewn nature of our lace gowns, the actual placement the lace will shift slightly, making your dress truly one of a kind.
We do not do custom changes, however if you wish to have a local seamstress make changes to your gown, please let us know at the time of purchase (or soon after) if you wish to order additional fabric and we can provide you with a quote.
WHY DON'T YOU MANUFACTURE YOUR DESIGNS LOCALLY?
Our primary goal has always been to provide our customers with designs that are quality, beautiful, and most of all, affordable! To do this, unfortunately local manufacturing is simply not an option at this time without then needing to triple our prices to brides. Our designs are dreamt up on Vancouver Island, and, like many bridal brands, our process is comprised of a global team of dress makers who assist us with fabric procurement, pattern making, and bringing the vision into fruition. Our gowns are NOT mass-made in a factory with poor working conditions, but rather in other small dress making studios around the world. We are in constant contact with our dedicated seamstresses via photos, sketches, videos, and chats as each + every design and order comes to life. We personally dictate every detail of every item that is created, from the hand sewn lace placement to the wonderful array of colors you'll find in our collections. All items are quality checked by our global teams, and shipped from our studio on Vancouver Island after a second round of quality checking!