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The Complete Guide to Shopping Vera Wang SF

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Photos by Aubrie Pick

Just in time for wedding season, Vera Wang opened a gorgeous new boutique in Union Square earlier this year. You may be examining your wedding budget to determine whether one of Wang's unparalleled gowns is in your future. If you're on the fence, seeing yourself wearing one of these puppies will likely be just the thing you need to add a zero or two onto the end of the "dress" category.

But stepping into the pristine gorgeousness you see above can be a touch intimidating, so we asked the folks at SF's Vera Wang what a prospective bride should expect. Here's everything you need to know to get ready for a try-on appointment, plus what to look forward to if you take the plunge.

1. Book your appointment at least a week in advance for weekday appointments. For Saturdays, make it two. For brides who are traveling and can only visit on specific days, make it a month.

2. Expect to spend a leisurely 1.5 hours at your appointment, which will involve chatting with a dress expert, sipping champagne, and of course choosing and trying dresses.

3. Brace yourself for price tags that will will read somewhere between $4,000 and $27,000, with the average dress costing $8,000.

4. Bring as many folks as you like for moral support and opinions. Just make sure they all have your best interests in mind and will not stress you out or make the appointment unpleasant in any way.

5. Wear your regular undergarments, though keep in mind they may be seen by more than just yourself. After you've chosen your gown, then you can choose the undergarments that work best with it.

6. Order at least six months in advance if you decide to go for it. The gowns, which are all made in the U.S., take four months to make and need two months for alterations. A rush order is sometimes possible, but best to avoid the anxiety.

7. You'll have three fittings over two months, the last one being approximately two weeks before the big day.

8. Pick up the dress yourself, or choose someone you trust completely to do it. You or the third party will sign a waiver acknowledging that once the gown has left the store, Vera Wang is no longer responsible for it. But if you like, a bridal coordinator will help you get ready on your wedding day (for an extra fee, bien sur).

9. Enjoy your gorgeous gown! And no pressure, but don't spill anything on it at the reception. The Vera Wang folks will provide a list of "Wedding Day Tips" for keeping the dress looking fresh all night, which we'd be willing to bet includes keeping red wine outside a 10 foot circumference of your dress, train included.