Mother Of The Bride FAQ


When should I start looking?

There really is no exact answer to this. It all depends on the type of person you are and what your schedule is like. I personally prefer to get things crossed off my list and done, so I would start looking immediately. However, you can start looking when you are ready but please make sure you leave enough time if you plan on ordering and time for alterations. Also, our gowns and dresses come in steadily all year so there are always new items arriving.


 What designers do you carry?

We carry over 200 vendors at Hartly. You can find a complete list of our designers here.


 What is a trunk show?

A Hartly trunk show is an event at which one of our many designers personally presents his/her collection. You can meet the designer and sometimes have the opportunity to work with him/her to create a custom design all your own. For a complete list of Hartly’s upcoming trunk shows please click here.


Can I make changes to a gown/dress?

Of course. That is what Hartly specializes in. When you visit Hartly, you will get your own personal stylist that will assist you in finding the perfect gown/dress. We can work with you to find the perfect style that makes your body look beautiful. We can change necklines, add sleeves, change colors, add a jacket or stole… the list is endless. Some changes may cost more than others to make. This will depend on the particular designer you are interested in and what their charges are.


What is a custom order?

A custom order is one in which your selection is changed in one or more ways to make it exclusively your own. This change may be to color, size, length, or style features. At Hartly you will be assisted by your own personal knowledgeable stylist in finding the perfect gown/dress and helping you to look your very best.


How long will a custom order take?

Custom orders can take as quick as four weeks and as long as fourteen weeks depending on the designer and the custom changes you are making. It is also important to remember to leave an additional four to six weeks for alterations.


Is there a charge for custom orders?

At Hartly if the change is one of color and/or stock size and there is no rush often there will be no charge. The charges are made by the designer and occur in selecting changes that are outside their stock offerings and vary from designer to designer. Hartly tries to minimize these as much as much as is in our control.


Should I wear short or long?

The answer to this question varies from season to season and depends on many factors: time of day, formality of the event, preference of the bride. Whichever length you choose we will find a shape that flatters your figure and makes you look and feel beautiful. While short occasion dresses have been dominant for the past few years right now it seems that for black tie events long gowns are trending up while many hostesses are still choosing to wear short occasion dresses for daytime events.


What other colors are “in” this season. 

Whatever color is the newest for the season you can be certain Hartly will know it and have it. In addition, in most cases, a color card for your selection will be available for you to view and choose from.


Do you do alterations?

Yes! Our  expert seamstresses have been satisfying our clients for many years. They are the best of the best!


How long do alterations take?

Typically, we request two weeks to complete alterations. However, we can accommodate a rush if necessary, especially for those Saturday nights you need an outfit for and didn’t think about it until just two days before. It happens to the best of us!


This list of frequently asked questions is by no means universally true for all designers and for all choices. We have done our best however occasion dressing is unique and there is no one answer fits all. Your best and most important decision will be to choose to buy from a shop extremely experienced in the category for that the multitude of things there is to know are routine and not being handled by less knowledgeable people. This is an area where IT REALLY MATTERS NOT ONLY WHAT YOU BUY BUT WHERE YOU BUY IT. Hartly has been pleasing occasion clients for 58 years. Our reputation is proven by our longevity. We look forward to sharing you special occasion by helping you realize the dream of how you want to look. 






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