FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, important info.
Because we want your experience to be just as wonderful as your wedding gown, here you’ll find here some helpful pointers for making the most out of your day while shopping with us. However feel free to get in touch if we've missed anything.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, an appointment is necessary so that we can give each bride our undivided attention. At Emerald City Gowns a consultant is made available to assist you in finding a wedding gown that best suits your personal style. Appointments can be booked online, in-person, or over the phone, please visit our appointment page.
What about walk-ins?
Our walk-in hours are limited to Saturdays only. On Saturdays we see walk-in bridal shoppers starting at 11am. We take our last signed in customer at 4:30pm. Our bridal salon closes at 5pm. We can accommodate up to two brides at a time with two fitting rooms and a bridal stylist to help each bride. Each bride will be limited to 5 gowns to try on during their visit. To avoid a wait we encourage you to book an appointment, which are available from 12 - 5pm on Saturdays.
What should I bring?
It is helpful to bring undergarments in the style that you will be wearing on your wedding day, including nude strapless bras, seamless panties, and foundation garments, like Spanx. If you plan to wear specific jewelry or accessories on your wedding day please bring them to ensure they are complementary to your gown. Important: bring heels of a height that you will wear for your wedding. Your heels will help determine length of a hem. Some pre-worn gowns have been hemmed and you can't make them longer again. We do not recommend trying on gowns with a sports bra or leggings.
Can I bring guests?
Yes, we are a small salon and can comfortably accommodate 3 guest per bride. We have found that the opinions of a trusted few always results in relaxed and clear decision making. Big parties convolute the process which can leave the bride discouraged and unable to make a decision. We ask that you bring no more than 5 maximum.
Can we take photos?
Yes, bring a camera or smart phone! Guests are welcome to photograph you in the gowns you try on, but staff is also happy to help if you're shopping alone.
What is a ‘made-to-order’ gown?
We offer made-to-order bridal gowns from five local independent designers. Collections from each designer are featured in the bridal salon. You can expect a curated 5 - 10 sample gowns per designer. This number can increase significantly when we host a designer's trunk show. Each gown purchased will be custom made to the brides size and specifications. Made-to-order gowns are handmade in the designer’s studio by professional tailors earning living wages. Made in the USA. Takes 12 - 16 weeks to complete and ship.
What is the price range of the gowns?
Made-to-order designer gowns are priced between $700 - $3,500.
Off-the-rack consignment gowns and designer samples are priced between $500 - $5,000.
Sales tax in Berkeley is currently 9.5%.
What sizes do you carry?
Made-to-order gowns are sampled in sizes 6 - 16, depending on the designer.
Off-the-rack gowns range in size from 00 - 20. They are a mix of altered and unaltered gowns so the hem length can vary from about 5'0" to 6’2".
Do you take measurements?
We take specific measurements required by the designers for made-to-order gowns when you place your order. If you need your measurements taken for a gown you are purchasing elsewhere, there is a $45 fee.
Where can I get alterations?
We do not make altercations in our bridal salon. A seamstress’ shop has all have the necessary tools at their fingertips to achieve a precise, custom fit. The cost of alterations are not included in the price of the gown, and you are welcome to choose the tailor of your liking. We work with a couple well-trusted, local seamstress. Check out of support local page for more info.
Do you sell accessories?
Absolutely. We sell veils and hair accessories new and on consignment. We have a limited collection of jewelry as well, but no shoes or undergarments. You do not need an appointment to shop our accessories.
Where do the you source your consignment gowns?
Our consignment gowns come from individuals selling their personal bridal gowns, designers wanting to clear out last season's samples and other bridal salons that do not sell their own samples. The individual consignments are usually worn and altered, but professionally dry cleaned before available for sale. The designer and store samples are generally sizes 8 - 12 and may need minor repairs and cleaning. We do make great efforts with all the gowns to ensure there are no condition issues that cannot be easily reversed. The prices and discounts reflect all of the condition issues we are aware of upon arrival to our shop.
Where is the shop located?
We are located at the Fourth Street shopping district near University Ave. and the 80/580 FWY at 1822 Fourth Street, Berkeley CA 94710. You will find us around the back and upstairs from Zut! Tavern and Sur La Table. Our bridal salon entrance is not visible from Fourth Street. View our custom map.
Where should I park?
Parking can be tricky at peak shopping hours. We recommend parking in the free public parking lot a stone’s throw from the bridal salon, near the train tracks. Street parking is paid meters from 9am - 6pm Monday through Saturday, free on Sundays. During the holidays there is $5 valet parking service available in front of Crate and Barrel. Do not park in the mini lot just outside the entrance to Emerald City Gowns because you will be towed, as this lot is private parking for various Fourth Street tenants. There are handicap spots available directly out front if need be. Please reference the custom map on our contact page.
Are you wheelchair accessible?
No, the shop is located in a limited-access upstairs suite, with 18 steps leading to the entrance. If you are a bride with mobility concerns, please call ahead so we may try to accommodate you accordingly, (510) 725-7771.
What types of payments are excepted?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Cash. Payment is expected in full at the time of purchase.
What is your return policy?
ALL SALES ARE FINAL
Made-to-order designer gowns and accessories — as soon as we collect payment of between 50 - 100% deposit, the order is submitted to the designer that same day. All of our designers have a very strict policy on not allowing changes or refunds once orders are placed, since everything is custom made and goes into production. Therefore, we cannot allow any changes or refunds to an order after a deposit has been collected.
Off-the-rack consignment gowns and designer samples — we cannot offer you a refund. We are happy to re-consign your gown whether or not you've worn it, if in acceptable condition.
Are holds, layaway or renting available?
Holds, yes. We will hold a gown with a $100 non-refundable deposit. Should you choose to buy the gown on hold within 7 days, the $100 will be applied to the balance. We do not offer layaway or gown rentals. Ask a consultant for details.
How does the consignment process work?
First, visit our sell consignment page to learn about the process and fill out our application form to sell your gown at Emerald City Gowns. We review all applications. Expect to be contacted via email or phone with all relevant information. An appointment will be scheduled. Bring your professionally cleaned gown to the appointment. We hand inspect all of our gowns. Upon approval a resale price is established and a consignment agreement is signed, which is valid for six months.
Some basic terms — you will be named consignor and the owner of Emerald City Gowns will be consignee. We employ profit sharing model, meaning we will issue payment to the consignor, exactly 50% of the proceeds from the sale. Payment is not made until the gown sells. Items that are not sold are returned to the consignor.
What is a Trunk Show?
A trunk show is a scheduled event where the designers send us their current collection of samples for our brides to experience and try on in-person. Each gown purchased is then made-to-order. This is a fun way to see more of the collection and get promotional pricing! We posted our upcoming truck show schedule on our homepage.
Still have any questions?
We encourage you to send us a line at our contact page.