Do I need an appointment?

Yes. Private appointments ensure that each bride and her guests have ample time to browse our collection, while the bride receives our undivided,customized, highly knowledgeable attention. We book appointments by phone and email. During our busy winter season, Saturday appointments typically book up two to three weeks in advance, so if you have a preferred weekend to shop,  call early! We schedule appointments Wednesday - Sunday. Our space is limited and is best explored by small parties. If you require special assistance and/or are shopping with a large group, please do call ahead. Our knowledgable English Dept. staff can guide you through our collections and answer any questions you might have. 


OUR GOWNS RANGE IN PRICE FROM $850-$4800. THE MAJORITY OF OUR SELECTION IS PRICED BETWEEN $1600-$2800. We do not have traditional sales, but occasionally move sample dresses to our "off the rack" section, where they are generously marked down. once a year we host trunk shows for most of the designers we carry, during which a 10% discount is extended by the designer at their discretion. 

i'm getting married in three weeks and need a dress! can you help?

Yes! Our off the rack section is full of great dresses that are either new or gently worn samples, priced accordingly.We also have a small rotating selection of new dresses that have been discontinued. 

can you tell me about your dresses?

our dresses are made to order by designer-owned, independent companies. we lovingly support local portland designers, and strive to represent designers who make their products in the usa from high quality silks and other natural materials. we aim to carry designers and gowns that represent a variety of brides, but take pride in being a decidedly non-traditional bridal shop. you won't find many ball gowns here! we carry an array of silhouettes, with a lean towards soft, flowy, romantic, bohemian gowns, with a vintage twist here and there. we like to think of ourselves as catering to all of the different brides we meet including: Classic, modern, boho, vintage, playful, and more. if you have questions about specific gowns, email us to start a conversation via info@theenglishdept.com!

what size are your samples? what if they are not my size?

we stock one size of each sample we carry, which is in-line with standard practice for bridal boutiques of our size. Our samples typically range from an 8 to a 12 in bridal sizing. samples don't fit any bride perfectly! whether it is too small or too big, we will expertly clip the dress to give you an accurate representation of how it should look when it is the right size, as well as offer our advice of how it could be better suited to fit your figure. we have a pedestal for you to stand on to help with the excess length of the gowns.  

do you carry complete collections by each designer?

if only we could! our designers have large collections that evolve from season to season. we make our sample selections from each designer according to styles, fabrics and colors we believe best represent the collection. 

how long does it take to order a dress?

each designer has their own production schedule, but the typical time frame is about three to five months. budget a month or so for alterations - our dresses are made to standard sizes, not to measure, so some tailoring is to be expected. most of our designers can honor a rush order for a fee. ask us for more information if you are on a deadline.

can you tell me about your vintage wedding dresses?

We love vintage! our vintage dresses are carefully chosen and are primarily from the 1940's-1960's, but the selection changes regularly. these gowns are one of a kind! vintage gowns tend to run small, and because the selection is constantly shrinking, it is becoming harder to keep a selection of vintage gowns in a range of sizes. but they do exist! if you find a vintage dress you love but have questions about how it can be altered to fit, we recommend making a consultation appointment with our recommended seamstress. 

will my dress need alterations?

Alterations are to be expected and nothing to worry about! it is a fun part of the process during which a talented seamstress will make your dress fit you exactly as it should. whether that means taking up the straps, adjusting the bust, hemming, adding a bustle, or anything else that might be needed. This is to make your dress fit your unique shape, perfectly! We do not offer in-house alterations in the cost of your dress but we can make recommendations for the best seamstresses in the city!


Tips for Visiting 

  • Trust us - it is best to try on dresses with just one or two guests (especially on the first round). less is more! sometimes with large groups it can be hard to listen to the advice of your closest friends, and even though everyone means well, too many opinions can lead to a confused bride! You want to remember "your" vision of yourself as a bride while shopping. If you do plan to visit with a group larger than four, please let us know so that we can make special arrangements. We have limited seating and the shop can quickly feel crowded.


  • if you think you will be wearing shape wear with your wedding dress, it is helpful to bring along to your appointment! heels and strapless bras are not necessary and generally easier to try on gowns without, but can be brought.


  • Travel light - many of our dresses are made from delicate silks, which can be damaged by makeup and jewelry. please avoid bright lipstick or strong perfumes.


  • Our shop is not appropriate for babies or small children. We are unable to accommodate strollers and worry that heavy mirrors, scissors and pins are in easy reach.


  • We kindly ask that you do not bring coffee or food into our shop, but you are welcome to bring some bubbly!


  • In many cases, you may be sharing our shop with another bride and her party. This makes for a fun atmosphere, but if you prefer to have the shop to yourself, please call us and we will do our best to accommodate.


  • We love brides who are on time for appointments! If you find you are running more than 10 minutes late - or early - please call to let us know. We want to make sure you (and the brides before and after you) have a great experience and an adequate amount of time. 


  • be Prepared to find "the one." wedding dress shopping is a special time, and it is fun & important to look around, but shopping too much can be overwhelming and exhausting! if you think you've found the one- say yes and celebrate!