Travel China with the Yangxifu: Suzhou’s Wedding Gown Street

Trying on a wedding gown in on Suzhou's wedding gown street
Are you engaged in China? Consider a visit to Suzhou’s Wedding Gown Street, where bridal beauty of your dreams is a bargain. My tailor-made dress, pictured above, cost only 400 RMB, including a bridal veil and gloves.

When you’re engaged and in China, thoughts of fancy might turn to, well, Suzhou. Not for the traditional Chinese gardens or homes. And not even for photo ops at the pagoda or Tiger Hill. You want Suzhou, because Suzhou is home to a fantastic wedding gown street (苏州婚纱一条街) — where you can get a tailor-made dream for less.

Located on a sprawling block within walking distance of Tiger Hill, Suzhou’s Wedding Gown street has none of the grace of its more famous neighboring attraction. It’s a depressing conglomeration of one- and two-story concrete stores with photoshopped signs and dresses that look dull under cheap fluorescent lighting — almost as if it were the wedding village for jilted fiancees. Yet, there are treasures behind those doors for the patient and persistent bride-to-be — with bargains that’ll have you saying a resounding “I do.”

So, what are your options?

The easiest is to buy what’s on display — and most stores have so many ways to do flowing chiffon, silk, taffeta and more that even the fussiest foreign woman will eventually find a gown she loves. But if you have a design in mind, have them do a tailor-made dress — just be sure to bring a photo or drawing of what you want, and choose a store with a basic design similar to your dream gown. Prices range from around 200 RMB for simple dresses up to 400 or 500 RMB for tailor made designs (such as my own bridal gown). And, since many stores also sell qipaos and evening gowns (most brides in China wear three dresses at their wedding), you can do all of your wedding dress shopping in one place.

Whatever your choice, begin by browsing the stores, with an eye for styles you love. You don’t need to bargain right away, and you shouldn’t. Give yourself time to know the stores, and know what’s available. Then, when you come upon something gossamer and gorgeous, make a note to come back.

Sometimes, though, it takes a seemingly exhaustive “tour” of the wedding gown street before you’ve found the perfect match. That’s what happened to me — it was the last store that had styles similar to the dream gown I had in mind (and thank goodness, because I almost though my “dream” was dashed forever in a pile of boring gowns).

Once you find the perfect one, bargain, bargain, bargain. The asking price is often twice what you should pay, as one of the posts in this forum thread reveals (Chinese) — so never accept the first offer. And remember — the price should include a bridal veil and gloves.

After walking down the aisles of Suzhou’s wedding gown street, you might consider taking in some of the city’s more traditional delights, such as nearby Tiger Hill, or even one of the famed gardens (Master of the Nets is a personal favorite).

You can relax and take a moment to ponder the next step — how to make your friends at home jealous over such a great deal on a wedding dress. 😉

Happy travels!

——-

When to visit

Suzhou’s wedding gown street (江苏省苏州市金阊区虎丘风景区正大门) is best visited in Spring or Fall, when the city enjoys the mildest weather of the year. Winters would be a second choice — Suzhou gets more rain than snow this time of year, but there are only a few below-freezing days. If you absolutely must come in the summer, don’t ever leave home without your UV-protective umbrella (available for purchase at any major supermarket in China, and highly advised for a city that, last summer, had temperatures topping 42 degrees Celsius).

Getting there

By plane. Suzhou has no airport, so your best option is in Shanghai. Hopefully, you’ll fly through Hongqiao Airport, the closest airport located in the West of Shanghai — because the other choice, Pudong Airport, leaves you 45 minutes East of downtown Shanghai alone. Either way, you’ll need to catch a train to Suzhou (see “By train” below for details). Shanghai’s subway system now serves both airports, and has links to major train stations, but taxis (at least 100 to 120 RMB) might be the choice for the weary, overburdened traveler.

By train. Go to Shanghai Station (that’s the main station — not to be confused with Shanghai South Station), where you can purchase train tickets to Suzhou. Buy yours at one of the automated kiosks there, especially for the high-speed trains. Don’t worry about tickets being sold out — there are so many trains going to Suzhou every day, it’s impossible not to get a seat. The trip from Shanghai to Suzhou takes a little under one hour.

Once you arrive in Suzhou, the most comfortable way to the Suzhou Wedding Gown Street is by taxi (~20 to 25 RMB) — but you can also get there by taking a bus to Tiger Hill (tourist buses Y1 and Y2 from the train station).

Where to stay

Stay in Suzhou if you want to explore the city, or simply need a break from catching trains. Shanghai is a great option if you’d like to make dress-shopping a day trip.

Find and book a great hotel for your budget — online, as I did — at Ctrip.com (no deposit needed, and you can cancel easily, if necessary).

——

This is the Travel China with the Yangxifu series, which appears every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Thanks to Rich for inspiring me to launch this series.

Did you enjoy this article?
Sign up now and receive an email whenever I publish new blog posts. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

You might also like:

85 thoughts on “Travel China with the Yangxifu: Suzhou’s Wedding Gown Street

  • May 12, 2010 at 5:06 pm
    Permalink

    Ah memories. Actually with the boom of the wedding photography market, most provinces in China have wedding dress markets like the one in Suzhou. Just ask around where the wholesale markets are that the studios get their dresses.
    .-= Ericka´s last blog ..Standing up for Women all over China =-.

    Reply
  • June 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm
    Permalink

    Hello, thanks for your write-up. Would like to find out how long does it normally take to have a wedding dress custom made in Suzhou?

    P/S: Please reply to my email address directly and appreciate if you do not publish this email on your blog or other publication. Thanks.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, Beautiful dress you have there. Would you know if they can make a dress in 5 days? I’ve got 8 days in Hangzhou/Suzhou/Shanghai and was planning to stop by Suzhou on day 1 and make a dress, then go to Shanghai and come back to Suzhou to collect the dress. Are there photographers around who could take some pre-wedding photographs?

    Reply
    • June 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Joanne,

      Not sure if 5 days is possible, but it may be if your dress is not as complicated, or if it is similar to one of their dresses on display.

      There probably are photographers around the neighborhood who do wedding photography, but even if not, Suzhou will have tons all around, as it is a very popular business. The wedding dress shops may also be able to recommend someone.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  • June 22, 2010 at 10:39 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks Jocelyn! Hopefully I can pick something off the rack.. 🙂

    Reply
  • August 22, 2010 at 1:20 am
    Permalink

    could any ones advise how long does it take form shangahi to Suzhou by train ?
    what does the train starts ?
    is thier any wedding market dress in shangahi it seLf closer than this market ?

    THX IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR REPLY

    Reply
  • September 6, 2010 at 6:42 am
    Permalink

    Hi Jocelyn! I actually live in Suzhou and have been planning to go this route for a while now. My wedding isn’t until August 2011, but I leave for the states in June. Around when should I go to look at dresses? How long did it take them to make yours? And can a woman who is US size 6 fit into the dresses that they have on display? How does dress shopping work here, exactly? I know in the states you actually get to try the dresses on, but my experience shopping for myself here in China for the past two years has been mortifying – and I don’t consider myself to be large. Any answers you can provide are truly appreciated. Thank you!

    Reply
    • September 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm
      Permalink

      Hi marwa, Sorry for the delay — I have updated my entry to include time between Shanghai and Suzhou (less than one hour by train). As for dress markets in Shanghai, I am not aware of anything exactly like what’s in Suzhou, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

      Hi Melissa, thanks for stopping by! I would go there at least 2 months before leaving. Dresses don’t usually take longer than 1-2 weeks to make, but that will give you some buffer time, and also the opportunity for second alterations, should you need additional work on your dress (I didn’t in my case, but it never hurts). As I remember, my own dress was finished within 2 weeks.

      Basically, the dress shopping works like this. All dresses are tailored to your body, but you have a choice as to the style. You can either buy one of the styles exactly as it is in a store, or ask them to mimic the style of wedding dress you like (which is what I did). Either way, you will not be forced to try on ridiculously small dresses. They’ll just measure you for the dress, and then tailor-make it to fit you. So the first time you go, you’ll find a style (or find someone with a style similar to what you’re looking for), and then give them a deposit for the dress, which they’ll work on for you. Next time, you’ll come to try on the dress and make sure it fits right.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • September 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Jocelyn, is there much selection to buy off the shelves? I’m now worried I can’t get anything because I’m quite large and I don’t have time to custom make anything 🙁 I’ve only got 1 week in Shanghai and only 2 days in Suzhou. Sigh… looks like I might not be able to buy my wedding dress after all.

    Reply
    • September 6, 2010 at 10:47 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Joanne,

      All of the stores pretty much look like what you see in the photo at the top of this article — mostly sample dresses on display. I don’t remember a lot of selection being available on the shelves.

      Reply
  • October 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Jocelyn! Thanks for your reply earlier. I went to Tiger Hill and I must have gone to hundreds of stores, none of which had a single dress I liked. I did try one on, but it wasn’t my style at ALL! How did you choose the shop you chose to make your dress? I have photos of the dress I want, but I don’t know where to take them! Any recommendations on what to look for in a potential seamstress?

    Reply
    • October 29, 2010 at 12:35 am
      Permalink

      Hi Melissa,

      I chose the shop because they had a dress that was similar in basic style to what I wanted, because the shop owner was very friendly and helpful, and he really seemed to impress me with a good grasp of the vision of the dress I wanted (he even understood that I didn’t want a bright white dress, but something more in an antique white). Like yourself, I visiting many, many shops and wasn’t always impressed — but at this shop, the owner was more active, spoke with us and just “got it”. If I could remember the name of the shop, I would tell you!

      Additionally, another thing to look at in the shop is simply the quality of the work on display — do you like the dresses hanging there? Do they look like fine work?

      Hope this helps. If I can think of that shop, I’ll let you know.

      Reply
  • October 29, 2010 at 7:14 am
    Permalink

    Hi,

    I just got back from Suzhou and bought a gown for RMB560 off the rack. From my observations, here are some tips:

    1) Go around noon – when all the shops are opened and the sales people are more hungry for business – they will give you good rates
    2) Shops start closing once it gets dark (around 5 or 6)
    3) Some shops can do it in 1-2 days if the design is simple enough – or give them 2 weeks for an elaborate gown
    4) HAGGLE down to 60% of the asking price – this is a tip that even the cab drivers will give you
    5) There are 3 areas of shops – The most expensive shops are the ones right next to Tiger Hill Scenic Spot entrance/carpark. There are many many more shops down the road and in the alleys. The smaller the shop, the better prices they give. Bigger and nicer shops have price tags and don’t encourage much haggling.

    Reply
  • October 29, 2010 at 9:02 am
    Permalink

    You guys are great! I would love to see a photo of your dress, Joanne. I might bring a friend with me to get the price right, I went alone the first time and I was like live bate. I didn’t go near the carpark/entrance to Tiger Hill, do they have better quality dresses or are they all about the same? I’ll update you guys once I go for round two, thanks for your help again!

    Reply
    • October 30, 2010 at 8:57 pm
      Permalink

      Joanne, you’re awesome — thanks for stepping in with your excellent advice! Which reminds me…I found my dress in one of the shops in the alleys as well. So, yes, Melissa — don’t dismiss the alleys. My shop was a smaller one as well, only one story, but still nice dresses and much nicer service.

      Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 9:17 am
    Permalink

    Can you elaborate more on the type of wedding dress off the rack? I am thinking of going there to get my wedding gown.. But I think I can only stay there for a week, so dun tink I will have the time to tailor make one.

    I saw from a few china online website selling lotsa gorgeous wedding gown, and some of their factories are situated in Suzhou too.. So I’m wondering if I would get to find those gown from the shelves? This is an example of the kind of wedding gown that I like.. http://www.landybridal.com/hs3049-p4726.aspx

    Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 9:24 am
    Permalink

    Oh ya.. On top of that, I’ve heard a few comments saying that their quality are not too good.. What do you think? Thanks in advance for answering my questions. =D

    Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 9:27 am
    Permalink

    Hi Janelle,

    If you’re slim/petite (S or M), you will definitely be able to buy something off the rack. I’ve seen many shops with similar designs to what you like – you won’t need to custom make but they could alter the dress to suit your size and that would only take a few hours / up to a day.

    You could spread your shopping out into 2 days and cover most of the hundreds of shops there. Start from the bigger shops to get an idea of what’s in store, then wander off into the alleys to see what the smaller shops have to offer. Remember to bargain 50-60% of their first price!

    Of course don’t expect super high quality gowns, but it will definitely last you through your wedding day!

    Good luck with the gowns and I hope you have fun!

    Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 9:32 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for your prompt reply! Looks like Suzhou is a must go place if I wish to purchase cheap wedding gown..

    But what do you mean by it is not super high quality gowns? Does it look cheap and low quality when worn?

    Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 9:39 am
    Permalink

    No it doesn’t look cheap, but i won’t say it’s excellent workmanship. The materials they use are all good, of course better materials comes with a higher price so know your stuff and pay what you think the gown is worth. Here’s a picture of my gown – I paid 500rmb for it (Asking price was 1,200 rmb). Oh and they would have more winter gowns for sale now and those look really good too. Tell me your experience after your trip!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5161019125/

    Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 9:51 am
    Permalink

    Your wedding gown is gorgeous! Was it tailor made or off the shelf? So generally the price can be cut to 400-800 RMB?

    Anyway mine maybe somewhere mid next year. Can’t get any leave at the moment.. =( Any recommendations to any specific shop? 😉

    Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 9:58 am
    Permalink

    I’m quite big size so my best option was to tailor make but I didn’t have the patience to wait so I went around looking for tie-back corset dresses and this was my favourite of the lot.

    Let’s say… if they ask for 800rmb, you say it’s too expensive. Give me a discount. They’ll probably say 700 and you say it’s still too much. Then you name 400rmb and they’ll say it’s too much. Then you try and persuade them to give it to you at that price… and if they don’t want to, walk away. They’ll probably run after you and give you the price you want or negotiate it down the middle

    Remember to check for a veil and gloves (and the can can if applicable).

    No specific shops, you need to touch and feel the different shops. Just remember the bigger shops come with bigger price tags but better quality. Those gowns start from 1000rmb and don’t give much discount.

    Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 10:14 am
    Permalink

    And don’t be shy to try… most of them are ok if you try and don’t buy – I didn’t encounter anyone rude (though there were a few pushy ones who measured me before I could say hello) and wear a strapless bra and simple clothes so that you won’t get frustrated with all that trying! They also provide heels and a veil so you’ll look like a bride in 5 minutes!

    Reply
  • November 10, 2010 at 4:17 am
    Permalink

    Hey Janelle – I recently went back for round two and finally found a dress. I must not have seen the same stores that Joanne and Jocelyn did, because the back-alley off-the-beaten-track shops I went to all had the gaudiest, over the top designs I’ve ever seen. Joanna, you found a GREAT dress! I wish I’d had your luck. So after searching for an hour or so the second time I went, I decided to try the ritzier shops near the park entrance. The first store I went to I was treated terribly. They told me I was too fat for their dresses, even though when I tried one on it zipped all the way up (yep – ZIPPED!). Even after I proved I could wear their merchandise, they continued to treat me badly, so I moved on to the next, where they wouldn’t even let me TRY because I was, again, “too fat”. I’m not sensitive, so it didn’t bother me, I just moved on, closer to the park. There was a place called “Angel”, and that’s where I found my dress. I haven’t purchased it yet, but I tried it on and it is gorgeous. They had lots and lots of beautiful dresses there, but their price tags are 3,000 RMB and up. This one was labeled at 3,350 RMB. I haven’t purchased it yet because I’m going to have a local friend do the haggling: foreign face = foreigner price. I followed Joanne’s lead and created a photo account for your viewing pleasure! Once I buy it I’ll show you guys actual pics – we took these from outside the store because they weren’t keen on us taking any pictures at any of the stores.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/with/5163307441/

    Reply
    • November 11, 2010 at 12:15 am
      Permalink

      Joanne, Janelle, Melissa, just wanted to step in and say thank you to all of you for providing all of these invaluable on-the-ground updates! You’ve just made this post 100 times more helpful to the next woman hoping to find her dream gown in Suzhou. (Melissa and Joanne, so thoughtful to share your photos — lovely gowns!)

      Reply
  • November 15, 2010 at 9:39 pm
    Permalink

    Okay, I finally bought it. A friend of a friend of my friend’s husband got me a huge discount (thank you, guanxi!), but the shopkeeper seemed to resent it a little bit when I went to pay. The dress was originally 3,550 RMB and I got it for 2,300. He said not to tell anyone I got it for anything less than 3,550. Anyway, here are the photos, same link as above I just added more. Thanks again for your help! I’m glad I found your blog, you’ve got a new follower now!

    Reply
  • December 4, 2010 at 5:00 am
    Permalink

    just found this post. i’m going to wedding street in suzhou next week! thanks for this great info, super helpful before i get started! cheers!

    Reply
  • January 17, 2011 at 8:13 pm
    Permalink

    do they really make the wedding gowns by themselves?
    I understand the real factories are in places like Huqiu, further out in Suzhou?

    Does anyone know where the wedding gown factories are? I’m not sure if these shops in the street are just middleman?

    Reply
    • January 19, 2011 at 12:07 am
      Permalink

      Hi Edwyn,

      These outfits are actually located in Huqiu, on the outskirts of Suzhou — as I understand it, they are the “public face” for the wedding gown factories out there.

      Now, as to how many of them are connected to a certain factory, that I could not tell you. But as far as I know, if you want a dress made, these are the places to go — and not directly to a factory.

      Reply
  • Pingback:Shanghai Calling « Random Thoughts from a Bridezilla-to-be

  • May 16, 2011 at 7:02 am
    Permalink

    I am really interested in going to Suzhou , but when I looked on a map (Google) I found TWO places called Suzhou!? How can this be ?

    Reply
  • May 16, 2011 at 7:05 am
    Permalink

    Hi Clare, Funny, there should only be one. Look for Suzhou, Tiger Hill.

    Reply
  • May 16, 2011 at 7:08 am
    Permalink

    There is another Suzhou (宿州) in Anhui province. The Suzhou (苏州) this post is referring to is in Jiangsu province.

    Reply
  • May 16, 2011 at 8:39 am
    Permalink

    Thank You for the replies and clarification ….. despite my (extensive) research , I only happened on this anomally today . I wonder how many people might have ended up in the wrong place ?

    Reply
  • May 16, 2011 at 8:45 am
    Permalink

    LOL I didn’t know either. I got to Suzhou from Shanghai… just a short train ride there.

    Reply
  • May 16, 2011 at 9:33 am
    Permalink

    Im hoping to go there with my daughter’s soon , thought we were coming on the 23 May but so far it hasnt panned out . We want dresses for her and the maids . Do you know if they can recreate top end Mother of the Bride outfits too? Also hoping to get down to Yiwu on the same trip . How long do you think we would need in Suzhou ?
    She doesnt get married until next May anyway …

    Reply
  • May 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm
    Permalink

    Hi,
    I live in Kuwait and i cant come to china so i would love to order online then they would ship the gown to Kuwait, is that possible?
    I have the picture of the gown i want, can they make me an exact one ?
    thank you very much

    Reply
    • May 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Sara,

      There may be people you can contact in China to make a gown and ship it to you, but I would not be able to even tell you who to get in touch with, or even judge their ability. Sorry I cannot help you.

      Reply
  • May 21, 2011 at 5:43 am
    Permalink

    Hello,
    I am planning to visit Suzhou to buy some gowns to sell. I have found this information very valuable. Are there any places you would recommend to stay in Suzhou as I want to maximise my time there. Also are there a lot of shops such that I will need a lot of days to look around and are there usually some available to buy off the racks or they are mostly for display. Many thanks.

    Reply
    • May 22, 2011 at 1:24 am
      Permalink

      @Lorna, glad you found this helpful. I would say, the best place to find recommendations for lodging in any budget is a guidebook such as Lonely Planet China — buy yourself a copy and it will be money well spent for any trip to China.

      As for shops, there are quite a few so you may need more than a day to look around. I would definitely echo what others have said and explore the stores in the alleyways more than those right on the street. I found my dress from an alleyway store that wasn’t so prominent, but the people there were extremely friendly and more customer service oriented. The stores right on the main street, however, couldn’t have cared a flying rice bowl about my business (not to mention that their dresses didn’t catch my eye). As for buying a dress off the racks. I would think that depends on the store — some may sell, others may not because they use for display.

      Reply
  • May 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm
    Permalink

    Hi again,

    That’s great I will look for the guidebook and start planning my trip. I am looking forward to it already. I am sure there will be so many beautiful dresses I will be spoilt for choice. I just have to figure out how I will transport them back to the UK. Quick question, do you know if the stores open on Sundays.
    You have been a great help.

    Lorna.

    Reply
    • May 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm
      Permalink

      @Lorna, the stores will definitely be open on Sundays. Good luck and have a great trip!

      Reply
  • June 11, 2011 at 8:12 am
    Permalink

    Hi Jocelyn,

    I am living in Shenyang and have recently found the wedding dress I would like to have recreated here for my wedding back in the States next summer. (Google image search “Anne Barge Grayson”)

    Though I’m not planning on making the trip down to Suzhou, I’m curious… would most average tailor shops (in any city) be capable of reproducing a dress like this? Or would I need to find a tailor who specializes in wedding dress creation? Who selects the fabric, and how? I’m planning on enlisting a Chinese friend to help out with the details, but is there any other advice you might have for someone who’s walking into this endeavor quite blindly? I’m willing to pay up to $500 US (3000RMB)

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • June 13, 2011 at 6:45 am
      Permalink

      Hi Kinzy,

      I would say, they probably can — but keep in mind that, depending on the tailor, what they make may not 100 percent match what you had in mind. I sort of had that experience with my wedding dress. For me, it turned out fine and I was still happy with how it turned out, though it turned out a little different from my photo. I think it certainly depends on how professional the tailor is. If you’re looking for perfection, you’re going to need to find an excellent tailor to get the details right (and probably someone with experience in wedding dresses). That person may or may not be around Shenyang.

      Fabric, as far as I know, is either from the shop, or provided by you. I’ve experienced both scenarios with tailors.

      Sorry if I am not more helpful with this.

      Reply
  • June 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Jocelyn,

    I have arrived in Suzhou. Unfortunately did not get off to a good start as our flight arrived through Pudong and it took ages to travel to Suzhou. Am looking forward to the first day walking around the wedding gown street tomorrow.
    Would you advise taking a taxi to Pudong airport from Suzhou as the journey here was rather nightmarish. Any taxi company you can recommend would be most apperciated and you can email me if necessary.
    Many thanks.
    Lorna.

    Reply
  • June 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm
    Permalink

    How did you arrive in Suzhou, Lorna? There’s a high speed train that takes 30 minutes, and from the train station you can take the subway if you’re so inclined but the ride will be long no matter which train station you go to (Suzhou trains go to Hongqiao and Pudong). There’s also a bus directly from Suzhou to Pudong Airport. http://www.muztagh.com/forum/about14375.html Good luck!

    Reply
  • June 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm
    Permalink

    That should say Hongqiao or Shanghai Railway Station, not Pudong.

    Reply
    • June 26, 2011 at 3:18 am
      Permalink

      @Lorna, I’d echo Melissa’s comments on this. The high speed trains should not be a hassle for you in terms of getting to Suzhou — at least, they will be much less of a hassle. I don’t recommend taking taxis if only because it may not necessarily be faster (keeping in mind the traffic jams in Shanghai). Trains and subway are really the way to go.

      Reply
  • June 26, 2011 at 4:02 am
    Permalink

    Thank you.
    We got the metro from Pudong airport then the fast train from Suzhou railway station but finding where to buy the tickets and knowing which platform to go was very difficult. We then took a taxi from Suzhou rail station and had our hotel details written in chinese but succeeded in being dumped on the street by an irate taxi driver as apparently the directions were not clear enough and we could not understand each other but fortunately the hotel was just behind us.

    Our flight back is at 11:40am and we will have some luggage so we want to avoid the trains as we had to carry our luggage and and down the steps which was quite difficult with all the congestion. It looks like the earliest bus leaves at 7am and I am worried we may not be on time for our flight and it is apparently 2hrs 40 minutes to get to the airport from here so it looks like we have to book a taxi. Maybe if we leave at 5:30am we can be at the aiport well in time and it will be better to sit and wait there than be late.

    We have been to the wedding gown street and it is such an amazing place, I wish I could visit all the shops, we will see how much we can do in the next four days. There are beautiful dresses and I am even not sure which ones I will pick. Looking forward to returning tommorrow. We have found a young lady who will be escorting us to do the translating though her English is not the best but she is ever so kind and helpul which we really need as it is otherwise impossible to understand anything.

    Down side is we are yet to find a restaurant that makes English food which we badly need.

    Reply
  • July 2, 2011 at 11:44 am
    Permalink

    Hello,

    On our return trip, we took the high speed train from Suzhou to Shanghai then the subway to the airport as you suggested. We arrived with an hour and half before the flight was due to depart which was great as we checked in straight away and made our way to security. I doubt we would not have made it on time had we taken a taxi.
    I returned home with some beautiful dresses and made some friends.
    Thank you very much Jocelyn for the information you provided, it has been very valuable in my planning the trip and getting around to bargain for some dresses.

    Regards,
    Lorna.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2011 at 4:50 am
    Permalink

    Could you tell how to get a guide to help me buy wedding dresses from suzhou to sell. Can I also get flower girl dress on the wedding dress street?. Thank you.

    Best Regards
    Theodora

    Reply
    • September 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Theodora,

      Thanks for the comment. I think you have to get a little creative to find a good person. You could start with a website such as couchsurfing.org, which lists people in cities around the world, including China, who would be willing to show you around. Another option is to look for blogs from travel companies — some of the better guides in China have good blogs, and they might be able to recommend someone. You could also do a search on online forums for travel, and ask if anyone could recommend someone for Suzhou. Hope these ideas help kickstart your search — but I’m sure there are more ways to find someone. Good luck!

      Reply
  • September 27, 2011 at 3:01 am
    Permalink

    Hi Jocelyn,

    Thank you very much for sharing. Was wondering, where would u reckon to be a good place with variety for other wedding items such as tea sets?

    Would be travelling to Shanghai next month and we’re planning to visit Suzhou.

    Greatly appreciate ur help! 🙂

    Reply
  • October 1, 2011 at 8:47 am
    Permalink

    Hi guys
    in suzhou city also evening dresses wholesale market?
    i am looking to buy evening dresses in wholesale is suzhou a best place or chaozou and guanzhou is better place?
    please advice
    Thaks in advance
    Lala

    Reply
    • October 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Lala,

      Suzhou does have a few evening gowns here and there as I remember — but that’s not the main focus of the market, so you might be better off with another place. I don’t know anything about Guangzhou or Chaozhou, but if they specialize in evening gowns then they might be more worth your time.

      Reply
  • November 8, 2011 at 5:02 am
    Permalink

    Hi,

    Where is the best place to get evening dresses and mother of the bride suits wholesale in china.?? Does anyone know any factory websites that I can check out for these items.
    Thanks

    Reply
  • February 7, 2012 at 10:17 am
    Permalink

    I am a hairdresser from albania and want to come to China to buy some dresses please help

    Reply
  • March 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm
    Permalink

    Hi,

    I would like to buy a wedding dress. Any idea if shops in Suzhou would ship it to Aust? This is assuming that I didn’t find one I like and needed them to tailor a sample picture.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • March 22, 2012 at 11:29 am
      Permalink

      @BJ, thanks for the comment. I assume what you’re speaking of is going directly to a shop in Suzhou, and then having them ship the dress to Australia? I am not sure whether they offer that service or not — but probably could do it if you paid them extra for the shipping. You’ll just have to talk to the shops themselves and find out what they can do.

      Reply
  • April 24, 2012 at 2:58 am
    Permalink

    So I found a company who says they can make a copy of the dress I want. They are suzhou perfect trading co. on no.18 changhua road. Is this the area everyone is speaking of? I can not travel but want to buy from china. I have read many horror stories about buying online frm china but also some wonerful ones. Does anyone have tips about getting a good dress online from suzhou? Or should I attempt to make a friend in china who can assist me with buying a gown from a store there? Oh what to do, what to do!

    Reply
  • April 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Amber, I was in Suzhou in June last year and made friends with a girl who I am still in contact with and may be able to help. I ordered two dresses from her which she later sent to me in the UK. If you think she fan help, let me know then I can give you the details on email.

    Reply
  • May 29, 2012 at 12:52 am
    Permalink

    Hi Lainey,

    I would greatly apreciate the details of the lady in China you deal with, I am getting married and unfortunately do not have the funds to travel to China.
    I would be very grateful for the information, especially seen as you have recieved dresses! My e-mail is [email protected].
    Many Thanks, Taryn

    Reply
  • May 30, 2012 at 2:37 am
    Permalink

    Hi,
    I’m a bridal dressmaker, and was planning to visit Suzhou & Guangzhou this year to buy wedding dresses & fabrics. Thanks for the great advice on buying dresses!
    I need some info on fabric too, and was hoping you could help – Do you know what bridal taffetas & satins sell at in retail? Is there a street for wholesale purchase of fabrics (i will be buying rolls of material, not by the yd/mtr).

    Reply
  • July 10, 2012 at 11:30 am
    Permalink

    I received a dress today from tiger hill wedding shop on HUQIU road I did not send for this,is there anyway that the shop can
    Know of this and lift the dress ASAp

    Reply
  • July 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm
    Permalink

    hi Lainey
    can I fly from UK to Suzhu Shanghai Airport
    Does the street do Wholesale Bridal Gowns or do u have wholesale websites I can see.
    Thanks for the time taken
    Annie

    Reply
  • July 24, 2012 at 12:40 am
    Permalink

    Hi Annie, I am sorry I am not familiar with Suzhu Shanghai airport. I arrived at Pudong airport after taking a direct Virgin flight from London which was about 8hrs if I remember well as the others which were indirect were as long as 43 hrs. I could not find a flight from UK which was going to Hongqiao airport which is closer but as Joycelyn advises, you could still need to get a train from Shanghai to Suzhou. About wholesalers, I am not sure as I bought from different shops but I do know there are factories perhaps they would be able to give you wholesale prices. I could get you in touch with one factory if you wish. You can email [email protected]hoo.com and you can phone me if it helps. Best wishes.

    Reply
  • January 19, 2013 at 9:38 am
    Permalink

    pls is Suzhou a one stop place for the whole bridal party? pls help me. am planning my wedding and still have not found the place to shop for it.
    thank you

    Reply
    • January 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Linda, since it has been a while since I’ve visited, I cannot vouch for whether the Suzhou Wedding Gown Street has offerings beyond just the dresses. The only places I know of that offer “one-stop” shopping are usually the wedding companies in China — though I understand that not everyone wants to engage such a company.

      If anyone else has been to the Suzhou Wedding Gown Street recently and can answer Linda’s question, please chime in!

      Reply
  • February 18, 2013 at 1:16 am
    Permalink

    Hi,
    May i ask whether there is any cheap gowns that we can purchase from Shanghai? I am going to Shanghai end March and my first plan was to buy a cheap wedding gown in Shanghai. I am not sure if i have the time to make a trip down to Suzhou. Is there any places in Shanghai that sells cheap wedding gowns and all the wedding stuff?

    Many thanks. Look forward to your reply.

    Reply
    • February 18, 2013 at 10:00 am
      Permalink

      Hi Germaine, while I’m sure there may be some places in Shanghai, I wouldn’t know exactly where to suggest — it’s been years since I lived in Shanghai and things change quickly. Maybe someone else can chime in?

      Reply
  • July 13, 2013 at 1:33 am
    Permalink

    Nice blog thanks for sharing, china is one of the most beautiful place to travel.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2013 at 1:59 am
    Permalink

    dear Jocelyn.. i Have read your story and others’s replies. i want to ask, if they also sell for wholesale in suzhou tiger hill?

    Reply
  • October 15, 2013 at 11:02 am
    Permalink

    hi there!

    I LOVE your reviews and assistance to help poor souls like myself!

    I live in South Africa and am starting my own little business here. there is a HUGE market for bling evening dresses, hollywood red carpet style. Would this are wedding gown market keep evening dresses other than bridal gowns? and where else could i go to to find such dresses at affordable rate to re-sell here in SA

    Reply
    • October 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm
      Permalink

      Yes, they should have evening dresses. I also understand that southern China — around Shenzhen/Guangzhou — has a lot of dress manufacturers, so that’s also an area to consider.

      Reply
  • November 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm
    Permalink

    you may visit dressbulk
    is a wholesale website, huge selection of evening dresses and mother of the bride suits

    good luck!

    Reply
  • September 9, 2014 at 10:24 am
    Permalink

    Hi jocelyn ,
    Need to buy plain platinum pure chiffon dress material which is non-polyester . Is it possible to do dat in suzhou please ?
    And if so what is s correct rate one must pay ?
    Thanks .

    Reply
  • January 4, 2015 at 8:25 pm
    Permalink

    Dear,
    Hi!
    I’ve seen your products and I liked, so I’d like your phone contact to talk better please.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • January 19, 2015 at 5:34 am
    Permalink

    Hi,

    I have a friend that has a small wedding dress factory in Suzhou Tiger Hill. He only makes dresses to export to Europe so they are very high quality but still very reasonably priced. Let me know if you would like to connect with him. His English is perfect.

    Reply
    • February 24, 2015 at 2:26 am
      Permalink

      Hi shariff,

      I’m interested with your friend’s shop. Is he selling it online? If yes, can send me the website?

      Looking forward to your prompt reply.

      Thank you!

      Reply
    • February 2, 2016 at 9:43 am
      Permalink

      hello shariff,
      i am going to tiger hill please let me know how i can get into contact with your friend.
      Thank you

      Reply
  • November 13, 2015 at 8:36 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Jocelyn…i have plan to go to suzhou looking for wedding dress and evening gown…but i need more information where i can stay….if i want to eksplore the weddibg market how many days i need….could you email me to [email protected]

    Thănks and best regards

    Nani

    Reply
  • January 5, 2016 at 8:22 am
    Permalink

    Hello,
    I recently toured Suzhou for my dress. There are so many lovely ball gown options, but this is not what I am looking for. While I have found stores that have the lace I like, I have not found it in my preferred style. At the shops, I requested a custom made (copy cat) gown. None of the shops said they could do this. Do you have advice as to where to buy the fabric seperately? Or how to ask for a tailor/custom make in Chinese? Or perhaps where the Suzhou tailor shops are located? Any and all advice is welcome. Also, there were a number of lovely bridesmaid dresses and gowns for black tie events. Did manage to see lots of designer copies in those. The price for the wedding gowns that were similar in quality to the delicate lace and mermaid/trumpet style in the USA had starting prices around 2,000¥.
    Thank you!!!

    Reply
  • February 2, 2016 at 9:42 am
    Permalink

    Hello,
    i am going here to buy my wedding dress and wanted to know is their a particular store time hours i should be aware of? I am only able to go for 1 day and want to make the most of it.
    Also are their any stores i can buy the dress off the rack?
    Thank you.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.