As promised, here is an update on my Allure inspired gown custom made by FabulousU.
It has been over 3 months since the start of this ‘journey’, and I’m happy to report that it t is finally complete. Overall I am happy with the end result. However, I want everyone to know that there are pros and MAJOR cons to this process. As I mentioned previously, this was my 2<sup>nd</sup> dress for my wedding. My ‘main’ dress is being word during our destination wedding & formal reception about a month later back home. I wanted a 2<sup>nd</sup> dress to wear during the destination ‘reception’ in Mexico to assure that my main gown would be in excellent condition for the local extravaganza! So with that said, had this been a total disaster, it wasn’t my main gown so I still had piece of mind in that.<br /> <br /> So with that said here are the final pictures of my custom gown. I took two different Allure gowns and had them ‘blended’ together. I’m pretty happy about it, except for a few things…which I will get into below.
Here are the Pros of working with FabulousU:<br /> 1. Price: You simply can’t beat it for a brand new dress. This dress was quoted at around $600. One of the inspired gowns I tried on at my local bridal salon was around $3k.
2. Shipping: The shipping was pretty quick! I believe I received the gown in less than a week from notification of shipment. You do have to sign for the package, so coordinating to be home was a bit of a pain.
3. Review Credit: You can call this a pro or con I suppose, but at the very end of the process Tony noted he would take $100 off my amount due for posting feedback of my experience with them. Now mind you, this was also when everything was still going good & smooth sailing. Some would see this as a bribe, but he did not specify WHAT type of feedback to post. It wouldn’t have mattered, as I had already started this post 3 months ago and was going to blog about what really happened in attempts to help other curious brides. Unfortunately for FabU the deal went sour…so the review likely is not what they had hoped for. And now on to that…
Which now brings me to the dark sides of ordering with FabulousU:<br /> 1. Communication: As many brides have said time and time again, Tony @ FabU is SUPER fast at responding and being SUPER helpful in the beginning. This remains pretty constant, with Tony even seeming to respond in the middle of the night. This is all magical…until you pay. Once your deposit is paid the communication slows down…and almost ceases to exist at times. If you are the type of bride who wants to know what is happening with your gown at every second, this is not the route for you. There were days or even weeks I would have to wait for a response. (Note: I only communicated via email, never tried to call)
2. Time: This is not a fast process. Rightfully so, I doubt you want it to be as the end result might be a tad scary. From start to finish this took over 3 months. If you are on a very tight schedule, this might not be a route for you. You already have a million things going on. Save yourself the headache and simply go local and buy one.
3. Alterations..BEWARE: Once I received pictures of my ‘complete gown’ I had two small requests that I was told ‘sure we can absolutely do this for you.’ About a month later I received an email that one of the alterations they would not do (making the neckline a bit more ‘v’ shaped), and the 2<sup>nd</sup> alteration was completely botched. I had asked for a 4<sup>th</sup> row of beading added to the dress (Just like the other 3). As you can tell from the photos the bead work is not only sloppy & uneven, but doesn’t even match the above 3 rows. The beads are a completely different size. I repeatedly asked for confirmation pics to show they were indeed the same (as Tony assured me they were). The FabU team danced around it, and told me everything was fine. Making up excuses about ‘movement, and lighting. Yeah..okay. Fast forward to receiving the gown and as you can imagine that additional row is absolutely awful. I’m having a local seamstress fix it, as it’s just bad.
I addressed Tony & The Fabulous U about the matter, letting them know I was fully aware they were deceitful in their responses about this ‘issue’. In two separate emails I was told I should have read the alterations agreement, and that I was in the wrong. Ha, really? I can forward along the email if anyone would like some comical mid-afternoon reading. Buyer Beware: Apparently there is a clause in the agreement that if you ask for any alterations they will be botched, and you will then be lied to if you question them on it. Also know, once you receive the gown any errors will be all your fault. I must have missed that section of the terms & agreement. My bad….
Again, is the dress destroyed because of this? No. Can it be fixed, yes. But they flat out lie to me, and tried to spin the situation so that it was my fault after the fact. THAT I do have a problem with. If I’m not mistaken we generally call that fraud. They call it normal business practice. Awesome.
4. Quality: As I mentioned previously, the quality of the work on my gown was pretty good. The beading work (on the top part of the gown) was done very well. The dress is super blingy, and very heavy! It was the final haphazard sloppy row that ruined it for me. I just don’t understand how they could take this much time on a gown, only to ruin it at the end on one row of beading. Seems silly to me…
5. Garment Bag: Minor detail, but I asked for a garment bag to be shipped with the dress. What I was given was laughable. It was a lovely 24 inch by 24 inch garment bag…..I mean…. Say wha? I guess I’ll use it for my shoes?
Final Verdict:If you are a very easy going bride, have no real expectations, or deadline then this is the route for you! Chances are 50/50 on what you will get, but you will save money!
However, if you have your eye set on that specific exquisite quality gown, you might want to start saving your pennies for that trip to NY to buy the real one. OR, consider getting one used from one of the reputable sites online. Not to say you wouldn’t get an amazing gown that is close to your dream gown through this process (mine was overall great!) but you will pay for it in time, stress, etc. in the end. Honestly, it really is a gamble.
Would I do it again? Yes, IF it was for my 2<sup>nd</sup> dress (not my main gown). However, I would absolutely NOT go through FabulousU. The dishonesty is a deal breaker with me. It is obvious to anyone that the 4th row of beading is not even close to matching the other 3. If they are willing to lie about something such as this…it concerns me about what other things they would try to fool you with. Very scary.
Good luck ladies!