(Closed) first outing for a dress…where to go?

posted 8 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
Member
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

i have also heard a lot of bad things about david’s bridal, but my cousin had a wonderful experience there.  she went to “just look” and her consultant was great, we had fun, and she ended up ordering a brand new dress for right around $600.

you could always start there to just see what style or shapes you like.  then you won’t risk the chance of falling in love with a dress that is WAY out of your price range.

good luck though and have fun!

Post # 4
Member
7779 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I went to DB just to check it out. It was not good. Poor quality of everything, dresses, service, selection. Not good. I actually had the best experiences with small dress shops. I looked online for dresses I liked and then tracked down places that had them near me so I could try them on.

I have a $10k budget too.

Post # 5
Member
2397 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I looked at pictures of dresses on the Knot before I went out.  I really liked Maggie Sottero, so I looked up “authorized retailers” in my area on the designer’s website.  That’s how I ended up at my bridal store.

My dress didn’t cost much more than your dress budget (before alterations).  Good luck! 🙂

Post # 6
Member
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I’d say, honestly, for your first outing, if you can have the discipline not to buy anything, why not go to David’s? It’s easy, it’s low pressure, you can spend as much time as you want and really start to get a feel for what you like and don’t like.

I didn’t buy there, but my BMs bought their dresses there. I think the quality is fine for those. I didn’t consider them for my gown because I wanted a very high neck, and 99% of what they have at David’s is strapless.

Post # 7
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I am not a huge fan of DB, but I ended up getting my dress there.  In my opinion, you should at least look at Davids before buying a dress, especially if you want to stay around $600. 

Also, if you do go to shops where dresses are out of your budget, remember you can a lot of the time find the dresses online for sale used.  A $1,000 dress might be in your budget if you can get it from another bride.

Post # 8
Member
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I had a way better “shopping experience” at small boutique type shops vs. at David’s. 

I would recommend going somewhere besides DB for your first trip (if you can, make an appointment and go during the week rather than on the weekend, they will be able to give you a lot more attention). 

Also, I think you may be surprised how many dresses are near or at your price range at non-DB boutiques, if you go to one with lower- to-mid range designers.  I had assumed everything would be $1,000+ but that was not the case at all.  You can still hit David’s later to look but I’m really glad that wasn’t my first dress shopping experience.  I don’t think you get the same kind of service and ambiance you’d get elsewhere.

Post # 9
Member
1523 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I had better luck shopping at bridal salons than DB. My budget was a bit higher than yours, but I would start by going to sites like brides.com and theknot.com. On those sites you can look at dresses in your price range and find designers that work for your budget.

Some designers that I remember having dresses under $1,000 are Jasmine Bridal, Allure, Wtoo, Maggie Sottero and Alfred Angelo. There are a lot more out there so do some research! I found that I really liked some designers but not others. Once i found a desinger that I liked I would find stores that carried their dresses.

Another route to go is to find a large bridal store that carries a lot of different designers so you have a lot of choices to try on. I would also ask bridal salons when they have sample sales, you might get a great deal there!

I guess my biggest problem with david’s bridal was the quality of the dresses. The material and workmanship did not seem that great to me. That said, I do know that some people love what they buy form David’s.

Good luck!

P.S. Look at dresses in the destination line of a designer’s website. Those dresses are purdy and generally less expensive 🙂

Post # 10
Member
3332 posts
Sugar bee

Personally, I had better luck at smaller stores than at DB.  I do think that the main thing that DB is good for is that they have a variety of styles in all sizes, so you’re not just stuck with the sample sizes.  I went there for my very first shopping trip, just so I could get a feel for what style/sihllouette I liked best. 

When I went to salons, I was always conscious of price.  Like you, we had a 10K budget for the whole wedding, so I wanted to keep the dress affordable within that budget.  I found lots of great options at non-chain stores and salons.  My dress was a Casablanca and I thought their dresses were really reasonably priced for the quality of work. (My dress was a little more than yours, but less than $800).  Actually, before I went to the store, I checked out their website.  Even if you can’t see prices for dresses, you can gauge what their price range is by the designers they carry.  Honestly, I didn’t even go a couple of places because I knew their designers would be way out of my budget and I didn’t want to fall in love with something I couldn’t afford.

For me, the main thing that helped was just trying things on.  I pulled lots of photos and ended up getting a dress that was totally diffferent than what I envisioned.  Just try as many as you want, have fun and bring a friend or family member to help out.

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