- 3 years ago
I have the dress, it’s in for alterations, my bridesmaids and my mother in law got their dresses there. At this point, I’ve dealt a lot with David’s Bridal, and I thought I’d put my two cents in 🙂
When I was dress hunting I really appreciated the reviews and suggestions made here by the hive, so I thought I’d pass on my own experiences with my local DB here in Ontario (Canada) and include my tips and tricks.
First let me give a little info about me, because for some people David’s isn’t always the best match, but for me it definitely was. I’m a low key bride, easy going, and I’ll be honest I HATE wedding planning. I wanted no fuss, no ridiculous nonsense, no frills, just get in and get out. The first time I walked into David’s just to look, I got a headache after 10 minutes and walked out. Yes, ladies, I am THAT bride.
I was uncerimoniously blindsided by my mother, who dragged me into David’s at 5pm on a Sunday (our location closes at 7pm on Sundays) who no appointment. We perused, were asked if we wanted to try anything on, and my mom answered with a resounding ‘YES!’ and off I was whisked into a change room. It was a great time to go, there was one other bride on the opposite end of the store, and the consultant I lucked into was very laid back and understanding. I tried on 7 dresses total, left at 7pm, and was pretty sure that the second dress I tried on that night was the one I wanted. It was no fuss, no muss, and my consultant was great at making me comfortable in whatever dress I tried. She was tasteful with her compliments (no ‘EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL OMG I’M TRYING TO SELL YOU EVERY DRESS’) and was honest with me when a dress didn’t flatter me in comparison to other dresses. She did bring me other dresses she thought I might be interested in other than what I picked out, and she was great at making sure that I tried at least one or two dresses my mom was interested in, but also protected my interest from the maternal bridal dreams. 😉
I came back a week later with my bridesmaids, all out of towners but one, and had them all try on dresses there. I chose their apple colour, which is not an orange-based red but more of a deep, rich red. It was flattering on my three very different bridesmaids, who I allowed to choose any dress they wanted within the apple colour range. They all ended up with satin-type dresses, for the sake of photographs (I hear different textured materials show very obviously in photos, so they wanted to make sure all the photos looked cohesive)
The one issue we had is that myself and my bridesmaids are all very differently shaped. One of my bridesmaids is a generous size 8, with very broad shoulders from a past in rowing. The other is a size 8 as well, but is a gym nut and has ridiculously muscled legs and thighs. I myself fit a size 4 in their dresses, and am relatively curvy for a 4 (a lot of difference between butt/waist/bust). My last bridesmaid is a size 0, and is incredibly petite. Unfortunately, David’s had no size 0 in any dress on their floor, so every dress looked like a paper bag on her regardless of how we clipped it. This was difficult for her, because my other bridesmaids fit dresses fairly well and had a good idea of what they would look like, whereas she had no real idea what would flatter her or not because everything was huge on her.
My FMIL also went and purchased her dress there, and as an easily frustrated shopper she said she had quite a pleasent experience and walked away with a dress after she tried 3 options. The great thing about our David’s is the size span they have, other than obviously the size 0, which was really comfortable for the vast majority of my party who went in. There are lots of dresses, in lots of sizes, from relatively petite to fuller figured ladies, and that was a great help.
It took us 8 weeks to receive our dresses after ordering, and they all came in at the same time. They quoted us 10 weeks, but we were pleasently surprised that they came sooner. The one odd thing about David’s is that they don’t give you a garment bag for your dress, at all. You have to purchase one for 5$-10$. However, my consultant was great and after having bought a total of 5 dresses from David’s (FMIL, 3x bridesmaids, my wedding dress) she was able to give me a bag with the permission of the manager. However, apparently this is a real no-no in the DBs in the states, which I find is a little odd.
We did run into a little issue with my one BM, who tried on her size 0 dress and found it to be incredibly tight (created ‘back cleavage’ if you know what I mean) and we had a tiny panic attack. We went in the day before we got our alterations done just to speak to the manager and see what could be done about this, as she hadn’t been able to try a size 0 in the store and therefore had no idea it would fit the way it did, and they did match her measurements to a size 0. The manager told us that in 95% of bridesmaids dresses they’re able to let them out a full 2 inches, so we breathed a sigh of relief.
I went in for alterations with all three BMs yesterday, and had a very pleasent experience. The ladies were knowledgeable (I come from a family of sewers, so while we aren’t seamstresses we have an idea of what needs to be done) and explained the reasoning behind the costs to us so that we knew why and what we were paying for. My bridesmaids paid between 60$-90$ each for bra cups to be inserted into their dresses, and to have them hemmed. Some also had straps shortened or raised and had them taken in a small amount. They were able to help my one bridesmaid with her size 0 dress, by having her go braless and just putting in little bra cups into the dress. It does fit much better, and won’t need to be taken out.
My dress required a lot of nipping and tucking, I originally fit the 4 in their dresses like a glove but they suggested ordering the 6 instead, as some of their dresses can be stretched in different areas. I did require it taken in almost everywhere, but was happy I had ordered up as I was told letting it all out would have been even more costly and much more of a nightmare. I ordered the CWG533, the off the shoulder chantilly lace trumpet gown by Oleg Cassini, and the way this dress is constructed means that there’s all the structural layers, a layer of base material, two layers of lace, and then a series of appliques onto the top layer of lace. In order to alter the dress, the seamstresses have to take in the structural layers, the base layer, the first layer of lace, take off the appliques from the top layer of lace and then take that in, and then reapply the appliques. A lot of work, and a lot of money, but understandably so. I appreciated their explanations, and that they were always careful to double check if I was happy with every change. I did not have to hem the dress, I purchased shoes on a whim the day before alterations without trying them on with the dress, and they ended up being the perfect height. This saved me 200$+, because the way the CWG533 is made is that there’s a series of appliques all along the hem of the dress, which must be removed and reapplied for the dress to be hemmed, so the cost is much higher than on the average dress. My total for alterations was approximately 300$, and the dress looked fantastic, even when it was just pinned.
I’ll be picking up my dress on June 13th, so I’ll update this at that point, but so far I can only say good things about my DB experience. Yes, it can be fairly busy, but I’ve met some really interesting brides from many different situations, and it was kind of fun to meet people who are just as crazily busy as you are!
To summarize, here are some of my tips for making your experience at David’s a positive one:
– If you find a consultant you like, STICK WITH THEM. I came in only on days that my consultant was working, which was helpful because I was able to build a bit of a relationship with her and she really helped us out whenever we needed questions answered/information/just generally looked out for us. She knows my entire party all by name and recognizes us every time we’re in, and if she’s busy with someone else will come and check in after she’s done her appointment to make sure everything is going well. She made all my bridesmaids feel incredibly comfortable, even on the busy day they came in to try their dresses on. If you don’t like your consultant, end your appointment and come back another day, asking for a new consultant. Not all consultants are the same.
– Saturdays and Sundays during the day are insane. It’s not very fun, at all. I would recommend Sundays after 3pm, and weekdays if you can.
– It’s a big company, give yourself extra time to order and get things done. It isn’t the stores fault if things come in a little later or not when you expected them to, they’re dealing with hundreds of people to get your dress.
– If you don’t want the fanfare and spectacle of ringing the bell when you find your dress, just thank your consultant and let them know that you really like a certain dress, ask for the ordering time for the dress, and let them know that you want to sleep on it before making your decision. Call back the next day, or even later that day, and order your dress. No bell, no embarassment, and your consultant will still get credit for the sale 🙂
– If you are petite, or have a petite wedding party member, warn them ahead that dresses will look huge on them, and maybe even call ahead to ask about their selection for petites? Maybe other locations will have a better selection than mine did.
– Don’t go on an empty stomach, it’s a bad idea.
– Don’t wear a thong to alterations. I had the seamstresses help me out of the dress, and let me tell you I was happy to have my full-cheeked undies covering my booty. Wear them the wedding day if you want, but for a shy girl like me, I was happy to be a little more covered 🙂
– You will like every dress better if you’re a little bit made-up and wearing heels, it just helps give you an idea of what the final product will look like.
– Thank the staff when they do well or try to help you out, their day job is dealing with bridezillas and I can’t imagine it’s pleasent, so if they get something right or help you out, say thank you! They will 150% be more likely to help you out the next time you ask if they know you appreciate their efforts 🙂
– There are more expensive and less expensive dresses. If you find a dress you like, ask them for something similar, I was able to find at least 5 dresses that were somewhat similar to the CWG533, and I ended up shelling out the extra money because of the colour options available in that dress. That being said, there were more cost-friendly dresses like a Melissa Sweet option that could have been altered and I would have been just as satisfied with.
– Most bridesmaid dresses can be let out up to 2 inches, so don’t panic!
Please feel free to ask me any questions re: my dress, David’s Bridal, bridesmaid dresses, basically anything you can think of. I would be more than happy to answer them 🙂
- This topic was modified 3 years ago by mademoisellesacha. Reason: Whoops, forgot to add the info re: letting out bridesmaid dresses!