(Closed) San Francisco Wedding Dress Shopping

posted 8 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
1398 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Hi! I’ve been all over the bay! There’s a bunch of really nice places to go. San Francisco itself is harder, because for some reason the shops book a month in advance. It’s quite ridiculous, so I just didn’t bother with them.

Trudy’s Brides, where there are tons of dresses but they go pick them out for you after you tell them the style. No rummaging through dresses, and although my dream dress was there, it was never recommended to me. The girls were nice, but pushy and I ended up buying a dress I regretted.They did let me bargain down my deposit though, which was nice because I didn’t lose that much money when I decided against the dress. They did not offer to transfer the deposit though, which is why I did not buy from them on the second one.

Bay Area Bridal- Same sort of shop, tons and tons of gowns, but at least this place has a binder that you look through and pick out all the dresses you like. From there they get all those dresses and you can try them on. The girl was really nice, and they offered me a substantial discount if I bought my dress there the first time. I didn’t end up doing this, but you could use this place as a bargaining chip if you find your dream dress somewhere else and want to save some money 🙂

Rin’s Bridal- this is where I bought my dress from, mostly because it was local. The ladies were really nice, and she let me both look through the dresses while she picked out some styles she thought were good for me. I liked all of her recommendations.They weren’t able to give me a discount though, and they made me pay half my deposit plus tax.

Glamour Closet- where you can get your sample sale on! 4 racks of dresses ranging in all prices. You have to get there before it opens though, I literally went there at 9:50 in the morning, decided to go get coffee, when I came back at 10:05 they had a 3 hour wait. This is because they only allow two brides to shop at a time. You can really get a steal on some gowns though, and they update their inventory all the time.

Nouvelle Vogue: in san mateo, its definitely couture. No pictures, but gorgeous dresses. I found the most amazing dress here and if it weren’t for the price tag, it would have been mine. Only for the fat wallet bride!

Mariels Bridal Boutique in redwood city: Very nice girls there, they let you go wild looking through the rack while she picks out styles. They don’t have many to choose from, and the lighting is kinda yellow and crappy. But there price points were all amazing, there wasn’t a single gown that was over 1k (that I liked anyway). Lots of Casablanca and Mori lee.


Those are all the shops I went to. I read tons and tons of reviews on Yelp before making appointments, and researched prices before I bought my gown (the second time anyway :P) Dont be afraid to ask for a discount, or discounts on alterations, if they want to make the sale they will make it work. Don’t let them talk you into anything, always go home and sleep on it before you make your decision! They might tell you things like “oh well this might get discontinued soon, are you sure you don’t want to put down the deposit to be safe? It’s transferrable to another gown” LIES, I tell you! They know whether or not a gown is being discontinued, it doesn’t just pop up one day.

All that aside, it’s really fun! Don’t be worried about a bra, they’ll give you a strapless one there. I found bringing heels was helpful, and make sure to walk around in the dress, SIT in the dress, and make sure you can dance in it! Good luck!


Post # 4
28 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

I checked out eight salons and had ten appointments total during my dress search:

Bridal Galleria (SF): I went towards the end of June and originally thought I might need a dress in September (I changed my mind and didn’t need a dress until June 2011).  I think the consultant was surprised that I didn’t know the lead time for a dress (5 months minimum she told me).  The consultant went through the dresses with me, and then went off to pick out dresses she thought I might like based on what I said.  The dresses I tried on were in my price range, and they didn’t give me anything to try that was outside my range.  I did find one dress I liked, but they were pressuring me to do a rush order by the next day to have it by September.  I didn’t love the dress enough to make a decision, and I thought they could have been more friendly.

Amy Kuschel (SF): If you are looking for simple, elegant, and classic dresses, this is the place to go.  The only downside is that since every dress is designed by Amy Kuschel, they tend to look similar to each other.  The consultant went through the collection with us to figure out what I liked, and we picked out dresses I liked to try on.  I really liked that the price was all inclusive – no pesky extra alteration fees.  Also, if you bought your dress on the second or third appointment, they gave you a $150 discount.  I thought my consultant could have been a little friendlier.  I didn’t end up buying my dress here, but my runner-up was here.  I visited Amy Kuschel a second time to try on the runner-up again before making my final decision.  The consultant seemed friendlier on my second visit since she probably knew she might be close to a sale with me.

Glamour Closet (SF): Designer sample dresses at discount prices.  You walk around looking at the dresses and tag the dresses you want to try on with clothes hanger.  Only two women at a time can try on dresses, so we had to wait about half an hour before I could try on the ones I selected.  Although there are some famous designer dresses here, I didn’t like the fact that I would still have to pay somewhere between $2-4k for a designer dress that wasn’t brand new.  I noticed some of the dresses had dirt marks and tears in them which was rather unfortunate.  The staff was very friendly and helpful though.

The Wedding Party (Berkeley):  Budget dresses at $1k or less!  The selection wasn’t huge, but I could tell that there had been careful thought in selecting the dresses.  Clara, the co-owner, let us go through the collection and pick out dresses I wanted to try on.  Clara was extremely sweet and helpful and wonderful!  She had tons of ideas on how to change a dress or add different accessories.  Even though my appointment was at 5:30pm, Clara took her time to help me and I never felt rushed considering how late it was getting (my appointment ended around 6:45pm).  I really enjoyed my experience here, and my favorite dress here was only $700!

Janene’s Bridal (Alameda): Lots of dresses to choose from within an affordable range in prices.  You can definitely find plenty of dresses here under $2k.  We went through the dresses ourselves and picked out the ones I wanted to try on.  Janene and her daughter, Stephanie, run the shop, and they are very friendly and helpful.  Although I found a couple dresses I liked, I thought a lot of the dresses were too puffy with a crazy amount of petticoat underneath.  I felt like I was drowning in the dresses.  Janene did mention that if you did your alterations with her (she is a seamstress who opened up her shop a year ago with her daugher) that she gives a 20% discount.

Novella Briday (SF): Also plenty of dresses to choose from here that are within an affordable price range.  Again, we went through the dresses ourselves and picked out what I wanted to try on.  The staff was friendly and helpful.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find a dress here that I liked.  My mom thought the material wasn’t good quality, and I just thought all the dresses looked bad on me.

Marina Morrison (SF): High-end salon with a beautiful space above Gump’s on Maiden Lane.  When I originally called to make an appointment, they told me that their dresses start at $2400.  If you are looking to spend $2k or under, then Marina Morrison might not be worth a visit.  My consultant sat us down and asked what I was looking for before going through the collection with me.  She made it clear when I was looking at dresses above my price range, and I appreciated that.  I found a dress that I thought was “The One,” and I came back a second time to try it on again. I spent forever at my second appointment trying to decide, and my consultant was very patient with me.  I finally decided to buy it, and I love it!!!  My consultant has been super helpful, and I was able to bargain down on the alteration cost.

Jin Wang (SF): Another high-end salon on Maiden Lane.  Although we arrived on time, no one was in the main area and it took a few minutes before someone finally came out and greeted us.  We went through the dresses ourselves and picked out what I wanted to try on.  The consultant also picked out some dresses for me based on what I told her I liked.  I found one dress that was really pretty but also really expensive.  The consultant was friendly and helpful.

Post # 5
25 posts
  • Wedding: April 2011

I highly recommend both Nelly’s Bridal in South San Francisco and if you are willing to go a little further south on the Peninsula in Cupertino there is Bay Area Bridal West which has a huge and I do mean huge selection. The consultant Jessica is absolutely awesome and even if they are booked they will try and fit you in. Nelly at Nelly’s Bridal is the nicest woman I think I have run across. Her shop is small but personal and she can order from many different designers. I don’t care for Rin’s Bridal all that much because I always felt rushed there all though they are nice. However they did try to sell me a sample dress that was like two seasons old because they didn’t have a sample of the dress I was looking for. However instead of telling me they didn’t have it they just kept pushing this other dress. So that put me off. Mariel’s Bridal like another bee mentioned is low on options and has poor lighting. The stores a bit grungy. All in all I think Bay Area Bridal in Cupertino is my favorite for selection and willingness to work with any sort of budget….but if you go make an appointment with Jessica seriously she is one of the best consultants I have seen at all the salons I have visited.

Post # 6
33 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

I bought my dress at the Glamour Closet…it is sort of hit or miss though, and since they are all samples you have to buy the dress if you love it because it might not be there the next day!  I highly recommend it if you are a size 6-8.  My dress was in near perfect condition (some small dirtiness on lining of hem and one small tear in lace that is 1 cm, can be easily repaired or have applique moved to hide it)

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