Post # 1
I just moved to San Jose about 6 months ago and my 2 best friends are flying to see me and go wedding dress shopping… but I have NO IDEA where to go! Any suggestions? Are there any must-go places in San Fran or around the San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View area? Also, if you know of any with reasonable prices I would appreciate it – my budget is around $2K, so I have looked at brands like Maggie Sottero and Casablanca .
Post # 3
@FutureNorris: I found this past post super helpful: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/sf-bay-area-wedding-gown-shopping. Trudy’s is mentioned a few times and is in your area.
I’ve checked out Blossom’s in Stoneridge mall in Pleasanton. They have quite a large stock and dresses at and below your price range.
Flare’s Bridal in Walnut Creek just opened. Right now their selection is very limited but the sales girl Ray is so helpful and willing to special order most anything with a bit of a discount, too. I’m thinking of ordering an Essence of Australia dress from Flares that I tried on in a shop that overpriced it.
I haven’t been to the shop, but Elegant Lace is in San Jose and they seem to have a good selection and reasonably priced.
Post # 4
I just went through this process! My budget was also capped at $2000 after alterations. I tell you what, Trudy’s is a super classy place – easy to start there, and the consultants are super knowledgeable. However, since they are so popular and generally a large store, you are limited to how many dresses you can try on while you’re there. Also, their prices are decent, but generally about a couple hundred dollars more than some other stores in the area.
I had a great experience at J’aime Bridal in downtown Pleasanton – they’re not a huge store, rather a small boutique. But they allow you to comb through everything they have, and pretty much try on whatever your heart desires.
I bought my dress at Bay Area Bridal in Cupertino – while this place gives off a slight “ghetto” feel when you go in (If you live in the San Jose area, some girls will remember the New Things West from prom dress shopping – these are the same guys), I found that their prices were at least 100-200 dollars cheaper than other bay area bridal salons. If you go to Bay Area Bridal, make sure to ask for an appointment with Denise – she is a delight to work with, and listens to everything you’re looking for in a dress. However, my experience at Bay Area Bridal has not been 100% positive – I had some scheduling issues with them, and as a result, not a happy moment. But all is well, and my dress is on its way.
So to sum up, I believe that it’s a great idea for every bay area bride to experience a “Kleinfeld like” shopping day at Trudy’s, but just keep in mind that your favorite dress may be in another store for just a little bit cheaper!
My final dress purchase was an Anjolique gown, which was retailed at $1,050, but I got for about $850 at Bay Area Bridal.
Hope this helps!
Post # 5
Go to Glamour Closet! Half price designer gowns – some samples, some discontinued, buy off-the-rack.
Post # 6
I had a really great experience at Janene’s Bridal in Alameda on Saturday. It’s a bit of a drive (I live in the south bay, too), but was worth it. She gave me 2 hours for the appointment, was very helpful and easy to work with and fun. They also have all the dresses out on the racks for you to look through and pick out your own. They’re not all wrapped up in plastic, either, so you can really explore on your own as well as ask for suggestions. She carries Maggie Sottero and Casablanca along with several other brands… most of the dresses should be well within your budget.
I probably won’t get my dress there because her selection was almost entirely full length and I think I’ve decided to go short dress, but I definitely would recommend the store.
Post # 7
I had a great experience at Papers and Petals in Burlingame. They have a lot of Maggie dresses and Casablanca. She has a huge selection under $2,000. I read the reviews on yelp before I went and a lot of people did not like the owner. She helped me during my appointment and I LOVED her!!!! She will not bring you a dress over your budget, which I really liked. She is also very matter of fact with you – she will tell you if it looks good or not very bluntly – which I appreciated. I liked her so much that I have now gotten all of my bridesmaids dresses there as well as my mom’s dress. I really had a great experience there!
Post # 8
Gesinee’s Bridal in Concord is where I got my dress. They had a large selection of reasonably priced gowns, especially if you are over a standard bridal size 8 or 10 and need a bigger sample to try on! I ended up getting my Casablanca dress there, off the rack (brand new sample) for $985, including tax. If you buy a sample they clean, press and fix anything that might be wrong with the dress, so that’s nice.
For alterations, go to Anne Ventresco, she is doing my alterations, custom bolero and a hair piece (using beading and lace from my alterations!) for LESS than what the bridal store wanted to charge to nip in the waist!
Speaking of Casablanca, I love my dress and was DELIGHTED to found that mine came with a French bustle already attached! All my tailor had to do was bring the button loop up a few inches (which she is doing at no charge). Adding a bustle usually costs $150 at least, so that is such a huge money saver.
Post # 9
Glamour Closet (SF): Discounted designer gowns. The only problem is that you have to buy off the rack, so it helps to be a more “typical” size. Unfortunately, I also noticed some of the dresses had small tears or dirt marks on them.
Amy Kuschel (SF): They have a selection of gowns here under $2k. All gowns are tailor made to your body with alterations included in the price! Her designs tend to be more simple with less embellishments, so if that’s your style you should definitely check it out.
Novella Bridal (SF): Plenty of gowns for under $2k here.
Janeane’s Bridal (Alameda): Also plenty of gowns for under $2k here.
The Wedding Party (Berkeley): Their bridal selection is very affordable with most gowns under $1k. One of the co-owners, Clara, is wonderful to work with. She is very friendly and shows you all the different ways you can change/style a gown.