Post # 1
Hi all, here it is my story: I’m getting married in August, in Brazil. My first plan was to get a dress there, where I know exactly where to go!
But I needed to come to USA (Rhode Island) for working reasons and now, I must find my dress here (I’ll head back only for the wedding). I have no idea about where to go, and how things works here in terms of timing, designers, pre-owned vs new dress, and so on. Plus, I’m all alone to decide, I can’t have my mom or friends together for shopping.
I have already saved some pictures of dresses that I really like, from Sottero and Midgley, Sophia Tolli, Stella York and Demetrios, but I also have no idea about these designers specially in terms of price and dress quality.
I would be more than happy if someone could give me some hints in terms of what to do first, how long before the wedding should I order a dress, some opinion about the quality and price of the dresses of the designers that I mentioned (or advices about others), or anything else you judge useful for this moment! I’m kind of lost on it and being alone does not help much! Thanks in advance! 🙂
Post # 2
You need to order a dress now for August unless you are okay with paying rush shipping. Most of the shops I looked at during the end of January said I was nearing the end of my window to order a dress in time for our July wedding.
There are some stores that can get dresses faster- BHLDN comes to mind, but I know there are others- and you can always buy off the rack and give yourself enough time (2-3 months?) for alterations.
Also, I feel you on not having anyone to shop with. I went alone to all but one appointment and it was actually really fun and easier without having a million people giving me their opinions. It was still a really fun experience 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 3
wow!! Sounds like I’m already late! I’d better start scheduling some appointments soon. Thanks for sharing your experience and for the tips! It’s good to know I’ll not be an “alien” going alone to the shop! 🙂
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2016 - Theater
First of all: congratulations! Yay!
Secondly, you should google bridal stores, bridal salons and inquire if they are by appointment only, or if you can do a walk-in (so you just go whenever convenient to you). The designers you list are generally on the pricier side, but it isn’t really a problem. If you go to a bridal salon, tell them what you like (or show them pictures) and then tell them your budget they’ll be able to help you. If the dresses are over your price point, they will pull alternatives that will have the same look and feel but not the price tag!
You could also attend trunk shows or sample sales. But personally I hear these are madness, so I didn’t even bother. Second hand dresses can be found at bridal consigment stores or online. I like looking at the dresses here on Weddingbee (classifieds), Tradesy.com and preownedweddingdresses.com and I’m sure there are others like ebay and etsy. You should choose your second hand dress seller carefully, and many sites have protection for you as a buyer in case something goes wrong (scam, dress not as described).
If you order from a bridal store their delivery times can vary, as does the delivery times between different brands. My Sottero took 4 months from purchase to delivery, and should allow further 2 months for alterations (hemming, taking in or letting out, etc). This too depends on the salon and you should certainly ask. Since August is about 6 months away, I would start looking at dresses soon!
I think the safest place for you to start is to make appointments at bridal salons to try on the dresses you’ve picked out and like to see if it fits your body type and if you like them when you see them up close. I thought I wanted a heavily beaded dress because of pictures I looked at, but when I actually put some on I realized that I simply don’t like them at all! It can happen. Hence why you should try some on before you buy in person or online.
Good luck, bee!
Post # 5
Rhode Island puts you close to both Party Dress Express in Fall River, Mass and Vows Bridal in Mass.
Party Dress express typically has a sample section that is significantly reduced (occasionally amazingly reduced!) and also will allow you to purchase some of the in-store dresses (samples, too). I also found they were really quick to check on how fast they could get a dress for you if you are in a rush. They do not require an appointment to try on wedding gowns, so I found it easy to browse there.
Vows Bridal in Mass is proably 95% buy and leave with the dress (from the television series). You MUST have an appointment there. They do have some orderable dresses, but those are clearly separated and marked.
Both had a large selection of Maggie Sottero. Party Dress Express also had Allure Couture, Allure, Mori Lee, also the higher end Mori Lee Line (can’t recall name), and a lot of other things.
What size are you? What style are you looking for?
Post # 6
I went to all of my dress appointments alone, dont worry! If I were you I’d start calling some shops to make appointments, and while you’re on the phone with them tell them you’re getting married in August and ask what their typical timeframes are. My Alfred Angelo dress came in 3 months, and I know Davids Bridal usually comes in quickly too (although neither have the designers you listed). Also google if you have any cosignment shops in your area. Good luck!!
Post # 7
Also, just saw your info on shopping alone- I did that as well. Both Vows and Party Dress Express took pictures for me. They were very helpful about budget and fit. And, I was really uncomfortable with wedding gown shopping and both places were quite friendly. You may be able to brign a tablet or use your phone to skype from there? That way you could show friends and family? (also, just as a tip, if you are using photos, try to have them stand at the same spot and take photos at the same angle for all dresses- it makes a huge difference if you are looking at the pictures later). As another tip, try on things you would not normally pick. Some things that look terrible on the hanger are actually quite beautiful on.
I’m in Rhode Island, so shoot me a private message if you have more questions. If you aren’t familiar with the area, both places are fairly easy to get to and find with GPS (PDE is in a more industrial area- but little traffic when I went). I would not advise going to Vows or leaving Vows at rush hour if you are not used to driving in traffic.