(Closed) Austin Area Bees–Share your dress shopping experiences!

posted 9 years ago in Austin and San Antonio
Post # 3
Member
1018 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I have not been dress shopping yet… I get to start the second week in July when my mom gets here. I can’t wait! I will definitely have to check these places out. And I will post on here if I come up with any other good places!

Post # 4
Member
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House

I’ll add mine:

Alfred Angelo (Southpark Meadows): 

I had a really good experience with this location.  All the sales ladies have been friendly every time I have been in.  My only advice is to double check the dress size you order.  I swear I ordered a dress in one size and received a size larger.  However, I had no way of proving this because I somehow misplaced my dress papers (after I decided to go with a completely new dress).  So I guess in my situation, it wasn’t a big deal…. but if this is going to be the dress, just double check!

Belle Siason: 

I went in here maybe 2 or 3 times to try on dress #2.  Since I knew exactly what dress I wanted, I had no problems with the crowded dress racks. 

Netbride (online store):

Honestly,  I was really nervous about ordering such an expensive item online.  However, they were really easy to work with and my dress came in 3 weeks earlier than I expected!  I saved almost $200 (online price + what I would have payed in Texas sales tax) by ordering online vs. buying in store.  I think the only benefit to buying in store is that you get discounts on other items (shoes, veil, invites, etc.).

Post # 5
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2018 - Country Club ceremony, ballroom reception

I tried on many very pretty dresses at AA in Southpark as well and just didn’t find "the one".  The service was decent but oh my word, they wouldn’t stop calling after I visited — like every other day!  Oi!

I purchased my Jackie at Unbridaled and had a so-so experience.  PM me if you’d like more deets…

I had alterations done at Alexa Gavela Bridal and I cannot say enough good things about the store, the people who work there, and the seamstresses.  Seriously, one of the best bridal experiences I had.  LOVE AG and would have purchased my dress there had I stopped by earlier in the process!

Post # 6
Bee
11826 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion

I didn’t go dress shopping in Austin, but I did try to buy a veil at Unbridaled.  That’s the store I blogged about who gave me the run-around.  While I didn’t have a great experience there, I know that they have since fired the girl who screwed up my order.  Since they’re local and small-business minded, I’d definitely recommend other people to give them a chance.  Their shop is totally cute, and they have all kindsa great accessories and bridesmaids dresses there.  And a pretty good selection of short dresses, from what I remember!

Post # 7
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I got my gown at Belle Saison and was pretty satisfied with everything.  We went in, dug through dresses ourselves and didn’t really use a consultant, so I can’t vouch for their helpfulness.

Post # 8
Member
6 posts
Newbee

Eventhough I live farther south, I ended up doing my dress shopping in Austin (mainly bc I showed up to a conference 4 days early!).  I did both Alfred Angelos and had a much better experience at the store farther north.  The calls were a real turn off and I had both stores calling me. 

I had heard good things about Serendipity so I made my appointment and showed up.  It was probably the rudest experience I had.  Being a little heavy, the consultant looked at me and said, "we don’t have much for a girl like you."  I wanted to crawl under a rock!  She allowed me to try on one dress and then excused me.  A terrible experience!!! 

Finally I went to Celebrations in New Braunfels and found fabulous dresses and really wonderful people.  They were great to work with and made me feel wonderful! 

Post # 9
Member
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

<span class=”il”>Belle Saison

pro:  I started here, bc it was the biggest and more affordable dresses, and I wanted to get an idea of what looked good on me before I went to other stores

the actually have a range of sizes

this could be a pro or a con, but the ladies aren’t in your face as much, so you can take your time, but I had to have my friend zip, etc…

also could be pro/con, but they really push packages

con:  they didn’t really help me figure out what would look good on me (mostother stores didn’t)

Melange

pro:  super nice, dresses are "adjustable" so size doesn’t matter as much

con:  was a little out of my price range and I felt maybe the dresses in general would look better on slim frames…if I had more $ and was skinny, this would’ve been my best experience

Balina:

pro: my 3rd choice dress was here, they give a decent off the rack discount

con:  this was my WORST experience…they won’t let you look for your own dress, they treated me like I was a waste of their time and a fat @$$, bc my budget was $1000 and I’m 5’10" and a street size 12 (eventually got a bridal 12, too)…seriously, it was crazy rude

Serendipity

pro: my 2nd choice dress was here, they give a decent off the rack discount, she convinced me to try a trumpet, which I never thought I wanted, and that’s the shape (tho not the dress) I eventually got

con:  they won’t let you take pictures…it was the highest pressure, the off the rack dress I wanted had a lipstick stain, and they kind of blew it off, like I’d have to buy it before they’d try to get it out 

Alexia Gavela

pro: this is where I bought my dress, so please PM me if you want more specifics, as it is a REALLY long story; I liked the selection; nice atmosphere

con:  they wanted to charge me full price for off the rack; they told me I tried on a 10…due to the full price for off the rack (they wouldn’t take ANY off) I ordered a 10 at a closeout online which went to waste, as I really needed a 12..lace dresses don’t alter easily…by then it was too late to order so I panicked and went back THEN they gave me 10% off!  (still think it should be more….then, they kept my dress hung by the spaghetti straps…I’m 5’10" and had to have them shortened bc they had stretched…they charged me for it and denied any wrong doing….but once again, it was TOO late and I gave up fighting…)

Alfred Angelo(Arbor Walk)

pro: n/a

con:  I never tried on dresses here..the one time I walked in by myself, bc I was next door for something else, they didn’t help me…after a few minutes of being ignored, I decided to not shop w/ them

Used dresses

I tried the shop by Petticoat Fair, BUT I am too tall to wear most people’s hand me downs after they were hemmed…I had to wear low heels with a dress that runs longer (tho, not special ordered as Tall)  If you are a budget bride, you could try here, just adjust your expectations…also good for MOB

BMs

I highly recommend the BMs store even though we went w/ something online…also checked out Davids (no tall available!) and AA, but their greens were not my taste and see above <span class=”il”>

Post # 10
Member
1018 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I like the format you used, connotwait. Here’s mine:

 

David’s Bridal (North): We went here first to get a taste of what it’s like to shop for a gown and to see what they had on sale. The attendant we had was very helpful, and they weren’t very busy even though they said Saturday was their busy day.

 

Austin Discount Bridal: We had a hard time locating this place, and almost didn’t go up. The place seems kind of dark and dingy, and most of the gowns, though cheap, were also old. The dresses also ran really small. Some had dirty spots that would have to be cleaned off. I tried on three dresses, just because the lady was so helpful. Then we got outta there! It was kindathe joke for the rest of the day, I am sad to say.

 

The Bridesmaid Store: I pass this on my way to work every day, but we hadn’t planned on going. We ended up going there just because we got on 183 going the wrong way and it was nearby. I was very impressed with these guys! Their bridal rooms are in the back, and they had quite a selection. The attendants were so very helpful and their sale prices were impressive! They had gowns originally priced in the low thousands on sale in the low hundreds! We ended up finding my dress here. They will hold anything for up to 2 weeks, too, which is perfect!

 

Unbridaled: We showed up here without an appointment, because we happened toe in the neighborhood. They had one other customer at the time, so they did not turn us away, but they made it pretty clear that we did not deserve their attention. After a quick glance at the sale rack, and trying on a few things (nothing really that exciting though) we started to make our exit. Suddenly we were worth their time! Why were we leaving so soon? "Take a look at our catalogues, I’m sure we can find something for you!" Bottom line, if you go here make an appointment and make sure you budget is at least 3k, because they don’t have a lot of variety below that.

Post # 11
Member
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I bought two bridesmaids dresses in Austin this year & my dress in New Braunfels.

Alfred Angelo (Southpark Meadows):  My experience at this store was not good. I refuse to shop at Alfred Angelo for my wedding. I went in to try on a bridesmaids dress and ended up with a dress 2-3 sizes too big. That salesladies were unhelpful. After they took my measurements they informed me of my size. Knowing that there is no way that would fit me, they assured me that they knew what size I wore and that I was a perfect size 8. When I asked to try on a dress, they gave me another dress that was completely different to try on. It was too big and after I hunted down the saleslady to tell her, she said not to worry because my dress was a different style. (why did she have e try on that dress then?) I should have just left but I ordered my dress. My strapless dress fit around my hips and not my chest when I finally got it. At least 6 inches had to be taken out.

David’s Bridal (Sunset Valley): I visited David’s Bridal on the same day I went to Alfred Angelo & the difference was remarkable. I had 2 dresses to pick from for this wedding so they gave me 1 in my street size and 1 in one size larger. They didn’t have the right size to try one in the dress I chose, but I could tell what size to order from the dress I tried on. The staff was so helpful and polite.

 

Celebrations (New Braunfels): I just bought my wedding dress here and my two sisters had previously bought their dresses at Celebrations. Overall, we all have had pretty good experiences with this store. They did order on of my sister’s dress in the wrong color. She ended up having to exchange it for the dress on the rack and have the seamstress cut it down to size. But obviously it turned out okay since I was told I had to go shopping there too.

Post # 12
Member
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I tried dresses on at the usual places…Alfred Angelo, David’s Bridal…

Alfred Angelo– (Arbor Walk) The service was good once they figured out I was a bride.  I had walked in when I was “just looking” and wasn’t even greeted.  (I hate that!)  I came very close to buying a dress there but wasn’t completely sold on it.  Especially when the message they left on my answering machine about the sale price didn’t match what I was quoted when I went in.

David’s Bridal– (Gateway) The store is dirty!!  Ick! The carpet was gross!  I tried on a few dresses but felt like they were very similar to the ones I had tried on at AA…nothing different.  (and I was tired of having clips at my back and trying to imagine what my size would look like)

Austin Bridal & Formal (North Lamar) I picked up a flyer at the Bridal Expo (with a $100 coupon on it) and I held on to it…just in case.  I finally went in after getting frustrated with the other two stores.  I was shocked when I walked in… Adrian, the salesperson who had helped me at AA was working there!  (She was equally shocked 😉 she thought I had already bought my dress)

Adrian pulled dress after dress for me to try on…tons of different styles in my size!  I had an idea of what I thought I wanted and what I knew I did not like. We kept trying on until I found it!  I gave myself a couple of days to think about it, then went back and ordered the dress.

I put 1/2 down and paid the other 1/2 when it came in.  My dress came in the exact day they said it would and they were running a special for 1/2 off alterations.  Turns out I only need a bustle added…my dress is a Mori Lee and you can order them in 3 lengths.

This store has TONS of styles to choose from.  They even carry bridesmaid dresses & tuxes.  Worth looking into…I happy so far.  (ordered my veil when I picked up my dress, almost time for it to be ready) =)

Adrian knows her stuff!

Post # 12
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

David’s Bridal (Gateway) – I went to DB on two occasions. The first consultant I had seemed a bit fake and wanted to take control of the entire appointment. I asked if my sister, best friend and I could go look in the racks and she said “only I get to pull dresses”. Um okay. Not once did she smile or laugh or anything. She just wasn’t the best salesperson. The second time I went I had another consultant that was juggling more than one bride at a time. Although her personality was better than the first consultant, I felt like she had more of the “do what you want” personality and let me and my girls run wild in the store.

Alfred Angelo (Arbor Walk) – The consultant I had was Araeli (sp) and she is a sweetheart. I felt very comfortable talking to her and letting her know what I wanted. She pulled a few dresses with my suggestions then let me walk the racks and pull what I wanted. Their store manager Lindsey, is also a sweetheart. I always get greeted by her or by the sale associates every time I walk in. They are very welcoming over the phone as well. I’ve had to make last minute changes to my appointment times and they were very accommodating.

Post # 13
Member
146 posts
Blushing bee

Melange-I ended up buying my dress here, first they have some designers that other places around just don’t have and I really wanted to try on a few dress from a particular designer and they have a lot of trunk shows so thats great. The attendants were all very helpful and genuine, I went by myself and they were very helpful in letting me know when something didn’t flatter me as much as a different dress. 

I know this is a pretty old thread but I wanted everyone to know they are still pretty great.

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