(Closed) Bridal salons in Chicago – the good, bad and ugly!

posted 7 years ago in Chicago
Post # 3
Member
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

What bridal salons did you visit and what did you think?

I went to

David’s Bridal (Logan Square) – parking is awful on the weekend; they have a lot, but don’t expect to get a space.  I had a good consultant, it was great to try on dresses in a variety of styles and see how they looked as a starting point / to stay on a budget. 

Eva’s Bridal & Gifts (belmont & pulaski) – much lower key / emptier all the times I’ve been in.  my mom & I had to select styles ourselves, and that wasn’t necessarily easy or what i was expecting when I went.

wedding Belles (Barrington) – nice place; busy, but you don’t feel rushed.  they specialize in samples / consignment at a variety of price points.  So many dresses, but not in many sizes – that is one dress / one size.  You also run the risk of someone buying the one you want if you don’t get it *right then*.  Styles will also be slightly older if that makes a difference to you. helpful consultant – steered me towards items in my price range, and away from what wasn’t.  Helped me into / out of the dresses.  They will definitely try to sell you on the accessories (petticoat, jewelry, veil, etc.)


Which one did you end up purchasing a gown from and why?

Wedding Belles.  I liked the dress, and it was in my price range.  and I did not want to chance it not being there the next day if I didn’t get it that day.

Any landmines to avoid?

not at these stores but in general – Do not buy your veil at a salon; there are much better places to get your veil – even if it’s custom made.  Veils are tulle. they are not worth (IMO) $100 or $200!  there are lovely used ones all over, or custom ones from online shops.  the same could be said for jewelry and under things.  My 2c.

Post # 4
Member
3000 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I just went dress shopping for the first time this past weekend and ended up buying my dress at the second place we went to!

First I went to A Joyful Occasion in Naperville. I loved the fact that they only do one appointment at a time, so it’s very personal and everything is focused on you. The owner and her daughter are great to work with and are VERY respectful of budget.  She also told me the new price and sample price of every dress so I knew my options. I loved an Anjolique dress there, but didn’t buy it because I still knew I had to look more. I’d say the only downside is that they don’t have a HUGE selection of dresses, but they do have a variety of styles.

The next day, I went to Bridal Mansion of Lisle (where my mom bought her wedding dress 30 years ago!!). Our consultant Jen was fantastic and so fun. She made the appointment really fun and wasn’t pushy at all. I didn’t try on a single dress that was over $900 and they were all beautiful. I thought I was wearing some $3000 gowns at one point! I fell in LOVE with an Allure sample dress that was marked 75% off it’s normal sticker price because it was discontinued. Although it was two sizes too big, I still bought it because Jen assured me they could alter it to be perfect. The alterations might cost more than the actual dress! I couldn’t be happier with what I found. Also, they have a really really big selection of bridesmaid /Mother of Bride dresses and offer 10% off the cost of those if  you get your wedding dress there. I know we’ll be back.

 

 

Post # 5
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I went to House of Brides downtown and in Glen Ellyn, Macy’s downtown, and another one in Elmhurst that I can’t remember.  I think it was VIP Occasions? 

I liked House of Brides b/c you can go through the racks and pick out what you want to try on and your consultant will help you if you need her to.  VIP Occasions was ok but I wasn’t a fan of their selection and the place seemed a little dingy.  My consultant at Macy’s didn’t seem to care about me since my budget was not $5k and above.  I felt like she thought she was wasting my time.  She would put me in a dress and tell me what was wrong with it and tell me what she thought I shoudl wear but never actually have me try on a dress that fit what she thought would work.  It was strange.

I ended up buying at House of Brides in Glen Ellyn since they were all having a sale.  I would have to say, that had I known how the ordering process was going to go, I would have ordered elsewhere.  I ordered my dress early (Thanksgiving weekend) and was told it would take 12-16 weeks to come in.  After about 5 months with no contact, I kept calling them.  It would take at least 5 phone calls to get someone to answer me and then they would be very condescending and not actually give me an answer about why my dress was so late.  They kept telling me that they didn’t know why I was so worried since my “wear date” was so far off.  Sorry but when you tell me 12-16 weeks, I expect you to deliver.  Personally, I don’t think they ordered it.  Therefore, I refused to allow them to do my alterations and am paying $200 more than I would have on a better seamstress.

I would recommend that you go figure out what dress you want and order it online from netbride.com.  I ordered my Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses from there and they were about 1/2 price and came in 2 months earlier than they were supposed to.

Post # 7
Member
278 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Ladies!!

What bridal salons did you visit and what did you think?

I went to Macy’s bridal salon, White Chicago, VIP Occasions and Belle Vie.

@MUI831I had the same exact (bad) experience at Macy’s. My consultant barely wanted to shake my hand when I met her, and got really testy with my mom and bridesmaid anytime they didn’t love what she put me in; really seemed to be taking their very fair comments personally. At one point when I came out in a dress, she asked them “So what’s wrong with this one?”—*so* rude!  It was totally off putting.

White Chicago had great customer service skills, however their selection was quite limited since they’re all pre-owned/samples.

I had a great consultant at VIP, and really liked their selection of dresses. They also were the only ones that had the Watters Austin style which I was obsessed with for a time. Agreed it’s not too fancy but this didn’t really bother me given their selection and great service.

Belle Vie was super fancy, of course. I went during a sample sale, and though I expected a ‘running of the brides’ situation, it was the total opposite. Only about 50 folks total, and everyone was nice and respectful. The dresses were outstanding, and they had my fave brands; Amsale/Christos.

Which one did you end up purchasing a gown from and why?

I ended up getting my dress during the sample sale at Belle Vie. I just couldn’t pass up getting a $4K Christos dress for under $1K.  Not to be cliche, but when I but my dress on, I couldn’t stop looking at myself and didn’t want to take it off, which hadn’t happened with any of hte 30+ other dresses I tried on. Couldn’t be happier with my decision!

Any landmines to avoid?

Macy’s was definitely my least fave appt. I didn’t like my consultant’s attitude at all, which out a damper on the whole experience. They also started calling me regularly and e-mailing repeatedly even though I tried to unsubscribe several times. Yuck. Loved the other salons though!  Good luck 🙂

Post # 8
Member
34 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My recommendation is to start with a salon where they pick the dresses for you and then move on to ones where you can sift through yourself.  Once you have an idea of what you want, it’s annoying to have someone else editing your choices.

In my search, I went to Macy’s Bridal Salon, Weddings 826, A L’amour in Barrington, Bella Bridal in St. Charles, and Eva’s Bridal in Tinley Park. 

I really enjoyed my experience at Macy’s, but I had a GREAT consultant.  I went specifically for the Watters brand, but ended up trying on just one from that brand.  The downside I found was the prices were a bit high — and it was hard to tell what they had in your price range.

Weddings 826 was okay. The selection wasn’t that good, and I didn’t find the prices to be that good either (unless you’re a size 8/10/12 and buy off the rack). You can pick dresses here yourself.

A L’Amour was my least favorite salon. The staff were really rude and disinterested. They also tried to lay on a pressure sell, while trash-talking other dress brands.  The whole thing was off-putting.

Bella Bridal was great and had a nice selection. I worked with BreAnn there. You can pick dresses here yourself.

I finally ended up at Eva’s Bridal in Tinley Park, where I bought my dress. They carry almost the full Allure line, which is a brand I loved. In general, they have a huge selection that you can sift through yourself. The store itself isn’t anything to write home about (the new store is still under construction) but the staff was super friendly and didn’t even complain when I kept them an hour past close. 

Good luck with your shopping!

Post # 9
Member
48 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2012 - Patrick C. Haley Mansion, Joliet, IL

What bridal salons did you visit and what did you think?

I visited David’s Bridal in Orland, Eva’s in Orland, Eva’s in Tinley (no relation to the first store), and House of Brides on west 95th street. I really enjoyed my experiences at every store except Eva’s in Orland. Plus, their prices were the worst of all the stores for the same dresses.

Which one did you end up purchasing a gown from and why?

I ended up going with Eva’s in Tinley. Honestle, my sales-lady had a lot to do with it. I loved her style and she grabbed a dress for me I never would’ve picked out myself. And when I mentioned an idea I had, she ran with it and found my perfect dress. Plus she helped us get a good discount that’s available for anyone who buys the dress the day they try it on for the first time. It helped encourage my mom to go ahead and put the money down.

Any landmines to avoid?

After I left Eva’s in Orland, I kept getting these letters in the mail about how terrible their store is. It confused me because there was no return address and I don’t know how whoever mailed it to me got my address. Kind of creepy actually, but based on my experience there, plus that of my bridesmaids who went back later to get measurements, I wouldn’t recommend that place. We got the dresses we found there from a different store.

Post # 11
Member
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

What bridal salons did you visit and what did you think?

Which one did you end up purchasing a gown from and why?

Any landmines to avoid?

I live closer to south suburbs so I went to Davids Bridal in Oaklawn, consultants were very nice but did not any dress. Went to House of Brides in Oaklawn, consultants were not helpful and NOT very many dress’s to pick from.

I did like House of Brides in Orland Park, they did have alot to pick from. I recommend it there……BUT I found my dream dress in small boutique called Francis Bridal in Hinsdale, IL. Ended up choosing Mikaella 1406. They had gorgeous dress’s.

I would avoid Bridal Elegance in Ottawa, IL. For some reason the so called designer dress looked cheap. and consutants had no idea of the designer I was referring to.

Post # 12
Member
28 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2012

What bridal salons did you visit and what did you think?

I went to White Satin Bridal in Plainfield, IL and The Crystal Bride in Geneva, IL. I had an absolutley wonderful experience at both.  The sales associates at both were very helpful and not overly pushy. They made suggestions based on pictures that I brought in/styles I liked but also allowed me to sift through the dresses myself and make my own selections.

Which one did you end up purchasing a gown from and why?

I ended up purchasing my dress at The Crystal Bride because I found a style there that I absolutely loved! I knew I loved it when I put it on, but the sales associate gave me time to walk around in it and really decide for myself.

Post # 13
Member
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

This is a good thread for me to contribute to…I went all over the place in the search for my dress! Haha.

What bridal salons did you visit and what did you think?

Wolsfelts Bridal (Aurora): Pros: Big dressing rooms. Cons: Didn’t let me take pics. Wouldn’t tell me what designer I was wearing. Kind of pricey. Pushy salespeople. Overall experience: Not good. This place is my least favorite/landmine.

House of Brides (Aurora/Naperville and Schaumburg): Pros: Great prices. Nice consultants at both stores. Cons: Didn’t let me take pics (actually, one girl did let me). Overall experience: I went to Schaumburg becauses the Aurora store didn’t have any of the dresses I’d found online. I liked dresses I found at both stores, just none of them happened to be “the one.” I found their pricing close to David’s, but nicer quality. 

David’s Bridal (Aurora/Naperville): Pros: Great prices. Large selection. Pick dresses for you and let you pick. Let you take pics. Cons: Not good service. Lower-quality dresses. Overall experience: I had bad service at David’s. I was there for an hour and a half and tried on a total of four dresses. Because my consultant, who was juggling four different appointments, was constantly disappearing, leaving me sitting in a dress I didn’t like, with no back-ups pulled for me. But, that was just my bad experience. I know others who have had good experiences at David’s. Although to me, you could feel the quality of the fabric was not as nice as designer dresses. 

The Dress by Nicole (Wheaton): Pros: Unique brands. Nice consultants. Let you take pics. Cons: Small. Limited selection. Kinda pricey. Overall experience: I went here twice, and really liked the dresses I tried on. But, they were a little pricey, at least for my budget (the lowest I tried on was $1,300, when I had a budget of $1,000). The salespeople were nice, would let me pick styles, but the store is small so they don’t have a lot. I would suggest coming here if you are looking for a unique designer (for example, this is the only place near me that carries Kitty Chen’s line).

White Satin Bridal (Plainfield): Pros: Great prices. Nice consultants. Let you take pics. Cons: Smallish selection. Overall experience: I really liked this store. The consultants were very nice, and they had designers who were less expensive, like Mori Lee. They had a bigger selection than The Dress but a little on the smallish side.

Bella Bridal (St. Charles): Pros: Big selection. Let you take pics. Nice consultants. Big rooms. Champagne and cupcakes! Cons: A little pricey. Overbooked. My overall experience: I came here because I loved Enzoani, but eventually that wasn’t the style I decided to go with. They were really nice here during my appointment, pulled dresses for me and let me pick me own. However, I almost left in frustration. They were overbooked, and I waited for 45 mins (!) after my schedule appt time before I was able to go in and start. I had to rush, because I had a hair appointment afterwards. They had an event going on that weekend though, so it might be an exception.

The Crystal Bride (Geneva): Pros: Big selection. Let you take pics. Good prices. Cons: Small rooms. Overall experience: I really liked this place. They picked some dresses for me and let me pick some. They had a mix of lower-priced dresses and higher-priced ones. They had a lot of trumpet/fit-n-flare styles, which is what I wanted! But the consultant wasn’t super helpful, she was very quiet.

Which one did you end up purchasing a gown from and why?

I ended up buying from White Satin Bridal. I originally found my dress at The Crystal Bride, but when I was at Plainfield (for the second time) retrying another dress, I realized they had “the dress” there too. I bought it from them because I really liked my consultant there (she was super nice, very forthcoming with any information, told me all prices and designers). Also, Plainfield was slightly cheaper, plus they gave me additional discounts.

Any landmines to avoid?

Post # 14
Member
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Any landmines to avoid?

Wolsfelt’s Bridal. They were very pushy, withheld information, and were pretty pricey. They didn’t let me take pics, and it just so happened that the two dresses the consultant pulled for me were “exclusives” to their store…aka made by one of their OWN designers. For not really being “designer” dresses, they were pretty pricet ($1400). I went back later, since they were the first place I went to and wanted to see what else they had. I found a dress I really liked, but I wasn’t ready to bite the bullet. I scheduled a time to revisit it later that week. After I went home I realized I forgot to ask who the designer was. I emailed and asked, explaining that I wanted to know since I wanted to look up pictures online. She called back and left a message totally avoiding the question! She did not tell me who the designer was, but instead told me I could take pictures when I came back, to pick out the color of my dress. Ugh! Very pushy sales, dodgy tactics, purposefully withholding information: avoid this place, if you can. 

 

Post # 15
Member
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

What bridal salons did you visit and what did you think?

Eva’s Bridal Tinley Park-
The place was hard to find as there is no sign on the store. Aside from the look of the store inside (which needs organization and upkeep) they have very nice dresses. It is not a big selection but the gowns they have are nice quality, good designers, and look “expensive” without an outrageous price tag. I found a dress I really like there by Luna Novias. Service is OK, a bit pushy as they try to sell you the “Love at First Sight” incentive, a discount of about 10-15% available only on your 1st appointment when you find a gown you like. However, the ladies were pleasant and I enjoyed the appointment. They won’t allow photos.

Eva’s Bridal of Oak Lawn– I had high expectations especially since I saw very nice gowns in Tinley Park and I thought this place would be similar. Nope. They have more dresses, however, they all have that “cheap” look to them- too much poof, heavy satins, beading, etc. Service was very good at the beginning…but my consultant pretty much abandoned us by the end, when she figured I didn’t like anything she brought for me. Tags are removed from the dresses so you cannot tell the designer and they won’t reveal one to you during the appointment. No photos again. Not the best experience.

The Dress by Nicole (Wheaton)– Very nice store. It is small but the gowns they carry are truly beautiful. My consultant Nikki was very helpful and pleasant, she gave me the information I needed about each gown but did not pressure me to a sale. I liked several gowns when I tried them on, but after looking at pictures- they are probably not it. Each gown has a designer tag and price, everything is open and clear. Positives- they let you take pics. This was a welcome and refreshing experience after both Eva’s.

Macy’s Bridal Salon- Came here to try on Tara Keely dress they had in my size. My consultant was very nice and offered me a great discount on the dress. Might be going back to buy her. I did not try other dresses because I felt my budget did not allow it.

Kasia’s Bridal (Chicago)– I decided to stop by because it’s close to my house. They have very few dresses from particular designers shown on their website. Their samples are old…hardly anything from the latest season. Service was super nice and I felt no pressure to buy. Again, no designer tags…you have no idea what you’re trying on. I figured out quite a few dresses though.

LJM Bridal (Chicago)– Again, close to my house. I passed this store on my way from Xmas shopping so I decided to stop in and see if they’ll let me look at dresses. I went on a Saturday without an appointment and they were super accommodating. I told them what I’m looking for and they quickly pulled few gowns for me to try. I’m must say the gowns I tried were very nice…however, I was turned off again by lack of tags or information about each dress. This store actually replaced the designer tags with their own name. Is that even legal? I know I tried on Maggie’s Karena Royale, which I’ve been dying to get my hands on. They will do a discount on 1st visit. Again no photos. Prices are reasonable.

Which one did you end up purchasing a gown from and why?

Still looking. I just really don’t understand all this secrecy regarding dress design and style or is it really just my luck. I will most definitely NOT purchase a gown without knowing what I’m trying on, so even if I love it…sorry…you’re not getting my $$.

Any landmines to avoid?

Eva’s of Oak Lawn was most disappointing so far. 

I really enjoyed reading this thread as I’m trying to decide where to go next. I will probably make a drive to Geneva and cancel my appointment at Wolsfelt’s. Keep them coming ladies 🙂

Post # 16
Member
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

What bridal salons did you visit and what did you think?

I went to Eva’s bridal of Oak Lawn, David’s Bridal of Oak Lawn, and House of Brides of Oak Lawn. Eva’s was the best by far. They were polite to me, even though I didn’t have an appointment, and worked with me after their fire. I was treated very badlt at DB and HOB; at DB the consultant tried to cover my tattoos and insulted my height and my color scheme; at HOB, the women behind the desk were extremely dismissive of me, stuck me with a consultant who was nice, but obviously not liked, and then sent her out for their lunch…while I was in a dress.

Which one did you end up purchasing a gown from and why?

I ended up purchasing from Eva’s. First of all, because the dress was perfect, and second of all, because they were understanding of the many unfortunate incidents in my life. I was only able to put down half a deposit, and it took another 6 months to come up with the rest. I almost couldn’t pay off my dress when it came in. They worked with me through it all.

Any landmines to avoid?

David’s Bridal and House of Bride’s, for the above mentioned reasons.

The topic ‘Bridal salons in Chicago – the good, bad and ugly!’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors