(Closed) Bridal shops the good and the bad

posted 7 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
Member
3295 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i went to a few diff shops but the one i bought from was a small boutique.  they only scheduled appts in one hour increments and catered to only one bride who was dress shopping at a time. there were couches and the set up was beautiful and not overwhelming.  they also had another room for fittings… so there was only ever two brides in the store at once… now i know this is not ideal for many bridal shops… but it was my favorite thing about dress shopping there. ๐Ÿ™‚

a few pics of the setup….

Post # 4
Member
2891 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Ok I have been to tons of bridal shops so lets go one by one:

1st place I went was a small boutique (Lennox East). Loved the feminine victorian decor. Didn’t like the fact that they had one small dressing room on bridal side and one on the prom side. The rooms were to small so you had to come out to be laced up which can lead to some embarrassing moments if the wrong person should walk in at the wrong time. They also lacked comfortable seating for bridal party (though they are very helpful :D). Just to cluttered for my tastes.

The second and third places you will be well familiar with their set ups AA and DB. Very assembly line oriented, lacks charm and warmth and privacy! Their rooms are way to small. You struggle to get into a ball gown without bumping into the sales girl.

The fourth place was again small (Classic Bridal). They had the dresses in the front rooms then they have a living room type of set up for bridal party to wait and view the bride and changing rooms behind that. I liked that set up even if the rooms were slightly cramped.

My fifth store was Betsy Robinson’s and it was very nicely laid out but was kind of cold and sterile for my tastes. You walked in to a very impressive front desk. Reminds you of the best hotels. They had a seating area of to the left (sleek and modern). They had their fitting area in front of huge windows. I am too shy for that even if it is on the second floor! They had three rooms of dresses. Then large changing rooms. You modeled the dress right there in the changing room. I believe they had two chairs but not enough room for a whole party or enough room to get good profile pics so we had to have someone take the pic thru doorway. The doors of the changing room are those closet door slat type which kinda made me feel uncomfortably exposed though no one can really see in unless they are trying.

I will skip the dozen stores in between and share the BEST place with you.

It is Curvaceous Couture. They have the absolute best set up! I love them so much!  You walk in and their front desk is functional but not intimidating. The salespeople are super friendly and chatty. You can tell they really love weddings! They have comfortable seating for a large party. They have a very spacious layout. They register you and ask about your wedding. You are escorted to a dressing room and shown dresses on a tv. Once they know your style they make suggestions or you can go browse them yourself. The dresses are not crammed together and overflowing the room. You can browse and pull dresses and your own personal helper carries them to a very spacious, very modern, HUGE dressing room. They have two comfortable oversized chairs in there. Multiple hooks line the wall to hang dresses, huge mirrors and the room has its own platform and plenty of room to lace a gal up in privacy. The rooms are so big at one point I had three ballgowns lying on the floor and four hanging on hooks and still room to move! After you have them on they escort you to a viewing room so your whole party can view the dresses. I love this place for the exceptional service, the amazing dresses (all in large sizes), and most of all their sensitivity to a gal’s privacy. The main room even has purple drapes covering all the windows and doors so that a bride has absolute privacy while in the store. They also only take one or two appointments at a time for bridal. The bridesmaid dressing rooms were quite a bit smaller but still bigger then most stores main changing rooms.

This place made me very happy as you can see! (That isn’t even a dress I like on me. I just loved the experience of shopping there!) If I was to open a bridal store I would definitely model it after their setup. It was worth the four hour drive. Stop in and see them if you are ever nearby. I wish I had taken pics of the whole store for you.

I don’t think you even have to spend a fortune on decor. I am very into the country cottage look and not the very funky modern (CC) look. What got me is the spaciousness and privacy. They treat you like your a queen and never embarrass you by opening a door at the wrong time. I think you could do this with all vintage shabby chic stuff and it still be just as great. PM me if you have any questions. ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope I helped!

Post # 8
Member
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Several of the places I went to had very “tired” decor– outdated, chipped paint, dirty carpet. It didn’t give me a lot of confidence in their financial stability. Other things I didn’t like–rooms too small for bride and consultant, not enough mirror space for seperate brides and guests, dresses that are crammed on the rails (we all like a good assortment, but still…)

in ATL, Priscilla of Boston probably had the best set up. Bridals by Lori is a beautiful space, but nothing will make up for poor customer service. I liked how your store had the “prom girls” on the other side of the store.

Post # 9
Member
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

i really like small boutiques. i ended up buying from this shop.  it  only has two dressing rooms and i was the only bride in the store both times i was there.  (felice bridal boutique)

i really liked the vibe of this shop with the whole downtown urban loft feel.  (the shop is anna be — sara gabriel veiling flagship store.)

– I like priscilla of boston’s really spacious fitting rooms. (no picture but most of us know how priscilla salons look like)

– anna be served champagne but it wasn’t a deal sealer or breaker for me. (loft pictures above)

– i didn’t like david’s bridal  — too many dressing rooms and the rooms are tiny.  i’m not a big gal and i barely fit in there with the dresses and the consultant. (i think we all know how david’s looks with the teal carpeting.)

– i went to another shop called d’annelli’s.  the dresses were in bad condition and the shop was dated.  but they carried a huge selection of gowns. (two pictures below)

(picture above is not me.  i found the picture on a local news station’s website. they were doing a story on the bridal shop.)

Post # 10
Member
2589 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

David’s Bridal was a total nightmare – I went in there just to have fun with my bridesmaids – trying on bridesmaids dresses just so they could get an idea of what I was picturing (I just gave them a color).  The saleslady was pushy and obnoxious. She gave me a REALLY hard time when I refused to give her my phone number. There were dresses all over the floor in the dressing rooms. Now they won’t get their Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses there just out of principle. 

Cristina’s in Andover is where I got my wedding dress. It was a great experience. Once I decided to “say yes to the dress” the owner (Cristina) herself came out to the floor – introduced herself to me, thanked me for my business and asked me if I was pleased with my overall experience in her shop.  Even though I’m sure its just a customary thing she does, it made me feel good about spending my money there. 

Post # 11
Member
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Please keep you air condition on very cool. The dresses are so hot and bad A/C makes it worst.

I did love the stores with huge mirrors and smaller hand mirrors.

I always forgot hair ties and bobby pins so have different basic hair accessories.

I loved when I could take pictures of the dresses. Quite honestly if I want to buy the dress somewhere else I would regardless of whether I can take a picture or not. 

My family loved being able to see the pictures of my dress even though it was an intimate moment with my mom.

 

Post # 12
Member
1398 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I am actually surprised that you found that many stores that would let you take pictures. I went to three stores who would not let me take a single picture and made it impossible to even sneak one. I then went to davids bridal and it seemed like they actually encouraged it. Actually, i had better service at davids bridal then at the three boutique stores i went too, although I wouldn’t have said my experience at any of them was bad.

Post # 15
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I went to a few shops but I love the one I bought my dress from. They have them giant mirrors in the large chunky frames, floor to ceiling, cheaisse longs (no idea how to spell that), late area for me to walk up and down the floor (wooden, so the dresses slide nicely) and the staff really made it special, they were all just so lovely, friendly and helpful. It really does make a hue difference having nice staff. The only downfall is I’ve always dreamed about having champagne when I was dress shopping (or even sparkling wine) but I’ve never seen that in any shops here ๐Ÿ™ x

Post # 16
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I went to a few shops but I love the one I bought my dress from. They have them giant mirrors in the large chunky frames, floor to ceiling, cheaisse longs (no idea how to spell that), late area for me to walk up and down the floor (wooden, so the dresses slide nicely) and the staff really made it special, they were all just so lovely, friendly and helpful. It really does make a hue difference having nice staff. The only downfall is I’ve always dreamed about having champagne when I was dress shopping (or even sparkling wine) but I’ve never seen that in any shops here ๐Ÿ™ x

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