- 8 years ago
- Wedding: November 2011
I’m posting about my experience dress shopping in NYC with the hopes of helping another New Yorker out! It was really helpful for me to read about other people’s experiences when I was trying to decide where to shop.
A little about me: I have a budget of $1,000 (give or take), and I’m average-sized (size 8 in real life, apparently I’m anywhere from 8-18 in bridal world) and looking for a fun but simple dress with straps.
First of all, it is practically impossible to find a dress with straps! But the good news is, when they are doing alterations, most dresses can have straps added on later.
Okay, onto the shopping talk:
1st stop: Bridal Garden
I had high hopes for this place and it has pluses and minuses. It is TINY and you look through the racks yourself. There is a bg range of styles and prices, from $600 at the lowest and up and up. The downside is that the dresses definitely feel worn and used. The first time I went, I found one dress I really liked but wasn’t ready to buy since my mom was coming into town 2 weeks later. They told me that they have a quick turnover and that I should probably put a hold on the dress ($100 per week of holding) so I could show to my mom when she came. I wasn’t ready to do that, so I left it there.
When I came back two weeks later, sure enough the dress was still there. But I didn’t like it so much anymore. I found another dress that fit perfectly. They wouldn’t let me take pictures but I snuck my friend into the dressing room with me and she took a picture of it (don’t tell!). We asked tons of questions, and they were so helpful. We left thinking that it was a really good choice and that we might call back and buy the dress depending on how the rest of the day went.
2nd: David’s Bridal
I decided to stop in here (despite the chain reputation) and was happily surprised. They have so many choices and you can actually try all of them on in sizes that fit. yay! My salesguy Larry was so nice and fun, he was really great to work with. Some of the dresses were tacky looking, but there were a few that were really nice. Because there were so many choices, I was able to get a good idea of what styles looked the best on me.
3rd: RK Bridal
I showed up at 9:25AM on a Saturday and there were another dozen people waiting already. When it opened, I was 5th on the list and got in right away. It felt quite crowded during the appointment but they have so many dresses. I found several that I really loved. The woman helping me (Nicole) was great and picked some really neat things. Budget-wise, there were definitely a lot of choices within my $1000 range. This is a great place to go for a huge variety of dresses.
Custom-made designs by Yvonne in Brooklyn. These are well within the price range (everything I liked was under $700 with alterations included). You can’t try a lot of things on, but you get a feel for the types of dresses she designs, then you narrow down the details on cut and fabric. She was really great to work with. In the end, I think it was a bit too simple for my taste, but very flattering shapes. There is an amazing cupcake shop next door 🙂
5th: Lovely Bridal
AMAZING. I love this place. It is great place for unique, flirty, beautiful dresses. They range from $800 – $5000. At this store, I tried on fewer dresses than anywhere else, but found more than I liked. The experience is incredible there – you just feel beautiful standing in their shop. The salespeople are so friendly. I worked with Julie and she was wonderful.
I ended up falling in love with a dress here. Not to mention every single accessory in the entire store.
Finally here are the places I did not go – because I called them beforehand and they laughed at my $1000 budget: Wedding Atelier ($1800+), Bridal Reflections, Designer Loft ($1400+) and Kleinfelds (why does EVERYONE say “go to Kleinfelds!” ugh!)
In the end, it was really hard to decide until I went to all these very different types of places. The boutique experience at Lovely Bridal was definitely my favorite – although I appreciated being able to look through the racks at Bridal Garden and RK Bridal myself.
Do you have any other ideas for bridal shopping in NYC on a $1,000 budget?