Post # 1
Well, I am ridiculously impatient. I suppose this is something I should divulge if any of you lovely women happen to follow as my wedding plans unfold. Not only am I impatient, though, I also happen to change my mind about as often as this Ohio weather changes. (i.e-ALL THE TIME)
With that said, I promised myself I would not wedding dress shop until at least March of next year. I did not want to give myself the time to fall out of love with my dress and decide I need a new one. Until I found out about Church Street Bridal. Oh. My. Word. Heaven in Bridal Shop form. (Or so it seems) I just have to visit this place…and I cannot wait until March..no way, hose!
SO. I need some advice, girls. I am 7 hours away from this place and as of right now, planning to take the long trip in December with one of my bridesmaids and my mom. I have one fear: they won’t carry many in my size. I am a size 2-4 in bridesmaid dresses, and I know many of the dresses they get are samples (size 6-14) to fit everyone. Of course I can get it altered, but I imagine the cost would be almost as much as I spend on one of their gowns.
Did anyone have the same fear I do when wedding dress shopping? Has anyone shopped at Church Street Bridal, and if so, what was your experience? Please, share!
Post # 3
Church Street Bridal gets their dresses from Kleinfelds. I’ve heard really good things about them. I was going to go there to try on dresses but it is about 4 hrs from me and I didnt feel like making the trek! I am “friends” with them on facebook. Sometimes they post pictures of their gowns and they are gorgeous!
Post # 4
I am also very petite (and also live in Dayton, haha!), and although I had hoped to find a designer sample, I was unsuccessful. I attended a Filene’s Basement sale, and only found a handful of dresses (out of thousands) that were anywhere close to my size. I visited a store that specializes in samples in CT, and again, only a few were anywhere close. I also went to a Priscilla of Boston sample sale at their flagship store, and there was absolutely nothing. If you are set on a top designer, then the alterations costs could be worth it. For me, it wasn’t, and I ended up ordering a dress (a whole nother challenge…it’s tough ordering a dress when you only tried on a size 16 sample!).
But, I haven’t been to Church Street, so they might have more sizes.
Post # 5
I made the trip from Ohio to CSB and would recommend it. I thought about the trip as more of an adventure than anything else. This way if I didn’t find my dream dress, I wouldn’t be totally disappointed and feel like I wasted a trip. I went with my parents and stayed overnight. We did CSB, the JCrew outlets, and made a trip to visit historical Charelottesville.
Although they aren’t as many size 2’s and 4’s as there are 10s, there are still selections in smaller sizes. I didn’t really go through them because I am a little bigger than you. I would email Michelle at CSB and ask about the smaller size selections.
Good luck and have fun!
Post # 6
I agree with Coffegal, email Michelle, she is nothing but wonderful. Consider it a girls roadtrip and you will have memories if nothing else!
Post # 7
@Ms. St. Louis: What is your street size? My understanding is that high-end bridal sizing translates to around two sizes smaller than street sizing anyway (so if you were a size 2, you would be around a size 6). This held true for me and many others who purchased from Church Street.
Most dresses do need some alterations made to them, but they are SO highly discounted that alterations costs don’t bring the dress price close to even a fraction of the original cost. We’re talking $10,000 dresses discounted to $500. I got a dress that retailed for $4,600 for $450. It’s insane. Do keep in mind, though, that most of these dresses are samples so they will need minor repairs. Again, nothing that would bring the cost close to the original cost, but repairs nonetheless. You should definitely email them with pictures and names of dresses and designers who interest you, to get an idea of what their selection is. I love Church Street!!
Post # 8
Ladies–thanks so much! I really appreciate all the input. I do not necessarily have my heart set on a designer dress–my only requirement is that I feel beautiful on my day! (And of course, every bride loves a great deal.) It is my intention to give my dress to a fellow Bee as soon as my wedding is over…so someone else can love it as much as I know I will!
@coffeegal85: & @Leprechaun: Do you ladies know of anyone who does alterations in Ohio relatively affordably?
Post # 9
I’m a street size 4-6 and bought a size 10 dress which was only slightly to big in the bust area. I think that bridal sizes run alot smaller, especially the designer gowns! I definitely think it’s worth the trip! They have an array of sizes and styles and are a very helpful group of ladies, plus you’d be supporting a great cause 🙂
Post # 10
@Ms. St. Louis:I wish I knew. I am currently searching for a seamstress and not having a whole lot of luck. But I’m in Cleveland, so you might have better luck down there…
Post # 11
@mckernae: Thanks for all the wonderful advice! I am a street size 4-6. 6 in jeans, 4 in dresses. All of my many bridesmaid dresses in the past have been 2’s or 4’s. That makes me a bit more confident to know I may fit in a 6 or even an 8! That’d be great 🙂 (Probably the ONLY time a woman would be happy to be going up in sizes! hehe)
Minor repairs are completely understandable. Before I found out about this salon, I realized I would spend MAX $1,000 on my dress, alterations, veil, everything. (This is the one thing my mom insisted on paying for, I could tell how important it was to her, and I also know she does not have thousands, let alone tens of thousands to pay for a dress) I knew there was a chance I may have to settle just so my mom could buy my dress. Of course it bums me out, but mama is worth it!
At any rate, when I learned about Church Street, I saw the “settling” disappear and realized I may actually be able to have the dress of my dreams! So I suppose I am just trying to figure out if I can please both mama AND myself…have a wonderful, beautiful dress, while also not nickle & diming my mom with alterations & repairs. Maybe it’s all about finding the right seamstress?
Post # 12
@LaraW: That’s great to know! Makes me feel better already 🙂
@coffeegal85: If I happen to find a great seamstress, I will make sure to let you know. Even though we’re a few hours away from one another…if you’re in desperate need, it may help! Best of luck 🙂
Post # 13
I would be careful about purchasing a dress before you plan the ceremony. Some ladies have purchased “the perfect dress” but then they get married indoors or outdoors or on a beach or in a museum and suddenly their perfect dress isn’t so perfect for their wedding. Daytime or evening ceremony times can also affect your choice for a dress (glitzier for evening, plainer for daytime).
Post # 14
@Ms. St. Louis: I had my alterations done by a woman out of Cincinnati, Lori Schur. All I had done was a bustle, but she only charged me $15 for it, and it was a rush job. She was in the process of moving when I worked with her, but I found her current contact info on a knot page: http://cincinnati.weddings.com/Sites/Weddings/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_ohio-cincinnati_alterations-lori-schur-pls-1
Post # 15
@MightySapphire: I thought about that, too! But we have our ceremony and reception venues booked already! We are having our ceremony indoors at an old, Episcopal church right next door to our reception venue, which is also inside with a ballroom sort of feel. 🙂
@Leprechaun: You are wonderful! Thanks so much for finding that for me. I will give her a call soon. Thanks again 🙂
Post # 16
I’m the girl who found the place. So far, it seems as though three Ohio Bees have driven there. However, they really seem more than happy to ship. Bees in Sweden and Australia have had dresses shipped.
FYI, the Bee moderators asked us to move the thread. It’s now over here: http://classifieds.weddingbee.com/topic/the-sample-gown-gold-mine
By The Way, I’m a size 2 at J. Crew and Banana Republic and I wear a 6 in high end bridal. In Monique Lhuillier’s more slinky dresses (like Scarlet), I need an 8 in the hips.
Both of my wedding gowns are bridal 8s (won the first from the designer, the second was a sample). Altering the first cost $150, but I realize that my seamstress is a rare gem. I was expecting to pay $400. Altering the second will probably cost a little more.