Post # 1
Since I’m very new at wedding stuff and I know there’s so much knowledge and willigness to share in this forum, I thought I might ask for a favor: could you girls educate me about the bottomline and the basics of the most important wedding gown brands/designers? Who are the ones you absolutely have to look into? The ones with more styles? What’s their specialty (sexy vs elegant vs modern vs classic)? Price ranges?
I know, many questions, but maybe we can build a super helpful database little by little? pretty please?
Post # 3
Intricate and reasonable prices: Maggie Sottero
Intricate and super pricy: Pnina Tornai
Simple and reasonable prices: Alfred Angelo
Simple and pricey: Vera Wang, Jim Hjelm
Those are the basics, but there are a billion more choices out there!
Post # 4
I didn’t look for a specific designer when I looked for my gown. I just went on the knot, google, and wedding gown website and printed out pictures of all the gowns I liked. Then I went through all of them and picked my top 50, and then I went shopping. The ladies at the one shop I went to were really helpful and gave me choices based on the style I was going for and my budget. I ended up with a Justin Alexander 8137, and it wasn’t even on my list.
Post # 5
Monique Lhuillier, Priscilla of Boston, Melissa Sweet, and Pronovias are on the higher end, but make beautiful dresses.
Allure, Casablanca, and Mori Lee offer dresses that are less expensive.
Post # 6
I agree with Noritake… I didn’t look at designer names – and frankly, really didn’t care about “who” made the dress. For me, it was all about how the dress fit me and I felt while I was wearing it. I did look at bridal mags before visiting salons to get an idea of what I thought I liked as far as shapes go (A-line, trumpet, etc.) to learn that terminology. But honestly, you have to really try on the different styles to know what they will look like on your body. I ended up loving – and wearing – a “fit and flare” dress and I never in a million years thought that I would like that style. i was so hesitant to try it on but a girlfriend made me and boy was I glad she did!
Post # 7
I agree with several of the above posters… I would focus on “style” of dress you like, rather than who makes it. I went to several bridal boutiques with a laundry list of designers, but ended up buying from Alfred Angelo (what some people might call a budget-option). Why? Because the dress was exactly what I wanted. Just cause it’s a Vera Wang doesn’t mean it’s going to look great on you. It’s about cut and fabric and your shape. Whatever the tag says, rock it when you find The One 😀
Good luck in your search!
Post # 8
I agree with the others, I think it makes more sense to approach it by…
-figuring out how much you feel comfortable spending on the dress (don’t worry about brand)
-looking online at dress pics WITHIN YOUR PRICE RANGE to get an idea what your general taste is. I wouldn’t search by brand, but by price, at this point.
-at your 1st dress shop visit, trying on a bunch of different silhouettes and necklines – even try on things you think you might not like, it’s impossible to tell when the dress is on a hanger and many many brides have been surprised by what ends up looking good on them. At the start of the visit, tell them your price range and general thoughts on what you like from searching online – but brand isn’t important yet.
-once you have a silhouette in mind that works on your body, try on a million different variations on that theme (that are within your price point) until you find the one you want to buy. This is when you start getting a little more picky about who the designer is, what the material is, the detailing, etc.
Post # 9
Thanks for your responses, I do agree with you about the general approach to get a wedding dress, but at the same time I would like to know the price range/quality of materials/availability of the different brands… you know? to have a better idea when I’m looking online or looking at pics that you girls post…
For example, I was looking at maggies today, and loving some of them, and since the site has no prices in it, had no idea if I was looking at $ 3,000 dress or an $ 800 dress 🙁
Also, I do not know most of the designers, so I guess even a plain list with a name of the most important ones will be helpful at this point!
Post # 10
What’s your price range? I would consider Pronovias reasonable and they top out at about 2500. Maggies top out at about 1500. Other designers no one has mentioned are Lazaro and Alvina Valenta.
Post # 11
I say go online look up wedding dresses find ones you like go to stores try them on similar one’s atleast the problem I had in my mind what dress I wanted and when I went to try it on It was horrible…so online shopping for me is no good I’m a really picky person so Go to multiple to store hopefully you will run into thee one…good luck
Post # 12
First, budget! Figure out what you can spend. I didn’t want to spend 2-3K on a wedding dress, so I stayed away from high end couture designers. No point looking if i wouldn’t spend the money, really.
Then go try stuff on. That’s the best way to get a feel for what you like! What I liked online was NOT what looked good in store. Then, i could filter my searches by things I wanted my wedding dress to have, which gave me an idea of different styles.
Interestingly enough, I walked into an off-the-rack sale for funsies and walked out with my wedding dress 4 hours later. Surprise! haha.
Post # 13
Kleinfelds online is a great way to get a feel for some dresses. Some are definitely way expensive, but they go by silhouette, price, designer and other filters.
My dress was an Anjolique and i loved it. 🙂 Maggie Sottero’s are great dresses that aren’t outrageous– they are known for their corset backs.
Post # 14
On the lower end, you can find a better quality dress from Mori Lee for the same or cheaper than Davids Bridal. Davids is not the end all of “budget” dresses, and I always find it a shame so many think that’s their only option.
In the mid range, I’d put Allure in the lower mid, Maggie Sottero, and Pronovias for my favorite designs. I purchased a pronovias, and for the price (800-2,000) the workmanship, quality of fabrics, and designs and utterly amazing!
In the high mid range I’d place Justin Alexander (some designs fall under 1-2k, most are over 2k)
High end, Amsale, Vera, Kenneth Pool, Monique, etc…
Obscenely expensive – Pnina Tornai (some over 25K)
Another thing to consider, is the dress vs dress individually. My top two dresses came in at $990 or $1700. The one that was cheaper would have required a lot of alterations and additives… a more elaborate veil, etc… When I put alterations and what was required to complete the “look” the deal was the same. I choose the more expensive, but it cost the same in the end than if I had chosen a cheaper gown 🙂 And for the record, both of my top two where Pronovias. I could have found my “real” dress cheaper but wanted to buy local.
I’d more consider not only the “dress” budget, but mainly also the overall “look” budget.
Post # 15
You can also add in Jasmine in the lower range and the Jasmine Couture line around $1-2k. Jasmine’s run anywhere in the style category. They’ve got a little of everything.
Moonlight also around that range, their designs are very traditional and detailed, usually tons of beading and embroidery.