Post # 1
In March, I will offically begin my dress shopping….so excited! My wedding planner suggested a few places, but I don’t want to visit more than 3 or 4 places, if not fewer.
Does anyone have any insight into any of the following Bridal salons? I’m looking for a place with a wide selection that will have enough room for me to try on gowns with my mother / godmother / sister/ Maid/Matron of Honor there and not feel rushed or quished into a really small space.
Good customer service is also really important to me. So, please share your experiences with the following places if you have been there!
Side note: I know there are multiple reviews of each of these salons online, but none of them really address the key specs that I’m looking for – wide selection and lots of room to try on and display gowns for my family.
1. Betsy Robinson (Baltimore) – heard that the selection was wide and that the people were nice there.
2. Hitched (Georgetown) – heard that customer service was great, but also heard that the selection was small and expensive
3. Curvy Girls Bridal (Fairfax, VA) – I’m a street size 10-12, not truly plus size but I heard their selection is wide for all sizes and that they were good people
4. Hannelore’s (Alexandria, VA) – Heard that their customer service was the WORST but their selection was good. I’m not a fan of bad customer service, so I may skip them altogether.
5. Sililoquoy (Herndon, VA) – just opened, so I don’t know much about it yet.
Post # 3
I went to Hannelore’s by myself just to find a bra for my dress, which I purchased elsewhere (in PA). The dressing room I had was quite large, but everyone working there seemed frantic. They did seem to have a large selection of dresses though. I haven’t been to any of the other places you mentioned. I also wouldn’t recommend any of the bridal salons I went to in the area for what you want.
If you will be needing a bra, definitely go to Trousseau in Vienna. They special ordered a bunch of bras that might work with my dress in my size. The one I ended up getting was perfect, and the consultants were really nice.
Post # 4
Katherine’s in Alexandria rec’d many poor reviews on yelp, but I had my best experience there. It’s small and it’s crazy busy on the weekends. I went during a weekday and was the only customer for a couple of hours.
I also really liked Ann’s (Anne’s or Anna’s??) Bridal Boutique in Burke. Lovely owners. Ann (or Anna) was brutally honest about how I looked in some of the dresses, so be prepared for some honest opinions without any sugar-coating.
Cameras/photos are not allowed in either place.
Good luck with your dress shopping!!
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Betsey Robinson has quite a good selection and I found their staff to be very friendly. I had an appointment in the middle of the day on a random Tuesday and practically had the salon to myself. The dresses are organized by price point, so my consultant pointed me to the sections that were within my range and let me pull as many as I wanted. She also pulled some dresses for me that she thought would work well (even taking one of a manequin for me because she thought it suited me). I never felt pressured, and they worked with me to book a follow-up appointment that weekend during a trunk show because a dress I was strongly considering would be 10% off that weekend only, and I wanted my Mom to see it. Ultimately I fell in love with another dress at another salon that same day, so I did not purchase from them. But my shopping experience was positive and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
A friend of mine got her dress at Hitched. Small selection and very expensive, as you heard. They also have a blanket ($400, I believe) charge for alterations. Her experience wasn’t the best in terms of customer service, but she loved her dress.
ETA: I personally avoided Hannelore’s– was afraid of the reviews. And I second the recommendation of Trousseau in Vienna for under-dress wear. They do free alterations.
Post # 7
Don’t go the place in Old Town Alexandria on Washington Street. They were horrible.
I did just see a new place open up in Del Ray Alexandria, I think Mount Vernon Ave.
Post # 8
Wow – you guys have been so helpful! thanks!
Post # 9
I bought my dress at Hitched and I had a great experience! I had two different consultants over three appointments and they were both great. The dresses can be a bit on the expensive side and the selection is not as big as a place like Kleinfeld’s but I felt that I was able to try on a good variety of dresses. I also felt that the customer service was very accomodating (or has been so far….) The second time I went I tried on a dress that I loved, but I wasn’t ready to commit so I left without it. The next morning I really regretting not getting it, so I called them and they fit me in (on a Saturday!) to try it on again before I left to go back to New Jersey where I live full time. I ended up buying the dress.
I recommend at least going there because it’s definitely the cutest salon I went to and there’s room for everyone you want to bring. I would advise that you check out their trunk show schedule for any designers you like and buy during that time if possible. Or if you go and find a designer you like, see if a trunk show is coming up. I bought mine during a trunk show so I got 10 percent off and I think maybe free alterations? It’s hard to remember now that it’s been a few months, haha. Also the designer was there while I was trying it on and he told me a bit about how much goes into making the dresses, especially since there’s a lot of lace on mine, and it was very interesting and a fun touch! I have my first fitting in March and I’m so excited to go back! I think I get some percentage off invitations or bridesmaid dresses from the store now, too.
I also went to Carine’s, Rosalin’s and Rizik’s. Carine’s was way too expensive (all Monique Lhullier type prices). Rosalin’s was a little too inexpensive for what I wanted but it’s a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot. Not that it really matters, but it basically feels like a dry cleaner or something, not a very attractive store. I liked Rizik’s and probably would have found a dress there if I hadn’t bought mine at Hitched. Rizik’s is another good place to go, although it’s a pretty old formal wear store (over 100 years old!) so it looks a little old-fashioned and I didn’t get the fun, cute, modern wedding dress shopping experience that I felt at Hitched. My consultant was also much older there than at any other place I went (I think she’s a grandmother). Not that it makes a difference, just something I observed. I think it’s definitely a good option to try.
ANYWAY, sorry that’s super long but I know the crazy experience that wedding shopping in DC can be, so I just wanted to share my experience. I hope this helps and let us know how it goes!!
Post # 10
Thanks everyone for the input!
For my March “dress shopping weekend affair,”I think I’m going to start with 2 bridal salons on Saturday: Betsy Robinson in Bridal and Curvy Girl Bridal in Fairfax…I may add Hannelore’s on for Sunday they’re open.
Does anyone know what sizes of sample gowns Betsy Robinson has? I’m hoping to be down from a street size 12 –> street size 10 by the time my appoint rolls around (in 2 months) but just in case, I don’t want to be too big to fit into any of the gowns!
Like I said earlier, I am not a big shopper so my hope is that I can find THE DRESS at one of my first 2 stops.
Post # 11
I went to Betsy Robinson Bridal yesterday and had a great experience. I didn’t have an appointment, but they were very accomodating. I told them the style of dress I was looking for and tried on about several options. I am a street size 12/14 and the dresses I tried on were 10s and 12s. The sales associate I was working with told me they go up to a size 16 or 18 in some samples, but most of the samples are 10s and 12s. I plan to return next weekend with my mother and Maid/Matron of Honor to show them two of the dresses that I liked. Hope thats helpful.
Post # 12
Thanks so much for posting that! I’m going to make betsy Robinson my first stop! Who was your consultant?
Post # 13
@Rica2002: I believe her name was Stephanie.
Post # 14
I went to Curvy Bridals, in Fairfax, VA. I had a great experience. Have my last fitting appointment tomorrow. They had a great selection of dresses, and the people were wonderful. Their attentiveness was wonderful, because I was really nervous about the whole experience.
Post # 15
so far I’ve been to Betsey Robinson Bridal in Baltimore. Good experience there, my consultant was Kate, and I tried on about 10-15 dresses in total, and she let me re-try on the top 3 that I liked. I’m going back for a trunk show in a few weeks and bringing my mom. Its a nice salon, and I liked the personal private dressing rooms. As it was my first experience trying on dresses, I like that I had privacy while I figured out my personal likes and dislikes. I heard that some people found them snobby, but that wasn’t my experience at all. I’m a smaller girl (2-4), but they seemed to have plenty of sample sizes in the 10-12-14 range, and they had some in higher sizes I do believe. Definitely worth a look, but I would call ahead first as their “bridal designer selection” on their website is out of date… I went looking for Pronovias and Watters, and while they have a GREAT selection of Watters, they don’t carry Pronovias anymore.
Post # 16
If your willing to go a little farther south, there is Serendipty Bridal in White Plains, MD (about a mile south of Waldorf if you’re more familiar with that). Many of my friends have had great experiences with them.