Post # 32
Try looking on tradesy.com – I didn’t go dress shopping at all because I found a dress there that I loved! Everything’s discounted and most are pre-owned, but if that’s ok with you, the price can’t be beat, PLUS brides from several years ago are selling their gowns, so they’ll have styles that you won’t necessarily see in stores anymore 🙂 Good luck!!
Post # 33
I didn’t hate it, but it was way way way harder than I thought it would be. Nothing was quite right, and then I settled on a dress that I wanted to make changes to but ended up regretting and selling it. Then round 2 of shopping… finally found my dress which I love.
Post # 34
I feel ya. I looked last June at dresses online and fell in love with one and guess what – they don’t sell it anymore! It was part of the Great Gatsby collection. It wasn’t white which is great because I’m super pale and I think white will look awful on me.
I get my first experience with dress shopping this weekend and I am NOT looking forward to it. I’m going with my two BFFs and having to drive 4 hours to do it (ZERO bridal stores in my town).
I do not want a train. Every single dress I find online that I love, has a mother effing train. So whatever I pick will have to be altered because I guarantee it’ll have 5 effing feet of stupid material trailing behind it. I’m having an outdoor wedding and I don’t want my dress trailing behind me in the dirt and grass and who knows what else. Gross! And I definitely don’t want to make anyone walk behind me and hold that thing up. Plus with the dog there, he would be stepping all over it.
So no train. Eff trains. Down with trains!
Post # 35
Thank you so much! Glad to see I’m not alone!
I have been pretty realistic about all this wedding planning and wasn’t expecting a “magical” experience dress shopping but I did think it would go better than it did. We went on a weeknight because we thought it would be slower too, which it was, and I do have to say, the sales consultants weren’t too pushy but I think they were frustrated with me because they didn’t really have anything to show me and instead keep bringing different styles insisting that I at least try them on.
I thought it would be fun going with my Future Sister-In-Law, and actually it wasn’t too bad because she was so busy caught up looking at her own dresses that she didn’t pay that much attention to me! I thought the old “ring the bell” when she found her dress kind of hokey though (sorry if anyone did that!) She was crying, Future Mother-In-Law was crying and I really was happy for her because the dress is beautiful, but the whole thing was just too showy. Complete strangers were complimenting her, people stopped in their tracks when she rang the bell to come see her. I guess I don’t like being the center of attention like that whereas she was eating it up.
I have no problem with a pre-owned dress. I will check out tradesy. I’m also going to call some smaller boutiques and see if they have anything with cap sleeves and not shiny or blingy. I’ve looked at JCrew and Nordstrom and nothing caught my eye yet.
I’m a bit reluctant to have something custom made because my sister went that route and hated the way her dress turned out.
Thanks again for the suggestions! I feel better about this.
Post # 36
From everything I had read/heard/seen I knew I wouldn’t care for dress shopping at traditional bridal places.
What I did was go the retail route, looking for an off the rack dress. IMO sales assistants are more in the mindset to support what you want whereas bridal consultants are more in the mindset that they’re the experts. I knew which dress I wanted and that’s the only one I tried on but the woman who helped me in the boutique was so lovely and really added to my experience in a no pressure way. I walked out of there with both my dresses (My FI’s culture requires I have two) that fit like a dream and no one can beleive how little I paid for them.
Post # 37
@ButterflyButterfly I thought I hated wedding dress shopping, but it turned out I just hated the whole chain/megastore experience. I understand why many shops have their salespeople pull dresses based on your stated likes and dislikes for practical reasons, but I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted and it just stressed me out when the salesgril brought me dress after dress that did nothing for me. Also the bright fluorescent lighting in most of the stores I visited was not doing anyone any favors aesthetically.
I finally found my dress at a small, privately owned, local dress shop in my hometown. I am sure they had a fraction of the selection of David’s Bridal or some of the other large stores I went to, but being able to actually walk through the rack and look at each of the dresses turned out to be exactly what I needed – I found my dress within 15 minutes (I did get lucky because they were having a trunk show and thus had more inventory than usual, but still).
So yeah…my advice would be to try a small boutique, preferably one where the owner is actually working in the store, because that to me signals that this is their life’s work and they are really passionate about matching a bride with the right dress, as opposed to someone who is just working to get a commission.
Post # 38
You looked absolutely gorgeous! I tried a similar dress on and it did nothing for me.
Do the bridal consultants at the chains work on commission? I feel bad that I probably wasted their time.
Post # 39
You’re off to a good start knowing you like capped sleeves and non-satin dresses. I would go to a store by yourself and tell that to them. Better yet print out like 5 pictures of dresses you like and ask them if they have anything similar. I actually ended up getting an all lace capped sleeve trumpet Oleg Cassini dress from David’s bridal. I knew I wanted lace, something different, and probably capped sleeves. That stopped the satin strapless hangers in their tracks.
I took my mom with me and she made me try on the giant ball gowns too. I’m petite and did not even want to try. They didn’t look as bad as I thought, but not what I ended up choosing. So sometimes trying on a few different silhouettes is good.
I was super shy so I recommend going with one person (mom, friend, or by yourself) and when you’re torn between two or have picked and want to show it bring people later. That way you can make your decision yourself.
Post # 40
- Wedding: February 2015 - Powel Crosley Estate, Sarasota, FL
@ButterflyButterfly I would try the smaller botiques. They listen to you and will find something that is more suited to your skin color and style.
Maybe try getting some magazine clippings together of dresses you like to show the sales person.
Dress shopping has been stressful for me. I’m still waiting for “that moment” where it all comes together and I just know I have the right dress. I also find it awkward to stand in front of people gawking at you! haha..
Try again and let us know how it goes! Good luck 🙂
Post # 41
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
Me! I hated dress shopping!! It left me feeling exhausted and like I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I had a horrible experience at David’s Bridal where the sales associate dropped me off in the general area of dresses my size and was like “Ok! Pick out the ones you like, I’ll be back.” WTF!? First time dress shopping and I was just left to fend for myself and pull my own dresses. Needless to say I never found anything and haven’t been dress shopping since. I’ve been ordering dresses online, trying them on, and returning them. Now there’s a month to my wedding and I still have to find a freaking dress. Someone main-line me some freaking xanax, stat.
Post # 42
Do not feel bad about wasting their time!!! It’s their job. Their paychecks and commissions take into account that most of their customers aren’t going to buy a dress from them that day! They usually have a limited time they’ll spend per customer – an hour or so at most places. So as long as you’re not being pushy about getting more time you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing!
Post # 43
@ButterflyButterfly I could have written your post word for word! I’ve hated the process and have been overwhelmed by how stiff and strapless and white everything is! I actually had an enormous panic recently, thinking that I just looked awful in wedding dresses! But today I tried on some high street ones that were a kind of buttery/almost peachy ivory (but still ‘white’ enough that Fiance won’t be disappointed!) and they looked so much better – especially the ones with straps. Good luck!
Post # 44
@ButterflyButterfly Yes! I hated it too!!! I live in Brisbane (Australia) and my Bridesmaid or Best Man and Mum both live in Sydney, so I took advantage of them both being up for my engagement party weekend and was determined to get it done in 1 day and 2 shops. I had no idea what I wanted, but I knew what I didn’t want.
I had an appointment at the first shop and their service was shocking. They didn’t help me at all and all their dresses were all size 7 (which I think is a 3 in the US. I am AU 8-10 (or US 4-6), so certainly not big at all). It was bad! How are you supposed to tell what looks good if you can’t even get it done up? Anyway, so I went upstairs to another bridal shop in the same building (with no appointment) and they were just SO helpful. The lady gave me her undivided attention for hours. I hate trying stuff on, so I was getting bored pretty quickly. Every dress in the shop was my size! Especially the sample rack (I am lucky with shoes that way too… yay!). There was no “oohing” or “aahing” from my mum or Bridesmaid or Best Man (actually she spent the whole day throwing up so she didn’t see many of the dresses). But who cares? I ended up buying the perfect dress that day for the grand price of $750 (and I didn’t really have a budget) and I spent all of $250 on alterations – it fit THAT well.
Post # 45
If she has pictures of herself in it maybe you can get it replicated?
Post # 46
I loved it on one trip (where I found multiple dresses that I thought were beautiful in addition to the ONE) and hated it at two others — one had a David’s Bridal kind of feel and had more mainstream designers so it was hard to find things in my style (which is classic/vintage and not strapless) and the other store was an adorable little boutique that had beautiful gowns and absolutely horrible, snobby, Pretty Woman-like customer service that made me feel like I was back at the mean girl table in middle school instead of trying to purchase a very expensive Jenny Packham gown. No sale from me!
If you’re not as interested in the strapless/ruched look, you might have to go to a boutique that carries designers with dresses that are more unique. I think the bridal trend is generally moving away from that look, but more mainstream designers carried by places like DB generally have not caught up, but you never know, you might get lucky. I would check for designer trunk sales at some of the smaller boutiques. You could also look up the designers carried by the store and find some particular dresses that you know you like the look of and ask if they carry that particular dress in the store. That way, you’ll go into the appointment feeling a little more in control and not just swamped by a sea of dresses.
Don’t feel discouraged! I think most people have mixed experiences. But as Randy says on SYTTD, “Everyone finds their dress.”