Post # 1
Quick question for yah! I did a search on the boards first and didn’t see this particular question addressed so I’m throwing it out there and hoping to get a few bites 🙂
Where should I start my wedding dress shopping? By “where” I mean, should I start at a boutique or at a larger low-key place like David’s Bridal? The reason I ask is because I am at the VERY early stage of looking (engaged Dec. 2009, wedding TDB Spring 2011). and really the only reason I am trying on dresses this early is because I currently live in Seattle,Wa away from any family and friends. I have a visit planned to my home town in Southern California at the end of the month and since I won’t get the chance to visit them much I thought it would be a good time to start trying on dresses since we will be together. But at the same time I feel bad trying on dresses and wasting a bridal consultants time when I really have no intention of buying. Since I’m a wedding dress-virgin is it more or less intimidating to visit a boutique first?
Post # 3
I think if you aren’t looking to buy, but more to get ideas, a place like David’s Bridal might be better. You can walk through the racks and pick things out – just let them know up front that you aren’t buying and they’ll probably leave you alone
Post # 4
I agree with Goldilocks. I don’t think there is sales pressure at David’s, so it would be a good place to just try some things out to get an idea what you like and what silhoutte looks best on you. Then when you have a better idea you can go to some smaller bridal shops.
Post # 5
It depends a little bit on your budget. I really didn’t care for David’s, I know many girls love them. What I would recommend is to look at the bridal shops in your area and see who carries the most designers.
What I did was go to a local bridal shop that carried a large selection and simply said I do not know what I’m looking for. The woman picked out a dress in every body style and we went from there. The only thing about David’s is you prob won’t have that assitance to try on a ton of dresses since you won’t know what the style is on a hanger and in a bag.
Post # 6
I went to David’s first with the goal of trying on all different styles first and foremost. I thought I wanted sleek and sexy, but I made myself try on ball gowns, mermaids, empire waist, A line, EVERYTHING. I didn’t find a dress that I loved there, (and beware the lighting is HORRIFIC, I don’t know who looks good in that light with all those mirrors) but I walked away knowing which shape I looked best in. Then when I went to boutiques, I had more info to give my consultant
Post # 7
I went to a “couture” store first, they carried Pronovias and Maggie and all kinds of “well known” designers. I was told to walk through, pick out what stands out to me, and then my consultant pulled more based on that… but I loved my “boutique” expereience.
After, we stopped by davids because I had an appointment there the next day. It was so busy and impersonal… My mom was like, “go cancel.” There’s not “nice” places for your family to sit and it was very loud and im-personal. From what I hear, the Davids “experience” is very hit or miss.
I actually say boutique first! lol. Do you know your budget yet? You may not want to go to a high end one with the “high end” dresses like Kenneth Pool, etc… but a reasonable one with Maggie’s, Mori Lee, and even pronovias.
Go, have fun! Dress up in the NICE fabrics!
Post # 8
I would say that depends on budget, too. I’m regretting that I went to a boutique first because I ended up falling in love with a dress so out of my price range.
Post # 9
I just wanted to add that I don’t think you should consider what your budget is at this point, since you say you are in the early stages of looking and aren’t planning to buy.
I wouldn’t say you should purchase a dress at David’s, especially if you have more money to spend, but the advantage of David’s is that you can go through a lot more dresses in a shorter period of time because you won’t be hassled by salespeople.
If you go to a boutique, they often have time limits on your appointment and you won’t be able to check out as many dresses. Things generally run slower at these places. I would go to those shops when you have a better idea of what you are looking for.
Post # 10
thanks ladies! you’ve all got such valid points.
we don’t have an official budget worked out yet (still need to work out if/what the ‘rents might be contributing) but regardles of what we finacial situation we are in when the real planning gets started we already know we as a couple aren’t willing to spend more than a certain amount. Therefore my dress budget will be no more than $1,000.
the reason to visit the boutique is more because they carry a dress that i have seen online that i think may be THE dress and i want to try it on and it’s within budget.
the reason I would visit David’s is because of the low pressure and larger selection of lower priced gowns. My sister and cousin both had decent experiences at the David’s they had gone to, so I am not against getting a dress from there. There just wasn’t one on the website that truly jumped out at me. I figured it could be a good place to start.
I guess I am leaning towards the bouqtique since they do have that one dress that I think may be the one. And I guess if I love the first dress I try then every one after that I can compare it to.
thanks for listening (reading) I just love how posting on public forums helps me think things through!
Post # 11
I would say to start at a place like David’s. I went there first and tried on different styles…it helped me figure out what styles looked best on me so I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed when I went into the boutiques. I agree with the above comments about the low pressure at DB. I would also consider what Shutterfly said…it’s hard not to fall in love with a dress out of your budget, especially if the salespeople are trying to push sales. Good luck!
Post # 12
i would go to david’s bridal or an alfred agelo. those places dont really give you full service and you can grab whatever you want to try on. it would give you an idea of what type of style works best for you.
i also love the part when you said you didnt want to waste a consultants time. i used to sell wedding dresses and a lot of brides have no idea how hard it is to be running back and forth with a bunch of 10 lbs dresses in your hand. i hated when brides already had their dress but thought it was fun to play dress up for friends and family when i could be with a bride who hasnt found their dress yet..and we work on commission.errrrr! lol
Post # 13
I went to a small boutique near where i live and told themupfront this was my first store and that I wanted to just try on a bunch of different styles of dresses to see what I actually liked on me and not just on the hanger. They were totally okay with that and kept bringing me different styles till I narrowed down the style I wanted then they brought only that style for me. made it much easier when I went to the next store!