(Closed) How to start NYC dress shopping?

posted 8 years ago in New York City
Post # 3
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

1st thing you need to do is make an appt to Kleinfelds, and go try on different styles of dresses, just to see what looks good on you 🙂


Congrats on your engagement… Good luck.. AND DON’T STRESS!!!! :O)

Post # 4
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Check out NY Magazine’s wedding edition! They often liste sample sales in the upcoming months. Or you can go on the wedding salons’ websites, and they might list sample sales or trunk shows at all.

As for the other high end salons, I had really great experiences at all the ones I went to, except Kleinfelds. Definitely go to Wedding Atelier–they are SO nice there, not pushy at all. Priscilla of Boston is also really nice, and I didn’t feel pressured to make a decision on the spot. I bought my dress at Bridal Reflections, and had a great experience. I did feel a bit pressured to buy my dress, which was a sample, because she kept say that they couldn’t guarantee that it would be there in a week. But that’s more my fault–I tend to be very easily swayed. You can also try RK Bridal, which is more self-service, so that might be good if you kind of want to look around on your own.

Also, you have a while before your wedding (if that’s the correct date). I would recommend waiting to actually go shopping til next June at the earliest. If you go now and find a dress, you’ll have a whole two years to look at other dresses and potentially start to doubt your dress choice. There’s no need to start looking til 7-12 months out.

Post # 5
605 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

congratulations!! i think you have the right idea, to do some research first before you go to a sample sale/bridal garden. you could look through some wedding magazines to see what styles appeal to you, and then go somewhere like rk bridal or kleinfeld’s to get an idea of what they actually look like on you. i do have to say that while kleinfeld’s has a great selection, i found them to be uber pushy, so just be prepared.  i also tried on dresses at designer loft–not as many dresses, but much more easygoing vibe. good luck and congratulations again!!

Post # 6
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Congrats!! I view Kleinfeld as a rite of passage for brides in NYC, so I think I made one ‘starter’ appointment at a different shop then headed straight for Kleinfeld with my bridesmaids in tow. My consultant was pushy, but she was so lazy it was like she didn’t have the energy to give me the hard sell (or bring any more than 3 dresses). Kind of a waste of my time but TOTALLY worth the experience, it’s still very magical. I made sure to hit up all the nice dress shops before I made up my mind, by the time I found my dress I totally knew it was the one.

Post # 8
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I went dress shopping in NYC and loved it!  Kleinfeld’s was actually my least favorite place we went to.  I ended up buying my dress at Vera Wang, but I really enjoyed all of the salons.  Here is the list of places I went and what I thought:

Saks–very nice sales lady.  I didn’t feel any pressure to buy right away.  She knew this was my first appointment.  She let me take photos of the dresses and wrote down the names and style numbers of the dresses I liked the most.  The salon wasn’t the nicest though.  I guess it’s just in need of a little updating.

Vera Wang–I was nervous about going here because I was afraid that I wouldn’t find anything within my budget, but I told her up front what I was willing to spend, and she walked me around the store and pulled tons of dresses.  I was very pleasantly surprised!  I couldn’t take photos of any of the dresses until I decided that I had found the one!  I paid for it there.  I suppose I should have waited, but I just knew!

Priscilla of Boston–This was a very nice salon, huge changing rooms.  No pressure to buy anything, and a very helpful saleslady.

Amsale–This was actually my favorite bridal salon!  It was so beautiful and light and airy in there!  The dresses are all out on display and the sales lady let me walk around with her to pick out dresses.  I loved it and almost bought a dress here.  I definitely recommend it! I also didn’t feel pressure to buy, and she wrote down style numbers, etc.  She did not offer to let me take photos, though.

Kleinfeld–least favorite, most pressure to buy, but an institution worth visiting!

Have fun!  Dress shopping really is a blast!  Just be sure to tell them your budget, let them know how many appointments you have, and tell them the mood you are going for.  You will have a great time!!

Post # 9
17 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

Definitely go to Amsale if it’s in your budget…the salon is gorgeous and everyone there was very down to earth and nice.  Plus they were totally friendly about me trying on >10 dresses.  

Just to show that there’s no “wrong” way to do it, I actually went to the Bridal Garden first and was glad I did.  If you have the energy, it was a great way to try on a ton of different wedding dress styles and get an idea of what I liked without the intermediary of a salesperson (it’s much more of a “self serve” process there).  I had gone with the hopes of finding my dress there and did not, but thought it was very helpful in getting a sense of my style to guide me in the other salons where you can’t exactly try on everything that’s on the rack without feeling a bit awkward.  

Post # 10
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would also make an appointment at Pronovias on 52nd street.  I got my dress there!  Most of their dresses (not their Manuel Moto line) are under $2K.


Post # 11
2 posts


Hi Viv137,

FYI , there is an upcoming Charity Wedding Gown SALE on October 21,22,23. All of the proceeds go to “Make A Wish Breast Cancer Foundation”. You are invited to browse though hundreds of name brand and designer wedding gowns starting at $199 donated by designers, retailers, manufacturers, and individuals. Please join us and extend the invite to others! The information is as follows:


The Renaissance

2131 Hylan Blvd.

Staten Island, NY 10306

Date & Time

Thursday, October 21 from 6 p.m – 10 p.m.

Friday, October 22 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday October 23 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Post # 12
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I didn’t do any dress-shopping in NYC.  I feel like everywhere I go (shopping for clothes, especially), I get looked at by the salespeople like Julia Roberts, pre-makeover, in Pretty Woman!

I went to my hometown and bought a $400 dress (which was still too much, IMO, but I figured I wasn’t going to find anything much cheaper that I liked).

Post # 13
10 posts
  • Wedding: August 2011

Hi! This is a little late but I had to respond since you are voicing exactly what I felt when I started dress shopping. My favorite salons (helpful, non-pushy) were actually the high end ones – Mark Ingram, Saks and Bergdorf’s. My least favorite by far, as in ran away afterwards as fast as I can, was Kleinfield. I think it really depends on the salesperson and mine was horrible. If you want to PM me, I can send you specific names for all of the salons. I wouldn’t be scared of the nicer salons, if anything, it is a much easier first experience.

Post # 14
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Hey!  Just thought I’d throw in a caution re: Priscilla of Boston in NYC since you mentioned that in your first question.  My consultant was easily one of the rudest people I’ve ever met in my life.  She literally yelled at us, refused to get any of the dresses we specifically requested, seemed to have no knowledge at all of the dresses she was bringing (and they didn’t match what I told her I liked at all)–heinous.  The manager actually came in at one point and had just as much of an attitude problem.  Their reviews on Citysearch and Yelp are actually terrible, and they definitely deserve it.  I’m sure there are some good consultants there, esp since some bees have had good experiences, but the bad ones are BAD.  Anyway, I definitely do second the reco’s for Pronovias–really nice consultant, beautiful salon–it definitely feels like the dresses should be more expensive than they are.  Good luck!!

Post # 15
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Oh one more thing…I was at Amsale yesterday, and they literally just started filming for a still-unnamed SYTTD-type show to be aired on WE.  Since it’s a brand new show, there are no applications like for SYTTD, basically you make an appointment there and then when you go in they ask if you want to be filmed for the show (at least that’s what happenned to me, not sure if they film every day).  Just thought I’d share in case anyone wants to be on TV and is too lazy (like me) to fill out the super-intense SYTTD app 🙂

Post # 16
19 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

I had a FANTASTIC Kleinfeld’s experience.  Go and ask for JB.  She’s wonderful.  So kind, never made me feel pressured, and didn’t scoff at my under $2000 budget.  When I went to pick up my dress I asked to see her again so I could give her a big hug. 

I originally bought a dress at RK Bridal and then decided I hated it and went to Kleinfeld in a tizzy.  It was 100 degrees out, I was upset and scared I wouldn’t get a dress in time and walked in without an appointment on a Tuesday afternoon.  JB brought my dream dress first try and in budget. Awesome. 

Plus I LOVE SYTTD, so it was really cool to see all the “stars”.

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