Marcella’s La Boutique

posted 9 years ago in Seattle
Post # 3
Member
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Yikes!  This is a very bad review.  Because I rely heavily on others’ reviews of vendors I am interested in and pay particular attention to bad reviews, I just wanted to share my good experience so that readers might have another opinion to consider along with this one.  Sorry it’s so long.

I made an appointment with Marcella’s in Seattle back in February and fell in love with a dress.  I wanted some time to think about it and consult with my mom (who had not been at the appointment) before making the plunge, and I also wanted to bring in a different friend the next day to get her opinion as well.  The appointment was during a trunk show, so in order to receive 10% off the gown, I had to order the dress during the show, so I had to come back the next day.  They happily squeezed me into their full schedule in order to allow me the opportunity to try on the dress again for a different friend.  

Throughout the trying-on experience, I was treated well and the employees were complimentary and supportive, but also realistic and, in my opinion, honest.

I decided to purchase the dress and they asked me to put down a 50% deposit, which I did, and informed me that the balance would be due in full when the dress came in, pursuant to their standard payment policy.  When the dress came in, many months later, they called me right away to let me know that it had arrived and asked me to pay the balance.  I told them I would call them back in a couple of days to make the payment with my credit card, and they said it was no problem.  They never called earlier and asked me to make the payment prior to the arrival of the dress.  They also said that I could come in any time to try it on, even just for fun, and even multiple times (although I am sure that is annoying for them).  

When I first ordered the dress, they said their alterations begin at $375 and can be higher, depending on the extent of the alterations required.  They also acknowledged that they are not the only shop in town capable of providing alterations and informed me very kindly that I was more than welcome to shop around for other alterations quotes and there was absolutely no requirement to use them for alterations.  It was a very no-pressure situation.  Based on this conversation, I would feel 100% comfortable having the alterations done elsewhere and would not feel awkward or pressured to have them done there.

Marcella’s staff has also been very helpful in finding my bridesmaids’ dresses.  I received a call from the salesperson I worked with on my gown, inviting me to come to a trunk show that would have bridesmaids’ dresses too.  I went with four of my friends and we loved a dress from the show.  I needed some time to figure out if we could afford the dresses and to get additional measurements from another bridesmaid, and they were totally okay with me taking as much time as I needed.  I ended up ordering the dresses three months later and they were very accommodating with payments; they allowed me to make the 50% payment required to place the order and happily agreed to take payments from all the bridesmaids individually when the dresses arrived.  A month after I placed the initial order for bridesmaid dresses, I wanted to change some of the sizes.  Long story short, the process was time intensive on their part, requiring a staff member to pull all the contracts to see what sizes had been ordered, then call all around the company to track down what size the sample dress had been that was tried on during the trunk show five months before, and then communicate with me about what sizes would be appropriate, then call the company back to change all of the sizes.  And they did all of this happily, without the least bit of attitude.  I was and continue to be grateful for their efforts in getting us the right sizes (as a side note, they had previously ordered the sizes according the size chart, but we ultimately decided that we wanted to order them relative to the dress the girls had tried on at the trunk show and needed to find out what size that had been so that we could go up or down from there).  The dresses have not come in yet, but I have been informed that they will arrive in January.

The only complaint I have about Marcella’s so far is minor, which is that I have felt a little bit out of the loop about what the status of my orders are/were.  Unlike a department store, that will give you an order number and allows you to track exactly where your order is and when it will arrive, Marcella’s gave me a receipt for my deposit and a contract with them describing the terms of the sale.  It felt a little funny to put the deposit down on a Sunday and then have them tell you that they will place the order on Monday… I guess you just have to have faith.  I have had a hard time letting go of that control, and I think I would have felt more comfortable if maybe they called me after the dress had been ordered, just so that I felt confident that it had been ordered correctly and without problems.  However, when I called to check in, they were happy to pull my file and confirm all of that anyway.  

Anyway, on the whole, if you are in the Seattle area and would like to order dresses by designers that Marcella’s carries, I think you should make an appointment and form your own opinion.  My experience was not at all like the negative one described above and has been positive so far.

 

Post # 4
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I had a lovely appointment there, but did not end up purchasing my dress there because the price points were simply too high for me.  The sales staff were very helpful, but I definitely didn’t have the back-end/purchase experience there.

Post # 5
Member
1220 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I also spent a lovely day there trying on dresses with, I think her name was, Helen.  I also didn’t end up buying my dress there, so like Mrs. DG, I don’t have any backend experience. 

Post # 6
Member
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Unforuntaely, I have to agree a little with the first poster. I went there to try on a dress that wasn’t carried by anywhere else in the city. I ended up trying on 3. Not being the sample size, I assumed they would be able to clip me in just like every other (less expensive) store I went to. They were not able to do that, and I was simply told “I’ll hold it up for you”! Also, they had no foundation garments to help me try on the dresses (again, every other store did). When I found a dress I liked (I only tried on 3), they didn’t let me take photos (understandable, but my mom wasn’t there and I wanted her to see). Also I asked for the name or style number of the dress so I could look up a photo online to show my mom. They weren’t able to give me anything! The entire appointment the young woman that was helping me was disinterested and just not very helpful all around. Disappointing…

The next day I ended up making a last minute appointment at Demetrios and found “the one”. (and even a backup “the one”). The people there were fabulous and I had a great experience.

Post # 7
Member
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I got my dress here too. I worked with Helen and she was so great! Only regret i have is that I bought my dress after two days dress shopping bc it was 50% at their sample sale. I bought a dress that would’ve cost 5500$ and got it for 2300$. I was pleased but like all sales I felt pressured to act quickely. The experience was pretty elegant, beautiful salon and small enough to feel special. Some of the dress on the sample sale racks were falling off the hanger ect. and I felt that even though they were samples they should be attended too better, it wasn’t that busy when I was in. I also got what I beleive to be a very cheap dress bag for my huge ball gown and I would’ve appreciated something a little more substantial due to the money I just dropped. They did offer to have my dress stored in the salon due to size restrictions in my apartment. I didn’t do that because I like to have it on hand to gaze at!

Overall, MUCH better service than David’s Bridal, which was my first visit. Haven’t gotten alterations yet and I do feel a little put off by the “requirement” to have the alterations done with them which wasn’t mentioned until I litterally had just signed the receipt. Honestly I don’t plan on going to them for a simple bustle to cost a min. of $500. They were deceptive on that. All details SHOULD be disclosed before the final decision is even made.

Helen was great though and we chatted about her wedding too she was having in Greece. It was nice to get someone my age and someone to chat about weddings with rather than the old grandma who helped me at David’s Bridal who basically tsked me for not wanting to try on a viel and was way too blunt about what looked good and what didn’t.

I can’t complain because I got my dream Carolina Herrera for 50% off!

Post # 8
Member
19 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I had an uncomfortable experience at Marcella’s as well.  My friend offered to make my dress (she’s a fantastic seamstress) but I had no idea what I liked/what looked good on me so I went to a few places to try on dresses.  I was totally honest with the consultant that I was there to try and find what styles I liked, and my intent was to have a dress made.  If I liked a style too complex for my friend to make I would then be looking to buy a dress.

My first appointment was fine and I found two possibilities in about twenty minutes.  I came back with my mom, grandmother, and the friend making my dress so she could see the shapes I liked.  The consultant was fine until my friend took out a notepad to write down a few things I was saying about what I liked and didn’t like.  She told my friend she had to put it away to “protect their designers” (um, hello, there are pictures all over the internet of those dresses and she’s not a sketch artist!) and asked me, “Are you BUYING a dress or are you MAKING a dress?”  I just reminded her that I didn’t know yet.  She went in back for a minute and then came back with Marcella who gave me a big high pressure sales pitch.  I said I needed to think about it over lunch and got the heck out of there.

I was made to feel SO uncomfortable, like I was trying to scam them, after I had been totally honest about where I was coming from!

Fast forward a few months: my friend is slowly working on my dress and I went to Belltown Bride and bought a “backup dress” from the owner, Melissa, who is absolutely wonderful!  I love the dress I bought there so much that even if my friend finishes, I’d really love to find a way to wear them both at the wedding 🙂

Post # 8
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Tenacious :  So sorry that I didn’t read this first, though I’m not sure I would have paid heed. Brides, don’t go to Marcella’s. It’s a money pit and they don’t even follow through with quality service. Terrible alterations.

Post # 9
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Marcella’s Ruined My Monique Lhuillier Wedding Dress

I both bought my wedding dress from and entrusted Marcellas La Boutique with the alterations of it. After three fittings, the day before my wedding, I went to pick up my dress to find that they had not altered the top–it was loose–and that there was a snag in the fabric on the backside of my dress. I pointed out both of these things to Marcella after I tried on the dress in the company of my mother. She took it in back to the seamstress. In the meantime she charged me $602.80 for her alteration services. When she came back, she did not permit me to try on the dress–it was already packaged up; she assured me that the snag had been steamed and the back hooks altered.

The morning of my wedding (I had no time to examine the dress in the meantime as we left Marcella’s at 2pm and my rehearsal was at 3pm), I saw that the snag was still there. The neck closures were crooked and would not hold. My dress fell down repeatedly throughout the morning in the company of my family and the photographer. We had to find a safety pin. During this time I called Marcellas at 12:30pm. They did not answer. At the recommendation of the concierge at the Alexis Hotel, I wore my dress next door to a bridal shop called Cicada. There the owner, a seamstress, Elizabeth, reapplied the hooks so that they would stay better.

Since my wedding, I have called Marcellas nine times and emailed twice–including images and asking how they would redress their damage. They have never directly responded to my complaints, but twice left a message where they were “just returning my call.”

Their carelessness and deceit (because I do think Marcella knew that they snagged the dress and couldn’t fix it) severely impacted my day. The first time my husband saw me in my wedding dress, I was running to a tailor and holding it up around my neck with my hand. I could not take my father’s arm when walking down the aisle because my dress continued to come undone and slip. Additionally, the snag in my dress is visible in many, many professional photos.

Do not give them your business, in short. For all their flattery they do not care about their brides or their day.

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