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.