DON”T DO IT!
Just today I spoke with a bridal boutique alterations person. Her name was Maria, she has 25 years experience. She said basically what some of you said. If its too good to be true, it probably is. Maria told me that her business changed drastically when the internet became a must for wedding dress browsing and price comparsons. She said that these internet retailers that sell the dress for more than 50% off of retail, when the dress is still in season, are all fakes. Not only are they fake, but they are poorly made, with cheap fabric and are probably not hand made. Maria actually gave me an example of a bride that came in recently, who had purchased a 3000 dollar gown online for 700.00. The bride was ecstatic at the deal she got. The tag in the dress actually said the name of the designer. As Maria started hemming the dress, shortening the bodice, and adjusting the zipper, she saw how poorly it was made, how crooked the seams were, and she had hours upon hours of alterations to do because the dress just awful. Not only that, but Maria is very reasonable with what she charges customers, a normal dress for basic taking in, hemming, steaming, etc is less than 150. This dress took her so many hours, at 25.00/hour (in the Bay Area, that is a BARGAIN!) it cost the bride 450.00 more dollars in alterations, when competitors were quoting her 800.00 and up. So Maria finally finished altering the dress. She was steaming it to get the wrinkles out about 5 days before the wedding, and then the worst thing happened. None of the beading, and there was a lot, was sewn on properly, it was almost like it was glued on because the heat of the steam, just steam, caused the beading to fall off the dress immediately! Maria was almost in tears, but had to sew each bead/bling back on by hand.
Maria told me that she didn’t have the heart to tell the bride that her dress was a fake and that she got ripped off, so she did her job, zipped her lips and had to rework, re-sew AND re-bead the whole thing. Don’t do it ladies. If you can’t afford the dress, find something you can afford. Its like a knock-off Chanel purse, the chain will make your arm green where it was being held. If, I should say WHEN , your dress rips at the seems, literally melts from being steam pressed, or falls apart when being cleaned after the wedding for gown preservation, its too late. You won’t have time to re-order another dress, or the finances. Also, its not right to take money out of these designers pockets when they are putting their hard work into quality hand made dresses that take hours to make each one. All you’re doing by buying a fake is supporting sweatshops in Indonesia. There are plenty of beautiful dresses for 1000.00 or maybe even a little less. With that being said, don’t go to David’s Bridal, they are the wedding dress equivalent of Wal-Mart, without the low prices! I love Walmart but wouldn’t buy my dress there. Everyone assumes since they are a chain store they will have reasonable prices. I know I did! I went to a boutique first, tried some dresses, found one I liked but wanted to make sure it was the one. So, I made an appt at David’s Bridal, I am not a snot and am not TOO good for anything or anyone. When I showed up it was like another world. I felt like the day prior I was shopping at Barney’s, and now I was shopping at Wal-Mart! Several of the “taffeta” dresses felt like those table cloths you would buy for a party at the dollar store that are kind of plastic, stratchy. It was awful! The only thing they do have is relatively small number of designs with a LOT of sizes. I know not everyone fits into a sample size 6, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy an ugly, cheap dress (cheap looking, but actually quite a bit for what you’re getting) just because it fits! The advice I was given, and EXPERIENCED myself was that their dresses aren’t worth what you pay for them, especially when the dress only looks good with the extra bustier, and (I can’t think of the word for the can-can like, poofy, slip that goes under the dress) under garment slip for extra fullness. By the time you add on all these extras it costs at least a couple hundred dollars, add that to the 500+ dollar dress you bought at David’s Bridal, with their expensive alterations, and you end up spending a thousand dollars. Back to the advice I was given: When you buy a quality dress from a boutique, you shouldn’t have to buy all these extras to make the dress look good, all that should be built into the dress, and the only extras you should pay for are accessories like tiaras, veils, shoes and jewelry.
I know I am a rambler, sorry. I hope I helped everyone! Congrats on your upcoming weddings and GOOD LUCK with your dress hunting, and best wishes for many years of happiness with your best friend/fiance!