Hi here are the answers to your questions
1- How long from start to finish (Original Contact – to Dress in your Home)
I submitted payment May 23, dress by Aug 15 (delayed a few days because there was a typhoon in the area the week they were doing the final touches). There were between 20-30 email correspondes and they were always very prompt to respond. Also, I feel that being very polite and patient, realizing there will be language barriers and miscommunications, is essential for this method to work.
I also followed the advice that I had read from others and said my wedding date was about 2 months earlier in case the dress didn’t work out.
2- Was this a Dress on their Website, or did you have to go thru the process from square one? (if so please tell me about that… as that is where I’ll be starting from)
Not on their website. I sent them all the photos I could find of the dress- the designers site photos and real bride photos from FB. I also got professionally measured and submitted all the photos, etc with the order form.
3- How much info did you provide to them detail wise… was it just the Designer Photo… or did you get close ups of certain aspects (ie lace) and give that to them as well
See above- I labeled photos (like the attached beading photo above). They send pictures in stages, so you can address issues as they happen. For example their first round, there was no bustle, so I diagramed some photos- attached below.
4- Did you make any major modifications from the orignal dress construction (I can’t see any, but wondering if you did)
No major modifications
5- I take it you saw pics during the construction phase… and were able to comment (basing this on your first & middle pics in the collage)
Yes, see answer to question 3 and photo below. The greatest draw for me to JBS was that I only paid 1/2 up front and they did not stop modifying until I was happy.
6- Guessing from the first pic, that you had some issues during the construction phase, and worked thru that with them… how did that go. Did you feel that your needs were addressed, does the dress look ok to you now that you have it in hand
The dress does look like what I hoped it would. And the responses I’ve gotten from others, my mother, friends and bees, and local seamstress have made me feel that the dress is amazing and perfect for me.
I wish I would have known that the material on the original was 100% silk, so the top layers were folded and are a continuous piece of fabric. I did the fabric upgrade, but even so they were not able to nicely fold the fabric, so each layer is an individual piece. I would have paid more for the silk. However, I think that’s just my pickiness, if someone has not seen the original, I dont think that would cross their mind. You have to be realistic that for the price, you’re getting way more than you would in the US.
7- From the time they notified you that it was good-to-go (them shipping) until you received it was how long
See question 1. I think it also depends to on the detail of the dress and if they’ve made it before. Remember I requested a dress unlike any they’d made. Also, the beading took at least a week.
8- Any details on payment & delivery would be helpful. What method did you use for payment (Paypal – Credit Card etc) and for shipping (Parcel post – UPS – etc). Did you have the package insured?
I did Western Union- JBS gives you a discount for this method, but you pay a WU fee. No insurance, got it within ~4 days of them sending, they send you a tracking number.
9- Was your dress received in good order? Assuming based on other reports here on WBee it was crammed into a smallish box… how did you get it to look right afterwards (ironing, steaming, hang-out etc)
Small bag, so you’ll have to get pressed/steamed – you can see the wrinkles in my photo. Keep in mind that this is probably better and they do it for Customs purposes. They list as paper or something, so you don’t have to go and pay fees.
10- And lastly… can you give us at least a ballpark number of what you paid for the dress… and if there were any other costs associated with the process.
It was less than $500 all together. That was with the highest quality fabrics, normal seamstress, extra for the open back with beading, the buttons down the back of the dress. Plus, WU fees (maybe $40), and shipping.
I hope all of the information is useful. I understand it’s chancy to do it this way and not everyone has had the same success with JBS. In the end I think brides to be have to know themselves and their comfort level. I’m laid back and just couldn’t find any dress that I liked in the stores, so I thought I’d try this and gamble with $500. For those who are very uptight and stressed, I doubt this is a good option 🙂