- 8 years ago
- Wedding: June 2010
Please, please do not waste your time at Hannelore’s Bridal Boutique in Alexandria, Virginia. No matter your budget, they will make you feel worthless. I got my dress from a wonderful salon (Bridals by Elena, in Severna Park Md), but unfortunately I made the mistake of taking my mother to Hannelore’s to purchase her MOB dress. They had a large selection and the exact Watters dress that we were looking for, but I promise you — this will never outweigh the downright abusive way that they treat customers. We were humiliated. My mom has been such an amazing help with this wedding, and I am so furious that someone could take such a happy and exciting event and crush it. Here’s exactly what happened; PLEASE do not let this happen to you…
We purchased the dress from Hannelore’s back in February with plenty of time before the wedding. Unfortunately, the dress that we received was made incorrectly (we confirmed this with another tailor). After discovering the dress was defective, I tried to bring the dress back to the store for my mother. I was told that her shoulders must be uneven and that there was absolutely nothing they could do without seeing it on her and determining the necessary alterations. Now I understand that nearly every dress requires alterations, but it was clear that this dress was simply made from two different patterns — one side of the bust/shoulder/strap was significantly larger than the other — and while alterations could “fix” it, a replacement top was the obvious solution. Anyways, they refused to look at it out of the bag without my mother present. So, the next Saturday morning, we arrived promptly at 10 am to explain the situation. Wow. I wish we had never gone.
Both Pamela (the owner’s daughter) and the seamstress that was brought it to try to “fix” the dress we’re impossible to work with. We were talked down to the entire time, and received countless long, exaggerated blinks and “I’m not finished.” attitudes. My mother (who is 5’8″ and weighs 135 lbs) was told that her body was not shaped appropriately for the dress. She was told several times that her “boobies were just not big enough” (though she is 34 C) and Pamela even pointed to her ribcage and asked if that was where her breasts began, citing that if her breasts were “higher” the dress would work better. The seamstress went as far as to say “you know these inexpensive dresses, the designers make so many of them, they just don’t pay attention to every one.” The dress was $350!!! I don’t know about you, but that’s not exactly my definition of “inexpensive.”
My mom even tried on the sample dress (in a size too large for her) to show Pamela how the dress was designed to fit. And even though she AGREED that the dress was defective, she took absolutely no responsibility for the mistake and said there was no way the manufacturer could replace it in time. We were told that our only options were to take our money and go (leaving the dress when the wedding was seven weeks away), or to pay $135 in alterations for the store to fix it (she later reduced the fee to $75, but not before stating that no one else would touch the dress for under $100).
We received absolutely no sympathy or understanding the entire visit. The mistake was not even on the part of the bridal store – it was on their vendor! Still, there was NO attempt to work with us and find a solution (without paying more). We were so uncomfortable, discouraged, and humiliated — we kept trying to explain ourselves or find other way to make it work, but we realized that nothing we could say would change their mind. We left with the dress and our spirits crushed.
We now plan to take the dress to a recommended tailor and will never go near that place again. The only thing we can do is to let others know about our experience and hope that they never face the same disappointment and embarrassment.