(Closed) SF Bay Area wedding gown shopping

posted 14 years ago in San Francisco Bay Area
Post # 15
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Tomorrow I’m going to Nouvelle Bridal in Palo Alto and Trudys in Campbell. I hope I find something at one of those places. I’ll check back in and let you gals know how it goes!

Post # 16
Member
818 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Elegant Lace in San Jose is a good one too. If possible, ask for Maria. She’s the best!

Post # 17
Member
278 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Trudy’s was really nice, but oh my god was it crowded. I went on a weekend and only brought one person with me. We had to share the mirror area with 2 other brides who each brought 3-5 people with them. My friend had to fight for her (1) seat!

I got my gown from Bridal Galleria in SF and found it to be a much more pleasant experience. I went in twice, once on a weekend, and always had lots of room and great service.

I also checked out Glamour Closet and thought the service was wonderful for what’s supposed to be more of a discount sample store. I’m petite though, so sample dresses don’t really work for me. If you’re about a size 6-8, I think it’s a great find.

The only place I would avoid is House of Fashion in Sacramento. I won’t go into it, but check out Yelp if you want to see what I really think (and lots of others too).

Post # 18
Member
2392 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I haven’t bought my dress yet, but I had a really great experience looking at Mariel’s Bridal in Redwood City.  It’s a bit of a smaller place, and they were really accomodating.  My friend and I were both looking and they let us have a dual appointment.  We met with the owner herself as well as one other salesperson – no feeling rushed or pressured, it was great!  Their prices were very competitive.  My only issue is that I think I want a tea length dress and they didn’t have any, but if I end up deciding on something that they can get for me, I definitely want to order from there.

Post # 19
Member
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010 - Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery

Here is my $0.02:

1) Trudy’s in Campbell: This was the first place I looked. It’s super crowded on weekends. My consultant was nice, but she seemed to be annoyed that I wanted to try on more than 5 dresses. She also didn’t quite “get” what look I was going for.

2) Elegant Lace Bridal in San Jose: I really despise this place. The store is outdated and all the saleswomen are frumpy and pushy. I was pressured into buying a dress that I wasn’t 100% sure about. Needless to say, I am now a two-dress bride because I realized soon afterwards that it wasn’t the right dress. I wish they had been less pushy.

3) Unique Bride in Burlingame: I have mixed feelings about this place. They did a military promotion where they were giving away free sample dresses to fiance’s of active duty military members, which is awesome. At the same time, they quoted me $400 more on a dress that I saw elsewhere for $3400. When I asked why that was, they told me that the designer probably raised her prices. False.

4) Marina Morrison in SF: Never stepped foot in this door, but they also quoted me higher than my Amsale was worth. They also gave me a very snooty impression over the phone and had the gall to ask me where I purchased my gown from when they called me 2 MONTHS after i contacted them to see if I was still interested in coming in.

5) Gabrielle’s Bridal in Campbell: This was one of my favorite bridal shopping experiences. Great space, they let you take photos and they even write down the name of the dresses for you. That’s just classy IMO.

6) Bridal Galleria in SF: I stopped in during a Lazaro trunk show. My consultant was nice, and I had a good experience here. Didn’t buy my dress there but it seemed like a nice place.

7) Clarissa’s Bridal in Walnut Creek: this is where I got my dream Amsale gown for $400 less than anywhere else I could find in the Bay Area. I love this place. The ladies that work there are super sweet and my consultant Lita was a dream to work with. She never pressured me and she was so wonderful. I just love them.

WOW, I’ve been to a lot of bridal shops! I didn’t even realize…

Post # 20
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I just wanted to post to say that I had the best experience at Trudy’s, and my consultant was so wonderful and helpful.  She looked at all the pictures I brought in and really got an insightful sense of what I wanted.  I loved every dress she brought me, she was incredibly patient and also offered her own opinion, in a kind manner.  The store also wasn’t crowded at all when we went, but it was on a Friday.  Anyway, just wanted to give it a good review, I personally had an excellent experience there!

Post # 21
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Trudy’s in Campbell was crowded, yes, but totally AWESOME! They have two sections – Bridal and Special Occasion. Both areas have a wide variety of choices in resonable prices. And they offer cupcake samples from a local bakery and water, too! I first went to my appointment in the bridal section and my consultant chose 10 dresses based on my photos. None of her selections was more than $1000! That was pretty awesome considering I expected all salons to try and get you to purchase the most expensive dress. I left really liking 1 dress, but on the way out, decided to step into the special occasions side to take a look myself. I’ll admit, this was more my style – I like looking around myself and “pre-screening” what I try on, ya know? Anways, I found a dress nearly identical to the one I had tried in the bridal section, but half the price! (Likely becuase the word wedding wasn’t directly attached to it.)

Though there were appointments for people in that section, too, a consultant was more than willing to let me do my own shopping and even saved a fitting room just for me to go back and forth into.

Trudy’s was a truly fantastic experience!

Post # 22
Member
3342 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

By The Way – The staff at Trudy’s size you up when you walk in.  If you dont look like you’re going to drop $$$$ on a gown and a huge bridal party they will treat you like sh*t.  I tried going there twice, walked out both times and will never be back.  I had the money to spend but because I’m not white, upper class, I got treated very poorly.

I also received terrible service at Bay Area Bridal.  I am pretty sure my consultant was with at least one other bride at the same time as she kept dissapearing mysteriously.  On top of that, they were about an hour late for my appointment.  We sat around waiting for about an hour.

I found my gown at Elegant Lace.  The store does look shabby – it ain’t Kleinfeld’s.  Ask for Ta’cara.  She listened to what I wanted, and kept pulling dresses based on my feedback.  I was never pressured into a sale, in fact I had 4 appointments (2+ hours each) before ordering.  She did try and push the custom changes by Allure, but I ended up finding a gown that had what I wanted without changes.  There is one lady (red hair, didn’t catch her name, might be the manager) who did my measurements who was absolutely dreadful.  The owner is a bit harsh as well.  Ta’cara was a great bridal consultant in a sea of frumpies.  The girl who helped us with Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses was also very nice.

Post # 23
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@ Jo Jo Bananas – Wow! I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. 🙁 I’d like to say, for the record, I’m not exactly white (1/2) and certainly not upper class, but I was treated very well. I even came in that day with beatup sneakers (but I was carrying shoes similar to what I want for wedding), a t-shirt, and my hair was in one of those lazy messy buns like I just stepped out of the shower (b/c I had). I certainly didn’t look like anything special is my point. I’m glad you had a better experience at your last shop though.

Post # 24
Member
36 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2010

If you like simple and classic gowns, then it is Amy Kuschel all the way.  I found my gown there and have been really impressed with their customer service.  In my opinion, you can’t beat a gown that is made to your measurements, and a bridal salon that includes alterations in the cost of the gown.

Post # 25
Member
28 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I recently made a list of all the dress shops that I visited and was really surprised (and a little sheepish) about how many places I had actually visited! My momma is a saint for going with me to all these places! 😀

1. J’Aime Bridal – Pleasanton, CA

Nice and clean place, I went on a Sat morning so there were three other girls trying on dresses, which I kind of liked because it took the pressure off a little bit. I appreciated that they had a lot of 800-1000 dresses. The salesgirl was pleasant. 

2. Blossoms – Pleasanton, CA

They seem to do TONS of prom dress sales, so there’s always a lot of teen girls buzzing around, but I personally think that they just add to the energy, in a good way. So don’t expect a really serene environment! They have a lot of Jasmine, Casablanca, La Sposa, Mon Cheri. If you come here, they’re pretty upfront about giving you a 15% discount, so ask! I came here three times (i know…), and every saleswoman was pretty nice and unintimidating.

3. Glamour Closet – San Francisco, CA

I loved this place, and Maddie was SO nice. Surprisingly honest, she was very very patient and sincere, which I always appreciate. I think they spray the store with pixie dust or something because it always smells like rainbows and unicorns in there. One thing I ultimately was weary of was the unknown alterations costs of trying to alter a sample size down to my size. Also, they come into the dressing room with you, so make sure to wear something that you won’t be embarrassed to be seen in!

4. Sterling – Pleasanton, CA

I completely forget what brands were there, but they had quite a few dresses for ~ $550, which is nice. The salespeople are nice, but I can see where the guy there might make you feel slightly uncomfy.

5. Paris Bridal – San Francisco, CA

The woman who owns this place is very nice, and her shop is all windows and hardwood floors, so it’s lovely. It’s kind of in the boonies, but it might be worth checking out. Ask her about her sample gowns! She has some winners for $700 or so. Though I was kind of surprised how she threw her gowns around, she just toss them on the floor and behind boxes and things.

6. Jeremy’s – San Francisco, CA

At any given time, they’ll have a handful or so of bridal gowns, so it might be worth calling in to see what they have. I tried on my first Monique Lhuillier here, a really pretty sheath dress for 50 bucks that originally sold for, who knows! On a whim, I bought a dress for 39 dollars that was originally $3800, but it’s not really my style. The point is, you might find some hidden treasure here!

7. Bridal Expo – Foster City, CA

I guess this is the Bay Area’s version of Running of the Brides? Not many girls came, and nothing really too impressive here – there seemed to be tons of $249 dresses that were half off their original price. 

8. David’s Bridal – Milpitas, CA

The saleswoman was okay, everything was okay, but I was a little surprised by how much some of their stuff was. I also really wasn’t a fan of wearing their gross tried on a million times heels and the gross crinoline skirt. Also, don’t give our your information! I convinced them that I’d rather not fill out the card until I actually bought something from them, and I succeeded at giving them my “sweepstakes” email, so now their horrible horrible spam just floods that account.

9. Margene’s – Oakland, CA

Vicky was really nice and very patient. A small little store, I found something that I would be okay that was $600 or so; I have no idea what brands they had. She also seemed to have lots of sample gowns upstairs.

10. Janene’s – Alameda, CA

She has a good amount of sample gowns, nice ones! The only sadness is the new sample gown prices aren’t marked on the tag, only the original pricing, so you kind of don’t know how much it will be until you ask. Also, Janene is a little blunt and very matter of fact, which I found kind of off putting because it also comes off kind of condescending. 

11. Rin’s Bridal – San Carlos, CA

Lots of Pronovias and Enzoani gowns! The saleswoman was accommodating considering I had basically called fifteen minutes before to see about an appt. Their sample gowns are only 10 or 15% off the list price though, which seemed kind of meager.

12. Novella Bride – San Francisco, CA

A nice big airy dressing room! A fair amount of sample gowns, lots of Jasmine, Watters, Pronovias, and other stuff (I dun remember). Saleswoman was nice. 

Haha now that I’ve looked at the list, I’m kind of embarrassed to see how many places I visited. Chalk one up for indecisiveness!Embarassed

 

Post # 26
Member
188 posts
Blushing bee

It’s sad to see that, since this thread was launched, so many of the San Francisco bridal salons recommended here have closed (Alexandra Bridal, Neiman Marcus Bridal Department, Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal Department, Jeremy’s, Encore Bridal, Priscilla of Boston, etc.)

Post # 26
Member
54 posts
Worker bee

Trudy’s is quite popular. I’m also looking at LOHO Bride in San Francisco, as well as Lovely Bride.

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