I was dreading shopping for a gown (strange, I know) and ended up putting it off until a couple of weeks ago when I went on a whirlwind shopping tour of the Bay Area to the following places:
1.) Neiman Marcus – I met with Stacey who was incredibly nice and not snooty at all. She made my first experience trying on wedding dresses wonderful. I liked two Vera Wangs, both priced around $5k.
2.) Glamour Closet – Definitely somewhere to check out if you are a sample size. I didn’t find "the dress" here, but there was a good selection.
3.) Shadows, San Anselmo – they have a small selection of low- to mid-priced gowns. There were two gowns that would have worked nicely for my venue, both by Casablanca and both around $700.
4.) Trudy’s – My Maid/Matron of Honor got her dress here and I heard that there was a great, affordable selection so made the drive to check it out. It might have been my salesperson, but I had a *horrible* experience. After describing what I was looking for, in detail, the person brought almost the exact opposite dresses for me to try on. After already being disappointed having tried on one too many monstrosities, the lady zipped my skin in a zipper which left me bleeding!! Would not recommend.
5.) Bridal Galleria – they were having a Vera Wang trunk show when I was there, so there was a 10% discount if the order was placed that weekend. I had a really nice experience. I found them super helpful and not snooty at all. The dresses I tried on were 3-5k. My 2nd and 3rd favorite dresses were here.
6.) Marina Morrison – I went here looking for a Lela Rose dress, that I found out was close to 10k. I had a good experience here as well, although I was intimidated having to walk out on the stage in front of everyone to check out the dress in front of the large mirror. Most dresses were between 3-6k.
7.) Jin Wang – I finally found my dress here. I think most of their dresses are around $4k. I met with Jin Wang herself, and what I loved the most is that she was able to modify any of their dresses to meet your needs (ie. adding straps to a strapless dress). I loved the whole experience, the setting, the personal feel. She’s super nice — try to request an appt. with her personally.
Hope this helps!! Good luck!!!