(Closed) Why does David’s bridal get such a bad rep?

posted 14 years ago in Dress
Post # 32
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

i haven’t had a huge problem with david’s bridal really.  their gowns are nice and even the designs are not so bad.  but the sewing is not as nice quality as the nicer brand dresses.  not to say that the prices are cheaper at david’s either.  i wouldn’t discount david’s, but i would also go to other smaller boutique shops and try on dresses there.  then go to http://www.pearlsplace.com or http://www.netbride.com and see what discounted price you can find.  they’re sometimes almost 50% off and less than what david’s would sell.

good luck!

Post # 33
Member
17 posts
Newbee

I’ve been a member of the Knot for years so I can’t even tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard about them.  I never ever thought that I’d eventually be a customer, but I had a wonderful experience!  After visiting every single boutique in three major cities, I only found 4 or 5 dresses that I liked (not loved), and some of them were out of my budget.  As a last resort, I took a trip to David’s and had two amazing consultants! (one of which turned out to be a local Knottie… lol).  They helped me tremendously and were really patient.  I never even had an appointment and only had to wait, at the very most, maybe 5 minutes to get a dressing room. 

I wanted a mermaid style dress and although they didn’t have many to choose from, they had one that I absolutely fell in love with.   It’s technically an Oleg Cassini (style #CT229).  I was blown away by the quality because I had tried on literally hundreds of dresses by that point, and the quality of the Oleg was far superior to any other dress I had seen at other shops.  Everyone always raves about Casablanca, but I thought the quality of their lace dresses were pitiful.  My Oleg, however, is simply stunning and I’ve already received numerous compliments.  I wanted something with lace and lots of beading (more of a vintage look)… It’s very heavy and well made as opposed to Casablanca’s gowns for example (which were so thin, they felt like they would rip apart).  Obviously, I’m very pleased with my choice.  It was originally a $1000 (an appropriate price in my opinion), but I received $200 off during one of their sales.  

Unfortunately David’s is a chain so much like any other chain store, the level of service is going to vary a lot depending on who works there, how busy they are, etc.  Also, because of the huge volume of customers they deal with every day, by default there will be more complaints (that’s just basic probability lol).  I highly recommend utilizing your local board on the Knot because the women on there will tell you if your local David’s store is worth visiting or not.   Some are better than others.  Also, I would advise not having your alterations done there.  Alterations can be really tricky so you want to make sure you use the best seamstress you can find (DB is somewhat known for overcharging).  

 

 

Post # 34
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

One of my coworkers told me horror stories she and others had either buying or just visiting. One girl got a deal on her dress (couple hundred dolloars). Even though it fit ok, she still had to have a number of alterations done. The costs of the alterations about killed her.

 

I have no personal experience with them. I had heard plenty of bad tells of the few that are around here, so I went to another bridal store where they stock thousands of wedding gowns at discount prices (imagine House of Brides dot com). I scored a very very very beautiful dress for a fraction of the cost. 

Post # 35
Member
4 posts
Wannabee

Although I have never purchased a dress at DB, I have tried on bridesmaids dresses there a couple of times, and a friend bought her wedding dress there.  When I was trying on the BMs dresses, one of the consultants at the store I was at told me that each consultant is "assigned" dressing rooms.  Meaning that if the person that helps you is assigned a dressing room that is not near the bigger three-way mirrors and platform, you don’t get to see yourself over there.  

I went on a weekday both in the mornings and evenings. They were very busy, and, almost every time I went, it seemed like the entire place was in chaos.  Brides everywhere!  Consultants arguing about one "stealing" another’s client.   They also have a really shotty selection of sizes, so if you want to try something on that is only available in a size 20 when you are a size 8, too bad.  

As for taking the actual dress home with you on the day, I warn against this.  Chances are the dress you try on and are thinking about buying has been tried on by several, and I do mean SEVERAL, other girls.  Almost every dress I saw was slightly damaged in one way or another.  You can request that the dress you want be ordered new, but they usually balk at this.  You practically have to beg them to do it.  

If you do end up using DB, please get your alterations somewhere else.  As many other have pointed out, they are way over priced at DB. 

I agree with everyone else saying that you can find a lower priced dress elsewhere.  I recommend finding a store in your area that carries Alfred Angelo dresses.  In fact, if you look closely at their designs, many David’s Bridal dresses are actually lower end knock offs of Alfred Angelo designs. 

Post # 36
Member
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

i’m BUMPing this for any new bees out there…  that and i am stuck at home on a saturday nite

 

my personal op: i loathe, hate, cant stand david’s bridal… from the staff (rude, act like they dont see you or it’s understaffed) to the dress selection (yucky fabrics and "designer" names that try to sound fancy — "monique luo"?  are they f’in kidding us??)

i walked in, looked around for 10 minutes, then walked out – yuck!

the fabrics are cheap, not inexpensive, but cheap and it’s wal-mart-ish and honestly, you can find a better made dress from way better fabric in a small bridal boutique from someone who can give you the attention you need when you are picking out the best party dress you’re ever gonna pick out!! but that’s just me…

my 2cents – check it out yourself – if you’re cool with it, then go for it!

Post # 37
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Haha Anti-Zilla.  I actually hadn’t read this post.  I absolutely hated DB – for all the same reasons.  Even though we had an appointment, we got no service.  I went in with style numbers written down, and they wouldn’t even pull the dresses for us.  In fact they did not have my size (6) in most of the dresses I wanted to try.  I thought that all the dresses I did try looked cheap and were poorly made, even though all were around $1000.  They made absolutely no attempt to figure out what dresses I might like better, or what I even wanted… just tried to sell more stuff in every case (the back’s too low for you? How about a little bolero jacket?) They did make us ‘register’ before they would even help us, and I have since called them directly to complain about the phone calls about tux rentals etc… thank heavens I did not give them my email. 

My dress, purchased at a small local bridal salon, is much nicer than any I saw at DB.  It was $650.  We had a private appt, with an entire room to ourselves to walk around and look in the mirror, and a nice couch for my mom to sit and watch.  (No dressing in a tiny cubicle, no waiting in line for the mirror.) The lovely consultant did a great job of lining up dresses in my price range based on the photos I had brought in, adjusted the selection based on my comments on each dress, and also kept my mom appropriately distracted so that she didn’t bug me to death. 

I agree – if you really love a DB dress, more power to you.  If you are going there because you think its the only place you can get a reasonably priced dress, and you have to put up with the WalMart atmosphere just because you don’t have $3500 to spend, think again.  You can absolutely get something better made for less money at a private salon, and with the service you deserve.

Post # 38
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee

I went to Running of the Brides and bought a 100% silk dress for $250 by one of the mid-range designers that was originally like $1,500.  If you want service this was not the way to get it (except from my mom who is the best assisstant/critic). But if you don’t have a "pretty princess" fantasy you could give it a shot.  I also did not have a dress budget but also didn’t have a dress fantasy so it worked out well.  The key is to try on EVERYTHING and not have a preset notion when you start out.

Post # 39
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

My bridesmaids got their dresses there — but I hated their wedding dresses.  The service has been good (South Coast Plaza DB), and they have been very willing to work with my bridesmaids — they are each wearing a different dress in the same color.  My only issue with them has been with "quality control" or lack of it.  Once bridesmaid dress came in ripped, and instead of ordering us a new one they are going to fix it, another was missing the straps — they said they will "hunt them down" and mail them to us, and another had issues with alterations.  I only have one bridesmaid left who has not yet picked up her dress– we’ve already started betting on what is going to go wrong when she picks hers up.

Post # 40
Member
102 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I’m going to ditto the Alfred Angelo suggestion.  I bought my Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses from them and they’ve been nothing but helpful, and we got a great deal.  I kind of wish I bought my dress through them – though, I bought my dress on craigslist (an Amy Michaelson steal), so I really can’t complain.

Post # 41
Member
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

Part of what I don’t like is that they copy designs from other designers with lesser quality fabric, and then charge just as much, if not more. I’m sure "sharing" designs is common, but that bugged me. Probably wouldn’t have if I didn’t already have a problem with them though!

 

I went in, and asked them if they had any dresses with sleeves. They said yes, they have lots of options (all the sheer ones you attach to a strapless dress). I told them I didn’t want sheer, and they made me fill out the form with all my information on it, before telling me that they would only put sleeves on for religious purposes, or that I could tie a wrap around my shoulders and under my arms. It’s my wedding, and they made me feel like I was the biggest inconvenience for wanting something different. My mom and I said "No, thank you", and walked right back out the door. 

 That said, it was about 1pm on a weekday, and the store was empty. So, at least a weekday makes it better! 

Post # 42
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I must have odd luck or something.  I’ve been to three David’s Bridal (NJ and MD) and have had wonderful times at all of them.  The one near where I live right now is particularly helpful – going above and beyond to help me let out/reorder bridesmaid dresses (after a few too many snacks).  When I bought my wedding dress, I had a Saturday afternoon appointment and had no trouble.  I had to wait about 20 mins for service, but that doesn’t bother me (I had fun talking with my mom and sis and looking at bridesmaid and mom dresses).  When I had my consultant, she went out of her way to make sure I tried on every dress as many times as I wanted and I was not rushed in any way, shape, or form.  I went to another DB with a friend who needed to "register" her bridesmaid dresses (in MD).  We didn’t have an appointment, it was a Saturday, and they were as lovely and sweet as pie.  We had a great time, laughed a lot, and got everything done.

So I’d say judge for yourself.  I went to four or five independent boutiques before David’s and none of them impressed me.  I will add, though, that if I had Alfred Angelo dedicated stores near me, I’d have given them a try.

Post # 43
Member
24 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2008

i tried david’s bridal in the very beginning of my dress search, and needless to say, i was unimpressed. the salesgirl was not very helpful in giving me any suggestions, but i guess, like all stores, it depends on who you get. i would say if you don’t have a really solid idea of what you want, then david’s bridal is a good place to start, at least so you know what it’s like and so you can start narrowing down what looks good on you. let’s face it, david’s bridal is so big that they actually do have a lot of sizes and the stuff you try on might actually be closer to your real size, unlike other stores where they only have 1 gown in a way too big sample size and they have to lobster claw you with clips from a hardware store to keep the dress in place.

 

i bought my dress from ‘Bridal Elegance’ in torrance, and the ladies there were very helpful in pulling dresses off the rack and finding dresses that fit my budget and style.  the lady who owns it is very nice, and they have a pretty large selection, even though it is not as gigantic a space as david’s. i’ve been to at least a dozen stores in the los angeles/orange county area, and that one by far was the best experience.   

 

also, if you’re still trying to look at various styles, there’s a place called ‘Pebbles Bridal’ in woodland hills, and they have racks and racks of dresses. that place is more of a ‘help yourself’ kind of place, where they give you some help when you’re ready to try on, but for the most part leave you alone to browse the racks. i don’t know what kind of shopper you are, but i kind of prefer that myself because i don’t like people breathing down my back or pressuring me (unless i ask them!). 

Post # 44
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I just came back from Davids Bridal in East Brunswick, NJ and was turned away.  We went 1 hr before closing but was turned away b/c the "racks" were closed.  It’s seemed fishy because a friend of mine went an hour before a few weeks ago and was able to try on dresses.  I personally called the Manager and she basically apologized but explained that the dresses were too heavy to bring down and they didn’t want to show any when it was an hour before closing.  They also didn’t even try to ask me to make an appointment or to come back in.  Customer Service lacks in all retail but it’s particularly bad at Davids Bridal.  So beware in going to the one in East Brunswick.  It’s unfortunate b/c I was willing to spend money on a dress but was turned away. 

Post # 45
Member
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I went to David’s and the reason I only went there once was this.  I tried on three dresses – one of them, I really liked.  I was upfront with the consultant that I was not under any circumstances going to buy a dress that day, but it seemed like as soon as I had a dress on, the "hard sell" started.  Before I knew it, she’d put a veil & tiara on me and was going on and on about how the sale was ending soon, and how good that dress looked on me.  I asked how much the dress was, and she informed me that everything was $1300.  It took me a couple minutes to find out just the dress was only $800.  The $1300 was for the crinoline, strapless bra, veil and a $200 tiara.  

The other thing I really don’t like about the company is the alteration prices seem a bit high.  

I ended up buying my dress from a local boutique – they didn’t pressure me to buy the dress, I ended up spending less than $800 on a higher quality dress that I loved more.  And alterations are included.  Yeah, you read that right.  My bridesmaids are getting their dresses from there too, and their alterations are included as well.  

So there you have it – the reason I personally don’t like David’s is because I wanted to buy a dress, not a used car. 

Post # 46
Member
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I didn’t buy my wedding gown from them, but send my two BMs there for their dresses because they live on opposite coasts and have two very different body types. I figured they could get whatever dress was flattering on them, but in the same color (Marine).

My sister visited two different David’s stores and said the quality was non-existent, the samples were in terrible shape — torn seams, broken zippers, etc. — and there are two different versions of the color Marine, which I didn’t know and could have totally screwed me on a larger bridal order with different people in different places.

Plus, it just seems that since so many brides buy their dresses through David’s, your dress will not be unique or YOURS in any way — it will be the exact same dress that thousands upon thousands of brides are wearing. At least a gown bought elsewhere will probably be made on a smaller scale. 

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