I highly doubt that anybody really cares that much about my wedding planning escapades. Which is probably good, since I don't talk much about it on the old bloggity blog.
But I thought that since I have regaled you with my tales of my dress shopping hijinks, I would give you some brief reviews on the stores I've been to.
This is the first place that I think pops into people's minds when they start planning their wedding. And I definitely can see why.
They have a HUGE selection of dresses... all different shapes, sizes, styles, designers. And definitely the lowest prices out there.
And the store itself is pretty dang big (at least the one I went to), which is nice because I don't like to feel claustrophobic.
BUUTTTTTT, there are some issues. Obviously price reflects quality in some cases. The fabrics and overall detail of the dresses I was trying on were lacking. And, although the customer service is great and all the employees are nice (again, by my experience) they don't seem to have the level of expertise that I would have liked as a bigger girl when it comes to getting the dresses to at least look SOMETHING close to how they are supposed to fit.
GOOD: Lots of variety, GREAT prices, comfortable atmosphere, nice staff
BAD: Dress quality, ability to 'sell' a smaller dress on a bigger person
Prior to my own dress shopping, I hadn't ever been into Alfred Angelo (the other stores I went to I had already been to when my sister was dress shopping) so I wasn't sure what to expect. I had been told by someone that the girls there weren't particularly welcoming, so I was nervous.
I was greeted immediately and my consultant was nice. The fitting room (at least mine) was nice and big so I didn't feel like some sort of caged animal, but the actual area where the dresses were was pretty cramped and there didn't seem to be very much variety. Most of the dresses seemed to resemble each other, honestly.
I noticed that the quality of the dresses was a step up from David's (as were the prices, so I would HOPE it was a step up), and my consultant was really good at getting me into them so that I was able to get a pretty good idea of how they actually would look, however I felt like, at times, she wasn't listening to things I was saying. For instance, I would mention that I don't want a lot of "bling" and she would come back with a dress that had a big chunky rhinestone section... hello?!
GOOD: Nice quality, fair prices
BAD: Cramped shopping space, lots of similar dresses
This little gem... it's a nice boutique, LOTS of different designers and styles. They even have a clearance room. It's quite different though, because a) there aren't appointments, b) you don't get a consultant to pull dresses for you or get you in them, and c) it's a strange maze of rooms that you can get lost in.
It's kind of nice to have the freedom and not feel stressed to try a certain dress on because your consultant thinks it would look good, and you can take your time looking at things before you decide to try them on. But the fitting rooms, for the most part, are itty bitty little things. Seriously, I was surprised that my ass wasn't hanging out the curtain when I was trying to get in and out of things. Good thing we were in some sort of strange hallway in the back 40 of this joint, or else it could have been REALLY awkward.
GOOD: Great variety of designers/styles/prices, freedom to browse, low pressure
BAD: Confusing as hell to get around, depending on your companions to try to get you into the dresses.
Everybody should go to this store if you are in the Seattle area.
It's a very small store with pretty strict limitations as far as how many people you can bring. They have a good spread of prices and some good designers. Plus their staff seems to really know the dresses they have, and are experts at making you look good in them. It is unfortunate that they don't allow you to take pictures in dresses, because that's how I really get a good idea of how much I may like a dress (trust me, I've been going back to look at pictures of the dress I think I'm buying and the more i see myself in it, the more i like it)
GOOD: great staff, lots of dresses, good price range, overall good experience
BAD: can't take pictures, kind of frantic atmosphere, small area
Sooooo... with that said, my sister and I decided that the idea bridal store would have the variety of Pearls and Lace, the expertise and intimacy of I Do Bridal, and the price tags of David's Bridal.
A girl can dream, yeah?