On the hunt: David’s Bridal

3 October 2012

After yesterday’s slightly pitiful post, I’m happy to move on to cheerier days. We tabled the dress shopping for about two months, and my (wonderful, awesome, hugely-accommodating) mom made plans to come down to North Carolina in November. We made the most of her extended weekend, and fit in visits to three different dress shops. Our first one was actually to Nitsa’s, where I would eventually buy my dress, but I’m going to shake things up and post about our third store of the weekend, David’s Bridal, first.

(The second store doesn’t really need a post of its own – we went to Bridal Mart in Burlington hoping to try on a few specific Watters gowns, but all the designers were totally mixed up on the racks, so we couldn’t find what we were looking for.)

David’s Bridal, of course, needs no introduction. I’ve actually loved a lot of what they’ve done recently, especially the White by Vera Wang Collection, so I can honestly say I went in with an open mind. I also went in with fairly low expectations, which I think was helpful. There was one specific dress I was hoping to try on, and happily, they had it in stock! Here it is being sported by another real bride:

Photos by The Collective Photographers via Style Me Pretty

I did try this one on (it’s by Oleg Cassini), and I liked it quite a bit! I’m actually surprised I can’t find it on their website anymore, because I thought it was one of the loveliest designs they offered. Here it is on me:

I tried on a few other dresses, including this one and this one, but the Oleg Cassini was the only one we were seriously considering. And we were seriously considering it.

For one, it was about half the price of the “Brisa,” if I’m remembering correctly. It also shared many characteristics with Miss B, like a soft, full skirt, a draped top, a sweetheart neckline, and a natural waist.

Of course, there were some issues. David’s Bridal designs come in two shades: white and off white. I knew I didn’t want the off white (way too yellow for me), but the white was that stark BRIDAL WHITE, which I also didn’t care for. Left with no middle ground, I didn’t like my options.

Also, I would have liked to make some significant alterations to the Oleg Cassini to make it a better fit for my style — I wanted to remove some of the ornamentation around the waist, and add illusion sleeves. With the additional expense of those alterations, the price gap between the two would have narrowed.

In addition, I knew that if I bought the Christos gown (or any designer gown, really) I would need to sell it after my wedding to be able to match my dress budget, and I was okay with that. Though the DB gown was less money initially, it would have been harder to resell it, especially if I had made significant alterations.

As strange as it sounds, the final nail in the coffin for David’s Bridal was the service/environment. For whatever reason, my mom did not care for the gal helping us, and I think she was very turned off by the whole environment of the store — we had to wait at several different points throughout our stay, the lighting was weird, the attitude was more “sales-y” than at the boutiques we had visited, etc. These things didn’t bother me quite as much because, like I said above, I came in with lower expectations.

I think my mom’s biggest concern, though, was that she felt I was settling for the David’s Bridal gown, and because she is wonderful and amazing, she didn’t want me to do that. Love her.

Tomorrow, I will conclude our dress hunt saga with my experience at Nitsa’s, from first visit to gown shipping!

Tell me: Did you visit David’s Bridal in your search for a wedding gown? What did you think?

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October 3, 2012 1:09 pm

I did visit a David’s Bridal and had kind of the same feelings as your Mom.

But I’m not too picky since I bought my dress at Bridal Mart! They were the only store in a 2 hour radius that carried the Watter’s dress that ended up being “The One.”

I knew what I was getting into though since I had visited before with a friend who was wedding dress shopping. So I was prepared for the completely open fitting room and do-it-yourself dress search.

But I will say this about Bridal Mart, what they lack in individualized service, they more than make up for in price!

October 3, 2012 4:18 pm

I tried on and loved that very same dress! It truly is spectacular and looks so rich in fabric and detail for such a low price. I am with you – low expectations all the way. Honestly, my experience was exactly what I expected and since my budget was $1500, which is the highest end of their gowns, they treated us quite well! In case you haven’t already read/seen the post about DB – http://threembride.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/the-dress/

October 3, 2012 6:45 pm

I got my dress from Bridal Mart too! It’s Allure. However, I only had a specific style in mind and they were not too bad at grouping dresses together by fabric (I wanted allover lace and all the lace dresses hung on specific rows). However it is so large I can see finding a specific dress to be rather difficult!

I went to David’s Bridal but I was unsatisfied with their tiny selection of lace dresses-although they are advertising a new one now that looks gorgeous! Their Vera Wang dresses were awesome and beyond my expectations.

Can’t wait for the Nitsa’s post!

October 4, 2012 1:45 pm

My sister and one of my good friends got their dresses at David’s Bridal. Both had pretty great experiences with little to complain about. My bridesmaid dress was also from there and found the sizing funny but can’t complain about the price. I did however donate the dress to charity immediately after the wedding.

October 4, 2012 10:25 pm

It is so much fun going through the process with you via your blog!:) Sounds like you mom is pretty amazing. As a bridesmaid, I haven’t had wonderful experiences with the staff at David’s Bridal…but I definitely wouldn’t know as a bride!