Pennsylvania-Central

Bridal gown shops..Recommendations?

Can anyone recommend any bridal shops they had good experiences with? Any that should be avoided? Thank you!!

Re: Bridal gown shops..Recommendations?

  • I would avoid Cocoa Couture in Hershey. I had a horrible experience there purchasing a dress for my brother's wedding. They lied to me and said they couldn't order the dress in a smaller size cause it was out of stock. So I bought the bigger size and had it tailored down. Then I go on the designers website and learn that I could buy the dress there in my correct size for a lower price! Also, my mom purchased a dressed they said they could alter to hide her bra straps. The dress comes in and the seamstress says she can't alter it, and the shop refused to refund the money! Finally they gave us store credit, but we'll never use it. I will not be shopping there for my bridal dress.
  • It's a little bit of a drive but I used Sue Ames Bridal in Allentown PA, it's a small shop, they sell mainly Mori Lee dresses but the girls there were amazing, they let me pick the dresses I thought I wanted, patiently put me in them and then pulled the dress I wound up wearing, they know their stuff! TRUST them.
  • Thanks kschork87, that's good to know! Was thinking of going there but I will avoid it now. Thank you!

    mbendo5338, I will definitely look into going there! Allentown is probably just over an hour from me but that is not too bad of a drive. Thanks!
  • I really liked Bridal's By Sandra in Nazareth-their price point is a bit higher than a lot of Central PA stores, but they have more variety. They sell Mori Lee though, which is a pretty low price point. Of all the places I shopped, they had the most dresses that I wanted to try on.

    I also shopped at Cocoa Couture-they didn't really have anything that I liked. Unless you want Lazaro, which they carry, I don't think they are worth the visit. 

    I also went to Classic Weddings in Lititz-excellent price point, they have gowns in every size so you can buy off the rack,  but their inventory is better suited towards those looking for very modest gowns, as well as a large selection of plus-size. Their inventory was not very trendy, so if you are looking for something more modern, I wouldn't bother looking there. 
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  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I bought my dress from Lilas in York. One of my Bridesmaids ended up pulling my dress, but the staff was nice.
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  • I'm using Formalities in Bellefonte (where I live, outside of State College and thankfully back to a quiet town after the Sandusky trial a year ago made a bit of craziness...wedding is in Leola, closer to Lancaster) -- http://www.formalities.com/ There are a few things that turned me off (the owner really likes to rip on David's and Men's Wearhouse), but I was able to find a well-priced gown that fit my vision and never felt pressured to spend more. I bought the off-the-rack dress since it was probably the size I'd have ordered and it really had no signs of wear from being tried on (they said it was a fairly new dress). They do not alter themselves but have a recommended lady who comes in weekly....I had my first fitting recently so no comment on her work yet. I got my BM dresses there too. I went in with one of my girls and they let both o us try on gowns since I'm close in size to at least one BM and the one who is local is a very different size (i.e. she couldn't try on the sample of the dress I liked, but I could). They were cool about a decision to buy two young girls' ("Flower Ladies") dresses elsewhere for convenience. They had the dresses sent to the store and charged just $15 to mail to the out-of-towners which seemed fair. It is a small store so I found it worthwhile to go on off times. My alterations apt was a Sat and it was packed with prom girls and a large group of groomsmen getting measured....I wouldn't have enjoyed shopping with those crowds even though bridal gowns are in a separate room. I got good attention on my initial visit and no pressure at all (other than the aforementioned comments about DB) Also tried on at DB in Altoona and one State College shop. Def make an apt for DB. Less fond of the Sate College shop...felt like they wanted higher budget brides
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  • I'm using Formalities in Bellefonte (where I live, outside of State College and thankfully back to a quiet town after the Sandusky trial a year ago made a bit of craziness...wedding is in Leola, closer to Lancaster) -- http://www.formalities.com/ There are a few things that turned me off (the owner really likes to rip on David's and Men's Wearhouse), but I was able to find a well-priced gown that fit my vision and never felt pressured to spend more. I bought the off-the-rack dress since it was probably the size I'd have ordered and it really had no signs of wear from being tried on (they said it was a fairly new dress). They do not alter themselves but have a recommended lady who comes in weekly....I had my first fitting recently so no comment on her work yet. I got my BM dresses there too. I went in with one of my girls and they let both o us try on gowns since I'm close in size to at least one BM and the one who is local is a very different size (i.e. she couldn't try on the sample of the dress I liked, but I could). They were cool about a decision to buy two young girls' ("Flower Ladies") dresses elsewhere for convenience. They had the dresses sent to the store and charged just $15 to mail to the out-of-towners which seemed fair. It is a small store so I found it worthwhile to go on off times. My alterations apt was a Sat and it was packed with prom girls and a large group of groomsmen getting measured....I wouldn't have enjoyed shopping with those crowds even though bridal gowns are in a separate room. I got good attention on my initial visit and no pressure at all (other than the aforementioned comments about DB) Also tried on at DB in Altoona and one State College shop. Def make an apt for DB. Less fond of the Sate College shop...felt like they wanted higher budget brides
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  • Mkincaid2014Mkincaid2014
    25 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited February 2014
    I would also avoid Gowns By Design in Mechanicsburg. Their staff is rude and unhelpful. I am not a cute tiny girl (but a tall and mostly proportionate one), and they looked disgusted that I would dare step foot into their store. I forced the one woman at the front desk to make eye contact with me and told her what I was interested in. She then points to a corner of the store and walks away. I saw some beautiful dresses, but they refused to help me. I will never give them any of my business. I went to Cocoa Couture the Friday after Christmas to look for bridesmaid dresses, and it was so awkward. For some reason they didn't think they would have a lot of customers that day, so they were really short staffed. I asked them about discounts (we need to buy 6 bridesmaid dresses), and they won't give one unless the bride buys her dress there. When it looked like the appointment was coming to an end, the consultant took me over to the wedding dress section (I had not expressed interest in seeing anything). She then brought me to a rack of hideous plus size dresses and told me I should look there. I ignored her and browsed the designer stuff until my bridesmaids were ready to go. @kschork87 - which dress did you get for your brother's wedding? I really liked some of the bridesmaid dresses there, but they were outrageous! If you know of lower prices elsewhere, I would be very interested!
  • @Mkincaid2014 I got a Siri dress in yellow. It was short. It was over 2yrs ago so I'd be surprised if it was still in stock. I think it was $250 there, and probably $200 if I had ordered directly from the manufacturer (so yeh, I was really mad at the store when I found that out after they told me it was "out of stock with the designer"). I think that Cocoa Couture's prices are too high for central PA. I tried on a $450 Nicole Miller dress there and I just would never pay that much. I would honestly just buy bridesmaid dresses from David's Bridal in Harrisburg. You could also look online via Ann Taylor or J. Crew (still expensive, but Ann Taylor frequently has sales).
  • I actually had a great experience with Gowns by Design in Mechanicsburg, where I got my dress, a Pronovias, which I LOVED. They are a small, family-owned shop, so you do need to make an appointment or they likely won't be able to offer you much help if you just walk in, especially on a weekend. I was an out-of-town bride, and they were really great about making my fitting appointments on weekends when I was in town. Because they are a smaller shop they don't carry a lot of designers, but if you like any of the designers they do carry (I know they have Pronovias and Casablanca Bridal among others) I really recommend checking them out.
  • In White in Lancaster - they have gowns that are more modestly priced as well as more expensive designer gowns. I bought my dress at a sample sale in 2010.
  • Posh Bridal, Cocoa Couture 
  • I'm not sure where exactly you're looking to go shopping but I LOVED my experience at J&B Bridals in Chambersburg! Jackie was my consultant and she was so gracious even though I had a pretty large party shopping with me! The owners are a husband/wife couple and you can just tell they care so much. I'm definitely going to order my bridesmaid dresses from them as well!!
  • Lillas Bridal in York!! Amazing, and you get 10% of BM dresses and can do payment plans :-)
    mhoffman17
  • RubinoDL said:
    Lillas Bridal in York!! Amazing, and you get 10% of BM dresses and can do payment plans :-)
    Agreed! This is where I got my dress and it was a great experience! 
  • There is this beautiful place in Camp Hill/Mechanicsburg that I am looking at going to, but I haven't gone yet.

    Gowns By Design on Carlisle Pike

  • I had an appointment at Gowns by Design, I think Diane helped me but I did not end up buying a dress there.  Everyone was nice and helpful, but I didn't fall in love with anything there.
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  • We love Taylored for You Bridal in Mechanicsburg

    We do NOT like Davids Bridal in Harrisburg.
  • Stopped in Davids in Harrisburg to look at bridesmaids dresses and hated every minute of it.  
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  • Oh yeah.. avoid Davids.. they have been known to sell their samples as actual ordered wedding dresses to brides!  Yikes! If looking for a once worn or never worn option we love White Starlet Bridal in Linglestown.  A fraction of the price and a good selection of all sized dresses.  I bought a formal dress there but her wedding gowns looked great!
  • David's Bridal in Harrisburg is awful!  They were so rude when we went to look for bridesmaid dresses!  I bought my gown at Alfred Angelo in Harrisburg.  They were absoluely amazing!  I couldn't have asked for a better experience.  They truly gave me the "bridal" experience of my dreams!
  • I avoided David's at all cost when bridal shopping! They're nice and all but as previous comments stated, they definitely have their downfalls. Also avoid Renaissance Bridal in York; their gowns are thousands of dollars ($2,000 at the cheapest from what I saw unless you're shopping clearance) and the woman literally sneered at my best friend when she told them her budget. 

    I bought my gown with Alfred Angelo in Harrisburg and let me tell you, they treated me like a beautiful bride from the day I walked in just inquiring if they had gowns that would match my theme (Steampunk). If you go there, just be sure to order ahead of time; ordered mine in April and it's coming in July 31st (not complaining at all, since that's just over 3 months before my wedding).

    I'd also like to suggest the Cinderella Shoppe in Palmyra. Now, I hated HATED this store in high school (they fat-shamed me when I was shopping for prom dresses), but I took my best friend in to shop for her wedding and I believe they changed the entire staff. The woman was not only super excited for my friend (who found a gorgeous pink and lace gown for her Tea Party themed wedding), but was also super nice to me. Only downsides now are that the gowns are made small (friend is a size 8 and a size 10 was a squeeze, but their gowns can be altered if needed) and they no longer sell bridesmaids dresses.
    Sonusai
  • Bought my dress at Country Threads in Manheim, PA. Literally got it for a steal. Brand new at $200 - I am completely altering the dress to be exactly what I want. Only $150 for alterations. The staff there is beyond helpful!

    They have new and preowned dress. Like I said, I was so lucky to find my brand new dress there!
  • NovakNovak
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments
    member
    edited July 2016
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