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Comparison shopping for dresses?

Did you guys have trouble price-checking when shopping for dresses? I am in NC (wedding is June 25 2011) and I have heard some horror stories about salons refusing to reveal the designer and style number. I'm afraid I'm going to be too embarassed to be pushy about it, but I definitely need to price compare to keep my budget down! Did you bring a notepad to write stuff down? Take pictures? Try to remember it by heart?

What about finding the right size if you end up ordering from Pearl's Place, etc...do you get the bridal shop to measure you to see what they would do, or do you do it yourself? I am nervous that the salespeople will be on to me!

I have a list of 4 or 5 local stores to go to, and I may go into David's but I've heard they can be sketchy and the markup is really high...it could be just a fun thing to do on a rainy day!

I'd love any other suggestions you guys have for dress shopping :)

Re: Comparison shopping for dresses?

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    Hi there ... I know exactly what you're going through...

    I went to 3 different places to shop around and told many of them it was my first time out upfront.  I asked if my mom could take pictures of me in dresses I was interested in as I was going to be trying on many and wanted to remember how I looked in them after I left the store. Some allowed it and others did not.

    So, I took a notepad too to write stuff down and most places didn't care. In fact, they should write down the style numbers for the ones you like to take as well as log them in their computer.  For all they know, you could be coming back to their store next week to buy it. 

    If you feel like you can't write the styles down try to remember the couple styles and write them down right back when you get in your car :)  Or if you remember the designer collection you should be able to find the style number on the designer website. As far as pricing, be sure to ask if it includes the cost of alterations -- some shops already include it and others don't.

    And even if it looks gross on the rack, it might look good on you.  Just start pulling a ton and weeding out from there.  The first store I went into I thought I hated all the dresses, but once you put them on and they clip 'em, it's different.  GOOD LUCK!
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    I only went to David's for my dress and it was a great experience minus them putting me in a corset dress two sizes two small for me and expecting me to breath. I think you should go to David's and look around. Maybe see what styles look great on you and what doesn't. Also write down prices! Then compare the styles to the bigger names out there and see if they have something similar in style that you like. I am very happy with my dress from David's and it was only $300....
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    There was a dress I liked made by Da Vinci, but David's Bridal sold a very similar one, which has since been discontinued. When I went into a couple bridal shops, they had the particular dress in their catalogues but I couldn't try it on and they kept giving me a price range for the dress. I saw the David's Bridal version of the dress on their website and it just happened to be in my local store on sale. So I stopped by without an appointment and they were great. I would just check them out just in case like the PP said.
    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
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    I would take a pad and pen.  I did.  I also had BMs sneak pics even just with their camera phone. 

    It worked out well for the most part but for the BM dresses one of the stores wrote down the style # and designer for me but they change the style numbers so it totally threw us off.  They gave all of the dresses serial #s for thier stores system so nothing matched the designers style numbers.

    The store I bought from was very forthcoming and I felt comfortable with them.
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