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Venting on Dress Frustrations

So, as some of you may recall my niece is getting married next December-date has now been set to the weekend before Christmas. She was going to do Christmas Eve but the family had a heart attack on the date (not me, I leave people's days/dates alone). She has been the same size pretty consistently from high school on so she feels comfortable shopping for a dress now. I have been going along because I am her MOH and justifiably she does not want her mom along for shopping because she just gets pushy. She will be along for the fittings so she can have her magical mom moment with her daughter and the dress.

My niece is six feet tall and built like a model, very small waist, small chest, little butt kind of girl. A size 4/6 even in bridal. I thought dress shopping for her would be a breeze, but in fact it was much easier for me. I agree with her when she says the strapless styles you see so much now are not flattering to her, so getting sleeves put on will be a must.

Our main frustration is with the waves of attitude you get from the bridal shops-which I got a taste of as a bride but being so many places with her I am seeing the full horror of. She plans to seriously spend on a dress, and consultants at so many of these shops practically want to tell you what to buy, will bring out only a very limited number of dresses in a single appointment, get irritable if you do not like what they like. Really, there is no other industry I can think of where people spend this kind of money and get treated that way.

There is a small shop in West St Paul I have heard good things about that has a stock of Maggie Sottero dresses (which the niece has seen online and is very interested in) we are going after Christmas. I told her the best thing to do may be to shop online for styles that she likes, hook up with shops where she can try those styles on and ignore the attitude you get from some of these people. We are not A-hole customers, truly but wow. Are these people all bitchy from dealing with too many brat brides or what??

Re: Venting on Dress Frustrations

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    I didn't wear a traditional wedding dress, I wore a BM dress. The lady at the shop acted like I was insane for wanting a knee-length, light blue dress as my wedding dress. She actually asked how people would know I was the bride. Um, pretty sure my name is on the invitation and I'm the one H wants to marry.

    My mom came with me to find a dress and she took care of the consultant. She basically told the woman we didn't need her help and we'd come find her when we were ready to buy. I knew what I wanted, as I'd looked on various websites so I had an idea of what to look for. Mainly I stayed in the dressing room and my mom handed me dresses.

    But this was a small boutique, not a large place where you have to have an appointment. I'm not sure what we would have done if the consultant had been pulling the dresses.
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    I think small boutiques are the way to go. Their every paycheck hangs on their customer satisfaction and word of mouth reputation. The one I went to was amazing, and I'm even thinking about bringing a BM dress for a wedding in March there for alterations, because they were the most reasonable in town and did a great job. They were never pushy with me, but did give me great counsel when I asked for it, whether positive or negative, and I appreciated that because I was alone for most of my appointments. 

    I would always feel better at a small boutique. Good Luck!
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    For the most part I had a great experience dress shopping but there was one boutique that had very pushy sales people. Long story short I could have bought my dress at two different boutiques but this sales woman was so unbelievably pushy and the store was 30 minutes farther away than the other so why would I buy it from them? I adored the owners of the store I got my dress from and I don't regret it. 

    You have to work with the dress store multiple timesfor fittings and alterations, do you want to work with kind, organized people or mean, pushy, bottom-line-driven people?

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    She should go up to Moorhead and check out the place I bought my dress, they have a lot of really kickass dresses there - the guys who own it design their own lines and they're gorgeous.  Plus if she goes now she will probably avoid any drama of getting her dress last minute like I did :) lol
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    I agree that small boutiques are the place to go.  I brought in pictures to mine, and while my consultant looked for those dresses and similar dresses, she let me browse the hangers and grab anything I wanted.  I tried on 32 dresses at my first appointment.  Then, at the second appointment, based on what I liked at the first, she had pulled my favorites and grabbed a few new ones that she thought I might like.  She was NEVER pushy (actually, she helped talk me out of a more expensive dress into a cheaper one that really did look better on me), and she was just fabulous. 

    I really hope your niece has a better experience here.  I would definitely have her bring in pictures or style numbers, and tell the consultant right away what she likes and what she doesn't like.  She's already been a few places, so she has a pretty good idea at this point.  Hopefully this place will be better.

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    I had the same problem at one or two of the dress shops I went to. I ended up buying mine from a small shop... and had the best service ever. The woman who helped me was tolerant of everything from my indecisiveness, to my daughter deciding it was time to be fussy, my best friend hijacking my appointment, (not a smooth move...) and actually convinced me to try on the last dress I had picked out. (DD was having a melt down, best friend got her to fall asleep just as I finished getting my clothes back on)

    I definitely feel that small shops are the way to go.
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    Thanks everyone! 

    I am getting the impression that small is the way to go, too. I have seen the St Paul store and you can barely turn around in it but they have a lot of samples available. Hopefully we find something there. Niece has style numbers so that should help!
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    I too bought my dress at Davids Bridal.  Before my appointment, I went online and looked and looked at the dresses, saved to my favorites the ones I wanted to try on, printed it out and handed my sheets to the consultant.  She was wonderful!  She did not push me into one dress or another, instead she would ask how I liked this one or that one.  She helped me eliminate dresses til I was down to 4 to choose from.  She did not mind when I asked to try on a couple dresses 2 or 3 times either - I wanted to be absolutely sure that they were not "the one" before I said no, that is not a finalist.  I made another appointment with the same consultant and made my final decision.  That trip I had my BM with me, and she helped us all, and was wonderful once again! 

    I wish you and your niece the best of luck in finding her dream dress!  BTW, I agree that strapless does not work for everyone (remember Chelsea Clinton's dress?)
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    Lenore -
    I live here too and wanted to make a recommendation. If you go to WS in St Paul try and make an appt. during the week not weekend. It is crazy on weekends. As people pull dresses you may never even be aware that they are there. They do have a tremendous amount fo samples, but it is a hard experience there. I was literally shoved out of the way on an Sat. and watched a girl run out in tears.
    I really liked Heartstrings Bridal and the local board may have other recommendations for you.  Good luck!

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_venting-dress-frustrations?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:8a369f97-61e2-4abb-995d-19a39b056affPost:4d7099a6-60f1-4266-aa2b-96c92379d0e8">Re: Venting on Dress Frustrations</a>:
    [QUOTE]I too bought my dress at Davids Bridal.  Before my appointment, I went online and looked and looked at the dresses, saved to my favorites the ones I wanted to try on, printed it out and handed my sheets to the consultant.  She was wonderful!  She did not push me into one dress or another, instead she would ask how I liked this one or that one.  She helped me eliminate dresses til I was down to 4 to choose from.  She did not mind when I asked to try on a couple dresses 2 or 3 times either - I wanted to be absolutely sure that they were not "the one" before I said no, that is not a finalist.  I made another appointment with the same consultant and made my final decision.  That trip I had my BM with me, and she helped us all, and was wonderful once again!  I wish you and your niece the best of luck in finding her dream dress!  BTW, <strong>I agree that strapless does not work for everyone (remember Chelsea Clinton's dress?</strong>)
    Posted by AbbeyS2011[/QUOTE]

    <div>What? </div>
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    Thanks everyone! Lots of good advice here! I did David's myself - my niece grumbles she does not like anything there and wants something higher end. It's her money so okay with me :)

    I liked Chelsea Clinton's dress just fine, I was not crazy about of all things, her makeup. Her eyes just look overdone. Some girls can carry off that much liner but it did not become her in my opinion.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_venting-dress-frustrations?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:8a369f97-61e2-4abb-995d-19a39b056affPost:db8a6476-5edf-4d6a-86a2-dd42f1537615">Venting on Dress Frustrations</a>:
    [QUOTE]We are not A-hole customers, truly but wow. Are these people all bitchy from dealing with too many brat brides or what??
    Posted by Lenore2010[/QUOTE]
    Perhaps!

    Maybe you need to play good cop/bad cop at some of these places.  You be the b*tch, neice can be the sweet bride, and whatever attitude the consultant has can get lost in between. 

    I'm just kidding.  I haven't gone shopping yet, but if I get attitude from anyone, I'll end the appointment and walk out.  I know the designers I'm interested in and I already know that there will be another store in the next city.
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