Rhode Island

Dress shopping!

hi all! i am finally going dress shopping with my mom and grandma on saturday. we are going to alexandra's in fall river and helene's in east prov. anyone had any experiences with either? they come highly recommended from other ppl i know - but wanted to ask around on here too. also - if i dont find anything i like this weekend we were going to check out bridal shoppe? anything about them? thanks! :)

Re: Dress shopping!

  • edited December 2011
    Helene's has some amazing gowns and I found my BM dresses there, but they were $20 cheaper and free alterations at Gilda's in Fall River, so I ended up purchasing them there.  Same with Alexandria's - beautiful dresses, but I found them cheaper other places.  And Alexandria's was a bit clustered with dresses and people.
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  • edited December 2011
    thanks, i am really looking forward to going. ive heard there are beautiful dresses at both places. I am a little worried about the pricing of alterations but i guess every girl and every dress is different depending on the work needing to be done. i just found out that alexandria's is kinda like a warehouse? didnt picture it being that but thanks for the heads up about it being a little crowded. we are going there first and to helenes. if i dont find anything i like i already told my mom she would have to come back again (she lives in CT) and we will go to bridal shoppe and another place.
  • RIFallBrideRIFallBride
    100 Comments Second Anniversary
    member
    edited December 2011
    I love Alexandra's, I worked with Rosana and she was a sweetheart!  It is crowded on the weekends which put me off initially but then she started pulling all the right gowns.  I believe they include basic alterations in their pricing (I could be wrong).  Make sure you describe what you are looking for or what you don't like.  They have an enormous selection.

    It is not a warehouse by any means, the dresses are just surrounding the area with the mirrors and pedestals.  I had my sisters and mom with me which made seating tight when the other bride had quite a few people too. I have no patience for this but once we got going and that appointment cleared out things were fine.  I found the picing to be fair.  Despite my intiall impressions it ended up being my best expeience.  I did not go to Helene's.  GL!
  • edited December 2011
    If you don't find anything you like at either of those places I would definitely recommend checking out Party Dress Express in Fall River.  They have a huge bridal section, don't require an appointment, and are super helpful.  That's where I found my dress.  If you have to order the dress the alterations are included in the price on the tag and I found their prices to be lower than any other shop I visited.  I didn't go to Alexandria's or Helene's though so I don't know how the prices compare to them.  Good luck!  Dress shopping is so exciting :)
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  • edited December 2011
    thanks RI fall bride and sarah. i am a little overwhelmed at the thought of how many dresses will be at both places to try but im excited for it. i have heard nothing but good things about both places. hopefully it wont be too crowded. we are the first apmt of the day at alexandras and im just going with my mom. we are going to helenes later in the day and picking up my grandma to go with us because she lives right near there. hope we find something and if not, i will look at other places. i will have to look into party dress express - never heard of it til now! :)
  • edited December 2011
    I went to Alexandria's to look for my mom's dress but we didn't have any luck. Like PP has said, weekends seem to be NUTS in there and my mom doesn't deal with crowds well, so we left. I got my dress and my BM dresses from Ana's Bridal in East Providence. Do not, under any circumstances, go there. That's all I'm going to say about that for now lol.
    I had also shopped at Erina Bridal in East Greenwich. The ladies were super helpful, they had a nice selection but not overwhelming, which was nice. A little on the pricier side. My one comment for them was that I'm a size 14 in street clothes, and I couldn't zip up ANY of their dresses. This may not be an issue for you, but just a heads up. How am I supposed to know if I'm going to like a dress if I can't put it on? I'm busty - that's not my fault!
    Good luck!!! Keep us posted :-)
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  • edited December 2011
    dberrett - haha you are too funny! "do not, under any circumstance, go there!" i have read too many bad reviews on here that they were not even on my go to list. the east greenwich boutiques also seem kinda snooty - im sorry you had that experience at erina! not good. im a little worried about the crowds at alex's but we are the first apmt so maybe it wont be so bad and we are going to helenes after....if i dont find anything at either - im going to check out bridal shoppe - ive heard good things about them too. also - this may be a stupid choice but i am new to this and only plan on doing it once ;) but like most women, i want to lose weight before the wedding. we are dress shopping on saturday and if i lose say 10 lbs by the time it comes should that matter? i guess it depends on the dress and alterations needed. but that's normal right? i dont think most girls go into the dress shopping at their quote un quote goal wedding weight....thoughts? i will def. keep you posted!! thanks :)
  • RoyalOrientRoyalOrient
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
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    edited December 2011
    I went to Helene's Bridal Shop in E. Prov and loved the owner and her daughter, Ana who was very helpful. My mother and sister found their dresses there. I did not but their alterations was also very responsive and they carry brands not sold anywhere else in the area like Tara Keely. Party Dress Express also carries a HUGE inventory of dresses - they have some very affordable designer options plus alterations are free. I bought my RH dress there. Alexandrias was just okay. I grew up in FR so I bought my prom dress and homecoming dress there in the past with great success but I always found the sales girl to be a bit pushy but the owner, I believe her name is Fatima was always very nice and she did a great job with my alterations. I just couldn't find the dress there although I was close with an Enzoani blue wedding gown. 
  • edited December 2011
    Don't worry about losing 10 pounds or so - they'll definitely be able to alter that for you! Between buying my dress and my first fitting I lost... wait for it.... 25 pounds! And it fit beautifully! It still wouldn't hurt to ask the sales girl once you select the dress to get their professional opinion if it can be taken in.
    My personal recommendation would be to order it in the size you need when you purchase it, not a size down b/c you plan to lose weight. When we lose weight, we have no idea which area we'll lose it from (butt, hips, waist, whatever) and some areas will remain the same (unfortuantely). So when you order your dress, your biggest area is how they determine what size you'll need, and that may remain your biggest area even after losing weight, so your over all size would still stay the same. Does that make sense? That's what happened to me. Luckily I ordered my size that I was in February, b/c in September I'd lost weight everywhere except my boobs so they just snugged in everywhere else. I hope that makes sense and wasn't too rambly!
    It sounds like you have a good plan of attack for tomorrow! Just remember to enjoy the time with your Mom, get some coffee and relax beforehand so you won't get flustered or overwhelmed. Let the sales girl pull the dresses, that's what they get a commission for! :-)
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  • edited December 2011

    hey dberrett -

    wow! 25 lbs! you rock! yeah i am confident that they should be able to alter. i mean, we change all the time. i'm sure i will change from now to ordering and then maybe even between the fittings. i did go to alexandra's and helene's yesterday and they were both great. i wouldn't really have anything negative to say about either. the girl at alexandra's was a bit pushier than the helene's woman who was not pushy AT ALL. we went to alexandras first and i really liked a dress there - but was not sure if I wanted it to be the dress. they wanted us to buy on the spot and we were like um, no. haha.  we went to helenes and i really didnt think i would find anything better - i really liked the first dress, in the price point, etc. the first few dresses were terrible at helene's so i thought oh this is not going to work, but then she started picking better dresses and i tried on one dress and i loved it. totally different style from the alexandra's dress but i just feel more bridal in it. i had the ah-ha moment. so now im super psyched and the woman was great and we got the veil too! all set! it will come in about end of may/early june which is great. we ordered it in the size i needed yesterday and it can be altered. it all worked out well - thanks for all your advice!

  • edited December 2011
    Congrats URI!!!  It's such a nice feeling once you've found the dress - it really does click in your mind.
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  • edited December 2011
    thanks lomlboat! it is a really nice feeling - i feel like after the venue, this is like the biggest check off my list! i love the dress - i cant wait for it to come in...definitely more real that im getting married after trying on about 20 dresses on saturday phew! :)
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