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Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh

Intro and dress shopping question

Hey everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself. FI and I live in Pittsburgh but are from Ohio and will be getting married there.  We're both engineers; I'm in grad school right now but FI has a big kid job.

I'm going to look for a dress in Pittsburgh as my home town has practically no bridal shops, and I figure it will just be easier logistically to buy it here. The dress is not one of my priorities so I have a low budget for it (less than $500). I've looked at the sticky that has bridal shop recs from other PIttsburgh knotties, but I have a few questions about prices. How do I figure out if a certain bridal shop has dresses within my budget? Do I just call and ask or will most places be able to work with my budget? Or should I just go to David's and be done with it? Thanks!
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Married! :) 5/19/12 The Domesticals

Re: Intro and dress shopping question

  • edited December 2011
    Hello and welcome!!!!! Congrats on your engagement.

    First off... Please don't go to David's Bridal!! I know some knotties have had good experiences, but I find it sad, there's no special attention or special moment just thoughts of other brides doing the same thing. I'm not a fan.

    My bridal salon- Babe's Broadway Bridal in New Kensington. I love them and most of their dresses are under $1000. I would call some salons to see if they are within your budget, or when you set-up appointments be up front and say what your budget is. I'm sure with places like MB Bride and others you'll find your perfect dress within your budget!
    RT + JB
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    The only item I will not compromise on...my bouquet of all purple tulips wrapped in a swatch from my Mom's wedding dress.
  • pantherRNpantherRN member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hi!

    Don't just "settle" for DB. Like J said, call around and see what your options would be. Some dresses just can't be done for under $500, like large ball gowns or dresses with a lot of beading and detail.

    Does the $500 have to include your accessories and the alterations? If it does, you may have a little more trouble.
    [IMG]http://i46.tinypic.com/w0ml45.gif[/IMG]

    TTC #1 since 10/2012. BFP 11/28/12, EDD 8/10/13. MMC found 1/11/13, measured 5w6d
    Everyone is welcome.
  • MRadsMRads member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I found my dress at Alfred Angelo's, and although its a chain store, I was the only person in the store trying on dresses, so it was a great exerience.  They do have dresses around $500.

    I might contact Clarissa Boutique in the south side.  I use them for alterations, but they also have surplus designer dresses.

    Congrats on your engagement!
    image

    Baby boy 7.10.13
  • Tara5384Tara5384 member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    MB Bride in Greensburg definitely has dresses in you budget as well. 
  • gmc22gmc22 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hi - Congratulations on the engagement and welcome to the board! The ladies here are very helpful!

    As for dresses, I don't have any additional advice to add other than what the others have said above... best of luck finding your dress and keep us updated on your progress!

    Also just wanted to add I love that you got engaged in Thailand! FI and I were originally going to go to Thailand for our HM but have since made the decision to go to Tahiti. We were having such a hard time planning and fitting everything we wanted to do there into 2 weeks - but it's definitely on my travel bucket list!! :)

    image

    Miss | Mrs | Blog
  • edited December 2011
    Maybe you should try looking up some designers that are within your price range, then find out which stores in the Pittsburgh area sell that particular designer.  I know I remember seeing a lot of Allure dresses at MB Bride that were around the $500 range.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the tips and the welcome, ladies! $500 is my budget just for the dress itself, not including alterations or accessories or anything else.

    MB Bride is one of the places I'm going first, so it's good to know there may be some options there.

    gmc, Thailand is AMAZING! You should definitely go. I was only there for two weeks but FI traveled there for over a month and it was his favorite place in SE Asia. If you ever have any questions about Thailand, let me know! FI is a travel blogger and enthusiast so he knows a ton.

    image
    Married! :) 5/19/12 The Domesticals

  • pantherRNpantherRN member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    With $500 for just the dress, you should be fine. Definitely give MB Bride a try! I haven't been there myself, but a lot of girls on this board loved their experience!
    [IMG]http://i46.tinypic.com/w0ml45.gif[/IMG]

    TTC #1 since 10/2012. BFP 11/28/12, EDD 8/10/13. MMC found 1/11/13, measured 5w6d
    Everyone is welcome.
  • gmc22gmc22 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    mookow - Thanks!!! I'm trying to convince FI that it will be beneficial to 'our relationship' take a nice trip every year for our Anniversary (or maybe every other year depending on $$!) lol!! We'll see how that one goes! Ha! I will definitely take you up on your offer when the time comes! :) I wanted/want to go to Thailand so badly but I just didn't know anything about it and was having the hardest time organizing the trip...

    image

    Miss | Mrs | Blog
  • edited December 2011
    Yea, congrats on your engagement!

    I didn't dress shop in Pittsburgh, but I'd recommend making a spreadsheet of dress shops you find and just calling them up. They won't give you a price on a specific dress usually, but they will tell you their price range. I was looking for places with "a lot of dresses under $1000" so that's exactly what I asked about. Any places that had a range above what I was looking for got cut from the list. I was in a much bigger city, but still had several places to look at.

    I actually didn't have a bad experience at Davids Bridal although I didn't buy my dress from there. The girl was actually really attentive, better at helping me in and out of gowns than some other places, and had I not found my dress at the last store we went to, I probably would have gone back to purchase one of the Vera Wang White dresses they have. Still, I do agree that their dresses feel a little cookie cutter since they're clearly mass produced.

    On the veil, check out etsy.com for supplies. I was able to make a really cool birdcage veil for a fraction of the price some of the stores wanted for them.

    Married since May 12, 2012
  • elizajane519elizajane519 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I have been dress shopping two places a small boutique and David's.  I was actually impressed with David's.  I had great service and some of the dresses were actually really nice-not the Vera Wang- those dresses are awful and look like they are made out of mosquito netting. It was also nice that besides being at an affordable price, some are even on sale after that.   I really liked on that had been marked down to $300.  When I went to David's, I took a friend who had spent at least $10,000 on her wedding dress. I thought she would be horrified, but she actually liked some of the dresses and was very positive. her advice was save money on the dress and buy more expensive jewelry because you will get to wear it everyday.  So if your budget is $1000 for clothes and accesories- buy a cheap dress and a nice pair of diamond studs.  You will wear the diamonds every day.  She did take me to a Priscilla of Boston store after David's but I was afraid to touch the $7000 dresses.  
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Intro and dress shopping question:
    [QUOTE]Hello and welcome!!!!! Congrats on your engagement. First off... Please don't go to David's Bridal!! I know some knotties have had good experiences, but I find it sad, there's no special attention or special moment just thoughts of other brides doing the same thing. I'm not a fan. Posted by jlbaxter33[/QUOTE]

    I bought my dress at David's. My consultant was super nice and made me feel special- she gave me her undivided attention and asked me how we got engaged, what our wedding plans were, etc. I understand each store (and consultant) is different, but I received much better service there than at MB Bride. Yes, the dresses are mass-produced, but I didn't care about that. I fell in love with a dress, so I bought it and made it my own. I was also on a $500 budget- got my dress for $450.

    Don't just "settle" on a store or dress of course. I'm not saying you should look at David's, but if you see dresses there you like, why not check it out? The most important thing (IMO) is that you love your dress, no matter where you get it from. Just wanted to share my experience.
  • Tara5384Tara5384 member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I agree with the "every experience is different"  comments.  I went to MB Bride with a friend and didn't really like the whole process.  The store was packed (with girls looking for prom dresses!) and her consultant was NOT helpful AT ALL.  I was actually reluctant to go back for myself, but they were having a trunk show of a designer I was interested in and my mom basically made me go.  HUGE difference.  My consultant, I believe her name was Carolyn (?) was extremely helpful, listened to what I wanted, didn't pressure me in to anything, and even stood up for me when my mother and FMIL liked a dress I didn't like.  In the end I ended up with a dress that I love and that was way under budget.  I also have friends who have had great experiences at Bridal Beginning and Anne Gregory for the Bride  , so just keep an open mind. 
  • edited December 2011
    I would also say, if you can swing it, go on a nonweekend day. We went shopping on Monday and Tuesday during a nonprom time (early March) and were the only party in a few different stores. I can only imagine how crazy it gets otherwise, especially in smaller boutiques!
    Married since May 12, 2012
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the advice, ladies!
    image
    Married! :) 5/19/12 The Domesticals

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