Terrified of local bridal shops!

I am feeling particularly nervous about my first outing trying on dresses.  I live in SD (the state) and my town only has one local shop.  I hear terrifying things about the way they treat plus-sized brides (and bridesmaids, but more on that in a minute).  The thing I am most terrified of is that they will not have any sample sizes for me in styles I like and it's going to be a huge waste of time.  I really do not want to shop at David's, the closest one is in Fargo or Bismarck (both cities are about the same distance away) and all the reviews and personal rehashes of friend's experiences have been AWFUL.  Especially if they're bigger than a street size 14.  The local store treated me like crap the last time I had to buy a dress there.  First, only two samples fit.  The one dress I decided to pick the lady almost refused to let me at least slip it on w.o zipping it so I could see what the silhouette would be like, she was worried I would 'rip something' or 'ruin it for someone else to try on'.  A month later when I came in to pick my dress up, the first dress was THREE SIZES TOO BIG.  Try again.  Three weeks later (two weeks before the wedding I was in) the properly sized dress arrived.  I paid for the remainder of my dress and she quipped, 'are you sure this is the right size?  Maybe you need to try it on before you go, we still have the larger one'.

I lit her up.  Told her I was sure this one would fit and that her running her mouth certainly wasn't helping me feel good about my purchase.  Also told her I was extremely disappointed when I had come in for the picking of the BM dress and her other associate had insinuated I was going to ruin their merchandise.  I also told her I was not happy with the fact that I had to come back for a second dress because that same associate messed my measurements up.  (The wrong measurements were on the dress bag's tag- she had taken the originals, scribbled them out, and added 8 inches or so to each of them.  Thanks.)  I showed her and she said, 'well she must have thought you were going to gain weight.'

I slapped the check I had just written on the table, grabbed my dress and stormed out. 

This was my experience for a BM dress!  I am terrified what's going to happen when I go in to look at wedding dresses!  Are they going to be rude?  My girlfriend went in a few weeks ago and swore she would never go back.  She made an appointment, arrived on time, waited 15 minutes while the employee chatted about her drunken Saturday night, then had to struggle to get the lady to help her find dresses that would work for her.  My friend is also plus sized.  HOWEVER, my skinny-ass, 100lbs dripping wet sister had absolutely NO problems when she went there to try on dresses.

Siiigh.  Maybe I am just working myself into a froth over nothing.  Maybe I am afraid I will get frustrated and cock off if they're nasty to me. I hate being mean but I will defend myself to a bully (I kind of feel like that's what they are there).  On an unrelated note, do I wear my Spanx when I go?  I probly won't even buy a dress from them but will it help in seeing the 'final shape' of the dress on me?

Whew.  I'm done.  Thanks.

Re: Terrified of local bridal shops!

  •  I wore my "spanx" when I just went today and long line bra so I would get the "real" look of how it would be on my wedding day because if I had not I probably wouldn't have liked any dresses....that said I had great service at Davids today and tried on about 10-12 dresses there (I lost count and tried some twice lol) I think if u can call ahead and tell them what you're looking for it might help. I also had a great consultant that was patient and flattering so I guess it really I based on service.
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  • I would try asking on your state board for recommendations for bridal shops that treat plus-sized brides approrpiately and have lots of larger samples.  Based on your experiences above, I would definitely be willing to drive a couple of hours to go to a store that you will have a positive experieince with.
  • Usually what I do is go to my state/city board and then search the forums for Plus-Sized. Usually it pulls up any posts where someone has mentioned the words and went from there. 

    Hope you have better experiences. That sounds just awful!
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  • Have you considered a weekend in Minneapolis? There are a couple of bridal salons that specialize in plus size gowns, it's also a better place to visit than Fargo. ( I went to college in Moorhead, MN, and I'm not a ND fan)
  • I would absolutely consider taking a weekend trip somewhere to a larger city with more salon options.  A drive and a cheap motel and 2 days of shopping might be just the thing you need. 


  • talesenicole:  Do the drive!  My first experience was okay at one of the shops but I wanted to try on the newer dresses with the illusion necklines and they only had them in sample size 4.  I was sad as another bride was able to try them on and I wasn't.  The next day I went to Alfred Angelo's and had an absolutely horrible experience -- like yours as a bridesmaid just add the consultant telling me how bad my body was the entire time.   So, I decided to find a place that will let me try on the new stuff and treat me well.  I'm leaving on a road trip up to DC, I have two appointments on Friday.  Just in the few emails and calls I've received from both shops I know it's going to be a much better experience.  Don't put yourself through the trauma. The trauma of Alfred Angelo still gets me upset (not as bad as it was, though.  I was crying for weeks.)

    On a side note, my fiance is stationed in Rapid City. I'm going back up again for Christmas.  Brrr.
  • the french door not sure where it is but its in sd and they have a range of sizes. google bridal salons in sd call all of them up and find out what sizes they have for you to try on and how many of each size. if that does not work then i would suggest a road trip. has some good deals make a mini weekend of it find 2-4 salons that have plus outside of sd make apointments at those places to try on gowns. when you find the gown you like put the deposit down and have the gown sent to the store and then have them ship it to you so you can have the dress altered at a place in your state.
  • Oh my gosh that is horrible.  DO NOT give that place anymore business.  Nobody deserves to be treated like that.  Trying on dresses should be fun.  Road trip time! :-)
  • Thanks, y'all.  I have considered taking trips up to Bismarck and Fargo, the Twin Cities are about 6 hours away; it may be a possibility this fall to take a trip there.

    The local board is pretty dead, unfortunately.  But I will try it out; it seems on TK if you don't live in Sioux Falls or the Black Hills, well... your local vendors don't mean crap! lol
  • I agree with taking the weekend trip! I made the mistake of not checking on how many plus-size samples would be available at my local shop. I was so disappointed. They kept handing me small dresses and telling me to "hold it up" to myself to "get the idea." I was in tears before an experience saleswoman came and found some 16/18 samples. However, once I finally found one I kind of liked she pressured me to buy it even though it was double my budget. When I told her no way, no one else paid attention to me. I took the next Friday off work and went to David's with my mom, and found my dress. Best of luck!

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  • I would def not go to that store. I went to DB and could not find anything near what I was looking for.. went to Alfred Angelo's and even though they only had TWO sizes that would fit me (there was a girl who was bigger than me trying on dresses and she got all the plus size ones since she actually had an appointment), I still managed to find my dress out of those two :)
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  • Alright, today is my appointment with the local shop.  I will let you know how it goes...

    It went SO well.  I had a very nice girl who I had never worked with before there, and they had lots of dresses that FIT. 

    And I think I found... THE ONE.
  • Yay!  Congrats!
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