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Weddings
David's Bridal??
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 10300, member since Mon May 06, 2002
On Sat Jan 11, 2014 03:17 PM

Hey,

SO David's Bridal has just opened here in the UK (actually about 15 minutes from where I live). What's the perception of this store over in the US? Is it a good place to shop for a wedding dress?

17 Replies to David's Bridal??

re: David's Bridal??
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Sat Jan 11, 2014 03:36 PM
I didn't like it at all, honestly, because of the setup of the company and it didn't fit for me at all. There are lots of dresses, sure, but they are all mainstream kinds of dresses (which caused a problem for me since I wanted something that wasn't mainstream). That aside, they always push their tailoring department, but will only make certain alterations based on contacts with the designers. The sales people I had were never nice or genuinely listened to me, which made for some rudeness (on more than 1 occasion, in different states) and they had split attention trying to sell to me AND 3 others at the same time. They also have to call you X-many-weeks after you visit without buying something to see if you still want to buy. I found that the boutiques I went to were a much more pleasant experience, and got me closer to knowing what I wanted. I ultimately purchased online.

A lot of this had to do with what I wanted, which was non-white and not within the normal realm of "bridal"...so I felt criticized when I didn't want the super shiney white dress, or the silver beading, or the poofy skirt, and then when I asked about alterations it was "We can't do that or that or that", and after leaving empty handed and sure that I wouldn't find anything there, I got calls every few weeks asking if I wanted to come back and buy. I always told them that they wouldn't be getting my commission, and frankly, didn't deserve it. So I wrinkle my nose at David's Bridal.

If you want a white, bridal dress, and bring in pictures of specific dresses that you know are at David's Bridal, then you will have a better time than I had, naturally. They do sell to thousands of people.
re: David's Bridal??
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 10300, member since Mon May 06, 2002
On Sat Jan 11, 2014 03:42 PM
Thanks, that was the kind of impression I had of it!
re: David's Bridal??
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Sat Jan 11, 2014 04:39 PM
See, I didn't have the same experience though. I knew what I wanted - it wasn't a matter of shopping, it was a matter of her being able to produce what I needed. And if she couldn't, I was going to go on to someone who could. She did, I shrugged off the sales pitch for their alterations person (although I did that out of necessity - I was buying the dress on a short turn around, their alterations person couldn't get it back to me until AFTER the wedding), paid for it, and went on my way. I'd work with them again, should the need ever arise.

Bonus too, they work with Men's Warehouse, so I was able to put in my color request, and the wedding party was all able to go to their respective David's/Mens Warehouse, and order their stuff, and it matched, I didn't have to be all high maintenance about it.
re: David's Bridal??
By ChristinePremium member Comments: 6817, member since Wed Feb 04, 2009
On Sat Jan 11, 2014 06:15 PM
I've had many experiences through the years.

Most of the brides who selected David's Bridal did so because their attendants were at different colleges or in different parts of the country and with David's being a "chain" they felt they could co-ordinate things better. This is a plus in certain circumstances.

Two of my daughters in law got their gowns there and had no problem. However, one of my daughters was in several weddings and the brides used David's and it was horrible for many of the attendants. Let's face it... once the bride makes her selections, you're a customer. They don't much care if you're happy or not. We had a few good experiences, a few bad ones, and a couple where they just didn't have something small enough for her and "too bad". At the bridal shops, they are always willing to work with a seamstress but at David's it's just certain alterations, and will all kinds of stipulations by the designers.

At a smaller bridal shop you have access to all the same designers (except the exclusively David's Bridal things)and many nicer ones who don't do David's. You may have to wait as long as 12 weeks to get what you want but you get all the nice individual treatment. Prices are often a bit negotiable at the small shops if your whole party is buying dresses and they too often have package deals with the tux guys next door. I usually like the "Shop Main Street" experience more than the big box, so perhaps it is just a matter of individual taste.

Good luck.

Keep On Dancing*
re: David's Bridal??
By Naivohwmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1719, member since Mon Nov 17, 2003
On Sat Jan 11, 2014 09:56 PM
I'm going to be lazy and post a reply I did a few years ago to a slightly different David's Bridal thread. Hopefully some of it will help you :)

I used to work in several positions at DB. The dresses are always ordered new from the factory unless they are bought directly off the rack or put on layaway. Depending on the dress that is ordered, it can come in at any time from 2 weeks to 20 weeks. 20 week orders are very rare, and are usually colors that have to be made specifically in the factory overseas, as opposed to a dress that has already been manufactured and is sitting in a US warehouse ready to ship. They will definitely tell you if it is a true special order gown that will take the full order time. If you're worried, be sure to ask how long it'll take. I have to say, as much as people always complain that their dresses take forever to get there, I had plenty of brides get angry when I told them their dresses were in early. Some people are never happy, it seems.

If you are looking for a quieter atmosphere in the store, avoid weekends whenever possible. If you do have to go on a weekend, try to go in about 2 hrs before closing time. And *always* call ahead and make an appointment. You may have a 5-10 minute wait even with an apointment, but you'll get much quicker service than a walk-in without an appointment. They can wait up to an hour for help. It's definitely better to go in on a weekday, and even then make an appointment. The stores will generally be much busier in Jan-May than they will the rest of the year. Expect chaos every weekend during that time.

As far as calling the bridesmaid about dresses, it's standard practice to call the name the order was created under when the merchandise arrives. That usually means the order is placed under the brides name, even if the bridesmaid paid for and ordered it. If you want the bridesmaid to be called directly, you need to have them make a note to call the BM when the dress is in, and provide the BM's phone number or email (not a dig against you btw PogMo, just trying think of things to help the OP)

There's definitely bad employees at DB, just like there's bad employees everywhere. They're like Wal-Mart, in that they are a really easy target because they're a large company (not that I'm defending WalMart, because I really hate them). There's lots of mom and pop shops that have awful service too (there's one in my town that has a standard policy of not helping pregnant brides because they've had sex before marriage). You just don't hear about those stores on a national level. If you love the dress, get it. And if you do have a problem with an associate, talk to a manager. There's 3 at every store, so if one won't help, be sure to try the other 2. Good luck with your wedding planning!
re: David's Bridal??
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:12 PM
My cousin got her dress there and all of our bridesmaids dresses. because they were the same designer we got a discount on the bridesmaids dress. I'm actually one of those people who did have to complain about the dress coming in too early. I didn't have a car when I lived in DC and the store wasn't in the city so my cousin was going to drive me to pick it up when she visited. Since it came early they said I only had a couple of days to pick it up or they would send it back so I then had to pay to have it shipped from the store. Neither my cousin nor myself used their alternation services. IMO I think they are OK for bridesmaids if they are not all from the same area and those dresses are pretty standard anyway but most of their dresses aren't that great. My cousin looked great in her dress for sure, but it's not a dress I would ever pick out.
re: David's Bridal??
By Naivohwmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1719, member since Mon Nov 17, 2003
On Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:49 AM
That's crazy that they would threaten to send the dress back. We had dresses sitting in receiving from years ago that we had to keep, even counting them in the inventory every year. That is certainly not typical of the corporation.
re: David's Bridal??
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17315, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Sun Jan 12, 2014 05:38 AM
I'd always prefer to go to a shop run by a smaller company, or an independent, to be honest. I feel like the staff try harder to make it a nice experience for you, because they want the sale - they can't just rely on being a nationwide household name that people are going to know.

I had a quick look on the website, because I wasn't sure if they only carried their own designs or not, but most of the other designers I hadn't heard of. I'd look for a store that carries a wider range of designs especially if you're not sure what you want - I went for Ellis Bridal, not because of the name but because of the dress, which is a medium-end brand. Then you've got your Suzanne Nevilles, which are a high-end brand with a price tag to match but oh my god, the fit. The fit is amazing. You feel like you're wearing a comfy dressing gown, honestly. You'd never know you were corseted in and she gives you an amazing figure. Ian Stuart is a good designer if you want something a bit different - I remember WAY before I was engaged he had a very plain off-white gown with a big (and very lifelike) pink lily on the skirt, not everyone's taste but if you could pull it off, it was beautiful. So he's a bit more individual. Pronovias is probably the biggest UK name, but I find them all a bit samey-safe.

In the end I only went to one shop and tried on only four dresses (which sometimes I slightly regret and want to hide my wedding ring at home and go out dressing up again!) but there are so many different shops with a good mix of brands and designers, including independent designers who you might not have heard of but who might be just what you want - I'd be very reluctant to go to what looks like a wedding dress warehouse.
re: David's Bridal??
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Sun Jan 12, 2014 06:33 AM
I went to db in Canada for a flower girl dress for my cousins wedding. When I got the dress it was so wrinkled it took me three hours to steam it.

My friend is going in a few weeks for her wedding dress. We will see.

Side note an old friend got fired for being pregnant

Comment #10164575 deleted
Removed by hummingbird (128773) on 2014-01-12 09:23:19 Double post.

re: David's Bridal??
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Sun Jan 12, 2014 09:08 AM
I haven't used their bridal services but I have shopped there. They have some pretty dresses. I bought a lovely party dress for my daughter's first prom there for a good price. It did not need altering so I can't speak for the tailoring services, either. Daughter likes to browse on the website for her someday wedding. The store near us has a large inventory and we were greeted very pleasantly. No complaints.

kk~
re: David's Bridal??
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11321, member since Sun Nov 23, 2003
On Mon Jan 13, 2014 07:38 AM
To answer your question, it's kind of like the Wal-Mart of dresses. You're not generally going to get the same level of service you would at a locally owned salon, and it's better if you're doing sniper shopping (eg you've already picked out exactly what you want from online and are just trying those options on).

Also I don't know if they're doing this in the UK, but if you give them your information, even if it's in this innocuous "giveaway" manner where they tempt you with the chance to win free bridesmaids dresses, they will innundate you with email and snail mail.
re: David's Bridal??
By bigTreblemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1737, member since Mon Jan 26, 2004
On Thu Jan 16, 2014 09:51 AM
My experience as them was only ever as a bridesmaid, but by the end of it I was just so unhappy that I vowed to never go there when I'm a bride. (Aka when the bf stops dragging his feet!)

The bridal party was spread out across the US, so I suspect that's why the bride went with DB, for convenience on our part.

There was obviously no dress searching involved with my experience because the dress was already picked out. They ordered the smallest size they had, even though it was too big, so they went ahead an took my measurements so they could make alterations when it came in.

When it came in, they did their alterations and called me when they were done, and even though my measurements hadn't changed, their alterations were not enough, and so it still had to be taken in more. What bothered me is they charged me for the alterations again, even though it was their mistake. They also kept trying to get me to agree to having them hem the dress, despite the fact that I was trying it on with the shoes I would wear in the wedding and it was fine.

Both my mom and I were just really rubbed the wrong way by all of it. The cost of alterations ended up being about twice the cost of the dress, and I mean, I'm skinny, but I'm not THAT skinny.

I will say the dress was a quality dress. I had an opportunity to wear a floor length dress last year so I wore the dress again for that, and it held up very well.

But overall, I just very much felt like just another cog in the machine, and didn't at all feel like they cared. Plus the charging astronomical amounts for alterations, despite it being their mistake, and the pushing me to alter even more (that would have gone against the bride's wishes for length) just turned me off.

That being said, maybe they operate things completely different in other countries, but here in the US, I have sworn them off.
re: David's Bridal??
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3643, member since Sat Sep 20, 2003
On Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:13 AM
I completely agree with Dani. If you find an off-the-rack dress that you can take home that day, then go for it (even if you have to take it somewhere else to get altered). They are a chain and offer pretty standard dresses, although the quality IS pretty good.

If I need an inexpensive formal dress, I'll usually stop by there and take something off the rack (after hunting the dresses down myself) the same day. As long as I don't expect to be waited on, I end up happy.

As for actually getting a wedding dress? I would probably try a lot of other places first. A wedding dress is too important to have to struggle with Customer Service to get what you want.
re: David's Bridal??
By sjerosemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1263, member since Thu May 11, 2006
On Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:20 PM
I believe that a person's experience with David's Bridal ultimately depends on the management of that particular store. I've been to three different stores across two different states, and the only good experiences I had were at my local store.

I got my wedding gown from David's Bridal, and I was pretty surprised about it, considering all the negative experiences I'd heard from other people around the internet about them. Like so many others, I was a bit hesitant about shopping at the 'Wal-Mart' of bridal stores, and didn't think that I would receive good service or find a dress that suited me. After we got engaged, a friend and I decided to just go into the store, just to look around and have that 'OMG now I can actually start shopping for dresses!' moment, though not necessarily seriously looking. We walked in, and literally EVERY associate I interacted with was kind, helpful, and personable to both me and my friend. They knew that I wasn't seriously looking, but they still offered to help me try on some dresses to help get my ideas flowing. I never felt pressured by them, and they were all seemed just as excited for me as I was. I also felt that the associates were honest in their opinions - if a style of dress, once tried on, did not suit my body type at all, they tactfully said so and gave other suggestions and options for me. I ended up trying on the dress I ultimately chose for my wedding gown that very day, but didn't buy it until my mother got to see it on me (she was purchasing my gown as my gift from her and my stepfather). I also got my dress tailored from them, which was half-again the cost of the dress(!!), but understandable based on the cut and style of my gown, and also my dress was pretty affordable to begin with. I don't feel like getting my dress from there made me look like 50 other brides of the same gown, since it was easy to customize my ensemble to make it uniquely my own.

I have another fun story of my local David's Bridal, and I hope you don't mind me sharing. After getting married, my husband and I decided to watch the Metropolitan Opera's live stream of Salome in our local movie theater. We got all gussied up - he wore his nicest suit, and I decided to wear a fancy green gown that I purchased on our trip to Paris. Well, I've done my hair/makeup/jewelry, and I pull the dress out of the closet (that it's been sitting in since we had it dry-cleaned), and my dress wouldn't zip! To this day we couldn't figure out if the dry-cleaners had somehow shrunk it, or if I was just bloated that night, but one thing was certain - I didn't have a formal gown to wear, and we were already running late for the opera. SO, we start driving to the David's Bridal, as I call the store and ask if they're not too busy (it was a Wednesday, they weren't), and explain my problem. They quickly pull a handful of green dresses in my size for me to try on when I get there. We pull up, and two of their associates help me rush to try on the gowns, we pick one that looks best on me and fits with my jewelry, pull the tags, and I wear it out of the store! (We ended up making the opera in time, the theater was completely empty besides us, so we had a wonderful PRIVATE screening of a Met Opera in our formal wear, eating popcorn and soda.)

In short, it all really depends on the store's management regarding the service you will receive. My bridesmaids all had good experiences getting their dresses from them as well. Like many others have said here though, not every David's Bridal store is friendly and helpful (I actually got GLARED at by an associate for entering one in Denver!), so you'll just have to see for yourself.

P.S. As a plus-sized woman, it was also gloriously refreshing to be able to try own sample gowns in or close to my size! That doesn't happen at many other small boutique stores, where their sample sizes don't go above a US12.
re: David's Bridal??
By HollieErin Comments: 3422, member since Tue Feb 19, 2002
On Tue Jan 21, 2014 08:58 PM
I fell like a lot of people have totally unrealistic expectations of what a bridal store actually is, and what to expect ever since shows like 'say yes to the dress' gained in popularity. It's a business and yea they are going to always try and sell you something.

As far as DB goes, it's a chain, and that is what you should expect it to be. You really shouldn't expect top of the line service when the employees are being paid minimum wage. Also the company it not particularly great to it's employees (from what I hear). That being said there are of course some really great stores with amazing management, but with over 300 locations there is also going to be crap stores. Policies are hard and fast with no wiggle room, so don't expect a discount and don't expect to bargain.

That being said I went to four salons looking for my dress, and DB gave me the best treatment, although I was only there to try on one dress. I ended up buying the dress at DB, because it has always been my dream dress and it was perfect. I also got my bridesmaid dresses there because I liked the colour and didn't want to break the bank on dresses that were going to be worn once.

If you look through the site and see enough dresses that you like then feel free to go in and make an appointment. Just make sure that you set up your expectations properly. Yes they are going to push you to buy, they are going to call you if you don't (they can get fired if they don't call you), not everything that is available on-line will be in store. There is a price difference between on-line and in store and no they aren't going to match the lower price. You most likely aren't going to be the only bride that the consultant is working with, and try and be patient with the consultant it isn't her fault that management is spreading her so thin.
re: David's Bridal??
By Liritmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4789, member since Sat May 18, 2002
On Mon May 19, 2014 10:27 PM
I went into Davids Bridal this weekend, mostly because I kind of have NO IDEA what I'm looking for. You don't need an appointment to get started there, and they have a bajillion dresses.

Would I actually shop there? Probably not. From what I could tell, the prices on their dresses, off sale, are about the same as they are at any other bridal boutique that is not a chain. (On the other hand, if I could find something on one of their sales, off the rack, that needed minimal alterations, maybe...)

I got some good ideas while I was there, though. So there's that.

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