I got engaged in September but I’ve been planning my wedding since I was in elementary school. Cliche, I know. I was the little girl who begged her mom to buy the wedding magazines that sat at the check-out counters in the grocery stores. Once Pinterest came along, I was introduced to the seemingly never ending array of wedding gowns. Through years of scrolling, I’d pinned down (pun intended) the dress of my dreams.
I knew exactly what I wanted, but I also had a strict budget. That’s why I chose to shop at David’s Bridal. I’d been stalking the site online for months, so much so, I am sure that I’d seen every single dress they sold at least twice. Almost all the dresses were in my price range, which for me was a big factor. I didn’t want to walk into a boutique and see a dress on display, fall in love with it, only to find out it was thousands over my budget.
I purchased my dress in November, but with all the drama surrounding the company, I wanted to share my experience, the good and the bad. Now, this is only my experience at one David’s Bridal out of nearly 300 in the country. But after having an appointment at the bridal retail chain, I have a bit of insight into how it operates and to be frank, I’m not surprised they’re having to “restructure.”
Let me start out by saying the process of making my appointment was a breeze. I went online, picked the date and time that worked best for me, and bam: I was done. My sister is also getting married next year, so I thought it would fun to have a duel appointment. David’s was very accommodating and scheduled her appointment the same time as mine. On the day of, we loaded up in our mom’s SUV along with our other two younger sisters and headed to the store.
Upon arrival we were met at the front desk by a welcoming receptionist and told we could browse the front of the store where the sample dresses were displayed. Our sales associates would come find us when they were ready to take us back to the fitting rooms. We were a bit early, so we took some time to look around. The store was crowded and as I waited and perused the store, I was surprised at the amount of other brides coming in with appointments the same time as ours.
We ended up having to wait around 20 minutes after our appointment time of 1:30, which was a bit frustrating but understandable. I was just anxious to get in some white dresses. Myself and my sister were greeted each by our sales associates – both extremely kind and friendly – and taken back to the fitting room areas. This is were it starts to get a bit hectic. There were 4, maybe 5 dressing rooms lining either side of the walls with chairs in the middle for the brides’ friends and family to sit. The set up wasn’t intimate and felt as though every group was on top of one another.
Our sales women brought us a few dresses, but it was loud and hot with so many girls crammed into the same small space. I also quickly noticed that there weren’t enough sample dresses because I was asked to surrender a dress I was in to another bride more than once. I wasn’t sure if our appointment time had just been overbook, or if this was how they ran the store. I was having a blast trying on dresses with my sister while our other two younger sisters snapped photos and my momma gave her opinions on each one. However, if it weren’t for them, I don’t think I would have left with a dress. I was actually asked to take off the dress I ended up purchasing so another bride could try it on. My mom and sisters insisted I get in that dress again before we left, which is when I realized that was the one.
Once I’d said “yes to the dress” I was put in a veil and given the bell to ring, a tradition at David’s for each bride who finds her dress. This was a sweet moment, and it felt special for the first time during the whole appointment. I met with the seamstress, the size to order my dress in was determined, and I was out the door. It wasn’t until half way home that I’d realized I was never actually measured. Then, a few days after my appointment and a very big purchase, the articles of David’s Bridal filing chapter 11 started to circulate. I’ve gotten several emails from the retail store assuring me my dress is on time and scheduled to be delivered around the end of February, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit uneasy. After Alfred Angelo closed it’s stores abruptly in 2017, leaving thousands of brides without their dresses, myself, and others I am sure, are nervous.
With all the other stressors that come along with wedding planning, I am going to take David’s Bridal at their word and assume everything is peachy. I’m thrilled with the dress and even though the experience of purchasing it wasn’t exactly what I expected, I can look back on fond memories of finding my dream dress with my momma and sisters. I’ll keep you all posted on when my dress arrives; hopefully it fits.
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