Where to shop for a wedding dress?

wedding veil brideSiobhan asks via Twitter:

518ers, any recommendations for where to buy a wedding dress in the Capital Region? Not for me, for a marriage-minded friend!

In a follow up, she mentioned that the first thing she did was check if there had already been an "Ask AOA" about this topic. So it sounds like she knows she can rely on you for good suggestions.

Non-redeemable bonus points for a short explanation of why the shop you're recommending is good -- service, price, selection, whatever.

Got a suggestion? Please share!

photo: Flickr user billaday (cc)

Comments

Jocelyns in Clifton Park. We went initially because they're the only small bridal shop that's open on Sundays. But I'm recommending it because they're all very nice and helpful.

Ferri's in Schenectady was really great. I went on a Thursday evening and had a HUGE fitting room to myself for over an hour. The sales woman, Patty, was really wonderful - not pushy, honest and kind. She let me try on several dresses several times and never was frustrated or annoyed with how much time I was taking. I ended up walking out of there (it was a cash and carry sale - 50% of samples!) with a really beautiful gown marked down to $450. I later went there on a Friday morning with my bridesmaids to get their dresses and we had the same awesome experience.

The only other store I went to was Appropos in Guilderland and although they were nice, their dress selection was not that great and the fitting rooms were small and cramped! The two experiences could not have been more different.

It's a short hike, but I went to Trace of Lace in Rutland. It's a small but beautiful shop run by a mother and daughter. They were patient with me and didn't push. My appointment lasted a few hours and I tried a wide range of dresses. When I realized that a bridesmaid gown was more of the style I was looking for (for a beach wedding), they were just as helpful. I ended up with a gown under $200. They have a wide price range of gowns in styles from classic to modern.

I would like to second Jocelyns in Clifton Park. I was married in September and they made the entire dress process incredibly easy. I was able to go in randomly on a Saturday morning with 5 people and one of the girls there helped me try on various dresses. She was so calm and sweet, and quickly picked up on what I was looking for.

I bought my dress that first day, and they gave me no trouble with keeping it there for the many months leading up to the wedding. Alterations were also a breeze and I felt they were reasonably priced. Overall I could not have had a better experience. Good luck with your search!

Angela's Bridal on State Street in Albany is the very best! Their service, care' & attention is unbeaten! As is their selection. Janet, Jess, & all of the girls made finding my dress an experience I'll never forget!

Angela's Bridal. My sister just bought her wedding dress there, and it's really a lovely shop. It's set in a beautiful old bank. The staff there is really nice and professional. They have some really gorgeous gowns (and bridesmaid dresses). And if/when you "say yes to the dress" they pop some champagne for you :).

Also, Fancy Shmancy in Latham is awesome. I frequented their shop when it was in Guilderland, and they have a unique assortment of designer gowns and a really kind staff. The owner(s) go down to the city and pick things off the runway or something like that. i think it'd be worth a look.

I would also like to add that when my friend bought her dress from Ferri's Formals, they were really rude and had a "holier-than-thou" air about them. They were also incredibly rude to us bridesmaids when it came time to order and pick up our dresses.

I ended up buying my dress at Danielle's in Saratoga during a similar "50% off all in store dresses" sales. Danielle's wasn't the prettiest store and the salesperson wasn't very attentive, but I would recommending calling stores in the area to see when they have similar sales, as it seems they are common.

Another tip is to explicitly ask what price ranges a store's dresses fall in before making an appointment. Many stores don't stock anything less than $1000 or $1500.

Immortal Beloved/Something Bleu Bridal in Saratoga. The shop is small, but the fitting room was enormous and beautiful. The staff is very knowledgeable. They can tell you the full story behind every dress - where they found it, who the designer is, etc. My dress was a sample, so I got it for 40% off and it was absolutely perfect.

Angela's bridal....your welcome ;)

If you don't wear a sample size, I'd recommend going to David's Bridal first. You'll be able to try on a dress that mostly fits, rather than trying to imagine a size 4 on a size 18 body.

Even if you don't purchase from them, you'll be able to walk into another boutique and have a good sense of what styles will suit you.

Also, there's an amazing seamstress in Troy, Lynn Kopka, who does custom gowns for a steal.

I had great luck at Jocelyns in Clifton Park. The staff were really helpful and nice, and they had a good selection of dresses (and not just the same old ones you see on every bride!).

I will also recommend Angela's Bridal with the caveat that if you're super foofy girly kookoo wedding bonkers and have been dreaming about your wedding since you were a tyke and have turned into Bridezilla already, then it might not be the place for you. I'm not at all like that, which is why I liked their friendly, low key approach.

I wholly recommend Deanna's in West Sand Lake. The bridal salon is beautifully decorated, clean and the store carries all the accessories you could possibly want - jewelry, evening bags, shoes, gloves, etc. for one-stop shopping. Service is one on one and super private. The shop carries an assortment of styles and sizes and nothing is more than $2000. The owner is wonderful to work with. My daughter got her bridal gown there and I got my mother of the bride dress.

Try it - you'll like it!

I haven't picked up my gown yet, but so far I've had a good experience with Bridal Gallery by Yvonne in Latham. My consultant even sent me a hand written card after my appointment!

And I would like to give some advice for brides that are size 12/14 and up: I loved the atmosphere of Something Bleu in Saratoga and the owner was very nice, but they carry very few samples that will work for trying on if you are a size 12/14 and up. They pushed me into gowns where the majority of the gown was stuck around my waist (it wouldn't fit over my hips) and then asked me to imagine how it would look if I didn't have yards of fabric pooled around my stomach! I would call ahead to see if they have more larger sample sizes before going to Something Bleu or any shop for that matter. Bridals by Yvonne on the other hand had so many more dresses for me to try on...some were even too big and had to be clipped! When it comes to making a big purchase like a wedding dress I think it is important to be able to try on a dress that is at least close to the size you will be ordering so you can get a good idea of how it will actually look on you.

I just bought my wedding dress at Deanna's in West Sand Lake and can't say enough great things about Danielle and the service I received there. The dress I chose was not like anything I had tried on anyplace else but somehow Danielle knew that I should try it on. I went back not only for the dress but also for the wonderful customer service that they provide.

My coworkers always rave about Deanna's in West Sand Lake!

Hey Siobhan!!
I just ordered my wedding dress (and bridesmaid dresses!) at Apropos on Western Ave. I absolutely LOVED the people there and would recommend it to anyone. If you're looking for that "Say Yes to the Dress" sort of experience, this might not be the place, because it's very low key and no pressure, with not a ton of room for everyone you know to sit and watch you try on gowns. But I really didn't want that kind of environment so it was perfect for me. The women who work there are extremely nice - my bridesmaids all raved about how helpful they were, too. I eventually ordered my dress during a trunk show at the store, which helped me save a bunch of money, so that was just another plus. I can't recommend Apropos enough - definitely give them a shot!

I've been to practically all of the shops mentioned above - Lily of Saratoga was by far the best experience. Attentive, patient, and very classy. I got a beautiful Nicole Miller dress for half price because a previous bride returned it after making alterations.

Holy cow, you guys are the best! I'll pass all of this along to the future bride (who might break out in hives/cry/call off the wedding at the thought of how big a process buying a wedding dress can be). These are all excellent suggestions, and I really appreciate all of your help!

(And @Kimmy, OMG! I WANT PICTURES.)

I bought mine at Saratoga Trunk. They carry exclusively Theia, which is my favorite designer. Incredibly well-made, beautiful dresses starting at 1000.

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