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NY Brides to Be

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janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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I remember there being a few NYC brides (or metro area) on this board and figured it''d be good idea to start a thread so we can share ideas. There are so many vendors, trunk shows, etc..maybe we can help each other! I know there are many sites that list various shows, but we can share our experiences here..since it''s impossible to make it to all of them! I''m just starting my dress search, and want something lovely but can''t go over $2K...soooo, will need to find all the bargain trunk shows out there! Where''s the best store to start for just browsing? Did anyone go to the birnbaum & bullock show this wkend?
 

dtnyc

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I am married- but hit the sample sale circuit HARD when I was engaged. I ended up buying 2 dresses- one at the Christos sample sale and one at the Amsale- this was before Christos was "bought" by Amsale. I should attempt to sell the one I didn''t wear, but I am lazy!

I believe that the sample sales all mainly happened before the holidays.

There is a BIG difference beween a trunk show and a sample sale. Trunk shows are the designers introducing their new line. You get a small discount if you order at a trunk show, like 10-15% off- but you have to make your decision pretty much on the spot. You order the dress and it is then shipped to the store- you don''t walk out w/ a dress. Designers are normally at the trunk shows and they are showing the new line of dresses not just to brides but also to the stores and the stores then decide which dresses they want to have on the racks as samples.

Sample sales are when stores and/or designers are selling off their samples at the end of the season. These dresses are normally 25-75% off. I got a gorgeous one of a kind (it wasn''t a try-on sample, it was more of a sample that the design wasn''t made for mass production) dress at Christos for under $500. My Amsale dress was 1/4 of the retail price. Some samples may need repair or cleaning and you walk out w/ the dress, no ordering.

If you are in NYC and on a budget I would recc''d a visit to the Bridal Garden. It''s a non-profit shop where brides and designers donate their dresses (including samples) and then they are sold at a significant discount off the original price and the $$ goes towards a charity. It''s a nice little shop (no store front you have to make an appt) and they have a TON of dresses. It''s rather self-service but I felt it was v. pleasant.

Hope this helps!
 

blushingbride

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I live and work in NYC and ended up going to the Vera Wang sample sale and found my dream dress!!! However, my friend works there and was able to get me in early before the rest of the public, plus I think it only happens once year, but I could be wrong about that. We were amazed by the condition of the dresses - they were really in good shape! They probably had about 200 wedding dresses (maybe less). They also carried about 200 bridesmaid dresses which they were selling at $25 a pop! My sister and friend both ended up buying some dresses which they could wear to formal events. They also sell Vera Wang's line of lingerie and shoes.


All and all, it's definitely worth going to if you don't mind waking up at the crack of dawn and standing in line for hours. I probably wouldn't have gone at all if it wasn't for my friend getting me in early because I had fallen in love with a Vera Wang dress at the salon and would've just bought that - even though it was pretty pricey. The dress I found was marked down to $2,600 (not sure what the original price was, but her low end dresses usually start at around $4,000) and my friend got me 20% off of that. The cheapest dress I tried on there was about $1,700, but that doesn't mean they didn't have anything cheaper than that. The most expensive dress I tried on was $6,000, but it was part of their Luxe collection in which dresses start at $10,000.


I would recommend you avoid Kleinfeld's - I thought the service and the whole experience was horrible! It's like a giant warehouse with brides running around everywhere - the woman I worked with said they see about 150 brides a day...frightening!


If you want to go there though, my advice to you is to go looking at other salons and if you find a dress you really like which is sold at Kleinfield's, then make an appointment (their dresses are 12% less than the designer dresses sold in the salons). But, I would never recommend that place to any bride who's just starting out her search and doesn't know what she wants. BTW - I have a few married friends who also live in the city and an awful experience there too!

You can also sign up for Top Button www.topbutton.com and Daily Candy www.dailycandy.com. They can update you daily or weekly on the sample sales happening in NYC.
 

dani13

Ideal_Rock
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Hi Janine-

Try RK Bridal in NYC for discount designer dresses...you wont get the same pretty bridal salon look or service like Kleinfeld's, but I know of many people who have had good experiences there and found some really nice dresses for great prices.

eta: I had a great experience at Kleinfeld's- that is where I found my dress...I thought the service and selection were great.... to each is own..
 

dtnyc

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Date: 1/16/2007 11:26:37 AM
Author: janinegirly
thanks all...kinda deperssing that $2k budget is considered limited...
You should be able to find a great dress for 2K- and NYC is the best place to be if you are looking to get a good deal.

To be honest when I went to K-feld, I had a decent experience but it made me a little ill when I realized the dresses I really liked cost more than 4K- then I went to my first sample sale and I was blown away- these dresses that go for 3-6K were on sale for under 1k. I ended up w/ a dress that originally cost more than 8K (crazy I know!) for your budget- it can be done!

Also not ALL sample sales are mad-houses, the VW one is notorious, but the 3 that I went to were all very civilized and nice.

Good luck!
 

blushingbride

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Date: 1/16/2007 11:26:37 AM
Author: janinegirly
thanks all...kinda deperssing that $2k budget is considered limited...
Janinegirly - that''s so funny you said that! I swear, when you live in or around NYC you tend to get a warped sense of reality! I''m originally from Pennsylvania and some friends of mine from high school would never dream of spending $2k on a dress. But, I must admit, I''m a true believer in "you get what you pay for." When you start dress shopping either in the salons or at sample sales, you''ll definitely be able to notice a difference in quality depending on cost and the designer. I personally would''ve paid full price for a designer dress if I had to and then just sell it later (I''d feel too guilty keeping something over $5k that I wore for one day), but that''s just me!
 

NYCsparkle

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I would definately go to RK bridal. I got my dress there and it came in 3 months. I found my dress in 2 other stores for almost double the price of RK. The people were very nice and my alterations were perfect. I wound up getting a strapless dress, but had them make detatchable straps (not spaghetti straps, but detailed straps) and they were perfect---although i didn''t use them, because my dress stayed put and i didn''t have to pull it up once. You can get a dream dress there for well under $2,000. good luck!
 

janinegirly

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thanks all. I also found some sample sales listings from great designers that are going on this month..and their prices seem to be in my range, which makes me feel better! it seems that might be the way to go if i want a top quality dress at a affordable price.
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
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If you are going to go the sample sale route, I strongly suggest that you go and try on dresses at a place like K-Feld''s or Mark Ingram Bridal Altelier before hitting a sale, that way you know what style you like, want, etc. and won''t be making a snap decision.

Also invest in spanx to wear to try on dresses, since often times at sample sales you are sharing dressing rooms, and modesty goes out the window.

New York Magazine has their wedding guide online and gives a lot of info on doing the whole sample sale thing.

Also don''t forget about the Bridal Garden, it can be hit or miss, but they have lots of beautiful dresses.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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thanks DT, good suggestion. I''m going to hit a few of those stores this weekend. If you had 3 to choose, which would you recommend (for trying on, getting a sense of sizes, designers and styles)? I''m hearing Kleifelds, Mark Ingram. Also on my list of suggestions are Bridal Garden, RK Bridal, Bergdorfs, Wedding Atelier.

Out of curiousity, where did you end up getting your dress? And typically do brides pick BM dresses at these same stores? I am so clueless...I need to catch up fast! I called to make an appt at one salon (for Feb) and she actually laughed when I said I was just starting my search and my wedding was in Sept..apparently I need to get my butt into gear!
 

dtnyc

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Date: 1/17/2007 10:33:58 AM
Author: janinegirly
thanks DT, good suggestion. I''m going to hit a few of those stores this weekend. If you had 3 to choose, which would you recommend (for trying on, getting a sense of sizes, designers and styles)? I''m hearing Kleifelds, Mark Ingram. Also on my list of suggestions are Bridal Garden, RK Bridal, Bergdorfs, Wedding Atelier.

Out of curiousity, where did you end up getting your dress? And typically do brides pick BM dresses at these same stores? I am so clueless...I need to catch up fast! I called to make an appt at one salon (for Feb) and she actually laughed when I said I was just starting my search and my wedding was in Sept..apparently I need to get my butt into gear!
If you are going to just try-on (which you shouldn''t tell them, but you should definitely tell places you have are looking for the first time) I would probably go to K-feld''s or Wedding Altelier. Bridal Garden is sort of like a sample sale in that you don''t order your dress and it''s what you see if what you get. I don''t think that RK is "full service" but it is more w/i your budget (just in case you fall in love w/ one of the dresses you try on for research purposes.)
A lot of places will tell you to allow 9 months to order the dress. I believe this is how long it takes some designers to turn their dresses around (like Vera Wang, monique Llhullier, etc.) but don''t let them bug you because if you go the sample sale route you will walk out w/ dress in hand once you find the one.

I bought my dress at Amsale at their sample sale. I did not go back there for BM dresses because they are $$$. My girls wore dresses from J. Crew and it was between them and dresses from the Ann Taylor Celebrations line. I had bridesmaids in LA, Boston, NYC, DC and Baltimore, so I knew it would just be easier for them to be able to order the dresses on their own- also I loved being able to give them a variety of styles to choose (more likely to be able to re-wear if you pick what you like) from and that the dresses were 100% silk and not polyester.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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you werent kidding about kleinfelds.i called to book an appt and boy are they rude! I felt like i was dealing with the dmv..ah well, not judging yet
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
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I honestly didn''t have a bad experience there- I actually liked my consultant, w/ the exception of one thing she said- I told her I didn''t want a strapless dress and she said "well there goes 85% of your options."
Other than that, I liked them. She actually set me and a friend loose in a warehouse style room of dresses, while she went and picked out a few she thought I might like.

They have a tremendous amount of dresses by various designers in one place, and people do go there from around the country and around the world to get their dresses, so I guess that is why their heads are so big.
 

blushingbride

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Well, they are also working off commission so, I would assume that has something to do with it too. The woman I worked with made me feel like I'd never find "the one" if I couldn't find one there. My sister and I just sat there speechless (my sis just got married last April so, she knew that simply was NOT the case).

Anyway, if you have a particular designer that you have in mind and you know for a fact they sell that designer at Kleinfelds, I would suggest going to the designer's salon first.

I really just like the service you get at the designer salons - they really take the time and cater to your needs. For example, I scheduled 3 appointments for my bridesmaids this past weekend. The 1st was at Vera Wang, the 2nd was at The Weddign Library and the 3rd was at Here Comes the Bridesmaid.

When we went to Vera Wang, we had a huge private room with our very own consultant who was showing us different ways to add things to the dresses we liked (such as cap sleeves, sashes, etc). She was sooo great - even brought back dresses to show us we never even thought to look at!
In fact, a dress she brought back to show us was the one we all loved and have now ordered. When we were leaving, she gave me a sketch of the dress (front and back views) and 3 sets of navy and plum swatches of the satin material we liked (we were torn over which color to get). I would've ended the search there but the girls wanted to see the other two places.

Well, I wish we didn't. The Wedding Library was small and cramped - not to mention there was another group of girls there so, our consultant was working with both groups. She didn't clip the dresses on any of my girls and really didn't seem to offer much help or suggestions.

Here Comes the Bridesmaid was even worse - there was ONE dressing room for six of my girls to use and the dresses were all over the place with no rhyme or reason to their order. It was also small and cramped there AND we didn't have ANYONE helping us. There was one girl floating around asking if we were OK with everything, but she didn't help us get dressed or give opinions or look for new dresses to bring to the dressing rooms....NOTHING!
It was very frustrating...

Anyway, my point is that if you go to the designer salons, you'll find that it will be a more pleasurable experience overall and you'll be able to find a dress you like without all the sales pitches. Then, go and make your appointment at Kleinfelds so you can get the 12% discount they offer there.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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as many of you now know, we are marrying in NJ but live in NYC. We are having a catholic ceremony, so looking into pre-cana classes here in nyc since it''s more convenient. I''ve been told it runs $200 for the classes..is this normal, or is this NY inflation?! Honestly I thought it was a service the church provided..but i''m realizing nothing is free with weddings!
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
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We did a one day workshop somewhere in Westchester or Rockland county...
it was 220.
Not NYC inflation.
 

mela lu

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 21, 2006
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YUP! I''m in Toronto, Cananda, and ours was $160 CAD!!

Nothing is free! Especially with weddings. I''m so jealous that you guys have a local network. I''m dying to figure out some similar Toronto venues /shows.

boo
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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update on precana: we found a church in jerz that does one day session for $90. one day sounded good to us!


on another note, I stuck my head in RK bridal yesterday...I didn''t like the atmosphere though! I think it''s b/c i''m spoiled after first experience being at a designer''s show room with just me and designer! I can see RK being a good spot if you know the dress you want or BM dresses, but I could see difference in dresses and presentation from a sample sale. But I know, I know, that''s how they keep the prices reasonable somewhat.

tonight, i''m trying kleinfelds..hoping i''m close to finding something..
 

Ladyoflovers

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Hi Janinegirly,

I''ll follow your experiences closely. I honestly do not like trying on dresses and kinda feel nervous already when i think about it. I''d like to lose some weight before doing any trials but do you think i should start anyway? I live in the city, too, but the wedding will be overseas.
 

treysar

Brilliant_Rock
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I had an AWFUL experience at RK Bridal, and I would not recommend them. The seamstress accidentally pricked herself with a pin and bled on my dress (that could happen to anyone – that was not the problem) The problem was, she then spit in her hand and started rubbing the blood, trying to get it off the dress – WHILE I WAS STILL WEARING IT.


I left that day, hoping they would get it out, and I kept calling and calling – no one would call me back! So when I finally got someone on the phone, they said that they got the stain out.
When I went for my final fitting they had CUT the stain out and re-altered the dress – and it was uneven!

And after all of this – they refused to give me any sort of discount!


I really DID NOT LIKE their r customer service.


Consider yourself warned.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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treysar-wow that is too bad, hopefully the dress is ok now. i def got the vibe that the service was cheezy, but then again, i''m someone who needs a bargain but does not like bargain shopping! i hate rifling through rows of stuff and dealing with annoying, unhelpfu staff! sigh..


lady~i say you should definitely try on dresses! August means now is the perfect time to look, especially if you want to hit sales. I was not too crazy about trying stuff on either...i''m slender but need help in other areas (!!), plus it seemed like a lot of work. but my first experience was v. good because the showroom person knew what worked with my body, and pinned things before I could see the "before" reflection. I think it''s def worthwhile to try on some stuff to see what styles you like. in terms of what stores to hit, it depends on your taste and price range. For me, i cana''t stand the massive stores, but I''ll hit one (like kleinfelds) and then will go to couture sample sales and hope i find the dream dress there withink my budget...good luck!!

 

NYCsparkle

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When you go to RK you should know the designer or dress you want. The racks are set up by designer. It''s too ovewrwhelming if you go there w/out knowing what you want. I found my dress at another bridal salon, then went to RK and the dress was almost 1/2 the price. You don''t have to use them for alterations. i did use them for alterations and had a great experience. I went to Kleinfelds and they were rude...i went to a bunch of high end salons in nyc, L.I, ans BKLYN which were nice, but didn''t have "the ONE".
 
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