David's Bridal Complaint - As if Planning a Wedding isn't Stressful Enough.....
CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE -- I am not one of those people for whom the wedding is the most important event of my entire life (but I don't blame those who are, because it is quite a big deal). I didn't spend endless hours obsessing over minute details of the ceremony, but David's Bridal in Chattanooga, TN treated me and my wedding party with such a lack of professionalism and courtesy, I feel that it is important to warn others of the quality of their service.
About four months before my wedding, I walked into David's Bridal on a whim with my mother and sister. We didn't have a consultation scheduled (more about that later) and were simply perusing the gowns on the racks. I found one that I absolutely loved and was allowed to try it on. It fit perfectly and did not have to be altered in the least (once again, more about that later). I immediately put that dress on layaway as well as a veil that I had selected. I was having an issue deciding between two veils and they had told me that if I wanted to change them later, it wouldn't be a problem. Like an idiot, I took them at their word.
Fast forward to three months before the wedding. I called and scheduled a consult with their bridal "consultants" for my bridesmaids and to check on my dress. My bridesmaids were sized, the specific dress was selected, and measurements were taken. I was somewhat shocked to see the consultant "eyeballing" as she called it, the measurements by putting a dress three sizes too large on one of my bridesmaids and simply taking four inches of it by hand saying that it would do. I was aghast. I stated that it would not fit her properly. My bridesmaid stated the same and told the lady that based on the measurements that we had taken on our own, she should be wearing a different size than the consultant suggested. The consultant wrote down the size that my friend suggested. She fitted another of my bridesmaids by placing a dress that was in no way comparable to the one that I had selected (mine was a halter, this one was a strapless with boning in it) and was WAY too small (by like five sizes) on her. From that, she made up her mind what the correct size was, despite our protestations. After we had asked her to order the dress two sizes larger just in case, she rolled her eyes and said "Why come to the consultation if you already know everything." The irony of all of this was that I sew, my mother sews, and one of my bridesmaids is a seamstress. We had one bridesmaid who couldn't make it, so we had taken her measurements specifically and given them to the consultant who looked somewhat irritated about having to work with only measurements, but she took them down. I had a total of five bridesmaids. Four of them had been sized and I felt somewhat relieved.
After this infuriating process, we left, not wanting to spend any more time in the store than we had to, which was a mistake. I should have asked to see my dress, but I didn't. We were told that the bridesmaids dresses would be finished and received by one month before my wedding. That was plenty of time, I reasoned, with just a bit of wiggle room in the middle in case something happened.
Two months pass. No bridesmaid dresses. I was fairly calm, and kept getting very polite but obviously BS excuses. Another week passed. Then another. And then another! Almost a month late and one week before my wedding! By now, I was freaking out and almost on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was fairly anxious about the fact that there may need to be some alterations to the dresses that the girls had ordered. Thankfully, my mother is a very calm and rational person. She had a talk with the elderly manager and the dresses were delivered.
My bridesmaids and I went to the store in order to retrieve our dresses. We picked them up and I had my girls try them on just in case. Out of the four bridesmaids that had been sized, NOT A SINGLE DRESS FIT. I was furious! The only one whose dress DID fit was my bridesmaid who had not come to the fitting. I asked to see the sizing charts, as I had watched the consultant write down the sizes. The dresses did not match the sizes that we had requested. The consultant had erased the sizes that we had requested and as a result, not a single dress fit! We could see the eraser marks! One bridesmaid had a dress that was literally two sizes too small, the rest of them were too large by at least two sizes. I demanded to know how they were going to fix it. The elderly manager was obviously angry with me for questioning her consultant and stated that we would just have to pay to get the dresses altered to the correct sizes ourselves. They wanted to let out the dress that was too small (there is NO WAY that it could be let out two sizes and since it was a satin dress, the original seam line would be seen regardless of wha tthey did, making the dress look cheap and cheesy.) and take in the dresses that were too small, distorting the way that they looked. I told them that there was no way that MY bridesmaids were going to be penalized for their consultant's poor work. She suggested having the girls in the dresses that were too large purchase a bust-enhancing bra for $80.00 that only they carried. One of my friends who was not involved in the wedding paraded through the store with fake boobs that did the trick (that were five dollars, might I add) for two of them (resulting in one of the more comedic moments of our drama). We DEMANDED that they order a new dress for the bridesmaid whose dress was too small and they grudgingly agreed to do so without charging her extra and having it rush-ordered.
We went to the front to finish purchasing our items and I asked them to bring out my dress since it had been in layaway and I had finished paying it off a week previously (they had said that they were going to clean it). It came out and was FILTHY. It had makeup stains all over it, was picked up, and had a black line that pretty much went from the top of the dress to the bottom. That was not the shape I had put it away in layaway in. I was nearing an apopoleptic fit by this time. Did they really expect me to get married in that filthy dress? Thankfully, my mother came to the rescue once again. She kindly, but firmly insisted that the dress was to be cleaned. They stated that it had been. Then she lost her temper as well and told them that they were going to clean it again if that was the case. Oh, and remember the veil that I was told I could exchange for another one later if I wished? I attempted to do so. The elderly manager refused to allow me to do so, despite the fact that I had paid it off already and the one that I had selected was identical in price. We argued about it for another five minutes and I was allowed to exchange the veil as they said I would be. The staff (especially the elderly manager), my consultant, and the woman who performed the alterations were not only unhelpful, but downright rude and ineffecient.
Fast forward three years. My sister finds a dress at the store that she loves. It was dirty and all picked up, though. She was told that it was no issue, that another one could be ordered and delivered. When she went to the front to pay, she was told that there was no way that they could order the new dress. My mother (bless her) told the same elderly manager that there was no way that she was going to pay full price for a dirty and damaged dress if another one could be ordered instead. The manager relented and the dress was purchased and ordered.
She hasn't had any more run-ins with this company, but I am really hoping that she decides to go somewhere else for her bridesmaids dresses. I for one know that this company will NEVER get any of my business again and I believe that it is my duty to warn other brides that this company's total lack of respect will leave a bit of a sour taste in their mouths on their special day.