Whether or not you've been bridal gown shopping or are well-versed in salon lingo, you know about David's Bridal. All you have to do is turn on the television and you are permeated with the "You'll Love David's Bridal" jingle. You know about the 99 dollar gown sale. If you were asked to name five bridal gown retailers, David's would probably be your number one.
I recently had the opportunity to visit two David's Bridal locations as the Maid of Honor in my best friend's wedding. Between the two trips, I developed a few pointers and tips for you if you ever plan on shopping at a David's Bridal near you!
1. David's caters to the traditional bride.
This is changing a bit as more non-traditional designers are seeking the mass market that David's offers (White by Vera Wang is a more non-traditional label, and in the fall David's will be introducing a new label by Zac Posen which looks like a promising non-traditional option) but for the most part, the David's Bridal Bride is the Princess Bride. Because of this, options without poofy skirts, options in colors other than white, and options without a lot of sparkle are somewhat limited and your consultant might have difficulty picking gowns in your style if you're not a traditional gal. Be aware of this before going in, and make sure your consultant is clear on what you want.
2. Go in with specific pictures of what you want to try on.
David's has a LOT of gowns, all of which are on the floor for you to see. If you don't have an idea of what you're looking for, it can get very overwhelming very quickly. Luckily, David's has all of their gowns available to see on their website, style numbers and all. If you do your research and come to your appointment prepared with dress styles in tow, your consultant will thank you and your day will go a lot smoother.
3. Make your appointment for later in the day.
David's is BUSY. This is only natural - they sell a high volume of gowns at affordable prices and they have an abundance of locations. There are women trying on gowns, large groups getting bridesmaids or mother of the bride dresses, people having their fittings at any given moment, and the atmosphere of David's isn't particularly private (they have a limited number of "stages" which multiple customers share.) Like any retail store, things slow down after 3pm, so if you can, make your appointment in the afternoon/evening for a calm, intimate experience.
4. If you only want to try on bridal gowns, make that clear.
This would seem like an obvious point, but at the end of the day, David's is a retail environment and they want to sell you more. This does have a lot of advantages; with your bridal gown purchase they offer you a discount on bridesmaids, flower girl, and mother of the bride dresses, which is lovely and helpful. That said, they might try and roll appointments for those dresses into your gown appointment. Your gown appointment should really be all about you, and you might have to say so up front.
5. Wealthier area = nicer store.
We went to two David's locations, one in a lower-income area and another in a Chicago suburb. The experience at the suburban David's was far better. The store itself was cleaner, the dressing rooms were in a more private location, our consultant was seemingly more experienced, and we ended up leaving with a dress. Moral of the story: a better experience is worth the drive.
I used to dismiss David's Bridal as a low-quality media ploy, and I can say now that I was wrong. If you go in having done your research and if you have the right expectations, I'm sure you'll have a successful appointment!
For more tips on shopping for a wedding dress at ANY location, check out my video on Couture Commitments' channel.
*The opinions in the post do not reflect all David's Bridal locations. I have not been sponsored by David's Bridal in any way.