The Search for the Perfect Dress

Essence of Australia, and two Melissa Sweet gowns

Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang (Luxe)

2 Watters gowns, 2 David Bridal Gowns, and Judd Waddell

Something about looking at bridal gowns makes me feel so happy inside.
It's incredibly unfair that you can only wear your wedding gown once. I still long to have another excuse to wear my dress, which is still hanging in the plastic gown bag waiting to be cleaned and bustle fixed. Maybe I can start a "wear your gown to work" day. I can't be the only married woman who wants to wear their beautiful gown again!

Today I wanted to share with you my experiences with the different bridal stores in the Philadelphia area. I must have tried on about 50 dresses before I found the perfect dress, and looked through another 500 online. I went to 5 different stores and research for the perfect online store as well...


102 E. Montgomery Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003
610 649 3686

Suky's is a place where most Philadelphia brides have driven past one point, down Montgomery Ave through the Mainline. There is something about this building that is extremely striking. Suky's only carried top designers, and all their dresses come with a high price tag. Some of the designers they carry are: Vera Wang, Ulla Maija, Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka, Monique Lhuillier, and Reem Acra, and these are just to name a few. I believe Suky's is the only bridal store to carry Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier in the area, and possibly other designers as well. My first visit was with my friend who wanted to go to Suky to see her dream Vera Wang dress. Although out of her price range, she wanted to go "just to see and touch." When you first arrive, they offer cookies and coffee/water and you are asked a few quick questions. My friend's experience at Suky was not good at all. The sales lady was rude and short with her, and the on site seamstress tried to pressure her into purchasing a dress that she did not love nor she could afford. In addition, one of the ladies called the dress clips "Home Depot" clips, which did not make my friend feel feminine or beautiful. While another bride was being fawned over, my friend was treated like a nuisance. It was so horrific overall that I wrote a review online about Suky giving them a poor rating. However, when it came time for me to shop for a gown, I dragged my feet to Suky, just because they carried some lines that other bridal stores did not. I was pleasantly surprised by how nicely I was treated and everyone was so sweet. I ended up going back to get a second look at a dress I liked, however reality finally kicked in when I saw the price for the second time.

503 West Lancaster Avenue, Suite 110
Wayne, PA 19087Phone 610.293.1299

This was the first place I went to search for my perfect gown. My previous said friend found her dream dress here and I remembered the staff to be fairly pleasant. My experience was pretty much the same. The saleslady was very sweet and complimented me with each dress I wore even though my friends were making faces at how the mermaid look did not flatter my short stature. (It's nice to have honest friends!) However, they had a great selection and a wide range of designers. Also, they have a pretty decent supply of sample gowns which you can purchase for a fraction of the price. Some of the designers Wedding Shoppe carried were: Rivini, Amsale, Judd Waddell, Jenny Lee, and Le Spose di Gio. Again, their dresses are expensive as well, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000, but it's worth visiting during their sample sales.

2600 Chemical RoadThe Metroplex S/C
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Phone: (610) 825-5902

To be quite honest, after touching beautiful delicate alacon lace and silky satin, it was hard to go to David Bridals. I always had a catalog of their dresses at home and had dog ear tagged the dresses I loved. From the photos, the dresses looked to be so soft and satiny and flowy, however, when tried on, they were stiff and one dress even felt like cardboard! But, the prices could not be beat. To be fair, I know many brides who chose a David Bridals gown and they looked gorgeous and the photos of the dress looked fabulous. So, if you're a bride on a budget, I highly recommend Davids Bridal. The shop in Plymouth Meeting was okay. I went in the afternoon during the week so I was only one of the two brides there, without appointment. No one greeted me right away and once I filled out all my information (which was later used for endless amounts of spam and mailings) I perused through racks of many dresses and carried them over to the fitting room. The dresses are not light! All the dresses were crammed to fit onto the racks, so they were squished and hard to manage through. I was under the impression that the store did not care about the gowns and thus they were poorly maintained. But! Davids Bridals are quick with their orders and you can have your brand new dress in no time. I had a friend who bought her dress that day because they had a few in her size in the back room.

139 C. East Butler Avenue
Ambler, PA 19002

I sought out Arielle Bridal because I was looking for an Essence of Australia gown that I found online. Arielle was a great boutique store that carried mid-priced gowns, such as Essence, Casablanca, and Maggie Sottero. Everyone there was very friendly and the sales lady that helped me was sweet and kind. She wasn't overly flattering, which I preferred and since I was alone that day and tired from endless dress shopping, I just wanted to put on my gown, perhaps pick one, and leave. It didn't seem like they carried all the dresses of each designer, however they had a pretty good array of different styles and shapes of gowns. They also had a great section just for bridesmaids dresses that I eventually looked through as well. I ended up not spending much time there however since they didn't have a sample of the specific gown I was looking for and other brides started coming in for their appointments. However, they were very friendly and I recommend it to all other Philadelphia brides.

5) Priscilla of Boston
29 East Wynnewood Road
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania 19096
Phone: 610.896.8290

I loved this store right away. They gave me the right amount of space and pampering. When I first arrived, I was greeted right away and was given a quick tour of where to find specific gowns. They carry all Priscilla of Boston lines, Melissa Sweet, and Watters. Their prices ranged upwards of at least 6,000 down to about 1,000. They left me to my own devices to pick the gowns I liked, and was told to flip the dress so they could come and gather them when I was done. I was shown to a huge private dressing room and each gown was brought in. The saleslady was extremely nice and conversational, and made me feel comfortable (even though I was nearly naked). She also brought along some accessories to play around with, and encouraged me to do something different with the dress to make it my own. By the time I left the store, everyone knew my name and for the first time, I felt like a real bride! I returned a few times after that to try on some more gowns and eventually found my perfect Melissa Sweet gown.

For the fittings, I met with a Korean seamstress named Mia who really helped me pick out some beaded sashes to add to my dress to flair it up for the reception party. The veils there are VERY expensive, so I opted to go online to http://weddingveil.com/ and bought a two tiered mantilla veil. Their prices for accessories are negotiable, so it never hurts to ask. It really helped that I brought my Korean mother to meet Mia so my mother was able to bargain with her.

There are many other bridal salons/ stores in the Philadelphia Area.
Some others you could check out are:
Bridals by Danielle: http://www.phillybride.com/
The Sample Rack At La Fourno:
Hours By Appointment
636 South Street
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 266-4064

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

1 comment:

Bride of Rochester said...

i know what you mean about the happiness that swells up whenever your look at a good dress-- and I keep trying to come up with different excuses to wear mine over and over again (to no avail-yet)! i really enjoyed reading your review!

Reviews on Wedding Wire

Read all of our Wedding Coordinators Reviews at Weddings, Wedding Cakes,  Wedding Planning, Wedding Checklists, Free Wedding Websites, Wedding Dresses, Wedding Ideas & more
2010 Bride's Choice Awards - Wedding Photographers, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Venues & More
Weddings, Wedding Planning, Wedding Websites, Wedding Checklists
2009 Bride's Choice Awards presented by WeddingWire | Wedding Cakes, Wedding Venues, Wedding Photographers & More


about us Adventures of bride advice Andrew Ippolito anniversary appleford ardent aubert films backyard wedding bakery boudoir branches bridal gowns bridal open house bridal show brides budget busy cake california wedding centerpieces cescaphe charity cheekadee chillweddings christmas cards christmas tree cindy guessford city of hope clinton wedding colleen rosenthal columbia station commerical dallas dance lessons day of coordination decor discount DJ Doll Face donation downtown club downtown wedding eagles event fx eye candy facebook fan page Filipino Wedding fleur de lis food free friends gay weddings glenfoerd go festve greatgatsby hair hair by natalie haiti head shots hiatus hibachi home office hotel palomar hours introduction invitations jeremy evans thomas jewelry Jewish wedding jobs jpmorgan june kamila harris korean ceremony let them eat cake letterpress magical sight and sound makeup manayunk river club manayunk weddings menus monogram monterey multicultural wedding music video myfoxphilly ncc networking nightkitchenbakery no macarena not wedding related nph nycpride out of office paebaek papertini parents party pearls events personal philadelphia eagles Philadelphia library philadelphia wedding philadelphia wedding planner philipgabriel philly philly mag photography press programs promotion real brides real weddings reception rehearsal dinnner restaurants reviews robert ryan catering schedule seating chart select event rentals SHDA sofitel soyourengayged spa staff stationery suits swoop tags team tent testimonial thank you the office theknot theremixologists tips TLJ Studios turtles unusuallyfine update vacation valentines day van earls cakes vases veils vendors venues videography voting wedding album wedding paper wedding processional wedding season weddings weekly obsessions white aisle williams-sonoma woodcrestcc year in review yele youtube

Blog Archive