View Full Version : Cincinnati Bridal Shops

02-28-2002, 02:18 AM
Hello There,
I figured I would add a post here about my own bridal gown shopping experience. I ended up purchasing my gown from the Bridal Wearhouse on Benson St. in Reading (near the city). Since this area is known for its large quantity of wedding related businesses, my mom and I headed down to shop one weekday. This store ended up being a nice relief from the many others we visited that day. There is a room full of discontinued dresses and sale dresses- all of varying quality, of course. There were racks of $99.00 gowns, and a wall full of others ranging in price. In the next two rooms there were new gowns from a lot of designers- all for under $1,000. Everyone was quite helpful- you pull the dresses you wish to try on, they put them in a (large curtained) dressing room. We had a great salesperson (nice, polite, a lot of energy) helping us- she never pushed a certain gown, she gave us space to discuss them in private. I ended up purchasing a discontinued Marisa silk gown for $299.00. Since it was a sample it had some damage- fabric torn at the waist, dirt on the hem- but the shop automatically offered to clean and repair it for free. After the cleaning, the dress was spotless. At the first fitting, the fabric had not been repaired- it made me a little nervous- but the head seamstress assured me she would repair it herself. At the next fitting, it looked perfect. Only a couple gripes here- the day I tried on dresses a family of, like, 12 showed up with another bride and took up the entire mirror-area. The older saleswoman who was assisting them was loud and brash, but she wouldn't herd them around so others could use the area. (This is a plea to shop and bride alike- yes, it is your day, yes, you want everyone to share the joy, but an entire family in a small dressing room who won't get out of the way can make other brides miserable.) Also, even with an appointment for alterations take a deep breath and be patient- they were sometimes seemingly understaffed and took a while to get to me. But, the alterations were reasonable and the seamstresses were friendly, polite and honest. I'll add to my caveats another plus. With a $299 or more purchase, you get a free headpiece and veil- I asked if I could have a longline bra instead of the veil and they were happy to oblige.
Here is a gripe- Every bride in Cincinnati is always told to go to Bridal and Formal. My time spent there was miserable. Rude and impatient staff, a crowd, long lists of people waiting to try on gowns- the prices are outrageous considering you are forced to endure communist-era lines and communal dressing rooms. On a second visit to the shop- (I figured the first visit was a fluke) I waited forty minutes to just try on veils- all of which were stuck in a room I wasn't allowed into. An extremely rude woman proceeded to bring tiaras out one by one and shove them into my scalp until I had a migraine. After rejecting the headpieces she brought out- and insisting she bring out veils, which, of course, is why I was there in the first place, she just brought out more tiaras. When I told her we would come back when they were less busy, she gave me a nasty look and stormed off. The shoe sale they were having was a mark-up ripoff. Save for a couple of pairs, the lot could be purchased online for half of what they were charging. And don't even eye the jewelry and other accessories- unless you qualify for a large loan or are related to the Kennedys you don't want to pay those prices.
There are lower priced bridesmaids dresses down Benson St. at- I think the name is Bridesmaids, Etc. If you only have a couple of bridesmaids, this could be a good deal for you (I didn't price the dresses in the center of the store- there was a minimum order of 5, I think). They had quite a collection of off-the-rack dresses for 49.00 and up- all nice, plain styles in pretty colors. The salepeople are helpful and polite.
Sorry to ramble, but I wanted to give CIncinnati area brides a heads-up on my experience.