After getting engaged, I made my first appointment there (I also ended up looking for a gown at Lori's, New Natalies (yuck), Demetrios, Le Chic, Kelly's Closet, and LaRaines. The gowns I adored really came down to Priscilla's, Lori's and Kelly's.
My price range was initially $2000 but it quickly jumped to $4000. However, don't think that Priscilla's isn't for you if that isn't your budget b/c in July I bought a gown at their annual sample sale for $250 (originally $1700) as a backup. I also bought a brunch (short) dress for $500 (originally $3400). They also have a section of gowns that are in their Vineyard collection that are affordable; you can find a gown in this store for $2000 or less but it will most likely not be a natural fabric (will be a gorgeous, high end look made from poly or blend). These gowns will not be the gowns you see when you first come in -- they will be in the back so you must tell your consultant.
PS - I now have to sell the $250 ""Bettie"" gown since I purchased the Arabella gown from them last weekend (in case anyone wants to buy it from me -- it's gorgeous).
My consultant was Lindsay and I recommend her 100%. My initial consultation was 1 hour, which is not nearly enough time to make such an expensive, important decision. Though I did feel rushed, the good thing about is that they let you come back. So, I simply kept making one hour bridal appointments to whittle down the choices. I believe I had three altogether plus the visit to their sample sale.
Lindsay always remembered what I liked and had the gowns pulled ahead of time for the re-try (UNLIKE Lori's who forgot my name and gowns twice, despite appointments). She also provided a delicate opinion. When it came time to buy the gown, she seemed to sense it and offered a 20% discount ""if I buy it by the end of the day"". Seemed designed to pressure me... I'll never know if the sale was really ending or if that was bs. In any event, they did work with me to extend the discount another 24 hours since they knew I was close to making a decision. That was VERY helpful since I needed the extra day to sleep on it.
Needless to say, I ended up purchasing my gown from them (Arabella by Melissa Sweet). We ordered the size 8 that fit me perfectly in the store and not the 10 she sort of suggested. I told her I planned to really lose 7-10 lbs for the wedding and there was no need to order the next size up when the sample size fit well. She agreed and we decided that alterations would just be more expensive with the size 10 purchase. She did warn me (in a nice way) to really watch my figure since the size 8 just fit. I found her seriousness very helpful in that regard.
Lindsay allowed me to come back repeatedly and without making me feel like I was wasting her time; I felt like she was a partner in the process and really felt like she cared about this decision. She also responded to several emails I left her at the store.
I don't know how the alteration process is gonna be now that I placed the order. I'll try to keep u updated.
My only suggestion is that they should serve bottled water; u get thirsty trying on all those gowns.
PS - Priscilla's (unlike every other store I went to) allows you to take photos of any gown you try on. You don't know how helpful that is, as gowns look diff't when you see them in pics then in the mirrors.
1. Be realistic about the size you are/will be on the big day
2. Don't try on gowns out of your budget b/c you will fall in love with the difference in fabric and workmanship
3. Don't be afraid or intimidated to mention budget or to make repeated appointments
4. Take a photo of yourself in the gown and download it to the big screen to review
5. Ask them to give you swatches -- for e.g. they are giving me a flower off the gown I ordered so I can match it to the cake and other items in the wedding