This was the worst experience that I have ever had in a bridal store. I went in the store with my mother and my maid of honor. My mother was in town for a couple of days and really wanted to start looking far in advance for my June 2012 wedding. As my mom went to go try on some mother of the bride dresses, my maid of honor and I went to go browse through the potential bridesmaids dresses. I was quickly approached as the bride, and I was told that there was a $50 fee to LOOK at the dresses. The website states that there is a consultant fee to try on dresses, but I had NO idea that there would be a fee to just browse to see if there were any dresses that I was even remotely interested in (I was there for my mother essentially). I thought she was joking at first but she wasn't. You only get the money back if you order your Bridesmaid dresses at this store. In my opinion, this is ridiculous with all of the other great dress stores in the area that allow you to LOOK and try on for free - even if you don't go there to buy your dresses. Plus, there are other stores that have the exact same designers, so why deal with such fees when you can go elsewhere for the same dress for no fee. Good stores don't need to trap their customers by charging ridiculous fees. I immediately got my mother out of the dressing room, and we quickly left. I then went to a bridal store in Birmingham where I found the perfect bridesmaid dresses and my mother found a dress. I told the lady how I was treated at Bella Bridal Gallery, and the lady just about choked - which was my initial reaction with the fee. Belle's Bridal didn't even ask me about a wedding dress, but I certainly won't be getting any merchandise from them or give them a good recommendation to any of my wedding-age friends. Now, I do not think they charge a fee to look at wedding dresses, but I was done with the store once I knew they charged a fee for any shopping - that's why they pay their consultants - it shouldn't come out of my pocket. Plus, a wedding dress appointment takes much more time, then a bride looking through a rack of dresses to see what they have. A fee to shop.... what terrible business practice.
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