A bit of background so that you know what style gown I was searching for in the Claremont area. I love vintage fashion and classic forms, with full bridal skirts, and lots of lace. I definitely lean towards old fashioned wedding dresses. So all of my reviews are based on locating my vintage fashion vision.
First, in my quest to find the perfect wedding gown, I went to All Brides of Claremont. They are located at 665 E Foothill Boulevard, # E, Claremont, CA 91711 and their phone number is (909) 398-1199.
Definitely 4/5 stars. While the selection at this bridal shop is a bit on the limited side, the staff is unbelievably friendly, knowledgeable, and more than willing to locate items that are not in stock. They are wonderful and never make you feel rushed or pushed into a sale.
Even better, I eventually ordered my dress from All Brides and it took much less time to arrive than other bridal shops would have taken (months less). I know this because, being a comparison shopper, I searched for the gown in a few other places and was given estimates of 5-6 months – with All Brides I waited just over a month.
The dressing rooms are a decent size, as well. Even more wonderful was the fact that I was able to see the gown from every possible angle, and there was staff there to help me every step of the way. Reminded me of the old stories of 1940s bridal shops, where customer service came first and it was a fun, relaxed occasion.
I was pretty much sold on this place, and the dress that I found, but thought I should look around a bit more, just in case.
Next up was Deborah’s Bridal in Upland, CA. They are located at 250 N Central Ave, Upland, CA 91786 and their phone number is (909) 985-6336. I would give Deborah’s Bridal a solid 3/5 stars. The selection of bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and bridal accessories is good and the prices are reasonable. They are not the cheapest place around, but it’s not like you’re buying wedding dresses every day, so you may as well splurge a little. As for alterations, they are more expensive than the local seamstresses and smaller shops. If I had bought my gown here, I would have definitely had it altered elsewhere.
As for the staff, they are pretty friendly and relatively knowledgeable about the dresses; they are also fairly willing to help you find dresses that may not be in stock. Unfortunately, I also got a commission vibe, and felt a bit pushed into making a purchase.
As far as the ambiance of the place – I was not too crazy about it. It felt a bit dowdier than I expected. Also, the dressing rooms are adequate, but not really spacious once you have on the full gown with all of those fluffy layers underneath. If you are going for a mermaid style gown, or anything else more form fitting, though, you will have space to move in there with no problem. The mirror set up wasn’t really what I was expecting either – it would have been nice to have seen more angles.
My last wedding stop of the day was Alfred Angelo. They are located at 1540 4th Street, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 and their phone number is (909) 987-7373. I’d give this place a 3/5 stars. Alfred Angelo kind of reminded me of David’s Bridal, especially in terms of their selection – I saw a lot of those dresses with the colorful sashes and accents.
The dresses are affordable, with a range of prices to fit a lot of budgets, and the selection is pretty good overall. Unfortunately, the customer service at this place is a bit hit or miss. The first time I went in with an appointment and waited nearly 30 minutes. I was then sat at a table with a bridal book and waited another 30 minutes for someone to come back and find my dresses. Once the associate was helping me locate items, she was friendly, but was a bit on the pushy side. Not bad, but not great.
I was also a bit dismayed at the high cost of alterations, the feel of the fabrics (some items felt very cheaply made despite their price), and I was put off by the bride-to-be who was complaining that her dress had been butchered. I know brides can be on the dramatic side, but she seemed to have a genuine complaint since her wedding was 3 weeks away.
I was also not thrilled by the fact that the dresses to try on were very large compared to my size. I know that this is a common practice, but putting a size 10 bride in a size 22 gown, and having to use huge clips to show what she could look like after alterations, was not very helpful. It would be great if they carried 2 sizes, on either end of the spectrum, so that brides of all sizes could get a better idea of how they would look in their wedding dress.
Overall, not the worst place I could have gone, but I was not too impressed and decided that I would buy the gown elsewhere.