Austin >Balina Bridal
What a great experience. Best of the salons I went to. I had gone to 5 dress salons in Houston before deciding it was silly for me to get a dress there when I live in Austin and I am getting married in Austin. I had found a dress in Houston I loved and when looking up where I could find that dress in Austin I found Balina Bridal, the only salon carrying that designer. I called to make sure they had the dress, which they did, and made sure they would match the same price, which they did. My consultant, Sherri and Liz were fabulous. Had my dress waiting for me in a dressing room when I arrived. Promptly greeted me and my friend with a glass of wine and water. Showed me around the store. Helped me pick out other dresses in my price range so that I could compare to the dress I love and make sure it was the one I wanted. I ended up going with the dress I had found in Houston. It was such an exciting moment and Sherri ran to the back to grab more wine to top off our glasses. What a great experience. Best of the salons I went to....and I went to a lot!
RUN away!. Brides...don't walk...RUN away from this place. I made the unfortunate decision to order a dress from this terrible business. When my dress did arrive it was the wrong size. Not a little wrong, a lot wrong. The price for alterations to fix this mistake is so HUGE that I'm forced to find another dress 2 weeks before my wedding. Not only did they not care that they screwed up but are unwilling to help remedy the situation in any way. Rude, unprofessional and unethical. Order elsewhere ladies, you'll be thankful in the end.
Great dresses - for realists!.
This was the first place I went and I tried about 4 or 5 other stores in Austin and ended up getting my dress here. I think the woman mentioned before (the tall smoker) was great. I don't remember her name (Terry or Sherry?), but I do know she's been in the business for about 2 decades or something like that. She's knows her stuff and I appreciated her honesty. (If a dress wasn't for me, she told me). I showed her a couple of dresses and she brought tons of extras over for me to try on. The dress I bought could have been custom made for me - I'm very thin and most of the dresses there are larger sizes and she said 'I have an idea...'.
She then brought my two sisters white wine and was laughing and joking with us! I think the women that complain about her aren't realistic about their expectations. They are probably the type who 'need everything to be perfect and it's all about them' AKA bridezillas. Sorry to break it to you, but weddings are an industry, they have hundreds of gushing brides seeking perfection every week. It must get old when you work in that industry.
She did her job and I appreciated it. They have the best dresses in town.
Austin's Best Kept Secret.
The Building is not in the best section of town. It is very seedy looking from the outside, but don't be discouraged by that. -It is well worth it.
Despite some of the others reviews I have read I had the nicest experience with their staff. It was a breath of fresh air. Ask for Amelia.
They have a GREAT selection of gowns- one of the best in Austin. They also carry mostly Spanish designers, so they really know how to fit a curvy woman (big chest, small waist, and big booty). They will work with you to find a shape that flatters you most.
I was about to purchase a gown from Serendipity, which is 1 block away from Balina, and am so glad I stopped at Balina. The prices are very reasonable. They are designer gowns at an everyman price. They also happened to be having an awesome sale when I went in! I estimate my choice to go with Balina saved me roughly $ 2,000.
I stand by their decision to ask clients to not bring loads of friends or mothers to their appointment. They really stress that the people you bring should be positive people that won't try to push their ideas on you. Don't bring any Debbie-Downers or Jealous-Jessies. I would have felt comfortable shopping alone there because I didn't feel intense pressure to buy.
The only advertise by word of mouth, so I thought I would give them props for being one of Austin's best kept secrets.
One star is too many..
I too had a horrible experience there. The appointment started on the wrong foot-she insisted she go out for a smoke before we got started. So I waited and when she comes back she looked at printouts of dresses I like and wondered why I didn't go to Belle Saison since they carry a lot of Maggie Sottero dresses? Huh? She wanted me to go elsewhere already? Anyhow, she then picked out dresses nothing like the ones I liked. I figured, hey, she knows best. Not likely. I specifically asked for nothing puffy and that's all she gave me to try on. I tried on 6 dresses in about 20 minutes! I couldn't believe how rushed the appointment went. She then claimed that's all she had to show me. There are hundreds of dresses in the store yet only 6 were right for me to try on. As soon as she gave me some information on the dresses I tried on she walked me out and lit a cigarette. Makes me wonder if she rushed me so she can take another ciggie break.
I loved working with Kim at Belle Saison Bridal. She was really nice and not rude or pushy. I guess the Balina lady was right in one thing, Belle Saison was for me.
Balina bridal worst service in town. balina bridal has HORRIBLE service. I would not recommend any bride to shop here. My sales person was a snob and rude. I showed up early to my appointment because i wanted to make the most of my alloted time and they were not happy about that. I could not look at the dress alone someone had to be there watching over me. All the dresses are in a plastic bag and only sales persons are allowed to look and tell you the prices. ThE dressing rooms are tiny and i noticed that 10 minutes into my appt. the sales lady was looking at her watch annoyed... I left after 15 minutes into my appt. The experience was horrible and a waiste of my time. there are other stores who have the same dresses with sales people who are happy to help.
RUDEST people EVER!.
I went to visit Balina Bridal this past July (2008). I called about a week prior asking when their hours were and if I could make an appointment. Not being open on Monday, I asked if I could come in on a Tuesday. They said "yes." So, I asked when they were available (for appointments) and they said their hours - again. So, to me that meant I could come at anytime.
I maybe should've specifically said "I would like an appointment at ___" But, you would think if they wanted to earn my business they'd say "would you like me to schedule you an appointment". Anyways - I left the phone call at that - on a Tuesday at anytime they were open. Didn't think I needed an appointment by the way our conversation ended.
Me and my mother and MOH went shopping 2 days in a row for dresses. I was pretty sure that I had already found "my dress" but wanted to go to all the places I had planned. Balina Bridal was one of the last to visit. We come into the store and they say "do you have an appointment" and I said "I called, but they made it seem like I didn't need one" and they say "yes, you most certainly need one!" (very rudely). I say, "can we just browse the selections?" and she says "you won't really know what you're looking at!" gees - thanks a lot!!! I tell her that I've been looking at dresses all day and have an idea of what I like. She said... what designer... I told her the name of the designer and she made a disgusting face and said, well, you won't find anything like THEIR dresses here. We only have fine designers...
I was completely appalled and left immediately. My MOH (loudly) said, I would not buy your dress here... these are the rudest people. I would not give them my business!!!
So, needless to say, they never received it.
Okay selection and okay service. I have to agree with some of the other reviewers that the service was a bit snooty. When I first walked in, I was greeted...and not warmly either may I add. And it was the same older, tall, thin lady someone else had mentioned. They asked me to fill out a card, and I didn't put in the budget, and when I handed her the card, she said I had to put in a budget! So I said $2000...even though I probably want to spend less than that because I didn't want her to not let me try on the nicer dresses. Then she preceded to ask me what type of material I liked and what type of style and seemed in such a hurry! And she proceeded to pick out some dresses for me to agree to try on once I had told her the types I liked. After that she got a little warmer and helped me in and out of the dress and I appreciated her straightforward opinions on how I looked. I mainly went to this salon b/c they carried Pronovias. I have to say I am a big disappointed in the quality of the Pronovias...I just couldn't feel comfortable in them. First of all, this brand run small and so none of the samples fit me...that sucked. But I understand where someone else was saying they don't want you to try on their more expensive dresses if it's out of your budget. I was looking at a dress as we were looking and asked her about it and the first thing she said was it's $5000, that's why I didn't show it to you. Blegh.
Balina Bridal is the greatest, loved every minute of it..
Balina Bridal is the greatest, loved every minute of it.
I can't tell how much fun it was to find my gown, how great the service was, how wonderful my consultant was, how unique the selection of gowns they had and the great price. If you're still looking for your gown, go there first or last. You'll find your dress...and thank me for it. These ladies that work there really know what they're doing and earn every penny of it. I bought my wedding gown from Balina Bridal in Austin and all my friends were right. Not only they have the best service but the gowns they have no other store has I'm so happy I went there. I should have gone there first and saved myself all the pain of shopping in all these other mediocre bridal stores. Just go there
WOW! What service! :). I had been to a few bridal shops in Austin before my appointment at Balina Bridal. Right when I walked in I could tell a difference. ALL the ladies that worked there were friendly. At the other shops if I wasn't their client they didn't even give me a second look. As soon as I set my stuff down the person helping me asked me what styles I liked and brought out about 5 dresses to let me try on. I was sort of indecisive at first and at no point did she make me feel rushed. She was patient and friendly. About 15 minutes into the appointment I felt like I was shopping with another friend. Finally, I chose a dress! My mother and I were so excited. The selection at Balina Bridal was amazing and the people were so much fun! I would not hesitate to recommend this shop to anyone!
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