The complaint has been investigated and
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Resolved
Evaline's BridalWedding Gown

There’s a reason that the Better Business Bureau gives this place an F. The owner, Lori, and her staff are disorganized, unprofessional, and dishonest. When you notice one of their multiple mistakes, they won't acknowledge it, and if you persist, they'll be entirely unapologetic, because, you see, it's never their fault. When something really bad happens, she’ll either lie or tell you that nothing like this has happened to her in 25 years in the industry—but after two or three once-in-a-quarter-century events happen to you, that one wears pretty thin.

The first problem was the deposit. When I bought my dress at the end of December, Lori said that while they needed a deposit to order it, I could put down whatever amount I'd like. The contract stipulated 20%, and I put down 25%--so you can imagine my surprise when I called the store to submit another payment, and she said the dress needed to be ordered in the next few days and they couldn't do so without 50% down. Great—that put delivery at one month before my wedding.

Though I said from the beginning that I didn't want a veil, Lori and her salespeople were extremely rude and pressured me into buying a $400 veil, dyed to match—telling me "Oh, you're not a bride without a veil!" etc. Though I ordered it with the dress, I later called to cancel it. The salesgirl told me she’d stop the order, and leave a note in the system with the style number and color in case I later decided that I wanted it. In March I called to make my final payment, and the veil was still on there—no note, and now too late to cancel. Remember the part about it being dyed to match? I saw it for the first time the Monday before my wedding--Lori put it in my hair, spread it across my ivory dress, and told me it looked just great and I should wear it—and it was bleach-bottle white.

Once the ship date came and went, I flew across the country for my first fitting. I called the week prior to leaving to ensure that the gown was still on schedule, and was told that it had already arrived in the store; however, when I arrived on July 6th for my fitting, the dress they had was certainly not mine. If she actually ordered the right one (not convinced), and someone had bothered to open the box, they'd have noticed the big white tag on the dress that quite clearly displayed the wrong style number and color. While her salesgirls scurried around whispering to each other, Lori stayed upstairs in her office for a good fifteen minutes. You'd expect that when someone has just presented a bride from 2000 miles away, a month from her wedding, with the wrong dress, that she'd apologize--and you'd be wrong.

The “correct” dress, rushed from the factory, didn’t arrive until after I’d left town, meaning that I didn’t even see it until the week of my wedding, and surprise! It was wrong again. The gown I actually ordered had plain lace—no beads, no sequins; the one in her store, not so much. When I told Lori that the gown was once again wrong, she was incredibly condescending, insisting that the company (the same one she blamed for sending the wrong dress three weeks earlier) didn’t make these kinds of mistakes. It was only after I sent pictures of me in the sample dress that she even acknowledged the problem, and she continued to be resistant to my demand that either all of the beading and sequins be removed at no cost to me, or I'd take the dress home and remove them myself.

I spent all day August 4th either being put on hold by the ‘customer service’ reps at Jim Hjelm, or getting an earful of excuses from Lori. By the afternoon I’d decided to take the gown to another (truly wonderful) bridal shop for alterations. When I picked it up, Lori said that the hem and the side seams were done; she NEVER told me that the beading had been removed, and with good reason-- whoever removed it completely destroyed the lace, leaving holes big enough to put a finger through. The seamstress also cleverly covered up one of the holes by lowering and stitching the ribbon belt over it. In the end, I had to have the designer overnight new lace, because none of the existing lace could be salvaged; the belt, which gapped a half-inch around the zipper, was so badly stitched that it had to be replaced with new ribbon as well.

The only thing that saved me was taking the dress from her store—and in the end, it still wasn’t perfect, because there was just no time after fixing all the damage. And this is just my dress—my junior bridesmaid ended up with a size 10 sample dress when Lori shipped her size 4 uninsured, and it got lost in the mail. It’s fun to pay full price for a new dress and end up with a manufacturer’s sample tried on by lord knows how many people, with ‘IMP’ embroidered on the back.

So, if you’ve read this far, please do yourself, your bridal party, and your loved ones a favor and avoid this place. If you’ve already bought a dress here, take it somewhere else for alterations. Remember that you chose your dress because it made you feel beautiful, in love, and like a bride--you deserve to always feel that way about it, and there are plenty of other bridal shops in the area that believe that too.

Wedding Gown
Wedding Gown

Responses

  • Br
    bride2be109 Mar 29, 2011

    I went in last weekend to try on a very specific dress from Evaline's - when my MOH e-mailed to confirm that they had the dress I wanted to try. Plus, I had gotten my senior prom dress from there and had a good experience. When we got there, they didn't have the dress or anything that remotely resembled it and the girl who was assisting us was totally clueless. She left us for 15 minutes when we first got there, then came back to tell us that they didn't have that dress (The Dress) but suggested we try on other gowns (which all looked like prom dresses that were white). She called the company to see if the dress could be ordered and gave me the wrong information on it - luckily, I had already looked in to prices, different fabrics that it came in, etc, so I knew that she had it all wrong. Later, Lori called and said that they could order it but again gave the wrong price for the dress which made me very skeptical. I decided to go with a bridal salon in MD who actually knew what they were doing. I was doubly glad I made that choice when one of my bridesmaids told me about a wedding she had been in previously where Evaline's ordered the dress and did the alterations - and the straps were crooked, the pads for her bust were different sizes and the hems were crooked. They did not apologize and told her that it was done incorrectly because the seamstress's mother had just died.

    0 Votes
  • El
    Eliza1 Mar 01, 2010

    We had a horrible experience at Evaline's too. Perhaps the worst dealing ever with a bridal company, and I've been in over 4 weddings this year. I got my dress at David's bridal (THANK GOD), but my friend got her's there---which was a big mistake. Evaline's is a disgusting store.

    0 Votes
  • Ms
    MsDaphne Jan 13, 2010

    Hi Lori (owner of Evaline's)! Thanks for leaving another badly-spelled and grammatically incorrect comment singing the praises of your own store :) For everyone else, read her post carefully, because this is exactly the caliber of service that you can expect from Evaline's now--disorganized, dishonest, and juvenile.

    Also, be sure to check out the reviews of her store at sites that are actually independent, and don't allow the vendor to control what is and is not displayed--I'd recommend Google Local, Bridalhood, and Project Wedding. At sites like InsiderPages, which allow the merchant to remove negative reviews, you'll notice that all the comments are glowing, and sound suspiciously like they were written by the same person--perhaps the 'Gina' that posted here?

    0 Votes
  • Gi
    GinaM Dec 15, 2009

    This bride is clearly someone who didnt have enough money to pay for her wedding and is
    trying to bad mouth a great company! The first problem is did she read the contract? I have bought
    many items from them and other bridal stores you always need 50% down to order your gown!
    If she didn't want a veil then she should of not ordered it! Is she is an adult and she is old enough to get married then she should be old enough to make her own decisions!
    I also saw complaints from the same person for a caterer and who knows who else! Maybe she is just not
    happy with herself and tries to come up with alot of problems that are not really problems. She truly fit the
    bridezilla discription!
    Evaline's bridal clearly did all they could to help her, if Jim hjelm sent the wrong gown and then sent it again wrong with beads on the lace then why dont' you take your sad "STORY" to them?
    I will tell every bride I know HOW GREAT EVALINE'S is! I have been customer of their for a long time and
    have never had even the slightest problem. They do wonderful alterations and Lori is great! She is honest and
    really cares about her customers! Once again let me remind everyone, I have gotton several gowns from Evaline's Bridal and I love the store and all the girls! I had a consultant named Claudia who helped me and she was also great! My Mom bought her gown there many years ago! So if any brides read the lies from Ms daphne
    please read all the other compliments the store has gotton plus remember they have been around for a long
    long time! If they were like this they wouldn't be around for that long! As far as the BBB rating they only list complaints not compliments!

    0 Votes

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