Well... It all started in November of 2007, all of the bridesmaids went to Francesca's to order our bridesmaids gowns. I, having just had a baby 6 months prior, new I needed to lose some weight prior to being in my cousins wedding months later. So they measured me, I am a small busted woman, so my chest measured as a "2", Hips were a "14" and waist was a "12", I normally wear an 8, but was still a little heavy from the pregnancy, as mentioned earlier. The girl behind the counter was not only RUDE, but probably anorexic, only weighing about 95 pounds and probably wore a size -2! Which didn't help my anger at the shop at this point! So I am ordering the dress, she says, we recommend nothing smaller than a size 12 for you, but would really like to see you order a 14! I am now in tears and fighting with the girl behind the counter to order at least a 10. I had tried on the size 8, and could barely zipper it. My sister who is the same size as me non-pregnant had fit into the 8 and ordered the 8. I had finally convinced not only the girl behind the counter, but she actually had to go get the manager, to approve me ordering a 10! I'm paying for it, if I cant' fit into it, that's my fault. I told her my pregnancy situation and that I had intended on losing 20 pounds. To that, she rolled her eyes, and stated, "well if you insist on ordering a 10, we need to put on the receipt that you are insisting on a 10 and that 'you' state you are going to lose weight prior to the wedding!" With that she wrote that on the receipt made me sign and rudely finished the business transaction. It didn't end there. I went to pick up the dress, we were IGNORED completely, took the girl forever to find my dress, I honestly thought they had ordered me the wrong size, they didn't, however, I stated I wanted to try it on prior to leaving. The lady assisting me said she would have to ask the owner if I could try it on! WHAT!? I said I don't care, I paid for it and I'm gonna try it on! SURPRISE, SURPRISE, I had to get 2 inches taken in on both sides of the dress and about 5 inches taken off the bottom. It ended up being tighter on me than my sisters dress 8, which was not altered! they were rude, disrespectful and unkind! I would never recommend them to anyone! The dresses were beautiful, but a wedding should be exciting, not a bridal shop where most of your bridesmaids are walking out crying from being insulted by people!
I ordered my dress from Francesca’s in June for my early January wedding in Colorado. Francesca wanted me to order a size up from my measurements but I insisted on buying the size the manufacturer’s chart said I should. They told me I would have a fabric swatch within 2-3 weeks, the dress within 3-4 months, and that they would have no trouble shipping everything to me in Colorado with plenty of time for alterations.
I needed the fabric swatch to buy shoes to match the dress but when I called 3 weeks later to check on it they said they wouldn’t order the swatch until after I came in with my shoes for my custom hem length measurement. From their reaction I must have been the first bride to ever question their policy of having to have the shoes for the hem measurement, needing the swatch to buy the shoes, but not being allowed to have the swatch ordered until after the hem measurement.
In August I went back to look at veils and Francesca promised to check with the manufacturer to see if she could order matching lace from my gown so they or I could put together a custom, matching veil. Several weeks went by and I moved to Colorado but still hadn’t heard back on the lace so I started calling them. They always told me no one was currently in the shop who could help me and promised someone would call me back but never did. Another few weeks went by before Francesca finally left me a voicemail that she couldn’t order the matching lace.
As the end of October approached I started calling asking for the ship date on my dress. Again, every time I called they said the woman in charge of ordering wasn’t in and she would call me back, but she didn’t. I finally got an associate on the phone that laughed at me and told me that all dresses take 6 months for delivery, not the 3-4 I had been told when I ordered, and she also told me that no swatch had been ordered for me.
In mid November I finally got a ship date from them and they told me the only way for me to get the dress in hand sooner than 2 weeks before my wedding was for me to pay for them to overnight it to me. I finally got them to agree to eat the cost of the manufacturer overnighting the dress to them, and had my dad pick it up to then overnight it to me himself. In the meantime I finally got a swatch in the mail but it didn’t match my dress even though the accompanying letter claimed it was the same fabric.
I finally got my dress less than a month before my wedding date, with a real swatch of my dress but only after several dozen long distance phone calls, $250 for UPS overnight shipping, and more stress than any bride deserves to go through. And to top it all off, the dress was too long and more than a size too big. If I had gone with Francesca’s size recommendation I would have had to have the dress taken in 2 sizes instead of just one. I had the dress altered at a local shop that double checked whether matching lace could be ordered from the manufacturer. It turns out it could but at that point the rush ship date was only a week before my wedding so there wasn’t enough time. If Francesca had ordered the lace 4 months earlier when she said she would check on it, I bet I could have gotten matching lace with which to make my veil. I recommend going to Francesca’s only to try on dresses and ordering that store that actually cares about customer service and honesty.