Trying on wedding dresses can seem like a fairytale experience, but I am hear to tell you it's not. For starters, immediately when you go in they ask what size you are, and then they promptly tell you to add 2 sizes to it and that will be your wedding dress size. Um, thanks for the boost of confidence...not. I instantly felt like a heifer instead of a princess.
I've been to lots of bridal gown stores, but a store where I always found great dresses and great service is Alfred Angelo. Their gowns are gorgeous, yet affordable (hey, you're only going to wear the dress once). The ladies that help you try on the gowns aren't pushy, and they do offer honest recommendations and suggestions. I never feel rushed when I am trying on gowns, and they take walk-ins and appointments.
While the dresses are a great value, I highly suggest not purchasing any veils or tiaras here. Not only are they ridiculously overpriced, but the quality isn't all that great. There are many other stores that offer the same or better veils or tiaras at a fraction of the cost. Also, they tend to be really busy on weekends, so try to make an appointment for a Friday evening because it's not crowded at all! Try to make an appointment if at all possible, even if it's a same-day appointment. Lastly, try to take a friend along with you for help changing in/out of dresses, for honest opinions, and of course for some fairytale worthy fun.