IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, TRUST ME WHEN I TELL YOU TO GO ANYWHERE ELSE. GO TO GOODWILL OR YOUR AUNT CAROL'S ATTIC IF YOU HAVE TO, BUT AVOID THIS PLACE LIKE THE PLAGUE.
Prologue: I have to assume if you're reading reviews, you want to know wha...
t you're getting into with a vendor. I'm sure some have had seamless experiences with Bella (I call these people "The Chosen Ones"), but what I experienced was such a flagrant insult to common sense and customer care that it's safe to say I regret subjecting myself and my lovelies to Bella's "service".
Chapter 1: Location, Location, Location
Bella writes on their website, "Our online order form makes ordering a breeze - whether bridesmaids live in Boston or Brazil!" This is so carefully worded it almost impresses me. OF COURSE ordering is easy. A company will reduce any friction to getting money in the door. The snag here is whether it's "a breeze" if you want to pay for your dress or have it shipped.
One of the reasons we chose Bella was because they had locations in each of my bridesmaids' cities. In theory, it would have been great because each could go to the store, order their dress, and be done with it. Not so. Bella is on a franchise model, so they require you to order all of your dresses from a single shop, playing on your nuptial anxieties that the "die lot won't match" if you order separately. Then they charge everyone shipping, despite the local stores' existences. There should be a Hunger Games where companies survive based on how well they treat their clients. Bella would die first (preferably by Tracker Jackers), and the bridal industry would have no chance to mourn its weakest link.
The irony that echoes from Boston to Brazil is that Bella doesn't accommodate international purchasing/shipping. This was inconvenient to both our London bridesmaid and to the concept of logic.
Chapter 2: If A = B and B = C, then A must certainly equal 9 Bella airheads
That same "breezy" online ordering form would have been great had we not had to correct a number of errors the Bella Blockheads entered into the system. At the end, the selection still included incorrect dresses, but luckily my bridesmaids know their asses from the doorknobs, as they were able to wade through the Bella boogers.
Chapter 3: Bully Bridesmaids
"Bella Bridesmaids will not ... ever force a bridesmaid to order a certain size." I like to call these fact-based opinions. Hey Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, can I get a definition of "force" please?
One of my bridesmaids was clearly a 6, and the Bella Bully pressured her into buying the 8. The dress doesn't fit at all, there are no returns/exchanges, and the cost of altering it is nearly the price of the dress. Here is my own fact-based opinion. They tell you to order a size up, so they can charge you for alterations. Trust your bodies, ladies.
Chapter 4: Disorganization for Dummies
I mail a check for the Londoner's dress, since they won't accommodate her. Bella Bozo 1 emails me many moons later telling me I need to send a check. When I gently (honestly) ask them to please double check their files, Bozo 2 finds it. Oops!
A week later, B3 informs me that my credit card was declined (didn't I pay by check?) and that the next time it declines I would be charged $25. B4 follows up and I remind her AGAIN about the mailed check. I get another "oops!" from B2.
[For rest of the story/review, see Bella's NY Yelp Page]