Everyone has to make a buck...but really?!.
After receiving a positive review of Belen Divine Alterations from a friend I recently made an alteration consultation appointment to have an Amsale bridesmaid’s dress altered. Most bridal sizes run on the small side so it was recommended to order a size up at the couture bridal boutique from which the dresses were purchased (they sell Vera Wang, Amsale, Monique L’Huillier, etc.). When my dress came in it had a few (what I would consider minor) alterations that needed to be done. The hem needed to be taken up, strap shortened, and sides taken in slightly. I arrived at my appointment at Belen Divine and was told to try on the gown so that necessary pinning could be performed. I went into the only dressing room provided, put the gown on, and then sat on the bench provided to put on my shoes in order to measure the hem. As I stood up from the bench I heard a ripping noise and noticed several bent pins that were stuck in the fabric of the stool. I walked out of the dressing room and brought the snag to the seamstresses’ attention. She said that she could repair it and then began pinning the hem as well as the two other adjustments in the strap and waist. After I changed out of the dress she then started to tally up the alterations estimate ($120 for the hem $45 for the waist $15 for the strap and a $15 miscellaneous fee) This brought my total alteration cost to $195 FOR A BRIDESMAID DRESS (that already cost $300)! After she went over the invoice I regretfully/respectfully let her know that it just wasn’t in my budget to spend almost $500 on a bridesmaid’s dress. She then proceeded to say (with an attitude) that she would now have to unpin the entire dress (and did so begrudgingly). After she had unpinned the entire dress I asked what we were going to do about the snag (that her negligence to the dressing room had caused). She first responded by telling me that there was no snag and then once I showed her (and apparently refreshed her memory) exactly where the snag was she proceeded to lecture me that the fabric of the dress was such that it would snag on anything and I should be more careful (because I should have expected there to be several pins in the only bench provided in the dressing room?!). She then flat out denied any wrong doing on her part and refused to fix the snag. While I always check reviews online before I go someplace for services such as this, I very rarely write them. However, the level of professionalism, customer service, and value at Belen Divine are far from divine! I can’t imagine being a bride who spent several thousand dollars on a wedding dress and taking it there only to have it ruined and be charged an arm and a leg as well. I have since called the couture boutique from which I purchased the dress to get an estimate for the exact same alterations (to be performed by a highly skilled seamstress who only works on couture gowns)…$50-60 AND I don’t have to deal with the horrific woman who owns Belen Divine (a win-win situation indeed)!