I decided to review the bridal stores I went to in my search for my dress. These are all in the Seattle area, so hopefully these will be useful to someone else.
Victoria's Bridal Couture (inside the downtown Macy's). I went here on a whim one day after work. I did not have an appointment but I hadn't really planned on trying on dresses. I just wanted to see what is available and get some ideas about what was there. But the store was pretty empty and they were nice enough to let me try on some dresses. Most of their dresses are between $400-$1000. They always have a selection of sale dresses starting at $99. I did find some beautiful dresses and one that I loved but it was out of my price range. They did have some plus size dresses for me to try on. They also have a lot of bridesmaid dresses and prom dresses too.
David's Bridal in Lynnwood. I made an appointment for a Sunday afternoon. I took M, Mrs W, and Kris with me. The consultant was kind of rude. She laughed at my selection of shoes which I brought with me. She kept insisting on a veil which I told her several times I did not want. Finally she just stuck one on my head and asked me to try it. I did find 2 dresses that I liked. Both were around $800. The girls later told me that the salesperson was rude to them. I didn't like how the salesperson followed me into the dressing room and forced me to wait for her to get dressed or undressed. I spent a lot of time in my underwear.
Bride's Outlet in Everett. I went to this store because I heard they had a ton of dresses that were cheap. Again I took M, Mrs W and Kris. They were very nice. They have a huge room of sale dresses in all sizes. I wore the largest size there. Their dresses are definitely smaller than other stores. I did find a dress for $299 but it was bright yellow. They also had a selection of bridesmaid dresses. They have some dresses that you could order. A lot of prom dress too.
I did buy dress off eBay from a private seller. I figured I would wind up buying my dress off eBay since I was looking for a really good deal and I'm not a sample sale size :( With eBay you need to do a lot of research. Ask a lot of questions. If the pictures aren't giving you a good indication of what the dress looks like, ask for more pictures. I noticed a lot of people didn't include sizes or measurements. I always asked even if I wasn't interested in the dress-kind of a public service.
I'd post pictures of my dress but it's too big and I had trouble trying to take pics while holding it up. Once I get it altered I'll post pictures.