The ring gets on your finger and the first thing you think of is…. “I wonder what style plate I am going to present to my guests on my beloved day?” Duh, NO! It’s most likely, “what dress will I be rocking on one of the most important days of my life?!” Along with… “where am I going on our HONEYMOON?!” If you’re like me.
Wedding dress shopping can be a beautiful experience or stressful. I walked through both. It really depends on where you go, who you bring with you, and the attendant who is helping you. Ok, a lot of factors. I guess it all boils down to, what your attitude and perspective is on that day.
When you get engaged I found that EVERYONE gives you an opinion on where to go dress shopping. The singles, the divorced, the newlyweds, the seasoned marriage-ers, the elopers. So be prepared. “Go to this place, that place. This place sucks. No, don’t go here, you won’t find anything. Go here. They were so nice and accommodating.”
Well, I went to three joints, all of different status and price. Kleinfelds, Bridal Reflections, David’s Bridal (in that order). This is what I learned.
1. Needless to say, I was totally convinced to go to Kleinfelds. Everyone said, “Go for the experience.” At first I was hesitant. One, I ain’t got money for that. Two, I most likely will never meet Randy. Three, I ain’t got money for that. I pretty much walked in knowing I would not purchase anything but let’s just go for fun- Not fun. I was put in a little room that reminded me of a doctor’s waiting room. My mom and mother-in-law chilled outside the door. My attendant did not listen to what I liked and totally got ticked at my bridesmaid, Meg. Not cool. And for the last time, I do not want a corset back!
2. Next. Bridal Reflections was actually a great experience. I went there with just my mom and sister. I had my own separate room and everyone who works there is super accommodating, pleasant, good listeners, and practical. Didn’t rush me at all. I found a dress that I liked but you know, I have to see everything.
After that I did feel a little, “womp, womp.” I tried on a good amount of dresses and nothing… no major laughs, no heartfelt giggles, no tears, no “Ahhh, yesss” from the masses. Is this how I was suppose to feel? I say ladies, if you’re in my spot, do not give up hope! You will not have to walk down the aisle in sweatpants.
3. Lastly, I went to David’s Bridal. It was totally spur of the moment. Marissa, my MOH, was here visiting and she wanted to get in on all those “maid-of-honor” duties, so we went to David’s with my mother and sister. I walked around with Joan (total sweetheart) and I pushed back the dresses lined in plastic, one by one. Nothing, nothing. I felt like they were the same after awhile. Well, who knew, but I found my dress that day. In the place I didn’t expect, on the day I didn’t plan. It always seems to happen that way.
I didn’t cry but I laughed at my mom crying. I didn’t have this huge “aha” moment. I really just liked prancing around in this one more than the others. I think it’s like most things. You just kind of know.
So, my advice to you:
1. Plan and rip them pages out of your bridal magazines. It’s all good. But your opinion might change when you get to playing pretty little princess.
2. Stay within your budget. I mean a little overs not bad but don’t hurt the bank account. There are well-priced, good quality dresses out there.
3. At the same time, don’t settle. It is your wedding dress! So try to balance it out.
4. Go to a few places but don’t go to every retailer in your state. You’ll exhaust yourself, confuse yourself and tire the people with you.
5. Have the right attitude. If you feel like your hunt is endless, encourage yourself. You REALLY WILL find your dress. It is out there.
6. I went through the I-like-a-lot-of-dress-styles-it-depends-on-how-I-am-feeling-that-day. What if I wanted to be fun, or romantic, or vintage? Too many bridal characters to play! I needed to settle on a dress that could play all roles.
7. For me, the attendant makes a world of a difference. If they are experienced, they know body types, styles, fabrics. What blends with what season. They listen to you and bring you out things you actually want to put on. They work to make sure you find what you are looking for and they celebrate with you. Now, that’s a good attendant.
8. Lastly, go with your gut. On everything. The place, the price, what you feel confident in. I am easily swayed by people because I want everyone to agree with my decision. I want everyone to be happy. But in this case, you’re wearing the gown, so stick to your guns :)
Happy Wedding Planning!