I thought about this post because I ran into a friend of mine over the weekend who is recently engaged and was off to go dress shopping.
For someone who is off to go dress shopping for the first time, it is a terribly fun and anxious experience. Let's face it, you're trying on wedding dresses. No matter how unconventional or un-girly one claims to be, there is something just so fantastic about trying on that first gown. My own dress shopping experience was LONG. I literally couldn't wait to get to shopping the second I got back from our vacation. Now, word to you ladies about to venture out: shop shop shop. I think one of the best things I did was shop around and try on every single style there is out there for brides. So here are some places and tips from me to you on dress shopping.
1) Know what you want. It's overwhelming when you walk into a bridal boutique and see every color, shape, and style imaginable. Some people find "the one" the second they try it on, while others like me needed a little more time to really find it. So search those websites and magazines and have an idea of what you want, but be open-minded. There are certain styles
that are recommended for certain body types but trust me--you want to try on everything.
2) Shop around (if you can and want to and have the time!). It's easier said than done, but sometimes you don't know what you're looking for until you've seen every possible option. This may also save you the trouble of realizing that your spontaneous wedding gown purchase is not making you as happy as you were when you were high on wedding dress fumes when you go in for your first fitting! I went to Hannelores
(where I swear I found my dream dress), I Do, I Do
(where I thought I really
found my dream dress), Carine's
, David's Bridal
, and a few online
is a vintage/couture dress haven for someone who is looking for vintage Oscar, Dior, and Givenchy to name a few. I thought this dress was adorable:
By the time I was done I knew that although I'm petite, I loved the ballgown look even though every style guide advised me otherwise. I also knew that I at first shunned strapless but loved every single strapless dress I tried on. I was also going to get a white gown, but a light gold/ivory gown made me look amazing.
3) Bring good friends (but not too many). Bring the ones that will be honest with you. Also, remember that while they are welcome to their opinion, YOU are the one who has to wear it so ultimately, go with you gut, not your gals.
4) Wear clean undies, a strapless bra, and patience. You may be in the store for five minutes or an hour. Some places may also limit the number of dresses you try on.
Those are just some of the things that I know were helpful for me to keep in mind when I went dress shopping. And to be honest, there were times when I went by myself because with too many people and too many opinions it was easy to get lost in the mix. I finally found "the dress," in the most unusual places: The Running of the Brides
at Filene's in Mazza Gallerie. My bridesmaids and I went last summer just for fun because I saw a TV special about it and I had tried on so many dresses that I thought it would be fun and worth seeking out a designer gown at heavily marked down prices. The dress was an ivory ball gown, a fraction of the dress I almost bought the week before, and after a few alterations, it is now the perfect dress:
new neckline with the pockets I had put in
Top model pose.
I hope to get the dress 100% done and perfect in the next few weeks.
So good luck as you venture out and look for your perfect gown. For you ladies who found yours, what advice do you have?
p.s. ladies, The Running of the Brides is on July 31, 2009 at Mazza Gallerie. Camp out for the adventure, but there are less people and plenty of dresses left in the afternoon. I'm adventurous so I went, complete with t-shirts and team!
Labels: bridal dress decisions, Running of the Brides, Wedding Dress