Wednesday, July 01, 2009

how I found my dress

While we're sort of on the topic of dresses, I'll share the story of how I found mine.

I was never against buying a used dress - in fact I was pretty sure that's the route I would go from the beginning. For one thing, in the honest words of Miss Glen Echo, I'm cheap. I could not justify spending thousands of dollars on a dress, no matter how gorgeous it was (not that you shouldn't, if you have the budget for it, I just don't). For another thing, buying a dress already used would help my mission to put on a more eco-friendly wedding. So I started hunting PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, OnceWed.com, etc., well before we were even engaged (blush).

But these other ladies are totally right - you can't (well, shouldn't) buy a used dress online without having tried something similar on so you know it's right for you. Also - why would anyone want to bypass boutique dress shopping?? When else can you have a gaggle of ladies following you around as you basically play dress-up for hours? Actually that sounds ridiculous but man, it was so much fun. Which is why I was almost disappointed that I found my dress on my 2nd shopping excursion!

The first place I went was Ellie's, in Alexandria. I only knew about it because I was a bridesmaid recently for a friend who bought her dress there, so one day when she was going in for a fitting, she made an appointment for me to try on dresses at the same time. They have a really great selection of gorgeous dresses there, and also a ton of bridesmaid dresses (and if you buy your dress from them, your bridal party gets a discount on their dresses). I fell in love with every single dress I tried on, but especially the Jim Hjelm 8763 and the Sarah Danielle 5523 (can't seem to access the Sarah Danielle website right now so that link is to a listing that I MISSED OUT ON, gahhh that was even my size). I am still pining away for that Sarah Danielle dress honestly. But! The Jim Hjelm was $3K and the SD was $2100 ish, so I sighed and passed them up.

I had already marked my calendar for the 2 Running of the Brides events I knew of that were happening this year - one was in April, at the Rockville location, the other was the one coming up this month, at Friendship Heights. I was all excited to camp out and have a group of friends go with me - and then I found out about a sample sale at Priscilla of Boston at Tysons Corner.

dun dun DUNNNN.

I showed up with my mom, and a couple friends came by, and I tried on a few dresses without loving any of them too much. Then just as I was thinking it was about time to get some lunch, my mom suggested I take one more look through the racks, since girls were constantly bringing dresses back they'd tried on and didn't like. I found one that I thought was gorgeous and it fit me nearly perfectly! As soon as I put it on, I really liked it, but when I walked out of the dressing room and my mom burst into tears.. I knew it was the one.

Also, it was marked down from $4,200 to $199. And that day they were doing an additional 20% off. So with tax, it ended up being $167.19. Strapless, full lace overlay with a beautiful chapel length train - and we found maybe 1 small snag in the lace, not even noticeable. I'm still in awe that we found it and got that price. weee!!

So right now I'm in the market for a good wedding dress cleaning service. I'm concerned because it's all lace. Anybody know a good place in the DC area I can trust? I've heard so many horror stories of dresses ruined during the cleaning/preservation.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family has gone to the New Forest Valet in Arlington (4813 1st St N,
Arlington, VA, right off route 50) for decades. They restored my grandmothers wedding gown beautifully, and they cleaned and preserved my sisters dress several years ago.

I moved to Takoma Park a few years ago, and I still drive down to Arlington whenever I have something I really care about. (It's weird, I know, but they really are the best.)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

When I was having my breakdown about my dress being yellow - I called

3008 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

I didn't end up taking my dress in, but I googled, and it seems like a highly reputable place.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 1:51:00 PM  
Blogger Foxy said...

You should also check out Imperial Gown Restoration - they are one of the best in the country and they are in Tysons....also Prestige Drycleaning in Silver Spring and Parkway Drycleaning in Chevy Chase have excellent reputations and local bridal salons send gowns there...
Good Luck!

Thursday, July 02, 2009 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Miss Fairfax said...

thanks everyone! :) I will look into all of these options.

Monday, July 06, 2009 11:01:00 AM  

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