Sunday, July 26, 2009

the search for a dress

I started my search for the dress way earlier that I needed to.

We scheduled our first mission around Filene’s Running of the Brides (I hear there is one coming up at Mazza Gallery on the 31st). My MOH lives in Minneapolis and wanted to fly in. So I piled the appointments in to one day - Hitched in Georgetown, Priscilla of Boston in Tysons, and Filene’s in Rockville. We totally wussed out and decided to skip the morning chaos at Filene's and head over in the afternoon after the rush died down a little bit. I’m still not sure if I missed out…

A couple nights before the appointments, I found a Nicole Miller wedding dress sale at Rue La La for $350. I figured it was worth trying for that amount of money, so I bought it and started my dress search with a dress already in hand.

Our first appointment was at Hitched in Georgetown, which I had heard awesome things about. Crystal and I were totally prepared for champagne, pampering, and that “ooh, I’m a bride’ feeling”. I sat down with the consultant and we went over what I was looking for. I showed her the pictures I had pulled from various magazines and online sources – thinking I had a clear vision of what I was looking for. She told me that I had no clue what I wanted and would just start pulling dresses - I was game. She never asked my budget so I threw it in the conversation to make sure I didn’t fall in love with a dress I totally could not afford. We started pulling dresses but I didn’t really fall in love with anything off the rack. The first dress I tried on – I mean…the first wedding dress ever – I was looking for that excited feeling…but I didn’t even have time to breathe before the consultant launched in to some extreme sales pitch all while looking at herself in the mirror. Her self-admiration did not stop in the dressing room, she literally stared at herself for the rest of the appointment…while I was up on the pedestal, while I was taking off dresses…it was constant and totally distracting. It ended up just being a totally weird experience that Crystal and I laughed about the whole ride over to Rockville.

Filene’s was next…We got to Filene’s before noon and there were still tons and tons of dresses. It was actually kind of nice since there weren’t too many people there, we could really study the dresses on the racks and take our time. We found one dress that fit almost perfectly and was very pretty but there were a couple stains on the dress and some simple mending issues…I just couldn’t get over the mental hump of paying that much for a dress that wasn’t perfect. Call me crazy, but I couldn’t do it.

Priscilla of Boston – ahhhhhhhhh – I love their dresses. I mean, I loved every one I tried on. I had pulled a Priscilla of Boston dress (4306) from a magazine that I had been (and still am) dreaming about – but I had to give some other options a chance. The consultant was phenomenal. She was fun, she was honest, and she really listened (I don’t think she looked at herself in the mirror once). If she pulled a dress that she thought I would like – she explained why she thought I would like it even if I had said I wouldn’t. It was also her last day at the shop so she was throwing in an awesome discount. I ended up torn between the Dora dress (so fabulous) and my dream dress (4306).

The Dora dress was super flattering and figure friendly

and the 4306 dress made me feel like a garden fairy (weird I know, but I liked it).

{both photos from priscilla of boston}

We were all torn – even the seamstress who came in to measure me. They were both slightly over my budget even with the great discount – and the 4306 dress wasn’t as figure conscious but it was still perfect…

I walked away.

The Nicole Miller dress came in the mail a week later. It was beautiful…but it wasn’t my wedding dress. It would have been nice if it had worked out considering the price tag. I ended up selling it on Once Wed.

I tried on my Mom’s wedding dress for kicks. It fit, it was fun, it was wonderful, and it was my Mom’s - perfect. As I was walking around in it, we noticed that the fabric has begun to come apart and split. I figured no one would notice but my Mom didn’t want the dress to split more while I was dancing so it was a no go.

I decided to put the dress search on hold for a little bit.

In June, Charlie and I went down to Corolla for a little beach getaway. There is an awesome store called Barr-ee Station that sells the cutest clothes including JCrew clothes at awesome prices. Word is, the owner of the store used to work at JCrew for a number of years and has worked out a deal with the company that allows her to carry JCrew current stock at lower prices.

I had been looking at one of the JCrew wedding dresses in the catalog and since Barr-ee Station carried some wedding dresses, I wanted to try one on to see if I should order a size 2 or 4. I just grabbed the first dress off the rack and ended up loving it. It was fun, sweet, light, and it fit our venue and the feel of our wedding. So for under $400...I found my dress!

I still get a little sad about not having the Priscilla of Boston 4306 dress, but then I think about the money we have left in our budget for other fun things and I get excited again!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is such a pretty dress! it's so modern and romantic at the same time:-) You are going to look stunning!

Hey, I wanted so terribly badly to have this gorgeous Amsale gown from Hitched but it was WAY too pricey and not worth it. I did find a dress that was in perfect condition at the running of the brides and like you I saved a ton of money and since we were $2000 under budget for a dress and accessories, we were able to pay for our honeymoon in full back in March!

Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I still stalk Dora on the Pricilla website. I LOOOVVEEEDDD her! But she was just too much money for me...so I totally understand the feeling.

Monday, July 27, 2009 7:51:00 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

I'm getting married in Corolla!!! I had never heard of Barr-ee station and I totally (kiddingly) accused Mr. OBX last night of hiding it from me!! Can't wait to go down there and check it out :)

Monday, July 27, 2009 8:22:00 AM  
Blogger Miss Fairfax said...

I agree the dress you chose is awesome! but I also get that feeling, I still stalk my Jim Hjelm and Sarah Danielle first loves. I definitely don't regret the dress I bought on a sample sale, the money I saved is really going to be put to good use on the rest of the wedding. But, yeah. I still stalk Once Wed hoping one of them will pop up at a huge discount. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Shea said...

That dress (priscilla 4306) is my dream!

I figured it was ridiculously expensve. I live in AZ so there isn't a store here... and they "conveniently" leave the price out on-line.

How much was it? I'm dying to know if I should spend my whole budget and just go for it...


Sunday, September 27, 2009 2:58:00 AM  

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