Over the last few days I have been talking to a very good friend of mine about all things wedding and I realized that it has been quite some time since I have done so.
With getting married myself, and subsequently leaving my job as a Wedding Planner within a few months of each other, it seemed to close that chapter in my life.
I almost forgot how much I really enjoy the wedding industry and all the things that accompany it.
While going through many of the different talking points pertaining to this particular topic, we touched upon “THE DRESS”. This inspired me to take a little trip down memory lane and share my own dress buying experience.
The first thing I should mention, is that purchasing a wedding gown is a completely different experience for each and every woman. For me, it is a process that I apparently enjoyed so much that I did it not once, but 4 times ;))
Please don’t get the wrong idea, it was all for the same wedding, to the same man… but finding “THE DRESS” did not come as easily for me as it does for some others (it wasn’t as difficult as it is for some others either, so I can’t go ahead and complain too much ;))
Now before we get started, I do want to give one piece of advice to anyone looking for their wedding dress… you don’t need to buy the most expensive dress to look and feel beautiful on your wedding day. In fact, 2 of the dresses that I purchased were under $200 each. And the other 2 were under $500 each. Go to bridal expos, go to small shops with private owners… shop around!!!
Ok, now, here is a breakdown of each dress and how and why I purchased it.
- DRESS ONE I actually bought about a month before I met my husband (I sound pretty ambitious don’t I?) But I saw this dress at Nordstrom Rack and it was so amazingly beautiful I just had to buy it. So, I did.
And it was GORGEOUS. It had the most beautiful details and just took my breath away. And because I have zero self control I wore it to a Military Ball with my best friend.
This made wearing it for my (eventual) wedding an impossibility. BUT since the thought of letting it hang in a closet and never wearing it again was just too much to bear, I decided to wear it for our engagement shoot and I was certainly happy that I did!
- DRESS TWO was purchased post engagement (so at least I had that going for me!) at a bridal expo. I was with a group of really good friends who convinced me I HAD to have this dress so I tried it on and while I didn’t exactly fall in love with it, it was nice and it was cheap. And by cheap, I mean cheap, less than $200. I bought it. I thought to myself, if I could just get my Aunt to alter a few things about the dress it would be perfect (hence the sketch)! Unfortunately, the dress couldn’t be altered in the way I wanted, so I decided to just wear it as it was. Eventually I realized I was so underwhelmed by this decision that I shouldn’t give up on my search. So my mindset was, I have it if I need it, but I will keep looking.
- That brings us to DRESS THREE. Now dress number 3 was done the “right way”. And by that I mean me and my two best girlfriends made a day of it! We went to the dress shop, we tried on all the dresses, took pictures, got drinks, had fun!! I tried on two dresses in particular that really caught my eye. One of the dresses I absolutely loved…but not on my body. I thought I looked chubby in it.(because women are crazy) And the other dress, I thought it was pretty, but felt less self-conscious about how it looked on my body. SO, I bought the dress that I thought looked better on my body and that was the end of it. Or so I thought…
- DRESS FOUR. So, like I said… at this point I thought I had my dress! And I was, well, I was only moderately excited. For some reason I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was making a mistake. So I pushed it aside and went on with the planning process. About two months went by and I realized that I had thought about the “other” dress at least once every day since I tried it on (the one I had thought was perfect…just not on me..) I decided that since the dresses were the same in price that I would go back to the shop and see if the dress was still there. And if it WAS then it was meant to be and I would ask the owner if I could swap the two dresses. (I know I’m a total nut job)
Well. It was there. I asked. And the DARLING woman that she was, she said YES! (By the way, to any Hawaii brides, I HIGHLY recommend CREATIONS BY TOY for your dress shopping experience, the dresses are beautiful, wonderfully priced, and the owner is a DOLL)
And drumroll please! Here is the perfect wedding dress!! (for me 😉 )
And now, finally, my number one rule to finding the perfect wedding dress is;
No matter what, when you are on your search, it is definitely wise to take the advice of others… but at the end of the day, choose the dress that you truly love above all others. Because you are the one who will be wearing it, just one special time, on your one very special day. And whether or not YOU think it is the perfect dress, is really all that matters 😉
Happy Dress Hunting!!