The old adage when searching for a wedding dress is that you will know that you have found “it” instantly when you put it on. This couldn’t have been more true for me with my gown.
I am not much of a shopper, except online, and do not really like trying things on, but I personally don’t recommend purchasing a wedding dress on the Internet. Definitely search online for ideas prior to going into the shop, but I think actually going shopping is necessary to know for sure you have chosen the right dress for you.
Like I said in a prior post, we were originally looking into having an out-of-town wedding and while my mother, fiance and I were on a trip to Springfield to check out a venue, we came across the dress. I wasn’t even planning on looking yet, but it happened.
We didn’t find the dress in Springfield, it was in a tiny bridal shop in Jacksonville, Ill. While we were searching for an ice cream shop before heading back to Quincy, I suddenly had to try on one more wedding dress that day, and found a listing on my phone for a shop.
We walked into the cramped converted house with prom dresses and bridal gowns on racks and I thought that maybe I shouldn’t even bother trying anything on. Then I grabbed a dress and thought
why not. But a darker champagne-colored dress still on the rack caught my attention because of the odd color. The dress itself didn’t look like much on the hanger, but I randomly changed my mind and only took the champagne dress in the room to try on.
As I walked out of the dressing room my mother gasped a little, and when I walked in front of the full-length mirror I did the same. The owner walked up and put a beaded, scalloped waist-length veil on my head and I was suddenly a bride. My mother was crying and I couldn’t breathe. This was the one, and there was no question about it, even though it was only the fourth bridal gown I had ever tried on.
I previously lived in Chicago for more than seven years and worked in social and bridal dresses at Jessica McClintock and Bloomingdale’s through college. Yet here I was finding the perfect, most beautiful vintage-inspired dress in a tiny dress shop in Jacksonville at a very reasonable price.
Also, along the vintage-inspired idea, I had the most wonderful thing happen during the reception. People kept asking me if my dress was actually vintage, so the look was carried off perfectly.
The morale of this story has a few angles:
1. Try to not over plan a wedding dress shopping trip, because you may not find it that particular day. The owner of the bridal shop where I purchased my dress told me that a lot of brides end up disappointed that way.
2. Shop in person and not just over the Internet, because the dress I found was exactly what I wanted and I had never seen the designer or the dress on the Internet.
3. Big cities can mean high prices, and the shops may still not have the exact dress you want. So check out area shops as well. Plus it could help you at least narrow down your search by trying on different styles in your area and alterations would be closer to home.
4. Go with your gut on the dress and, once you order it, stop looking at other dresses. At least that is what everyone tells you. But guess what, I looked at other dresses online after ordering mine. All it did was instill in me that I had made the right decision on my dress. So this one is up to you; I am a decisive person so it was OK, but if you know you are not, then you may want to abide by this rule.
5. Most other things for your wedding, including bridesmaid dresses, the venue, flowers and more, are generally based off your dress, so it really is never too early to start looking. Remember, my dress was the only thing I ended up keeping from my original wedding plan and I’m so glad.
Posted under Uncategorized
This post was written by jmartin on February 2, 2010