{Katie} My dress! (: | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

Good morning everyone!

Can you believe it’s June?! It’s June. Oh my gosh. Within this month, Justin and I get to our FOUR MONTH countdown until our wedding. Throughout most of the planning thus far, I haven’t been too frantic. I keep thinking I have plenty of time to get everything done that I need to, but I guess time is kind of eluding me lately. Anyone else feel the same way?!

Anyhow, since my dress fitting is coming up in a few weeks (eek!), I want to talk about finding it!

Here’s the deal: First, I was/am in mad love with this dress:

To me, it’s perfect: it is the best shape for my body type (holla to apple shaped girls! Haha I liked your post about that, Jenna!), it is simple but unique, I adore the flower and sash detail, and it’s just everything I could have possibly wanted.

The problem is it has like a $5,000 price tag. Cool.

I’m not going to lie, I was sort of down going into the whole thing—I totally thought I would never find a dress in my price range to make me feel pretty. There is so much hype surrounding how the bride looks on her wedding day that it honestly gets quite nerve-wracking to live up to those standards. And when you’re a weird combination of perfectionist, indecisive, self-conscious, and picky, I think it’s easy for this point in wedding planning to go from SPECTAULARWONDERFULEXCITING to TERRIFYINGINTIMIDATINGSCARY.

However, last January, I ventured out to the east side of the state with my mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, and aunt (I know they say not to bring entourages on Say Yes to the Dress, but I absolutely couldn’t help myself). It was my first time trying on dresses and I made appointments at three different bridal shops.  Note: One thing that I did do was scope out the price range and reputation of the bridal boutiques online before I went. This was tremendously helpful because when I got there I know that (a) most of the dresses fit into my price point, and (b) I wasn’t getting into anything shady. Sometimes shops don’t post pricing information online, so don’t hesitate to call and ask! Better to be prepared than to bop into an upscale Vera Wang boutique gawking at $10,000 dresses like a weirdo and not knowing how to gracefully make an exit because those dresses cost more than your entire wedding budget.

Anyhow, needless to say, when we got to the first shop, my nerves were out of control. To those of you feeling some trepidation about your own dress search, though, READ ME: After the first dress, it is honestly a breeze! These dresses are seriously MADE to make you look fantastic… I didn’t believe it, but it’s for real the truth. I mean obviously not every dress is perfect for you, BUT if you’re open to a lot of different things, you’ll be set!

See? Now it’s getting fun! (please pardon the picture quality; it's on a camera phone)

The day did get overwhelming, though. Since I watched Say Yes to the Dress avidly, I knew going in that after trying on so many dresses, you start to get confused. I didn’t believe that, either—how do you get confused? They’re all different! But trust me, you’ll get confused. And when you do, take .2 seconds, breathe, grab some water, and don’t put on another dress until you’re ready. I tried on so many throughout the day that they really were starting to run together and it was really starting to stress me out.

(This is me being confused)

Needless to say, going into my third appointment I was still dealing with a bit of confusion.  I knew, though, that I really wanted to hit this third store because they were having a trunk show for Martina Liana!  I definitely definitely definitely recommend trying to find trunk shows because you get a fantastic selection of dresses that shops might not normally carry AND you usually get a sweet discount (score!). The one issue I found is that you usually have to make a decision THAT DAY because the dresses don’t stick around for very long.

And oh-so-happily, I did end up finding my dress at that boutique! It is Martina Liana, so I got to take advantage of the trunk show discount (10% off)! I was a bit nervous making the decision right then and there, but the dresses were leaving for, like, Iowa the next day. I knew that I would constantly be comparing each dress I tried on after that to the dress, so I made the decision! I got it! Oh my gosh!

Literally I am the worst decision maker in the world, but sometimes you just know. Go with your gut! If you love it and it’s within your budget, get it! (:

Now, obviously, I’m very traditional, so Ima leave you hanging until wedding day just like everyone else. The moral of the story, though, is that you will find the dress and it will be perfect and it will make you look beautiful, no matter what the price point is or how much anxiety you have or any other factor you feel might come in between you and a fantastic gown.

Isn't it pretty?

So how was/is YOUR dress search? Were you kind of on a struggle bus like me or did you know exactly what you wanted? Anyone else feeling the pressures of fitting into the “flawless bride” mold? What’s up!

Have a wonderful day!

XO,

    • Deanne
    • June 9th, 2011

    I totally lucked out with my dress. (seeing is I bought it 13 months before my wedding). I kept staring at a dress on the davids bridal site knowing that for my budget I would probably only be looking there. I found out that they were discontinuing the dress that I was obsessed with and it was now or never. It was marked at $500 but I could find a way to make it work. I made an appointment to try it on and found out that day it had also been marked down 60% off!!! It was meant to be!

    I will proudly keep my dress in my closet until my wedding in June 2012 knowing that I totally rocked my budget savy side and got a gorgeous gown for $199!

    • Shut up! That is tremendous!! $199?? That is not even a coincidence. Seriously, that is so awesome. I'm sure it's totally stunning, too! :)

  1. I knew the style I wanted right off the bat, but did try on a few "out of the realm" just for laughs for the friends and family. All in all it was a PERFECT dress for me and my husband LOVED it-goal achieved! I'm sure you'll be a beautiful bride!! Enjoy the process! *Amy

    • Yay! That is absolutely fantastic. I hope Justin really likes mine, too :) It was just such a cool experience.

    • Courtney
    • June 9th, 2011

    Hey Katie, I was wondering if you went to bridal boutiques in Michigan, and if so which ones? I am just starting my dress search and have heard horror stories of some bridal boutiques, so wanted to know what places you went to and your thoughts on them. Thanks! I look forward to seeing your dress!

    • Yes I did! All of the ones I went to were on the East side of the state around Rochester Hills. I went to Bellisima Bridal in Rochester, Bridal Couture in Birmingham, and Bella Bridal in West Bloomfield. I would definitely reccommend Bellisima Bridal and Bella Bridal (and if you have a bit more in your budget, Bridal Couture was great, too–just a little bit above my price range). I had fantastic consultants at both of them, the dresses definitely worked within my price point, and I had fantastic experiences at each!

      If you're on the West side of the state, I know Renee Austin in Grand Rapids and September's Bride in Holland are really good too. I didn't go there for my appointments, but I heard from friends they were awesome! :)

      Good luck! I hope this can help!

    • Toni
    • June 9th, 2011

    Is that the same dress Kristen Bell wore from "When in Rome"?? I love that dress too, its so simple, elegant and beautiful! I was similar to you in finding a dress, I found one I loved but couldn't make a decision until I realized I would never find something I loved as much as THE dress without comparing them, so I went ahead and got it and haven't looked back since :) You'll look beautiful on your wedding day!

    • Yes! It is! When I saw that movie I was immediately like, "That's my dress!!" …except not really :) I am so surprised that I decided THAT DAY, but I haven't looked back either (even after 100s more episodes of Say Yes to the Dress!) (: Thank you thank you!

    • Devin
    • June 22nd, 2011

    I LOVE the Amsale dress, too. Do you happen to remember the name or designer of the dress in your 2nd picture? I'd love to know!!

    • Hi Devin!

      Yes I do (because it was my second choice!)!! :) It's called Dalian and it's from Enzoani's Blue collection. Here is the link: (that top piece in the picture is detachable so you can get it without it). The flower in the picture didn't come with the dress, but I think it's a belt that's by Enzoani, too :)

      Best luck with your dress search!! XO

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