Hey there, welcome back!
I am not typically one to get excited about shopping.. but this is THE DRESS.
My parents live out of state about eight hours away and I knew I wanted my mom to be with me when I found my dress. I am having a pretty large bridal party so I wanted this experience to be more intimate. I invited my mom, sister, maid of honor, and Jason’s mom (she raised two boys – so she is always excited to do girly things with me!). I had one day to find my dress.
Let me tell you that I had two pictures on my Pinterest board because I JUST KNEW that was the dress I wanted and there was no need to pin 32154623 dresses. As it turns out, finding a dress similar to what I wanted was more difficult than I thought (in my price range).
Given my budget-savvy ways, I was super happy to learn that a near-by town had a consignment wedding store. With my $500 wedding dress budget in tow, my entourage and I began our journey. I would love to tell you that I found my dress there for an amazing deal, but I didn’t, and honestly after visiting the other shops.. there wasn’t much saving of dollars to be done at that consignment shop. From there, we went to a different bridal boutique chain called USA Bridal. They carry all designer dresses, unbeknownst to me, but did end up having a killer rack of for-sale sample gowns. That is where we stayed and we were able to pull TONS of gowns because I had no idea what I wanted anymore.
This is a good opportunity for advice. Even if you are dead-set on having a lace gown – try on at least one in chiffon and some other fabrics just to make sure!
I was pleasantly surprised. Did you know lace is super expensive? Me either.
What I thought was my dream gown from BridalBlissDesigns on Etsy
I LIKED ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DRESS I TRIED ON.
Now this doesn’t seem like a problem, but it really was. I went into this experience expecting the “mushy-gushy, cry like a baby, it’s the one” feeling, but I seriously loved the majority of dresses I tried on.
FYI – I never got that feeling, but I still love, LOVE my dress, so don’t necessarily expect
some extreme emotional connection like the movies if you simply aren’t that kind of gal
I narrowed it down to three or four, but I could not make a decision – I needed to walk away from the table. We left and went to David’s Bridal, because I made an appointment weeks ago and why wouldn't I want to confuse myself a bit more? I tried on several dresses and learned that it was, in fact, possible for me to not like some. While I was there, I kept thinking about one dress in particular from USA Bridal.
We sped back to the store before it closed and tried on the one I was thinking of and one other that I liked (just to be sure!) I went with my gut and I am so happy that I did. I never imagined that I would wear something so beautiful, but it truly is gorgeous and makes me feel like a bride. That’s another thing – it actually looks like a wedding dress – which is something that I wanted. I will show you guys my dress eventually, but out of fear someone I know will read this.. I can't post it quite yet.
So my advice is this:
- Do NOT try on a dress out of your price range.. I promise you will find one you can afford.
- Don't let words like “consignment” or “used” make you think you're getting a good deal – shop around.
- Smaller entourage = fewer opinions.
- Don’t make impulsive decisions.
- Don’t be afraid to go to those expensive designer boutiques – they have to sell their sample gowns too!
- HAVE FUN AND FEEL PRETTY!
I would love to hear about your experience – good and bad – in the comment section below!
My dress may be fairly traditional – but check back next week for a post on my super unique (and budget friendly) bridesmaid dresses! I promise I will post pictures of those