19 June 2011

finding THE dress

19 June 2011
i bought a wedding dress this weekend and could not be more excited!! i went home to austin for the weekend and while i had planned on dress shopping with my mom and a close friend, i did not plan on finding the dress, let alone buying it! that being said, the experience was perfect and i'm thrilled! if you'll indulge me, i'd love to share some things i learned this weekend about bridal gown shopping:


1. consider who you take to the bridal salon carefully.

i recommend taking friends and/or relatives who means the world to you, but those who will encourage you to try the dresses you like and will give you honest feedback. i would also limit how many people you have in tow - it's too easy to get distracted with lots of varying opinions.

it was absolutely perfect that i had time just with my mom and just with a friend over the weekend. love it or hate it, your mom (or step-mom or future mother-in-law or sister or...) will probably have a strong opinion on what she envisions you wearing on the big day. if you're anything like me, that vision will be pretty much the complete opposite of what you want. even though our tastes are very different, i wanted my mom to be a part of the process and to like what i eventually chose. i tried on a few dresses that she picked out, but had the opportunity to select dresses without any i-don't-like-that's and that's-nice-but-what-about-this-one's when my friend and i went to the salon early for my appointment. i had almost 10 dresses selected by the time the consultant met up with us and by the time my mom got there, i had it narrowed down to two.

because i didn't have much hope my mom would love the style of dress i chose, i was so incredibly touched when she cried seeing me in my favorite gown. actually, we all started crying - my mom, my friend, the bridal consultant and i! and then we had champagne. so yeah, pretty much perfect.


2. your bridal consultant matters.

i had the amazing fortune of happening upon a former kleinfeld (of "say yes to the dress" fame) consultant at serendipity bridal salon in austin. we didn't find out until the end of the appointment that she had just relocated from nyc, but it made so much sense she worked for kleinfeld because she was amazing. she was accommodating, thoughtful and most of all, she listened.

although the consultant was armed with recommendations, i picked all but one of the 15+ dresses i tried on at the salon. what can i say - i know what i like! she was great about making me helping me narrow down dresses along the way and reminding me of what i had liked about other dresses, like neckline and length of train. if you have difficulty making decisions, an experienced consultant will guide you and help you stay focused. if you're more decisive, like me, a fabulous consultant is still important because she/he can help you think about the big picture like hair and accessories.


3. don't be afraid to pull the trigger.

whether it costs $500 or $5,000, purchasing a wedding dress is a big step emotionally and financially. take the time to do online research (hello, style me pretty!) but don't be surprised if the styles you like on are different than the ones you've been pinning. you just never know until it's on. the same holds true for looking at dresses on the rack - make sure you try on enough dresses and in different styles and don't be afraid to drag your besties to more than one salon.

do know, however, that at some point, you'll have to stop looking. there will always be new styles and new inspiration to draw from, but if you find a dress you love, don't be afraid to go ahead and buy it! the salon offered me a discount on the dress and veil if i purchased that day, so i went with it. i had the this is my dress moment, made my mom cry and couldn't stop smiling. what else could i possibly want?! i've also resolved to not "shop" for other dresses online or in magazines because i don't want any buyers remorse. i love the dress i picked and even though the wedding is still over 300 days away, i know it was the right choice. i even cancelled the appointments i had set up in chicago!


images: lazaro, bliss by monique lhuillier, reverie by melissa sweet, melissa sweet via the knot

i hope my advice helps and that the brides out there have an amazing wedding dress shopping experience! stay true to your personal style, gather the most supportive people around you, don't settle for anything but the most attentive bridal consultant, and buy that dress, girl!

22 comments:

Jess and Tess said...

I'm certain the entire event will be stunning, each detail carefully pondered. But above all, I have no doubt you will be absolutely radiant on the big day. Congrats... Both on finding the perfect dress and on each amazing little find and detail that are yet to come.

jillian :: cornflake dreams. said...

congrats!! i am SO happy you found your dress! so exciting ;) i STILL havent tried on any yet.. scheduling conflicts so ill have to wait til august. ah well. congrats again and thank you so much for all the great tips! xoxo jillian:: enter to win My Memories Digital Suite Scrapbooking Software

Dora said...

It's so nice that you had such a great experience and I bet the dress is amazing and that you look gorgeous in it :)

kristin said...

great advice! of all people, you deserved the amazing experience, and more importantly mom's tears!

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

YAY..so excited for you honey!!! Can't believe you found your gown already!! that's wonderful and thx for the amazing tips. I'll definitely be sharing them with my friends planning a wedding now.


<3 Marina
Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle

la petite coquine said...

Gah, I'm so excited! Darling, what a wonderful weekend!

Danielle said...

So excited. The dress is STUNNING! You are going to be such a beautiful bride. Can't wait for thurs!

xo

Last day to enter my giveaway!

Isabel G. said...

Lovely post! These dresses are gorgeous!

XX

Julie and Lauren said...

These are gorgeous! I totally agree with tip #1 and congrats!! : )

Aravinda said...

Yay to finding the perfect gown! :)

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Congrats on finding the dress! It's such a big deal. And great advice. I've been there and I agree with you on every point :)

The Now said...

CONGRATS Ashley! I cannot wait to someday see the big reveal ... I just know you are going to look incredibly gorgeous in it! xoxo

Mo Pie, Please said...

Congrats!!!!! That is the most exciting thing about planning, I think. I remember the day I found my dress so well. I didn't like it on the hanger but LOVED it on me. And then I tried on other dresses with my mom and nieces and they just didn't compare. So my mom flew up to Chicago and saw me in it, agreed it was the one and we immediately bought it - the sample too, which saved us tons of $!

Christel @ Captivated by image said...

Ohh wow I'm so happy for you you found it! Congratulations :) And how great to have found it so unexpectedly. Thanks for all of the advise, who know I might need it someday...

Johanna said...

So exciting! Find THE dress is the best accomplishment! congrats!

galatea. said...

that first dress is amaaazing- it's somehow changed my perspective in having a traditional dress- and the beadwork was soo beautifully done x

Sandy a la Mode said...

awwww so exciting!! the dress is a VERY important wedding detail to knock out!!

katie carlin said...

absolutely beautiful!!!! good luck!

xx Kaite

check out my giveaway today : )
http://dailycrushes.blogspot.com

Julip Made said...

Congrats on finding the ONE! So excited for you and can't wait for the day to get here and eventually for your recap.. ok I know slow down a bit. Happy Hump Day!

classiq said...

I'm so happy you found your dress, Ashley! Great advice too! I entirely agree and yes, it's so important to have your mom or someone close to ask for her opinion. I had my dress custom-made and even though it was my very-own style, I was so happy that my mom loved it too. :)Ada

www.StarHughes.com said...

Wow, congratulations on finding your dress!!!! That must be SO exciting! I'm sure it is beautiful!!! Great advice too!
Star Hughes Living

Rhiannon {Hey Gorg} said...

Such great tips!! But what did you pick?!?! Ahhh! The suspense :)

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