I bought my dress!!!
Saturday I went with the same crowd to my third and final bridal gown appointment. (sad face) I’ll miss trying on the dresses but because of time constraints I needed to make an executive decision, and I knew that going in. This appointment felt a little bit different because there was an added pressure…it was a little bit more “business” and less “dress up” than the first day. If I didn’t find anything at the third store I was going to get the Val Stefani gown custom made that I found at B. Ella because they said that they could get it made the way I wanted. Bella Bridal Gallery in West Bloomfield ended up having the gown that I was searching for. It is a couture Victor Harper 2014, exclusively sold at Bella Bridal in Michigan, made in New York (which settles my mind a little bit considering a lot of gowns are manufactured in China.) Interestingly Kenneth Pool is the designer but cannot put his name on it because he sold the rights to his name to another bridal gown designer; Victor Harper is his grandfather’s name. I had found a Kenneth Pool gown about a year ago that I called to get a price on just to see and it was out of my budget, and I ended up with one of his designs anyway!
A word about Bella Bridal Gallery…what a great boutique! We got tons of individual attention. The owner was there, which is not something I saw at the other salons, and she spent a lot of time talking to my family while I was changing into gowns with my consultant, Ellen. The cool thing about Ellen was she seemed to be on my side and understood the look I was going for, even without me articulating it very specifically. I’ve seen way too many Say Yes to the Dress episodes where the bridal consultant stands by idly while the bride’s family tries to get the bride to wear a ball gown when the bride clearly wants to wear a mermaid. There were a couple dresses I tried on that were absolutely beautiful but they were not me. My family loved 99% of the dresses that I put on even though I was vetoing them rather quickly (which I will definitely take over them not loving what I love!) The dress that I ended up buying was the first dress that I tried on. My family kept saying how much they loved the top, which I laughed to myself about because the top was almost exactly the same as the Lazaro that they didn’t care for at Bridal Couture of Birmingham. I didn’t mention it though…no point. After I looked through all of the dresses in the store and decided that I wanted to try on the original dress for the second time, the owner brought over earrings, a necklace, and a veil, dimmed the lights, and I came out of the room in full garb. Everyone started crying which I was NOT expecting. I ALMOST cried when I saw they were crying but I kept it together. My mom said that how I looked was how she had imagined I would look on my wedding day. Now, when I watch Say Yes to the Dress and I see the consultants putting brides into veils and jewelry, I actually didn’t think I liked that because I feel like sometimes they are playing on everyone’s emotions by showing the bride what she will look like on her actual wedding day and when she has an emotional reaction it will make her more likely to buy the dress. However, I didn’t mind it in this case because I was already pretty sure that this was the dress and it was nice to see what it would look like with everything pulled together, and it ended up creating a very special moment for me.
I found a photo of my dress online and it is much more beautiful in person and looks way better on me than it does on the model…which I am more than shocked and happy to be able to say. There was a reason that I wasn’t 100% sure about getting the custom gown from B. Ella, and I am glad I didn’t settle.
Also…why are veils so god damn expensive???? No. I’m not paying $400 for a veil. It’s just not going to happen. They have trunk shows (a show where the designer or a representative for the brand is available and discounts are offered) for bridal accessories so I am going to try and get one there.
Brides: please be mindful when you look at gowns that you will need to also be purchasing undergarments depending on your dress type, such as a slip or a hoop skirt; alterations which are usually not included in the price of the gown; and take into consideration the retail tax, which can really add up for such a pricy purchase. Sixty percent of the price is usually due at the time of purchase before the salon will place your order.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I can’t believe I got my dress. It’s all I could think about all weekend.
Originally posted on The Knot Blog:
A Brookyn-based couple Monica and Felix made headlines earlier this week over a massive lawsuit against their videographer Visualaz who they claimed didn’t deliver the video they were expecting and ruined the memories of…
One of the first things my MOH said to me after I told her I was engaged was “I just made a Pinterest!!” I thought, Shit, now I have to make one. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the direction it has provided me.
If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what Pinterest is, it’s a social media site where you can search for things like recipes, workouts, and decorating, and if you see something you like, you “pin” it to your online board to add to your collection. The best way I can describe it is a Dream Board with links. Pinterest hasn’t been around for long so brides today are lucky to have this resource to go to for collective creative brainstorming.
When I first signed up and looked for wedding related images, my searches were very general and therefore I wasn’t getting the kind of results that I wanted. If you just search “wedding” you’re going to get all different kinds of wedding related items that are probably not what you are really searching for. Once I started searching for things like “black and white wedding” or “white rose centerpieces” I got more images that helped me put together an idea of what I want my wedding to look like.
Another of the ways I have used Pinterest is for my bridal shower. I made my bridal shower board available to be pinned on from my bridesmaids, and so they can see what I like and when they pin something that isn’t my style, I just delete the pin! This is how Rachelle and I decided on my shower invitations and I think it makes it a little easier on everyone to have a clear vision of each others ideas, although some things that we may like may not always be feasible.
Enter: The Pinterest Bride. I’ve seen so many boards with hundreds of photos that say “I am definitely doing this at my wedding.” Although I have found Pinterest to be very helpful for putting together ideas, especially for someone who is not especially creative such as myself, I have also noticed that most of the decorating photos are professional photos and many of them are taken at $100,000+ events. I feel like this raises expectations for the everyday bride, and when their event inevitably doesn’t look as grandiose as the weddings on Pinterest, they will be disappointed.
Secondly, because so many people are pinning photos of “Do It Yourself” decorations that look amazing and are no doubt a bitch to put together, this is going to put some serious pressure on brides who are having a mostly DIY wedding. I tend to think DIY brides are a little nuts…there is enough to do already when planning a wedding without individually putting together every piece of it. Please consider that most of those super cute DIY items you’re seeing have not been prepared by the bride but by an event coordinator who pays someone to do it as part of the decor.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE DELETE THE MESSAGE FROM THE PINNER BEFORE YOU. When you are pinning an item, the message from the last person who pinned the image remains there until you delete it or write your own. It’s so weird when I see “My daughter Celeste really likes this cake!” when you most definitely do not have kids. Use the message box to write the reason for pinning the photo or to write a little note to yourself about it.
Pinterest has been the perfect addition for those planning a wedding to gain inspiration, but being inspired does not mean that your event needs to look exactly like the one in the photo. Remember to keep your expectations realistic. My advice is to think about what exactly it is that you like about the photos you’ve pinned and then share them with your floral or event designer and let them take care of the details. It’s their job to make your vision come to life within your budget, and having photos to see what your style looks like will help them bring your event together perfectly.
My wedding Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/jessiestacks/wedding-inspiration/
Imagine my surprise when I log into my Knot account and my upcoming “to do list” had gone from 130 to 75. WHERE DID ALL OF MY TASKS GO? I started looking through them and discovered that apparently the website did a complete overhaul of their checklist. YOU CAN’T JUST DO THAT, KNOT. I had already gone through and deleted the tasks that were not relevant, so now I am faced with trying to figure out for myself which tasks have been removed?????????????? I’ve only figured out five. :( I looked at a few other websites but no other checklist was as detailed. The greatest thing about The Knot checklist was that it included everything so that you don’t forget the little stuff, and now a lot of the little stuff is gone. If I forget something the day of the wedding no one is going to want to be around me.
Last week Joey and I registered at Macy’s. IT WAS SO FUN. Definitely my favorite part of the wedding preparations thus far. There was a lot of “What is that? WE NEED IT.” We kept each other in check and didn’t put anything on the registry that we won’t use. Your registry gets auto imported into the Macy’s website so you can go back and change things if you need to update quantities, decide you don’t want something, or you accidentally register for something when your fiance “sees what happens” when you press the button from far away. We went on a weekday so that the mall wouldn’t be crowded and we didn’t feel rushed. It took us about two hours.
Our second registry is with Z Gallerie. I found them when I was looking for something that Jeff Lewis used on Flipping Out because we love his style. We used this website more for the home decor type items. Registering online sucks. It’s not that fun and it takes forever to go through everything.
A couple people have asked if we were going to register at all since we “already have everything.” I beg to differ. We moved in together when we were 19 so most of our kitchen stuff is cheapo. Our dining sets are a hodge podge, our pans are all warped on the bottom, and much to the chagrin of Rachelle and my mom, we don’t own a coffee pot. We also have completely different taste than we did 8 years ago. We have updated a couple of things along the way but there are still quite a few things that we need. You’re basically an idiot when you’re that young and our tastes have become much more modern and refined.
We went over to my parents’ house over the weekend to address Save the Dates. I thought I wanted to print and my mom thought they should be in cursive. According to Joey, “cursive is dead.” We each addressed one and hers looked way better so we did them all in cursive. Joey was in charge of stuffing and stamping envelopes because if he were involved in writing they would all be returned to sender.
Well, I’m now in the “8-10 month til the wedding” category, so it’s time to purchase a gown! My mom, two of my grandmas and I first went to B. Ella Bridal in Plymouth (where I got my bridesmaid dresses.) My consultant, Megan, was about my age and she was very nice and patient. She really made the experience fun for me. It’s a little easier being in your underwear in a room with someone you feel comfortable with. The only thing I thought was crazy was that she didn’t know what I was talking about when I referenced SJP’s Vivienne Westwood gown in the Sex & The City movie!! WHAAAATTTTT
I tried on probably 10 gowns at the first salon. I loved them all! This was not the reaction I expected. I’m really picky so I thought I would have an especially hard time finding something but as it turned out 90% of the ones I tried on I really liked. One of the last ones I tried on, I said “I really love the top, but I don’t like the skirt. This would look good with a blank skirt.” (I can’t give too much away!) Megan grabbed another dress with the skirt I liked, had me put it on over the first one and folded down the top, and there you have it, the dress that I wanted to create. The gown is Val Stefani and she said that she is one of the few designers who will make custom changes.
The second salon we went to was Bridal Couture of Birmingham. I gotta say, I was expecting much more from a salon with the word “couture” in the title, especially in a wealthy area such as Birmingham. They had a pretty small selection and the salon itself wasn’t as nice as B. Ella. The girl who greeted us was super nice…I got excited to work with her! Oh wait, your consultant is Carol, and she is a Big Dull Dud. She didn’t know how to clip me right either, so none of the dresses showed how my shape would actually look once it was tailored for my body unless I pulled the back tightly together myself.
I went to the second salon primarily because they are one of the only salons in the area to carry Lazaro, one of my favorite bridal gown designers. I’m pretty sure I tried on every Lazaro they had. There was one that I liked okay, but I thought, I need this to be poofier, and asked if she could grab me something to put on underneath. VOILA, the gown was transformed, and I loved it. From my family….crickets. I guess they liked the gown at the first place better. It definitely takes the wind out of your sails when your family doesn’t have the same reaction that you do to a dress.
The problem here is a good problem to have…I love BOTH dresses, and would probably be happy purchasing either one. However, it is very difficult to make a final decision. This is a dress that not only costs a fortune but will be in all of your wedding photos for all eternity.
Thankfully my mom and I both agreed that a ball gown was the way to go. It definitely helped that we had the same basic shape in mind. Someone had told me that since I’m 5’6 that I should try fit and flare because it looks good on taller chicks. I was apprehensive about this style choice and I was right…it just doesn’t work for my body type. I am so glad that the style I wanted going in to it worked for my body type. Let’s go over some basics for trying on bridal gowns:
1) Only make appointments at salons that you have researched first. Look out for places who have horror stories online (ahem, David’s Bridal.) You have to be able to trust a boutique that will place your correct order when they are supposed to. Call to ask about price ranges so you know if it’s the type of salon where you are able to buy.
2) Wear a strapless bra and clothes that you can change in and out of easily.
3) Be well rested. Some of the gowns were straight up hard to get into and you have to be able to wrestle around and walk wearing 10lbs of fabric. One of the dresses I had to wear two skirts underneath to get the look I wanted and I was sweating my ass off.
4) Don’t go to more than 2 salons in a day. I was exhausted and ready for a nappy by the time I was done trying the dresses on.
5) Most places are not like Say Yes to the Dress. You are the one who does most of the pulling of gowns that you like.
6) Keep an open mind. Just because you want a mermaid gown going into it doesn’t mean that’s the kind of dress you HAVE to buy. I recommend trying a couple different styles just to get a feel for what looks good on you.
7) Try on the dresses your family wants you to try on. You don’t have to buy one that they like but if you don’t at least try it on they won’t let it go. My mom really wanted me to try on a ball gown with a corset top with boning. After going back and forth with her I tried it on and I was right…I didn’t like it. However, as soon as she saw that I wasn’t into it after trying it on, she was able to let it go very easily.
8) Take photos of top contenders if the salon allows you to do so. Sometimes the consultant can do it for you in the room but not out in the open so ask while you are in the room. Having photos to reference will keep your mind fresh about what the gowns look like. Besides, as Cher Horowitz said, always take photos, because you cannot trust mirrors.
9) Don’t buy the gown that day unless you are 100% sure that it’s the one. Some salons offer you discounts if you order your dress that day, but don’t do it just to get the bargain. I like to sleep on things before committing because you may feel differently once the initial excitement wears off.
10) Limit the amount of people you bring to your appointments. For me, three was the perfect number. Everyone has different style and taste and you don’t want so much outside influence that you get persuaded into a gown that you don’t really want. Likewise, if you love something, you want people with you who will recognize that and support you no matter what.
The experience was very reminiscent of trying on prom dresses, which was awesome because I miss doing that! I was worried since I hadn’t gotten into as good of shape as I wanted to before trying dresses on, but it really was fun to try on such beautiful gowns.
It really does make a difference when you try a veil on. It was the first time that I looked at myself as an actual bride! CRAZY!!
I don’t think that I’m the kind of person who could go to only one salon and choose a dress off the bat. I pay close attention to the details and I like to know that I have tried tons of options before making a final decision. Because I can’t make up my mind so definitely yet, I am going to try one or two more salons in a couple of weeks. After that I am cutting it off. It’s confusing enough trying to decide between two gowns, and I don’t want to risk over shopping because you will never be happy if you do that. Hopefully I will hear tomorrow if a custom gown is an option from B. Ella, and then it is time to continue the search.
These really should be common sense, but I, too, have witnessed each of these wedding faux pas happen.
Originally posted on sarsrose:
1. Don’t be late. Punctuality is polite anywhere, but at a wedding it’s essential. If the invitation says the wedding starts at 1pm, that means you must be seated and ready for the bride to arrive at 1pm. If you are late, and the bride is already there, don’t stop to say hello. Hurry into the venue and hope she didn’t see you!
2. Do not take photos of the bride before the groom has seen her. If you are just a guest at the wedding, don’t sneak out the back to get a quick picture of the bride before she enters. There’s a photographer for that, and you sneaking a peek before she arrives at the top of the aisle is beyond rude.