Shopping for Bridal Gowns, Part II

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.

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