Finding the right dress is a lot like finding the right husband…. well, uh, sort of. Today I wanted to share my tale of finding my wedding dress, because today I get to go to Minnesota and help my baby sister find hers. Whenever I meet up with my brides one of the first questions I ask is if they have found the dress. Not only does it give me a great feel for the theme of the wedding, it also tells me about her taste, and her approach to wedding planning. This little white number can set the tone for the day and can be one of the most exciting parts of planning the wedding day for a bride-to-be.
Our “Say yes to the dress” Kleinfeld Day
Drew proposed days after I graduated college! My mom and I had planned a trip out to New York the following week and since I now had a sparkler on my finger we quickly called Kleinfeld since it only made sense since we would be in NY. We giggled over what we would tell the consultant and browsed wedding magazines on the plane ride. Since I was a recent college grad my budget was pretty tiny, but we planned to pretend it wasn’t just to get the whole “say yes to the dress” experience. I mean, we walked a solid 3o New York blocks just so we could save money and not get a cab – so yeah, looking back, it’s hilarious we even stepped foot into the plush Kleinfeld lobby. Debbie was sweet, accommodating, and didn’t bring out ten thousand dollar dresses – thank goodness. I tried on a few different shapes and didn’t quite fall in love, it was just so odd to see myself as a bride and even more odd to try and sneak pictures of it. We left NYC with no dress but high hopes.
The day they though I found “the one.”
After a few months I finally decided it was time to give it another go, I headed home to MN where I spent the day dress shopping with my mom, sister, and best friend Jenna. It was overwhelming to say the least. Everyone was pulling dresses for me to try on and I had no clue what I even wanted. There were a few points when the words “that is THE one” came out of someones mouth and then I had to spend my time convincing them it was definitely not “it.” While it was fun to hear their feedback, I left more confused than ever and still without a pretty dress. The styles I thought I wanted didn’t “wow” me and I was slowly imagining myself walking down the aisle in a paper bag.
Then I broke all of the “rules.”
The next time I went was with Drew, yes, I took my future husband with me. I didn’t hope to actually find THE dress, I just wanted to hear what he thought and what he liked on me. We swung in to a local shop sans an appointment and I tried on every style known to man. From mermaid to ball gown, trumpet to a-line. It was fun to see his face light up and I promised I wouldn’t end up with any of those, it was just a nice time trying to figure out which direction to go.
We only had a few more months before my wedding and I knew I needed to bite the bullet and find a dress to wear. After the gym one day I figured I should swing into a dress shop that was having a sale. A little sweaty and there at the time the store opened, I walked in without high hopes. A sweet lady helped me and slowly started pulling dresses as I walked behind her telling her my vision. It was the first one I tried on that day, it zipped right up and hugged my curves, the ladies “oohed” and “ahhed” while I stood there alone. It was interesting being there without friends or family, but it helped me to figure out what it was that I liked. I tried on a few more but still thought about that one.
So, how much does it cost now that I love it….
I hadn’t looked at a single price tag at this point and timidly told the lady I wanted to put the first one back on, while I snapped a quick iPhone pic for my mom I asked her the price. She wrestled the tag out of the dress and sheepishly said, “$3,500” which was WAY over my budget. I swallowed hard and wanted to take it off right away, she then flipped the tag over and her jaw dropped. She left the room to chat with another consultant and came back in and told me that it was part of their sale and the final price was $358. She was talking a mile a minute on how she couldn’t believe French lace was that price and that Priscilla of Boston was a big name designer. She didn’t know how it didn’t get snatched up in the sale and how it looked like it had never even been tried on before. I quickly called my mom and told her about the dress, I sent her a picture, and told her I thought it was “the one.” I mean, it was just what i wanted, I had no other opinions to tell me yes or no, to sway what I envisioned, and heck, I have been known to be a giant bargain hunter.
I took it home with me that day.
That day I walked out carrying the dress I said “I do” in. It took a lot of time and a little frustration but at the end of the day it fit me like a glove as I walked down the aisle to the love of my life. I was never crazy about my dress, I didn’t cry when I put it on, it was merely what I wore when I married my husband! We love to make the process look like a fairy tale, but sometimes it looks like a post-gym, chance arrival, at a dress shop all alone. Sometimes in wedding planning you need to take a step back and remember what is important, what it is you want, and what will make you feel like the most beautiful bride in the world. If it means swinging into the shop alone, then go for it!
So, do you have a tale to tell about finding your wedding dress?