It's one of those things that every girl dreams about... trying on wedding dresses and saying yes to the perfect one! Oh and trust me you know when it's "The One". Finding the dress is a hunt! You are scared to commit but once you find the one, every other dress you try on doesn't compare. After about 3 months and 15 bridal salons later, I found my dream wedding dress and I am excited to share all the details and photos of my wedding dress shopping experience.
I went to every bridal store possible, from Lovella Bridal to 3 different Panache locations, Winnie Couture, Mon Amie, The White Dress, David's Bridal, JLM Couture, Karoza Design and so much more. Every bridal salon I walked into was like walking into heaven! Each store had different dresses and different styles.
Walking into the whole wedding dress shopping process, I was going for a completely different look than the dress I actually bought. I started to like different shapes and styles than I wanted. I tried on every possible gown shape from mermaid, A-line, ball gown, even 2-piece wedding dresses. At first the look I was going for was a big ball gown with a lot of bling! I ended up hating all the embellishments on the dresses so I tried on more simple ball gowns and slowly fell in love with the simpler and elegant look.
I fell in love with a dress that was lace and tulle. I thought to myself how can I possibly love such a simple dress that doesn't even have 1 stone on it! It was the complete opposite of what I was originally looking for. It's like the saying "never judge a book by its cover". I didn't know what I really liked until I tried it on. I had a lot of very honest opinions on every dress I tried on. My mom, grandmother, mother-in-law, aunt, maid-of-honor, friends and cousins all accompanied me during the process. I also started using my imagination and adding belts as straps and customizing the dresses to fit more of my needs.
One big finding that was a shocker for me was the bridal dress sizes. I was trying on dresses in sizes larger than I had ever before and was in complete shock! That's when I was told that bridal sizes are 2 sizes bigger than a normal dress size!
Another challenging part of the process was that some dresses came in a different color so you had to imagine it in white or ivory. For example, some dresses came in pink, grey, gold, silver which is hard to imagine it in ivory or white.
Here are photos of several dresses that I tried on:
After finding "the one" I was tempted to still shop around to make sure I hadn't missed any other dress out there. Every weekend was a new appointment for me, my friends, and family. I would pick out random dresses to try on knowing that I'm not going to like them. Maybe it was the dressing up I was excited about but hey you only get to go wedding dress shopping once in your life so why not take advantage of the opportunity. At some salons, I would ask if they had "the dress" (my dress) and I would try it on, again and again. I've probably worn my dress over 5 times in different stores. And every time I would tell myself "see you next time, dress".
There came a point where I knew I had to just go to the salon and purchase the gown! So on January 9th, I gathered my family and friends and told them today's the day that I buy my dress! We went to Panache Bridal in Pasadena, and of course I wore my dress again before I purchased it. The lady that helped me brought out the champagne before she even asked me the big question. So after drinking champagne I laughed and reminded her kindly that she still hasn't even asked me the question. We all laughed but of course she asked me the question "MARY, are you saying yes to the dress?" Without a pause I yelled Yes on the top of my lungs! My lace ball gown was finally purchased, and mine to wear! The gown that I've been dreaming of and trying on so many times is going to be my wedding dress. It's such a bitter sweet feeling, purchasing the gown but not being able to try on any more dresses!
Since I ordered in January, the dress should arrive in June or July. I would need to have the bustles added to the back of the dress. In addition, I'm doing some custom changes to the dress after it arrives which I will keep a secret until the wedding day!
To future brides, be patient and plan your appointments accordingly. Don't make appointments too close to each other. Never make more than 2-3 appointments in a day. I made 5 appointments in one day and I was exhausted after all the dresses I tried on. Also, when you found "the one" there's no other dress that will beat it so stop looking! And don't take too many people with you...the more people the more opinions and the more confusing it can get. Just have fun, enjoy the moment and take a lot of pictures!
Now that I have found my dress, I get to focus on my veil, shoes, accessories, bridesmaids dresses and all the other fun details. I can't wait to reveal my dress with you all on my wedding day!