Finding a Wedding Dress
This process was not easy for me. That whole “try on the kind of dress you’ve never worn before in your life and try to feel comfortable in it” just didn’t go well. It took many trips to many dress shops; some shops saw me come and go after two visits, and in one case, it took me three appointments (Amanda has the patience of a Saint) to find my wedding dress. But I did, it’s so beautiful and it’s very me.
But let’s back up a second, because that nice ending to the previous paragraph took a lot to get to. First, I needed to know where to go. Thankfully, the Twin Cities has great shops: L’Atelier Couture, Che Bella, Monique L’huillier, Rush’s Bridal, The Wedding Shoppe, Nordstroms, Posh Bridal Couture, Raffine Bridal, Our Shop, Bella Bridal and David’s Bridal. I would have added Priscilla of Boston, but they have since gone out of business. However, if you are looking for a dress right this second, I would highly recommend going to Priscilla and see if they have a style you like (which will be marked down by 75%) before they permanently lock their doors.
Second: I was supposed to know what style of dress to try on at every appointment, which sounds easy. For example, I love A-line cut dresses and tried on A-line after A-line dress but kept walking away from appointments without a dress. What I didn’t know is that the style of dress you should wear on your big day doesn’t necessarily come from what style you like…it comes from trying on many different styles and with a good consultant or mom or friend, finding the dress that looks best on you. My advice to anyone going dress shopping is on your first appointment, tell your consultant you want to try on at least four different styles of dresses to better gauge what looks and feels best on you. If you have a really nice consultant, try on more than four – even that style of dress you think “Even if I looked like a Goddess in that empire waist dress, I would never, ever wear that down the aisle.” You never know until you try it on. After you’ve tried on different styles, you’ll know (or your mom, your sister, etc.) what style looks best on your body. Here are some of the popular styles:
Third: Once I had figured out I was not an A-Line kind of gal, I found examples of dresses from designers I liked. I told consultants that I like the simplicity of Amsale, the romance of Vera Wang, and the femininity of Romona Keveza. I ended up finding a dress that has all of those qualities.
Fourth: Sample Sales and Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses! If you are a sample size, you can get a dress for about 50% of the cost at Samples Sales. To be notified of Sample Sales, get on the mailing/email list of all the shops in your area so you know when they are coming up. For pre-owned, check out Preownedweddingdresses.com, Recycled Bride, or Once Wed (there are many more sites – give it a google search and they should come up). You can also thrift your dress (I heard of a woman walking by a dry cleaner that had a wedding dress in the window she loved, and they sold it to her!), buy vintage or visit Etsy where there are designers making unique and beautiful wedding dresses.