The wedding dress hunt began in China, about 5 days before we left. Heather went with me to several bridal boutiques and I tried on a number of dresses. In China, brides hire their dresses for their wedding photography, and for the big day too. The boutique that they hire from usually does their hair and make up too. In each store that we entered, we saw many brides getting ready.
Although we saw a couple of viable options, I wasn’t completely happy and because we were pressed for time, so I decided not to buy. We left China, and I didn’t think about buying a dress for a while.
Two weeks ago, I booked an appointment at David’s Bridal. Justin’s mom, Sue, went with me. I tried on a few dresses, but none of them really captivated me, so I decided to wait and go to a few more wedding boutiques.
The following day I made a list of all the wedding dress stores in Dallas, and decided that I would spend a day searching. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted, however I didn’t know if I would find it because all I had was a picture of a certain celebrity wearing this dress. I didn’t even know if this particular dress existed. I hoped to find something similar to this dress that I had been admiring.
Justin was extremely patient and kind. He drove me around for an entire day, from boutique to boutique, while I tried on tons of dresses. Of course, he cannot see the dress until the big day, so he had to sit in the front section of the dress stores and read while I changed at the back. He never complained once – What an awesome man! 🙂 It was hard to look at dresses by myself, but sadly I had no other option. Near the end of this day, I went into a upmarket boutique and asked for the style I was looking for. The shopping attendant said that they did have a gorgeous dress in that style. I took out a picture of the dress I wanted and asked, jokingly, “Could it possibly be this one?”
Amazingly enough – THAT WAS THE DRESS that they had!!! She asked what my budget was, and I told her that I was looking for something around $1,000 (but at this point I knew I would probably have to go to almost double this mount). It was then that they informed me that their dresses start at $5,000 and go up to $15,000. Out of curiosity, I asked to see my dream dress anyway.
IT WAS GORGEOUS… and it was selling for $6,500!!
Ouch! I was so sad. I went to Starbucks to meet Justin and tell him the sad news.
And so the search continued…
The next person to take me dress shopping was Charlene, and I know her from the church that we attend in Dallas. She was so wonderful, and I really appreciate the time that she took to help me! For not one, or two, but for three days she picked me up and took me to several bridal boutiques. We found some great dresses, and some terrible ones too. At the end of the first day I had narrowed it down to two amazing dresses at Alfred Angelo. I was close to taking one of them but I decided to sleep on it, and return two days later.
I have to admit that the customer service at Alfred Angelo’s was BY FAR the best that I experienced when compared to the other boutiques that I had been to over the past couple of days.
On the second day we didn’t have much success. We kept comparing all of the dresses that we saw to the one that I liked at Alfred Angelo. Even though that dress was slightly out of my budget range, I was beginning to think that I would have to dish out the bucks! Towards the end of the day we decided to quit the search and head back to Alfred Angelo’s again!! Unfortunately, along the way we discovered that it was later than we thought, and the store would be closing within a few minutes. Disappointed, we decided to call it a day, and go get some dinner. There was a Nordstrom on the way home and they have a bridal suite, so we thought there was no harm taking a look at what they had.
As we entered the bridal section, one of the attendants walked towards us carrying several dresses. She asked what style we were looking for, and it turned out that she had just what we wanted in her hand. We followed her to the fitting rooms, and I got ready to try on some of the dresses. I had my eye on one of them and I was excited to put it on!! Nordstrom’s is well known for their amazing customer service, and this was evident from the second that we entered. We were given a bottle of water almost immediately, and the girl helping us was extremely helpful! It was then that it dawned on me that good service doesn’t come cheap, and there had been no mention of my budget range. I reached over to the dress that I wanted to try on and pulled out the tag. Ahhh… $3,500. All I could think was, “Oh man, now I have to try on random dresses and pretend that I don’t like them”. I was not going to try on the dress I like because if it looked amazing, I would be shattered!
When the attendant came in to help me, she asked which dress I would like to try on. I looked around, and none of them looked great except for the overpriced one! I pointed at a random one. As I tried it on, I started to realise that it was really quite unique and beautiful. The material and design were different to anything that I had tried in the last few days.
I walked out of the change area, and Charlene’s eyes went BIG!! She barely said anything for a few minutes. I stepped onto the pedestal and turned to look in the mirror. WOW…
I felt a flood of excitement. Charlene got goosebumps!
In the minutes that followed we began to study the dress from all angles.
It honestly looked amazing! Really… We were surprised… We didn’t expect this to happen!
I started to feel giddy. I wanted this dress!
When we were informed that I could buy this dress and return it within 30 days if I found something I liked more – I was set! The most amazing part was this dress was my size, the right colour (I didn’t like the ivory dresses we had been seeing at other stores), in my price range, and it was the only one!! This did not happen in any of the stores we had been to. Most of the dresses I tried on were many sizes too big, and almost all of them were a dark ivory. The other problem was that the order time for these other dresses was anything from 10-16 weeks!! Alterations we apparently another month. This was devastating news because my dress needs to be ready before December, when we will be leaving for South Korea!!
It seemed that this dress had everything that I wanted…
AND IT LOOKED AND FELT AMAZING!!!
So, I bought it.
Words cannot describe how excited I was after that!!
However, as I often do I started to feel buyer remorse later that night. Was the dress as good as the one I liked at Alfred Angelo. Perhaps I hadn’t fallen for that one so quickly because it was 4 sizes too big, and it was ivory!
With this worry on my mind I decided to keep my appointment at Alfred Angelo’s so that I could compare the two dresses side by side. This time I took both Charlene and Sue for support. I tried on both dresses… over and over again!! They both looked GORGEOUS! I just couldn’t decide what to do?! Sue and Charlene said that they both looked equally amazing, and that the decision was mine. I loved them for different reasons. I felt torn.
After TWO HOURS of scrutinization and changing between the dresses… I realised that I couldn’t imagine saying goodbye to my Nordstorm dress. I knew that I had to keep that one. I felt excited all over again!!! Once we left Sue and Charlene admitted that they agreed with my choice however they couldn’t say that inside because they wanted me to feel completely happy with my decision!! Both dresses looked amazing so what matters was that I felt comfortable with the one that I chose.
With six months left until the BIG DAY,
I am very happy to have my dress, a venue, photographer and DJ.
There is still plenty to plan but I have my dress and that would make any girl feel excited!
You’ll have to wait until February for that 😉