Friday, December 30, 2011

YES to the dress!

well, THIS GIRL has got a wedding dress. very exciting stuff. but this also means that i won't be sewing my own bridal masterpiece. aww. but no worries, i still have plenty to work on: table runners, paper flowers, table decor and other bits and pieces.

polotek and i have been on a little east coast tour for the last several days and have found ourselves in dc, philadelphia, new york city and now atlanta.

christmas at my folks' house in philly

nyc happened so we could make a day of dress shopping. well, the boys went to hang out and drink somewhere while the ladies searched for a dress. we had a couple appointments lined up with lovely bridal shop and nicole miller, and we dropped into rk bridal and david's bridal as walk-ins.
we did not leave new york with a dress, but i learned a very important lesson about searching for your wedding dress: you cannot judge a dress by its hanger. or the size 2 model wearing it in a picture.

yeah, what i had drooled over for weeks when searching online, and was so confident was going to be pure hotness when i got to try it on, was not at all what i expected when i put it on my body.

conversely, some dresses that i didn't expect to look good when looking at it on the hanger looked awesome on me. so basically all the "prep" work i had done in searching for what would be my perfect dress match online went out the window very quickly. though it wasn't a complete waste, it did help as a starting point.

how about a few visuals to compare?

these two dresses were in my top choices, but when i put them on, all i heard was...womp womp.

oleg cassini
vera wang

here are a couple of dresses i thought would not work for me...but when i put them on, angels started singing!

nicole miller
(what's with the model's stank face?)

fast forward to yesterday, now in atlanta. i did round two of shopping with three of my favorite atl ladies in buckhead, and we managed to walk through the selection at winnie couture and got some last minute appointments at brides by demetrios and le dress boutique.

when we went to le dress boutique, a "luxury dress consignment shop", we started by picking out several size 10 dresses but when i went to try them on, none of them fit except one! i'm not sure why gowns run so about killing a bride's spirit!

so my family was scrambling to find me gowns to try on in the next size up. my auntie and cousins picked out a few randoms, unsure about how they would look or if i would like them. ha! who knew one of those gowns would be the one....?

i had a feeling about the dress as it was being taken out of the plastic garment bag that it would be something special, and after i put it on my gut feeling was confirmed.

once i knew this one was a serious contender, i sent schniz a few pictures to get her thoughts. she sent me her buy in immediately, and my atl family agreed that i would be crazy to not walk out of the shop without the dress. i'm not gonna lie, there were a couple wet eyes in the parlor.

wanna see what i picked? check out this link. also look here and here for more photos. i'm not going to post the photo in this post -- that way polotek can choose to not look at it. i wouldn't be too worried about ruining the surprise for you though, because like i said before, you can't judge a dress by its model or hanger, and i'm also planning to make a few minor tweaks to add to the awesome. but still, if you can help yourself, try not to comment on the design of the dress on this post.

so i called my prince charming from the boutique and told him that i found the dress. he was a little surprised that i found it so soon. but the real shocker for me was that he didn't even ask me how much it cost! when i asked him about it, he said it didn't matter as long as it was the dress that made me happy. :::gush:::

reason #45873 why i am marrying this man.

my inital hope was to find a dress for less than $1,000. after shopping around i realized pretty quickly that the dresses i liked were not going to be in that price range. they seemed to all sit in the $2,000 area. however, the price i paid for dress and sash.....was....drumroll please....
$875 total! that includes the dress and a sash i bought to go with it. and i could take it with me since i bought it from a consignment shop!

to my other brides: as a newbie to all things wedding, it would have been helpful for me to know some things when considering my dress purchase.

  • making appointments is a must. some places will take walk-ins, but definitely plan ahead by scheduling a time with the shop. it's worth it to have the extra time with the consultants, who should be very knowledgeable and can find you more dresses you like with ease. note that a few places may require you to have a ring and a date already. 
  • give yourself 6-9 months before the wedding at the LEAST to start shopping. this was crazy to me when i first heard it, but it's true. most wedding shops have to order your gown and it can take 4 months or more to get it in. then you still have to have time for alterations.
  • know that pricing for the same dress can vary from shop to shop, and if you can, take the info of your favorite dress to the interwebs and see if you can find it on sale somewhere or buy it pre-owned if you are okay with that kind of thing. 
  • be ready to potentially pay tax and shipping on your dress. 
  • don't forget to budget in accessories such as a sash, fascinator or veil and jewelry and shoes -- i still don't have most of these items, but have it built into the budget.
  • alterations are what can take your dress from beautiful to jaw-dropping! get referrals from bridal shops you trust for a good seamstress. one that specializes in altering wedding gowns and not hemming pants. also, make sure you have the money set aside for the alterations, too.

i have more to share about a couple other events that happened in the last several days -- marriage counseling and seeing the venue....more on that later!


Danni said...

So proud of you

Andrea said...

Hooray - congrats on finding THE dress! And a spanish one at that! ;) Love it. Can't wait to see it in person - sure it will be gorgeous!

OperaQueenie said...

thanks ladies!

Michelle Ruiz said...

I nearly started weeping when I saw the design of the dress. Congratulations- so beautiful I know it's going to be perfect- post pics post wedding please!

SLS said...

!!!!!!!! goooooooooooorgeous. so so so so so gorgeous. LOVE! (and i can't believe it took me a month to catch up on this epic news!)

cannot wait to see it on you. :-D xoxo