Does anyone out there Watch Say Yes To The Dress?
Awesome show right?
Well guess what, it doesn’t really work that way all the time.
But there was one thing that happens on that show that happened to me.
I bought 2 dresses.
Yes, count it, 2.
Crazy right? I thought so as well.
But before I tell the story of my dresses, I’d like to give some advice for those of you looking for a dress. (or for future buyers.)
- DO NOT BRING A BIG GROUP OF PEOPLE.
I cannot stress this enough. Bring 1-3 people. The more people you have there means more opinions. And guess whose opinion matters the most?
2. Bring people you know that care about you and know what you want.
I know it’s tempting to bring your fashion forward friends, but you have to be true to who you are and what you are looking for in a dress. If you know that you have a friend (or relative) that will only bring you down, do not invite them. If it’s a really big deal for them to see your dress, schedule an appointment to show them the dress after you have picked it.
3. Do not try on a dress that is outside your budget.
I know this one seems like common sense, but you will see dresses that you HAVE to try on because they are so beautiful but guess what? You will probably fall in love with it and nothing else will compare to it.
I also broke this rule, but I am also a very frugal person so I had to say no.
4. Keep in mind of the total costs
If your budget it $2000, (No wiggle room whatsoever) then don’t go choosing a dress that is $2000. You have to keep in mind the taxes and alteration fees. And there will be alteration fees. Usually bridal stores don’t have bustle’s sown into the dresses so that is a cost you will have to keep in mind. The dress will also take at least 4 months to come in and that is a long time for your body to change.
5. Be willing to try on something you didn’t have in mind.
I’m not saying to try on everything your entourage throws at you, but be open to trying different styles or colours at least once. You may be surprised.
6. You don’t need to have a “Bridal Moment”
The tears might not come. That’s all.
And with that… let’s start the show!
I started shopping for my dress over a year before the actual date of the wedding. (I was ON IT) I was back home in Calgary during a school break and I wanted to buy a dress there. (Lower taxes!)
I brought along my best friends Melissa and Callie, and my mother. I knew that they would be supportive of whatever I wanted.
Such a flattering photo of us. NAT
Now before I went dress shopping for my own dress, I would watch a lot of Say Yes To The Dress. I would always tear up when they found the dress or when they were doing the highlights of the weddings.
I was SURE that I would fall in love with the first dress I try on. I was SURE that I would become a sobbing mess and yell “I CHOOSE THIS ONE!” And run around the store singing and dancing.
But that didn’t happen.
At the first store we went to, I tried at least 15 dresses on and they were all great.
They’re so helpful. And socks and heels? I’m a fashion guru.
They all looked great on me. They were all pretty.
But I didn’t get that “bridal” feeling.
At the next store it was the same deal. I tried on a lot of beautiful dresses that looked great, but felt nothing.
Awkward video of the classic “Posing for a picture” when it’s actually a video. Still, notice that I’m not bursting with excitement.
I would walk out of the dressing room and Melissa, Callie and my mom would be like:
“It’s so beautiful!”
“You’re so beautiful!”
“I’m going to cry!”
And I was only thinking:
“We should go to Boston Pizza after this. I want Bandera Bread” (Bandera Bread is like crack to me.)
I don’t even remember how many shops we went to but it was the same thing over and over.
Even the dress I thought was “The One” after drooling over it for months wasn’t making me feel anything.
The Alfred Angelo “Cinderella” Dress
At one shop, I thought I had found one that I really liked and had my grandmother and aunt come see it. But I wanted time to think about it. After that day, I never really thought about it again. Good thing I didn’t buy it.
I went back to Toronto dress-less. My bridesmaids and mom say it’s harder to pick a dress when they all look good on you. Which is a really ‘full of yourself’ thing to say, but sadly, true. But I also still had over a year to find a dress. No big deal.
My next dress shopping trip was my next school break. I stayed in Toronto and my cousin Kristen and Aunt Pam flew in from northern Ontario to shop with me.
This time, we decided to add the new Kleinfeld’s store to our list.
Now, if you have money to spend, I highly suggest going there for your dress. Everyone there was so nice to us and we had a lot of fun.
It was there that I had my first kind of “bridal moment”. (How could you not? That place is Disney World for brides!)
I tried on a lot of beautiful dresses, and some not so beautiful dresses.
This one being the not so beautiful:
My cousin made me try this on. She wanted to see what I would look like in a mermaid style dress. Obviously I look like a duvet covered sausage. I also couldn’t move in it. I literally waddled when I walked, and see that podium in the picture? I could even step onto it. But as I said, try everything at least once!
I think my face says it all.
Just when I had thought that I’d seen it all, I tried on this beauty:
Can you believe my cousin took these on her phone? (Kristensabourin.com)
It truly was a beautiful dress.
And out of my price range. (Only by $1000 which is pretty good considering they had a dress on the floor that was $15,000. That’s half of what our car costs!)
And I kid you not, I started crunching numbers in my head for it to work. (We don’t need food at the wedding right? And the guys can just wear jeans.)
And if we ever re-do our vows in the future, I AM GETTING THIS DRESS.
So I broke one of my rules.
But, I also knew that we couldn’t afford it at the time so I had to let it go. (After making an appointment to see it the next day because I secretly hoped we’d walk into a bunch of money overnight. The lottery was at 30 million that day, who knows!)
The next day we started our search again and at the last store we went to, I tried on a lot of beautiful dresses again. I actually really liked 2 of them and decided to Skype my mom to get her opinion.
It came down to this dress (which was the cheaper of the two)
And this one:
Which was more expensive.
Now here is where I made my big mistake.
While Skyping with mom, she told me that she liked both of them. So I got into the more expensive once more to see what she thought of it again, when I heard it.
I heard my best friends laugh.
That’s when I realized that my best friend Melissa was Skyping with us as well but my mom didn’t say she was there and didn’t put her on camera.
I hadn’t seen her in months and I missed her SO MUCH. It was hard trying to choose a dress without your Maid of Honour. (Even if it really wasn’t her thing)
Once my mom turned the camera to her, I started to cry.
“I’m having a Bridal Moment!” I thought.
I stood there blubbering, mistaking my sobs for happiness of finding the dress, and signed the papers for it immediately.
For the rest of the week, I was so happy. I’d found my dress! That was one more thing off the list!
Then I started looking at the pictures of my dress and I thought about it more.
It was everything I said I wanted. A-line/Princess cut. Sweet-heart neckline. (They were going to alter it for me) It had lace, beading and tulle. And most of all, it was WHITE.
So why was I having doubts?
To top it all off, my grandmother surprised me by paying for it.
As my doubts grew, I started to feel awful. But I didn’t say anything to anyone. It wouldn’t be fair to my grandmother, nor would it be fair to my mom who LOVED the dress.
Everyone loved it but me.
I bottled it up and forgot about it by focusing on my studies. But when I went home for my next school break, I found myself worrying about it again.
Just when I decided to suck it up and just wear it, regardless of if I liked it or not, I went shopping for my moms dress for the wedding.
There were wedding dresses at the store and even though my mom said “You don’t need to look at those!” I couldn’t help myself.
I found a blush coloured dress with a little bit of lace and beading and that’s when I knew.
I didn’t want my dress.
I begged my mom to let me try it on and after much protesting she finally relented. “Ok fine”
So I got into the dressing room to put it on.
It wouldn’t fit over my butt. My butt was so big that it wouldn’t go the rest of the way down.
Now I was feel super body conscious AND I hated my wedding dress!
I walked out of the dressing room without it on and my mom said “So you decided not to try it on after all?”
That’s when I broke down.
I told her that I hated the dress, that I only bought it because I missed my friend and had mistaken that for wanting it AND that I was fat and never wanted to eat again. (Of course, 2 hours later, I was stuffing my face full of cinnamon buns made by my grandma.)
She was shocked to say the least and she didn’t say much about it until the day after.
She called me into the kitchen and said we needed to talk about my wedding dress.
I thought “Well this is it, you’re going to be the only bride that wears a dress she hates on her wedding day.”
But instead of shutting me down, she said:
“I’ve made appointments with 4 bridal shops for tomorrow and 2 more on Monday. We need to find you a dress before you leave for Toronto on Tuesday.”
I cried again and didn’t think I could love my mom any more than what I did at that moment.
When I went dress shopping this time, it was just my mom and I. And after trying on a few more ivory and white dresses I knew that I DID NOT want a white dress. (I should have known this after getting so excited about that Kleinfeld’s dress that wasn’t white… but obviously I’m an idiot.)
And when I put on the the dress I finally chose, guess what?
Still no Bridal Moment.
But I felt beautiful. And it was a gorgeous dress. And a gorgeous price. And it was champagne coloured! NOT WHITE. I couldn’t stop smiling.
But I knew better than to buy it on the spot so I had my sales associate write down all of the info for the dress and her number on a card and I told her I’d call her if I chose it.
2 days later when I was back in Toronto and still dreaming of that dress, I called her.
I didn’t have a bridal moment. There were no tears. No thinking “This is the one!” I just felt awesome.
And the rest is history.
I’m still trying to sell my last dress. Ugh. It has never been worn and is a beautiful dress. It’s just too white for me. (I probably would have loved it more if it was blush or champagne. But alas, what did I know at the time? Nothing.)
So if you know anyone that is looking for a brand new wedding dress without paying the crazy taxes on top of it, let me know 😉
Ultimately, your wedding dress is YOUR choice. Not your mom’s, sisters, grandmothers or friends.
You need to feel beautiful and comfortable (with the dress AND the price)
And you don’t need to have that moment. If you are still thinking about a dress days or weeks after you try it on, it’s the one for you.
I think I chose the right one.