Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Truth About Dress Shopping

You’re engaged.  You have a date and a venue.  What are you going to do next?  Naturally what every bride is dying to do and what you’ve probably been thinking about for years now anyway.... find your dress!  If you’ve ever watched Say Yes to the Dress (and don’t even try to act like you haven’t), you know how big of a deal this is.  I was equally as excited as those brides I see on TV to strike out and find my dream gown, but I came to find that what you’ve come to expect may not be what actually happens.  Here I tell you the truth about wedding dress shopping, at least from my point of view ;)  


It does not have to cost a fortune.  
When you watch Say Yes to the Dress, budgets range from $3,000 on the cheap end to $20,000.  Apparently that’s the norm when it comes to gowns.  Really??  The median annual income for an adult aged 24-35 in the U.S. is less than $38,000... and you’re spending that much on a dress??  Insanity.  I guess if you have the money, good for you, but I also question how many needy children could be clothed  for that amount and wonder if it’s really the best place to spend your money.  I just don’t get it.

You don’t need a whole entourage.  
You see people come into the bridal shop with mothers, in-laws, sisters, bridesmaids, cousins... but guess what?  The only person who needs to like the dress is the bride!  You ever heard the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen”?  It stems from too many women in the dressing room.  Fact.  I took only my mother, and would not have had it any other way.  The only person I’m trying to impress is my fiance, and no one knows what he likes better than I do.

You’ll fall in love with the first dress you try on.
Ok, it doesn’t happen for everybody, but it happened to me. And the more people I talk to, the more common I find that it is.  It was beautiful, gorgeous, everything I had imagined, and the price was right.  I didn’t buy it.  Why?  Because I felt like getting the first dress I’d ever tried would be cheating myself out of that oh so special experience of trying on multiple gowns at a boutique.  This particular dress happened to be at the Brides Against Breast Cancer event where the dresses were all buy off the rack as-is type of deals, so it was never to be found again.  Don’t worry, I found another one that I love and I think my fiance will love even more, but I do still think back to that dress and wish that I could put it on just one more time.  Just for the heck of it.

The “moment” is fictional.
You know, the moment when the bride tries on the dress and people sporadically burst into emotional tears because Oh My God I’m Getting Married!!!!  Yea, that’s b.s.  You’ll look at yourself in the mirror and say "damnnnnnn I look good"! In fact you’ll have lots of those moments because gowns are stunning.  Of course they look good. Then you’ll weigh your priorities and price it out and make an executive decision and then you’ll feel accomplished because you can cross it off your list.  You’ll be smiling and happy.  No tears.  Tears over dresses are stupid.

David's Bridal is legit.  
I feel like people knock it and act like it's the McDonalds of bridal gown shops, but I gotta be honest with you.  Of all of the places I went looking for gowns, David's was by far the most fun. The employees were the most knowledgeable, accommodating, and doting of them all, and they truly made me feel like a bride on her pedestal.  I did not end up buying my dress here, but it really just came down to the fact that I found the designer I was looking for somewhere else.  It killed me not to buy from them though because my experience was so great. 

I hope this will help guide your quest for a dress and give some insight into what it is actually like!  It is a special day for a special event, but always remember, it is just a dress! :) 






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17 comments:

  1. David's Bridal is sooooooooooo legit. I got my dress from there and I loved it! Adored it! Wanna wear it again, haha.

    And, I totally had the moment. I had been in the dress for awhile, but then looked at myself, without others paying attention and then it hit me "i'm getting married". Then they noticed and I cried more haha.

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    1. haha ok, I suppose some people do. I have been told I have a heart of stone before, so perhaps that's why I didn't!

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  2. I wanted a couple of friends to come with me to my dress appointment, weather kept everyone away. But, it didn't bother me at all... I was trying on dresses, and that's SUPER fun.

    My sister was the only one there, and even though she has been turning into a MOH-zilla, the experience was intimate.
    She wanted me to have "the moment".. and I just couldn't... It's a dress.. it looked rocking... no tears though. So I completely agree with you there.

    My father caught me watching Say yes to the Dress one day, and gasped when he heard the budgets.
    I assured him that my dress would be nowhere near that bundle of dough... and I held that promise.

    David's Bridals is awesome. Can't knock them until you try them!

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    1. lol MOH-zilla. Haven't heard of that phrase before, but I like it!

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  3. I think David's Bridal is the best! Everyone was amazed when they asked where I got my dress and found out it was from there. I agree where you don't need a TON of people with to pick out your dress-- I just brought my mom and MOH, and it was perfect for me! Although, I must say- I did have 'the moment' with my dress- but it started because my mom started crying, then my MOH, and then some woman I knew ten years ago who was buying her daughter's prom dress. Yep, that happened.

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    1. Aw, ok I guess it's 50/50 with the "moment" then. I've never seen my mother cry. Ever. So maybe we're a non-emotional family! :)

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  4. Agree with you about Davids Bridal! I had a pretty decent budget for my dress but after hopping around from boutique to boutique, I got the customer service and found my dress at David's Bridal for 1/4 the price. The lady who helped me even remembered my name every time I went back to see the seamstress for alterations and fittings. It was a very pleasant experience!

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    1. That's great! I know I wanted so badly to pick a dress from there just bc I loved my sales lady so much! But alas, being a 5'0" mini, I had to be a little picky about the fit.

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  5. This is all SO true! My dress wasn't the first I tried on, but it was close. And it only cost $1500 before taxes (only....).

    I will add one suggestion - when bridal shopping, making sure you get an experience. I went to one shop where my mom was basically doing all the work (standing in the dressing room, zipping me up, etc) and it felt like I was just trying on any old dress. I don't even think I would have bought a dress, even if I found one I loved.

    And that thing about the tears - the lady I worked with at my bridal shop has worked with brides that have been on SYTTD. They pay you extra money to cry. It's all for the drama. You notice, there's never an easy situation on those shows - you couldn't be on there if you brought just your mom, wouldn't look at dresses over budget and only truly cared how you felt about the dress. In their eyes, that's not good television!

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    1. Really??!! Ok, that's new info to me but I'm not really surprised! Can't trust any of these "reality" shows anymore!

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  6. Agree with all of these! I got my dress at Davids (in fact, I'm doing my final fitting there tonight) and the dress cost me about $500.00 because it was on sale. Also, yeah, that moment thing is totally fake haaha

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  7. I didn't go dress-shopping at all! I quickly found my dress online, ordered it, and that was it. It's not even a wedding dress--it just happens to be a white dress. My mom was able to hem it for me because I am petite, and the dress was definitely not a petite size.

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    1. That's awesome! For some reason I am so terrified to get anything like that online because I feel like clothes look so different on my body than what I had imagined. I'm so glad it worked for you though!

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  8. Wait, are you engaged? I must've missed something!!

    I love this post! I had never seen that show Say Yes To The Dress, but now that you talked about it I feel it makes sense to give a little reality check. Spending more than 3K on a dress is outrageous to me!

    Ok and I confess that I tried on bridal dresses for the first time last year with a friend and it was a lot of fun. Even took pictures LOL.

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    1. haha yes I am! 2 months til wedding day. That's awesome you tried on dresses and yes it is fun! Now you know what style you will like when you really have to get one!! ;)

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  9. I'm with you on everything, except Davids. I just stopped by one day to browse (I had a very specific style in mine and was alone) and they were short, unhelpful and talked rudely in front of me. I was surprised at their appointment rule, didn't have that problem with any boutique or store I popped into.
    The moment, that doesn't exist at all for me until "my" dress had arrived then it felt real. I also never took more than 1 person to try on dresses, usually it was my mom and once i took a bridesmaid.

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    1. Oh man that stinks! I suppose when it comes to places like that each location is probably different. Sounds like they didn't have their stuff together at all! My dress just came in yesterday so I haven't been to the boutique to try it on. Maybe then it will seem like a bigger deal! lol

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