With This Dress I Become Superstitious

Image from Maggie Sottero Destinations. RD1044
My Mini BFFs *Personal Photo

On Valentine’s Day my two nieces accompanied me to select my wedding dress. It was four months in the making–about half a dozen appointments. I was ecstatic to take my two helpers with me for this occasion.

It was monumental to me!

When we entered RK Bridal I explained the store’s concept: I’ll put our name on the list, then pull dresses off the rack that you like. When they call our name a clerk will help us try them on. “It’s more of a self-service bridal salon,” I say. Their eyes widened as they eyed the thousands of white dresses hanging on racks! It was like going through Barbie’s closet with the 10 and 13 year old girls. It was just too much fun for us all.

We searched but couldn’t find the Sottero Destination gown we initially came to the store to try on (RD1044). One of the first we pulled was a Maggie Sottero gown with a champagne sash and middle beaded accent. Then we asked the clerk about RD1044 and added it to the pile. The last dress we added was an Allure with a heavy sweetheart neckline and a low dipping back. When my named was called and my little assistants and I were escorted to the room. My shop attendant quickly feel in love with the two girls as did the entire store. Little did they know that these two girls have a fashionista as a mama and talk the terms “empire” and “gossamer” as if it was their native tongue.

The two final selections were exactly the first and the last that we chose: the Sottero’s “Vanessa” and Allure’s Far & Away “922.” Both were chiffon, empire waisted, babydoll dresses. The Vanessa was more polished while the Allure a bit more destination wedding. I really liked both! But it was 1:30 pm and we were due at Saja at 2! So we hailed a cab and went speeding off to the appointment.

Vanessa. Image from Maggie Sottero

I tried on the three gowns that were my original final contenders and they quickly feel flat. They were gorgeous but they didn’t feel special enough. And the girls were way underwhelmed. It never felt so right to leave Saja and drive straight back to RK Bridal.

I could have picked either one but then with the nieces’ seal of approval, we decided the Vanessa was the one. And with that we got our pictures taken so we would always remember the day and my new dress!

When we got back later that night the girls wanted to show their uncle pictures of their day in NYC and then this is when my groom saw me in the dress! This may not be a big deal to some girls but my man is superstitious! He quickly looked up from the iPhone he was staring at an said with shock, “I think I just saw something I wasn’t supposed to!” Later that night he asked me “Isn’t it bad luck to see you in your dress?” I said, “Yes. I’m going to have to get another!” with a bit of a teasing humor. And with these words I was doomed: “Maybe that is better. We don’t want to start off with bad luck!”

For two days I couldn’t decide what to do. I even posted a poll on Weddingbee. 95% of people said I should just keep the original dress. “Pretend that it was a different one, he would never know.” “Don’t pay attention to the crazy superstition, it is modern times now!” All these thing made me feel better about the situation but in the end I felt I would be lying to my man. If it was important to him…and he is a superstitious guy (driving on your birthday is bad luck, don’t bring a pillow outside or someone will die, don’t go to sleep with your hair wet or you’ll go blind, etc.) then it had to be my superstition too!! So with that dress I became superstitious.

Image from Tom's Bridal. Allure 922

With a few frantic phone calls and an in-person visit to RK I changed my dress to my other favorite–the Allure 922!

Do you believe in the superstition? What would you have done?

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Finding ‘The One’ with My Nieces

Image from Adrienne's

There were a few really great experiences after the Jenny Yoo appointment. Mainly at Adrienne’s in the Lower East Side with a big group of my single friends. But all the dresses were double, triple my budget. There were no contenders. Then at The Bridal Garden, a used wedding dress store that gives the proceeds to education, with one of my lovely co-workers also looking for gowns. But I just couldn’t rationalize spending over $1200 for a used gown. It had great fabric and was by La Esposa but for that price (my max budget) I wanted something new!

So let’s fast forward a few appointments! I just can’t wait any longer to tell you about the dress I finally purchased and the one I ultimately wore…!

Vintage @ The Bridal Garden. *Personal photo

On Valentine’s Day my nieces accompanied me on my final dress appointments. It ultimately came down to the three Saja dresses. I had an appointment at 2pm and thought it would be really fun for us to have a girls day together. From the very beginning of wedding planning the nieces–fourteen and ten–have been my mini-assistants and petite-BFFs! The older one especially texting me about every appointment I went to and at times to check on my latest project milestone. They were just way, way cute. It was so adorable to have sheer excitement from the two kids.  I  especially thought it would be a great bonding experience for us if they were the ones that helped me ultimately pick out my gown. I decided weeks earlier that I was going to buy something that day. There were going to be no more wedding dress appointments. No more! I was going to decide on a dress and move on to bridesmaid dresses. With just 5 months left things needed to get settled.

La Esposa @ The Bridal Garden *Personal photo.

The nieces spent the weekend with me and the night before our outing I showed them all the gowns that I liked so they knew what style I was looking for. The three of us happened upon one dress that I loved but never tried on. I said something like “too bad I can’t try this on before.” Then it occurred to me that we had time to hit RK Bridal beforehand. They were open on Sundays, didn’t require appointments, and if we got there early we could try the dress on then get some lunch at Alice’s Tea Cup or some cutesy, girly cafe, then make our 2pm at Saja. So that Sunday morning, we headed out to the Big Apple to find the one I wasn’t expecting.

Nice is an Understatement: Jenny Yoo Bridal Alternatives

At Jenny Yoo I was shocked at how opposite my appointment could be with the same exact elements: mainly a solo bride shopping for her dress. Walking into the crisp, clean Jenny Yoo studio in the Fashion District of New York City, the clerk immediately greeted me with a smile and made me feel at home. The clerk was super sweet and began to ask me about my wedding and if there were any dresses I was specifically interested in seeing. I thought to myself that those were the words I was waiting for, and I quickly rustled up a list of contenders that I wrote down while at home. I mentioned many of the same dresses that I blogged about a few months ago to the clerk which ended up being about dozen. Unfortunately not everything from the new 2010 collection was in stock yet–like Mackenzie, my first choice (darn!!). So she left me to browse on my own while she checked which they did have. Moving around the store I relished the calm, and supported environment. It was nothing like the small boutique I visited earlier, no snarky comments, no pretentiousness (phew!!).

Image from Jenny Yoo - Mira

After liking, but not loving all my initial favorites I decided to try on a wild card dress. It was called Mira.  I dismissed it at first when I saw it online because I thought it looked too much like a white sarong. Not formal enough and just too beachy. But on, I liked it! It had flow and movement, and while it was beachy it also made me feel like a ballerina ready to float nimbly down a formal aisle. I even liked the dress so much that I asked to see the accompanying bridesmaid dresses (since Jenny Yoo is mostly known for these) and left with a total entourage in mind. But alas…it wasn’t the one. But check out the pictures anyhow…and their 2011 collection is coming out so check out their site too.

* Personal photo
*Personal photo.
*Personal photo.

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Saja Gowns with Watery Eyes

Well I said I had two requirements: to feel beautiful and for the dress to cost $1500 dollars or less. But I quickly realized that I didn’t want a typical gown. I liked the “bridal alternatives,” the “destination gowns,” and anything made from chiffon. They were ethereal and appealed to my bohemian sensibility. So after seeing beautiful pictures for Saja gowns I quickly made my appointment.

Image from 100 Layer Cake

But then this is when the happiness stops. My best friend backed out on me the day before the appointment and I was feeling really sad that no one from my new family was interested in going to bridal dress appointments with me. I really wanted my own family to come with me since I thought these dresses were surely going to be the one. But they were 2,500 miles away on the opposite coast! So I went into the appointment feeling very low. I didn’t even ask any of my other friends to come with me when my other friend backed out. I was just depressed, wishing I could share this experience with my mom and sister.

Then the abrupt clerk hit me where it hurt within 5 minutes into the appointment. “You really should bring someone when you come to these appointments. Why didn’t you bring anyone?” Never did I feel so hurt…I felt as if I had no one…no one was available, no one wanted to come, no one was as excited about me for this. My eyes were welling up as she led me into the dressing room and I told her “No one could come.” And then she pressed the point further. “Well try these on now. Then come back when you can bring someone. Really, no one could come? You need to get a friend’s opinion who knows your style. Who do you know who knows your style?” I took a deep breath and told her “I know my style” and pulled the curtain shut with a bit of a New York attitude.

And there were three that I really, really liked. They were effortlessly pretty.

And if they made me feel pretty even while I was feeling so low then they certainly were possibilities. The wide-strap one made me feel long and lean, the strapless one had beautiful draping and had my favorite blush color, and the leaves on the other one seemed Grecian which I liked (although it was two sizes too small and didn’t look great actually on). And all under $800, so that could definitely could work for me.

When my fiance and his friend picked me up at the store after the appointment they could read that I wasn’t feeling myself. Asking me, “You didn’t like any of them?” I replied, “I did. I just didn’t have fun.”  I remember thinking, wedding planning was making me feel so lonely. But without giving it a second thought, and in the company of my some of my favorite people, I emailed my mom and sister pics of the dresses. And then did nothing related to weddings with the two boys and had the best time!

Did your moods ever get the better of you during one of your bridal appointments? Did you ever go at it alone wishing you were with an entourage?

Finding My Dress

Image from MichelleBrusegaard on Etsy

When everyone kept asking me what type of dress I had in mind for my wedding I kept on thinking about my favorite Barbie doll when I was a child. I didn’t tell anyone at the time but that is my little truth! It was the 1985 Peaches & Cream edition–yes, I’ve done my research for this post–you know, the one with the ruffly peach ball gown and the strapless opal bodice (well it was only strapless because my straps wore off after too much play). She was the epitome of beauty. She was Hollywood glamour before I even realized it! I loved the way the colors in her skirt changed colors with the layers of peaches and pink chiffons (or whatever light fabric it was). I even thought about having a wedding dress made so it could be similar. But quickly in that next moment I knew I wasn’t that much of a fanatic! With my luck it would probably look more beauty queen than Veronica Lake.

From fashioncookiejar.com

So while I wait for our professional photographs to come in I wanted to tell you about the journey (okay, long journey) finding my dress. I know I was always searching to see real women (not models in ads) in the gowns I coveted.  So hopefully this will help some of you as you find yours.

I had two requirements for my dress: I had to feel beautiful in it and it couldn’t cost more than $1500. So in the coming posts I am going to show you pictures from my outings to Saja and Jenny Yoo (both boutique-y alternatives to fluffy gowns), The Wedding Garden (an upscale thrift store with big designer names), and J-Crew (and I’ve already posted about Oleg Cassini at Dillard’s and David’s Bridal). To finally decide on Maggie Sottero and then ultimately Allure at RK Bridal (a no-frills shop with thousands of dresses that you choose yourself). So get ready for bad pictures!!

Did you have hidden inspiration behind your gown selection? Did you visit a number of stores before you found the one?

My Groom Saw My Dress – Vote on my Poll!

Should I keep the dress or cancel it…?

Vote now!

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P.S. This is what happened this weekend…

My nieces and I were update my fiance about our adventures in New York City. I was cooking dinner, the two girls and my man were sitting around the kitchen table. For some reason we began showing photos of the weekend on my phone. “Isn’t it funny, the fire hydrants were wrapped up as Hersey’s kisses for Valentine’s Day!?” I was laughing saying telling my fiance about how the 9 year old was crazy about the Dean & Deluca sea salt caramels we bought her. “AND check out the crazy photo of her in pure happiness in the Ana Sui Soho Boutique!” Then I went back to cooking my broccoli and my fiance began looking through the photos on my iPhone with the girls. Chatting, moving to the next image, then …..ekkkk! My fiance announced, “Uh-oh. I think I saw something I wasn’t suppose to!” Then the girls exclaimed “Her wedding dress!” A look of disappointment saddened my face. And I gazed over at my puppy dog looking fiance as he motioned giving back my phone, as if the fun was over and he had been caught! I wasn’t expecting it. The girls weren’t expecting it. And my fiance wasn’t expecting that he would stumble upon the pictures of me trying on my newly purchased wedding dress! We simply forgot they were on there! SHOOT!

J-Crew Weddings: #1

After attending a bridal fitting at J-Crew, I came back with four favorite dresses. This is my #1 choice (I think) from the batch.

The Chiffon and Organza Dune Gown
PROS:
1. Flow–It is made from amazing, fluffy fabrics. Pleats around the waist band add fullness which could be a lot of fun as I twirl on the dance floor.

2. Romantic–It is very feminine. The asymmetrical row of petals runs up the bust for added whimsy. Perfect for the gal who loves flowers and all things romantic.

3. Fancy–It is fancy enough that I would feel that it isn’t a dress I would wear everyday.

4. Destination Appropriate–It is perfect for an outdoor, destination wedding.

CONS:

1. Fullness–It makes me look a little wide because of the flowy, fullness in the hips and bust. Doesn’t every bride want to feel slim!

If this dress was chosen it could dictate the theme of my wedding to embrace the pink, peach and deep rose colors. I would select ruffly flowers in pinks and peaches with sage green accents. Bridesmaids dresses in deep rose.

So what do you think, Boho Brides?

Oleg Cassini @ Dillard’s

I love Dillard’s. Even though Dillard’s isn’t in my neck of the woods (the closest one is in Virginia), I love the store. They have a HUGE dress section–in the Women’s Department as well as in Junior’s. This is the spot that an entire wedding could select dresses from the kids to the moms. Visiting my mom in Phoenix we always go and browse. Since wedding dresses are on the top of my to do list, I found one dress that I thought was great!

It was by Oleg Cassini–the name behind many of the top David’s Bridal dresses. The collection in Dillard’s is for the low key bride. A bohemian wedding dress is my mind is romantic, flowing, and relaxed. Everything this dress is and the kicker is that it is a mere $180. I know that it is a faux-pas to show your toes on your wedding day. But really, this dress is so sweet there could be an exception. I envision bridesmaids wearing crinkled chiffon black strapless dresses. Your groom in a gray suit with a slim black tie. Don’t you just love the rosette’s around the empire waist. The draping on the bust.