I don’t think anyone was surprised when I jumped right into dress shopping so soon after getting engaged. Bridal gown shopping is like the ultimate dress-up session — people fawning over you, being helped into and out of each dress, getting to try on ridiculously priced clothing, and ultimately being the decision maker between what you love and what you hate. I have heard some brides are not too keen on trying on dresses, but this has really been one of the most fun parts of planning so far.
So how did I get to The Dress? It took some time, a lot of gowns, and a complete change-up of my original vision, but I could not be happier with my final decision. Originally, I had one criterion that I wanted in a dress: not strapless. I did not want to be tugging my dress up all night and worrying about what might pop out at any moment. Here are some of the dresses I pinned when I first started “getting serious”:
Photo via Le Spose di Gio
Photo via Allure Bridal
Photo via Stella York
I started shopping the weekend after we got engaged (I told you it was quick!). First up was a visit to I Do, Too in Plymouth. I found them after searching for a specific designer (Maggie Sottero) that they carried. One dress in particular, the Autumn Royale, had really caught my eye on the Maggie website.
Photo via Maggie Sottero
It was very important to me to take Mama Airplane with me on my first trip to try on dresses. We arrived without an appointment (they don’t take them) and were happy to see that, despite it being a holiday weekend, they were not crowded at all — we had almost the whole store to ourselves. We started by speaking with Alyssa, the consultant assigned to us, and pulled some dresses while she did the same. I was a little disappointed by the lack of non-strapless dresses, but agreed to try on a variety of styles. Alyssa was awesome and, even though I was a little deflated at the lack of straps, made the visit very fun. It was during this first appointment that I found the best style for my body type seemed to be the mermaid/fit-and-flare/trumpet-style. My favorite dress from this visit was the Maggie Sottero Hunter. Hunter was a unique shade of pinkish ivory and had an amazing corset-style back, which I loved.
Photo via Maggie Sottero
I was definitely not ready to buy quite yet — the fun had just started! Next I planned an outing with MOH D to Le Salon in Royal Oak. Another designer I was really digging was Allure, and they just so happened to be having a trunk show two weeks after my engagement. Coincidence?! Le Salon is a small, slightly cramped place with curtains hung high on the ceiling in lieu of dressing rooms. There were a lot of people running around and I felt like we were kind of in the way while we waited. Our consultant was finishing up with another bride, and she told us to look at the dresses hung along the wall while we waited and pick out some that we liked. There was a lot of lace, a lot of tulle, and a lot of beading — three things I definitely was not interested in. But the consultant pulled out a few gowns that were really beautiful, one of which was an Allure gown called Eleanor, otherwise known as 8523. Eleanor had a gorgeous bubble skirt and the rouched style I was really digging.
Image via House of Brides
I found it a little off-putting that the salon offered a percentage off of the gown if you bought it by midnight of the day you tried it on. I definitely would need some more time to think about things — this was not a decision that should be rushed. I also was a little turned off by the entire feel of the appointment — everything felt a little rushed and the consultant ditched us a few times to help other employees with their appointments. But I was not buying the store, I was buying a single dress, and the Eleanor was definitely in contention.
Coming up, more dresses!
How many dresses did you try on before you found “the one”?