Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Wedding Dress Search is Over! Complete report about searching for a wedding dress in Buffalo. Part 1.

I walked out of a bridal shop on a Saturday afternoon couple of weekends ago barely touching the ground. .... ;) I ordered my wedding dress! A huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

I instantly felt such joy from a new confidence, that our wedding will turn out wonderful, because I got the dress that makes me feel like a bride I wanted to be. Actually, I didn't know what kind of bride I wanted to be, I was just searching for that feeling of perfection, sophistication, excitement and lightness that will make me look and feel like a bride. A strict panel consisting of my father, my mom and one of my grandmas saw my final choice that morning and approved it. The expression on my family's faces told me vividly that this was my dress. (I'll share more about the dress in the next post).

Feeling like an expert in wedding dress search, I am, of course, eager to pass on my experience to those who still have this special journey ahead of them:

0) This step sometimes isn't necessary if you already have a vision of what you want. If not - head to a bookstore and flip through myriads of magazines. I know that nothing will stop you from buying some of them - so I won't try. :) There are also plenty of resources online:, The Knott, Once Wed to name a few.

1) First of all, you need to figure out the style that suites you. This could be very different from what you envisioned yourself to wear. What if you really like big, puffy dresses, but they just don't look good on you? For this purpose David's Bridal is a great place - give yourself a couple of trips and try everything on! David's Bridal lets you save your favorite dresses into your profile on their web-site, which you can print out and bring to the store to try them on. Strapless or with straps, long or short, puffy or fitted, lacy or plain? Many choices, but within a couple of visits you'll learn the new vocabulary and you'll get an idea of what you should be looking for. My personal observation: puffy dresses look better on shorter girls, on the other hand taller girls look just so beautiful in fitted dresses. :)

2) May be the dress of your dreams will be waiting for you in David's Bridal? That will be light on the budget, as their dresses are priced between $400 and $1,000. If not, you should visit a couple of private bridal shops. In my next post I'll share the list of the shops I visited.

3) Some of the shops will allow you to take pictures, some won't, but you will remember how you felt when you tried the dresses on. How many dresses should you try? My answer - as many as it takes to find the one that makes you feel not just special, not cute, not charming, but unique, sophisticated and beautiful - nothing short of that! I think I've tried about 40 dresses before I found mine.

4) Time to eliminate: gather up your contenders for the dress and eliminate the ones that just don't look 200% great on you. It is also the time to check if you are able to sit, walk and dance in the contender dress (because sometimes we just get carried away by designs). Another cut that you might make is by budget (if budget is a part of your criteria) - as magic as this dress is for us, brides, it is still a dress for one occasion (not counting Trash The Dress sessions).

5) After the elimination rounds, make an appointment to come in and model the dresses to your most critiquing audience that you trust. Listen to what they say. After that make your decision (sometimes it can be against your panel's opinion - it is your day).

Below are my three favorite dresses (besides my dress):
Jim Hjeml Fall 2008

Melissa Sweet Fall 2009

Watters Brides

Good Luck! Enjoy the journey! And for all my friends and readers who are experienced wedding dress searchers - please share your tips!

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