Wedding Gown Shopping

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by KatieC, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. KatieC

    KatieC Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2009

    I'm not sure if there has been a post like this recently...

    I am getting married in September of this year. I have an appointment to try on wedding dresses this weekend. I am scared out of my mind.

    I'm not sure if it's the horrible nightmares I've been having all week...(not finding a dress that fits right, trying to bribe the employees to let me try on more than ONE dress, even taking a second job at the bridal shop in search of the right dress... that one alone kills me... I have no time for a second job after teaching!!!).

    My question is, do you remember having a good experience when shopping for THE dress? Or is it as painful as I am imagining?

    Also, what should I bring to the appointment? I was definitely thinking a strapless bra...

    I am normally more or less a confident person... why am I so stressed about ruining my complete self image over a dress I am going to wear for no more than 7-8 hours?!
     
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  3. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

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    Jan 15, 2009

    First, it's a dress that you will be wearing when YOU are the center of attention. For years to come you will see pictures of yourself in THAT dress. To this day, there is a 20x24 formal portrait of my dress and myself in my parent's house. My dh also has a 16x20 that is his favorite of just my dress and me.

    My experience was fabulous. We were in a private room with different styles brought in for us to view/try-on. I wasn't sure what style I wanted, so I looked at a wide selection. We were served lunch, etc. My mother, sisters, and 2 best friends were there.

    We've gone through 4 weddings in the past 5 years. (Note: Don't be fooled by the fact that you have sons...weddings are expensive on both families.) I've been fortunate to be invited to look for dresses with all 4 of my dils. They've all enjoyed their search also. What I like that is done now is taking pictures of the process of "finding" the right dress. I've got one photo album from each dil that is from "that day."

    Don't feel pressured to choose a dress if it doesn't feel like "the one!" Keep looking and trying them on. It's your day and you should feel simply fabulous in your dress.
     
  4. MissJennifer

    MissJennifer Companion

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    When I bought my dress, they had the undergarments there for me to try on with the dresses. That was really helpful, since I didn't have the long bra yet. I had a good experience, and actually ended up with the first dress I tried on. It was THE dress I've always wanted. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Jan 15, 2009

    I think the best advice I could give it go to enjoy the experience. How often do we have someone who waits on you hand and foot, listens to what you want, and then go get it? You get to feel like royalty. Think of your budget now for a dress, then do not try on a dress that is out of your budget..No matter what anyone says. It stinks when you try on a dress out of your price range and love it.

    Most of all...just have fun!
     
  6. blessedhands

    blessedhands Comrade

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    Jan 16, 2009

    The dress I hope to wear.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I had an okay experience. I went to about 6 dress shops before I found the right one. A few sales women were obnoxious and tried to talk me into certain dresses but I just stood by my preferences. I looked online to see what I liked. I found one dress that I had my heart set on. I called around to different stores and nobody had it. I did not want to order it online because if it didn't fit I'd be stuck! I finally found a shop who could order me a similar dress by the same designer. I ended up having my seamstress alter it to look like the orignal I wanted! It turned out great and til today I couldn't see myself with any other dress. You just have to have patience and make sure you get what YOU want. Not what other people THINK you should get.
     
  8. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I went shopping with just one friend most of the time, and it was really random-stopping by a store here and there. Then my mom told me she was really hurt by that (I had no idea), so we started to go together. The whole thing was super awkward, as I'm totally not a center-of-attention person and that's really what you're doing-getting fussed over, etc. But I ended up finding the perfect dress, and it's 'on display' in our spare room right now. I have it on a dress form, and it makes me so happy to look at it every day.

    I started out thinking I wanted a super plain dress-no beads, bows, frills, etc. I ended up getting one that was solid beads from the top edge all the way down past my hips. You never know! Try everything on, even ones you think you will hate. It was really interesting to see my ideas change as the weeks went by.

    Oh, and don't spend a lot of money. Even if you can. Mines wasn't super expensive, but it was still a lot, and I cringe when I think about how it's just in the spare room now. Yes, I love looking at it. But that money could have made a lot of compounded interest by now.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  9. FutureFLTeacher

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    Jan 16, 2009

    My experience was very non-stressful and enjoyable! We went to a very small bridal shop that was able to order any dress imaginable. If the shop(s) will allow you, take a camera along so you can take photos of the dress and yourself in it. This makes it so much easier to really "see" which dress you like after looking through hundreds! I highly recommend finding a small, family owned bridal shop if you can...ours was so accomodating to the entire bridal party and gave us all incredible deals. I went to the big stores like David's, but personally couldn't find anything I liked at all...and it seemed that they only had about ten different dress styles and that was it.

    Good luck to you sweetie!
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I did not set foot in David's after hearing a number of horror stories! They are ok for Bridesmaids dresses but go somewhere else for yours!!!!
     
  11. MissWull

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I think you are just feeling overwhelmed. You should really just relax and enjoy this time shopping for you dress, because you're never going to do it again!

    The shops normally have undergarments for you to wear while trying on their dresses. I just wore a strapless bra that whole day though.

    I had an awesome time picking out my dress. My 2 sisters, my mom and I went to about 4 shops. I thought I found the one at the first shop, found absolutely nothing at the next 2, then found "the one" at the last shop, last dress I tried on! :)

    Are you having a really big wedding, is that why you're so worried? Or just from the stories you've heard?
     
  12. Learner4Life

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    Jan 16, 2009

    Okay, I'm not married yet, but I did just get engaged and the advice I've gotten so far is...
    ~Buy a bridal mag or look online for styles that you like, specific details that you like, etc. and show your selection to the store clerks so that help you pick out something amazing.
    ~This wasn't for the originial dress trying on but lots of people say that you absolutely MUST wear the undergarments you plan on wearing for the day to your fittings.
    ~Take someone with you that you trust to give you their honest opinion. (this one seems like a duh to me but oh well)

    I haven't gone shopping yet (we have a year and a half) but I am very excited to! I've already got a stack of little details that I like, like a ribbon of color that matches my bridesmaids on my dress!
    GOOD LUCK!!!
     
  13. Samothrace

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    Jan 16, 2009

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?p...global&view=global&subj=23328804&id=516534116

    My wedding was SMALL. 15 people total, that was including the bridal party. The more relaxed and easy going you are..the better things will be and feel. I just went shopping with my mom b/c my triple maid of honors were scattered across the country. We actually went to the flea market early that morning...something we always do. She had seen a dress she thought I would like when looking for herself a dress, but they weren't open yet. So we went to another shop that had gotten great reviews. We went and I think I was the non-typical bride not really knowing what I wanted, but knew I didnt a dress I couldn't move in or was too big b/c we were going to be outside. She pulled some down and I kept going by one that I was like egh...it's ok. The girl helping us said its beautiful and don't sell it short b/c of how it looks on the hanger. At first I didn't like the color of the sash, it seemed too dark. She was right! I put it on..it was like the 2 or 3rd one. I lit up, my mom did and the girl did. I still wanted to see the one my momed saw..so we ran to that shop tried it on..it looked horrible! lol so back we went to the other place...they were all laughing..they were like..we knew you'd be back! :D

    You can't even see the beading on the back one the train. Anyway...have fun with it! relax and don't take it so serious! The minute you can just have fun with the experience...the better off you'll be.
     
  14. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Jan 16, 2009

    :confused: I had a very good experience at David's Bridal and ended up getting my gown there. My MIL and I went during their huge sale without making an appointment (on a Saturday), but I was still treated very well. I showed up two more times-- once to see some shoes and purchase the tiara, and another time to pick up and pay for my dress. The same consultant met with me those times as well. I will, however, say that I went to someone else (a family friend) for my alterations. While the service was great at my local David's, I have heard WAYYYY too many horror stories about alterations gone wrong and making brides pay for the alterations to the alterations. Besides, their alteration prices are REALLY high.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Jan 16, 2009

    The horror stories I have heard have to do with the salespeople being very pushy and the alterations problems. I went to a bridal fair and put my name down so they could call me for an appointment. They called the next day and I told them I would call to make an appointment. They called SO many times. I don't know why they couldn't understand that I would call THEM when I was ready. I ended up avoiding them entirely. Other people have told me they weren't very pleasant when you got to the store. I just liked a smaller store where they give you more attention than the big chains. People are also fooled by their "sales" where they advertise pretty cheap dresses but by the time you get done with alterations it costs a fortune.
     
  16. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 16, 2009

    As for undergarments-I don't think that's such a big deal. All the dresses I tried on had to be clipped in the back anyhow, so they didn't fit at all in the bodice like the one I finally had ordered for me did. They were all 2-3 sizes too big! And in my final dress, I had them sew a bra in, so I didn't even have to worry about that. I think I just wore my regular underwear-I'm one for comfort. I suppose if you want a cincher, you would want to bring that. I really wanted to wear a corset under the dress, as I love the way it makes my chest/waist look, but the backs were too low on all the dresses I tried on. It was great having the bra sewned in, though-I would try to do that.
     
  17. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I've heard those stories, too. I'll admit, I was a bit nervous going there, but like I said, I had a great experience with them. My SIL searched there as well and had the same experience as I did, but she ended up purchasing her gown elsewhere. If I was dealing with the same things as you, then I would have avoided them as well.

    I only went to David's for my wedding gown, though I wish I had done more searching (didn't have time to search as I had a short engagement AND I was student teaching-- when I finished I was only left with less than 6 months to plan).
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I knew exactly what I wanted . . . ivory, short sleeves, fitted bodice, sweetheart neckline, not too much beading or lace, attached train.

    I didn't make any appointments. I just went looking. I didn't try on anything that wasn't what I had in mind. Once I found a dress like I wanted, I tried it on. It didn't need any alterations, so I took it. I'd say the whole trip was less than 4 hours. I did buy my veil at a boutique.

    I had a lot of fun dress shopping. I took two of my bridesmaids with me. One of them had gotten married a year before, so we already kind of knew the places to look. That helped. My mom told me to call her when I found what I wanted, and she went with me the next day to buy the dress.

    [​IMG]

    I also didn't go to any of the "superstore" places. I went to two boutiques and two department stores--Macy's & Dillard's. I ended up with one from Dillard's.
     
  19. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Jan 16, 2009

    Jem, I LOVE all the beading on your dress!!! Sooooooo pretty!! I love all of the dresses!! I love looking at wedding dresses.
     
  20. MuggleBug

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I had a good experience dress shopping! The girl that helped me was very good at taking my suggestions and then working with me to see what worked/what didn't. She'd go back and pull dresses that got closer to what I wanted until we found the one!

    I would just say go in with the mindset that you are NOT going to find your dress right away. Don't let salespeople start pressuring you (the bridal shop I went to doesn't do commission which was nice because they weren't at all pushy). It doesn't even hurt to "walk away" if you think you've found the dress and go back a couple weeks later to try it again. I also found that a lot of the dresses I loved online looked terrible on me and many that I never would have picked out looked great! So be open-minded when you go. Most of all, HAVE FUN!! Don't even stress about it. You WILL find your dress. :)
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I have not EVER seen an ugly bride. Regardless of which style you eventually choose, you'll look great. Your smile will light up the room and you'll glow.

    So take a deep breath. All you're doing is shopping for a dress.

    As to what to bring: probably the most important thing is an open mind. And, if you have them, your shoes. (Or, plan B: shoes with the right height heel.)

    Have fun!
     
  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2009

    My dress shopping took place in a friend's living room with a nice glass of wine! She was a seamstress for a fashion designer and her wedding gift to me was my dress. We poured over magazines until we found a dress that I loved--very simple, but elegant. She took me shopping until we found the raw silk that was perfect for the dress and she had the trim lace specially made. Fittings were easy--just drove to her place when needed. I'm not sure how I would have managed if I had to go to a store full of dresses!
     
  23. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    My in-laws owned a women's clothing store. My fil, my mom, and I went to the garment district and to houses that had bridal dresses. I fortunately was able to find one I really loved at an unbelievable price. My mother is an excellent seamstress so she made all the alterations, and my veil. We also were able to chose the bridesmaid dresses this way, too. Saved a bundle of money.
     
  24. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    You look radiant!!!
     
  25. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    That is a gorgeous dress, makes me want to get married again just so I could dress like that!
     
  26. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I went dress shopping before I got engaged or had picked a date haha. I went with my cousins first found a dress I thought I loved, went again the next weekend with my mom. Hated that dress. And we went to two more shops. I found three dresses I liked. WEnt again next weekend with my mom and future mother in law. Tried on the two dresses at David's I liked and one at other shop. The one at the other Shop I fell in love with after looking at pictures of myself in it. So that is the one I got. Make sure to try on many different style dresses. Even if you think you don't like it. They look so different on.
     
  27. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I can't get to the end of this thread for having to make comments on all you beautiful girls and dresses, Jem, you and this dress were made for each other!
     
  28. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    What a special time, your dress is beautiful, you are too. My wedding day has been so long ago I can barely remember it!!!!
     
  29. Samothrace

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    I couldn't figure out how to get my image in, just a link. oh well! lol
     
  30. TennisPlayer

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    I bought mine at a weekend bridal show. I got a really good deal on mine because I went on Sunday. Be prepared to pay for tailoring costs too if necessary! I didn't even plan on trying on dresses there but I saw "mine" on the end of the rack and it caught my eye.

    You should take a camera along so you can take pictures of you in different dresses that you "love" so you can think about it at home if necessary! Have fun.
     
  31. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Thanks, Hoot Owl! We really were meant to be together forever. ;) When the dress came in that I had ordered (different size than at the store), it was the perfect length and fit-it just had to be taken in a bit in the chest (I'm so smal :( ), and the bra was sewn in.

    I can still wear it. Dh has me try it on each year on our anniversary. I love being able to wear it without him telling me I'm weird! :haha:
     
  32. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Thanks, SP! When I was describing it to dh before the wedding, I said it was beaded like a flapper dress. I just meant that it had a ton of little seed beads on it, but he freaked out.

    Also, a tiny hanging bead part came loose and I just cut it off after the reception. We were out to dinner with the in-laws, and my MIL asked to keep it. I gave it to her, and she made me a beautiful beaded necklace out of it and gave it to me for Christmas. I love wearing it. It's very delicate and tiny.
     
  33. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jem, that is so sweet of your MIL.

    My SIL and I want to have a wedding dress party every year (that we still fit in our dresses) of course I haven't worn mine yet haha.
     
  34. MissJennifer

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    What a fun idea JaimeMarie - a friend and I were joking about wearing our dresses to other weddings. lol I've heard of a photographer that does "trash the dress" or something like that after the wedding - where they take pics of you in your dress standing in the ocean and rolling in grass and crazy things like that! :)
     
  35. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Miss Jennifer,
    There is no way I'm trashing the dress. I love it to much to do that haha.
     
  36. MissJennifer

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    Ha ha - yeah i don't think I could do it either! I love my dress too much as well! :) It's kind of a fun idea though!
     
  37. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    it does sound fun if you could find a dress for like 20 bucks haha
     
  38. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    I had a great time picking out my wedding dress. I went by myself to one bridal mart in the big city looked in the more informal dress section and picked out about four that I liked. I tried them on and one just stood out at me. I was by myself and looking in the mirror when I saw other groups of people there just barking different things to their "bride" about dresses and was so thankful to be by myself!
     
  39. KatieC

    KatieC Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2009

    Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement! We will be having a small-ish wedding (100-120). I think my stress comes mostly from a jaded body image... life's tough as a female!! I feel a bit better about tomorrow... I will definitely let you know how it turns out!

    Oh... and I love seeing everyone in their dresses... Aliceacc you are right... I've never seen an ugly bride!
     
  40. TeacherNY

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    I was nervous about being the center of attention. After a bunch of fittings I got used to it since people would come into the seamstress's shop and watched her alter my dress LOL I did not have a dress that was the "latest" style but I didn't really care since it was exactly what I wanted. A cousin of mine got married 2 years before me and I remember that she looked pretty but her dress wasn't very flattering to her body type. She said picked it because it was the IN style at the time. Just pick out what YOU like and feel most comfortable with.
     
  41. kidsandpups

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    Get some bridal magazines and cut out pictures of styles that you like. Bring those to a few dress shops and ask them to pull dresses for you of similar styles. It's much less overwhelming. I brought my mom, sister, and friend with me to help look through the racks as well. I ended up finding my dress myself though. Try on anything you might possibly like. The dress shop will keep a file of the dresses that you liked on hand so you can come back another day and be able to find the same ones if you need to. I'm really glad I picked something that was more traditional. Unless you are really into trends, don't pick something super trendy because in a couple years you might think it looks outdated in the photos. (Think lacy white bride hats from the 80s.) You'll find the perfect dress, don't worry! :)
     

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