Friday, February 12, 2010

The Dress Quest: It’s ‘The One’

With a ton of other salons to visit, we were only going to David’s Bridal to look, get ideas, and so that I could show my mom and sister one special gown I had tried on and loved. But no decisions would be made that day, until I’d been to plenty of other shops to scope out all the options. Or so I told myself.

After we arrived and met with my consultant, I first tried on several gowns that had caught my eye in the catalog. But as beautiful as some of them looked on the hanger, they just didn’t work once I put them on.



Plus, none of these compared with the Oleg Cassini gown I had tried on previously and still loved best.


But then, the consultant brought out the next gown. This one, she said, was a sample the designer had initially considered introducing into the season’s lineup. In the end, the gown wasn’t chosen, and the shop was now selling it at a heavily discounted price of just $350. Looking at it on the hanger, I’ll admit I wasn’t impressed right away.

But when I tried it on, I fell completely in love, along with my sister, mom and bridesmaid Pooneh, who had also come along for the fun. The intricate crystal and pearl beading was gorgeous, and the gown felt like “me” – matching my personal style, plus our wedding style, without being too heavy or overwhelming on my petite frame. With this gown as my new favorite, I was prepared to think it over, head to a few other salons, and if necessary, come back for the gown after making up my mind. Then, the consultant told me the catch.

Because the gown was a sample, it was the very last one in stock in a size that would work for me. Wanting to be sure she wasn’t being disingenuous, we wandered the racks on our own, and also called a couple other David’s Bridal shops in the area. But as it turned out, she was being entirely honest. I loved the dress, but somehow worried that I was being too hasty. What about all the other salons we had planned to visit? Was I being too drawn in by the price? Was I sure this was the right one?

In the end, I took the dress on and off a couple more times, comparing it with other styles, including the Oleg Cassini gown that had been my original top choice. But I just loved the sample gown too much to leave it behind, especially as I saw another bride eying it anxiously. I left the store with my gown in tow, plus a fingertip veil that matched up perfectly with the dress’ crystal details.

Usually not one for impulse buys, especially with something as important as my wedding gown, I’ve second-guessed myself a couple times since that day, but never while wearing the gown. Every time I see myself in the dress, I absolutely love it, and I can’t wait to take some better pictures, in good lighting, once the gown has been altered and pressed. But for now, here's a link to a couple shots of me in my steal of a find!

(Please ignore the plastic gloves, which I wore to avoid getting anything on the fabric after we got the dress home. Yes, I’m that paranoid.)

The dress definitely needs a hem and also needs to be better fitted after my weight loss last year. Plus, I’m having the slit at the bust closed by placing an identical piece of satin behind it. But after that, it should hopefully be ready to go!

How many shops did you visit before you made a decision about your gown? Did you choose or try on any sample gowns that were discounted? Was finding your dress easier or harder than you originally thought it would be?

(Photo Credits: Personal Library)


  1. Very pretty! I actually bought my gown at my first ever (and only) dress appointment. After weeks of searching high and low online, I knew exactly what I was looking for and knew it was the right choice once I found it. I probably would have looked around more before buying it, but the dress shop offers 10% discounts to brides who buy a dress during their first appointment. I weighed the pro's and con's over lunch but ended up going right back to get it. I've seen lots of other dresses in blog land, but haven't regretted my choice!

  2. Very pretty and the plastic gloves are a great touch. I actually bought my dress at my very first bridal shop, I think it was the third one I tried on and it was on sale as well. When its the one, its the one! I can't wait to see you in all your wedded glory via pictures.

  3. I love it! From what I could see, it looks great on you. Congrats on "the one". =)
    Mine was my second shop. The first shop was an outlet shop, and my dress was found at David's. It was also "the last" and in a size that would work for me AND it was only $393.....that's with tax and bag! I looked online when i got home, and yes it was a close-out/clearance style. But I love my dress! YAY David's!

  4. Thanks, girls! :) Now that I’m seeing the pictures on here and comparing to other dresses, I’m having second thoughts again… Sigh.

  5. Your dress is beautiful! I can't wait to see what it looks like once its been fitted to you. Try to stop looking at the other dresses. I felt exactly the same way when I was looking at the pics and comparing. At some point, and after being told over and over again by others, I decided that I had made my decision, bought the dress, and it was time to move on to worrying about other things. I have felt much better since then and have not doubted my decision again. Hope it helps.

  6. Thanks, Chocolate Lover! I know you’re right. :)

  7. I think you look beautiful in all the dresses you tried on. The one you picked is really pretty and unique and sounds like it was a steal which is an even better bonus. I tried on around 30 before finally deciding on the one.

  8. It's lovely, and I've never seen a dress like it before! It sounds like you definitely made the right choice.

  9. It is a beautiful gown! Don't second-guess yourself (I do this too - it's not helpful). We chose our gowns for good reasons. You are going to look beautiful!

  10. I so love satin gowns. What a BARGAIN! Sounds a little meant to be too. How exciting. So glad you had that 'it's the one' moment.

  11. Heather the dress is so pretty. I love the beading. Glad it worked out for you. Funny, I didn't think too much of my gown on the hanger either.

    Finding my dress was a long process...2 months, 7 salons, probably at least 30-40 gowns I tried on...and none of them were samples. Like you, I wasn't sure about mine at first...and I still look at other gowns on the market and think I would have liked them better. But there's always going to be something better around the try not to second guess yourself!

  12. Ooooh your dress is lovely, the beading is gorgeous. I think everyone will always think what if but I think we must have chosen our dresses for a reason at first so just looking forward to seeing mine again now!

    My dress shopping took a while, prob was 2 months from i started looking then finally ordered it! I booked appointments at 9 different shops before I even started looking as I always knew I would want to try or look at every possible style to see what was out there. Think my mum was a bit freaked at 9 shops especially since we only went over 4 days! I loved every second of it and think I tried on 44/45 dresses altho I can honestly say out of all of them, I could only have bought 5! Since 2 of them were far too expensive and 2 just a bit too plain, i was left with my dress which I also have to admit is costing a fortune! Eeeek im just not thinking about it!