Posts in the 'apparel' Category
Many of my 50Peach.com readers have asked me what Atlanta bridal boutiques I’ve visited and/or especially “Did you go to the one on TV???”. It’s worth mentioning that there are TONS of bridal boutiques in Atlanta and that these are the five that I personally chose to visit. And of course, that all opinions expressed here are my own.
Alfred Angelo - Dunwoody, GA – Big selection, reasonable prices and a very helpful consultant who was quick to throw on the veil, bling sash, etc to spice up the dress or evoke a reaction. This location had a very pressured-to-buy feel, in my opinion. Based on my descriptions/pictures I brought in, they picked the dresses for me. Photographs of the dresses were allowed. Everything was in my budget. It was a bit of a shock to have a male consultant, but I was asked in advance if I was comfortable with that. And for the record, I was covered in a bustier and a petticoat slip the whole time and he left the room as I transitioned in and out of those underthings. It was all very professional and discreet. I tried on about 8 dresses here, but in the end, I just didn’t find one there that wowed me. This was also my first ever dress shopping experience, so I’m glad it allowed me to get a feel for the process and the types of styles I do/don’t like. It really got the kinks out!
Follow up? I received one canned email from the store/consultant + a personal email from the consultant a week afterward, but both were still a bit on the pushy side. For example, from the personal one, “As you know your gown is the most important part of the wedding and will set the tone for everything else.” Way to make me reach for the Xanax, dude. And how about no?!?… The fact that I’m marrying my PERSON is the most important part of the wedding. Grrrr.
David’s Bridal - Atlanta, GA (Buckhead) – DB Buckhead also had a great selection, including the Vera Wang WHITE line, very reasonable prices and a super fun male consultant who was not as pushy with the sales pitch or with slapping a veil on my head. I was given a description of their dresses by designer and was allowed to pick my own top dress choices, which he then pulled in my size and brought to me. Based on those, he brought me similar designs that he thought may work. He was fun, understood what I was looking for and made it a very pleasant experience. Pictures were allowed. Everything was in my budget. I tried about 7-8 dresses here too, but nothing popped for me. In the end with David’s, as my fabulous consultant said, “Well then, your dress is not here. And that is okay.”. WOW, that was refreshing! Surprisingly, there was no pushing for a sale and no hard feelings or annoyance because I didn’t buy. Which makes me more than willing to somehow utilize David’s Bridal for something else – accessories, invites, bridesmaid dresses, etc. in the future. Classy of them.
Follow up? My consultant called me personally a few days later, asked if the stories were true about Bridals by Lori, asked if we had any luck with bridesmaid dresses and expressed his willingness to help with anything else I may need. Very sweet. I will certainly reach out to him first if I go with David’s Bridal for anything else wedding-related!
LaRaine’s Bridal - Atlanta, GA (Highlands) Hand down, my favorite boutique. From the renovated house filled with dresses and nooks and chandeliers and fireplaces to the overall warmth of their atmosphere, LaRaine’s made us feel at home and happy. Pictures were not only allowed, they were encouraged and even taken by their staff if requested. The owner LaRaine herself dropped by during my appointment, made me feel welcomed and pretty, and shared a Long Island connection with my MOH. The majority of dresses in LaRaine’s are hung in the top floor of the house, arranged by designer. I was allowed to choose my first round of 5-6 dresses and it was easy to stay in the budget – all dresses were clearly marked and there were plenty of options in my range. My consultant loved how dorky/down to earth we were and soon we had her cracking up and having fun with us. There was even a moment when I stood alone behind the curtain (practically naked) trying to cool off after trying on a particularly heavy gown and when I poked just my head out, she fanned my face with her clipboard. Bless her, because damn, it’s crazy how hot you get under all that material!
Follow up? I received a personal email from my consultant the next day, complete with little pieces of info I’d told her during my visit. Not canned. (Appreciated!) She asked if my dress was still the front runner out of all I tried on, expressed willingness to help with a 2nd appointment if needed and echoed our funny humor. The friendly, personal followup made it easy to reply back and fill her in on my findings from elsewhere. I will 100% work with this consultant at LaRaine’s Bridal if I return there for a second look.
Bridals by Lori - Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs) Yes, THE Bridals by Lori of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress – Atlanta”. Sadly, this boutique was my only disappointing experience of the four I visited. If you would like to read my full, no-holds-barred review, you may find it here. But for the purposes of this post, I will only say that I would recommend Bridals by Lori only if your budget is above $3,500.00 – 4,000.00. If your budget is below that range, expect to encounter severely limited options of inferior quality samples. I don’t say this lightly. But it is the truth. Pictures were firmly and absolutely not allowed. (???) And see also, bringing me dresses above my budget. Not cool, yo. In summary, I’ll quote myself and say “in my humble opinion, no bride should be made to feel inferior because her budget cannot stretch to meet the price of fame.”
Follow up? It took WEEKS to hear from them, but my consultant did finally call to ask if I’d be scheduling another visit with them. I politely deferred with a promise to let her know if I needed anything else.
New Natalie’s - Norcross, GA. This place was highly recommended not only by my wedded friends but also numerous Atlanta bridal blogs (The Little Canopy has a great summary!) The difference with New Natalie’s is that they stock over 800 gowns at lower prices. Though some reviews have said it has more of a factory/department store feel, I didn’t find the experience to be any less intimate. I still had a one-on-one with a very kind consultant who bent over backwards to find what I was looking for. It was also great that they carry samples in many sizes; it’s so much easier to see the final product when the dress isn’t cinched to death or you’re popping out of it. I did this visit solo but had some friends on text-standby to weigh in on pictures. FYI, photos are not technically allowed there, but my consultant felt for me since I was alone. I tried on another 6-7 dresses at New Natalie’s, but struck out. The two that were the closest to my style were either too plain or way over the top. Nothing hit the sweet spot, unfortunately, but I do recommend New Natalie’s for Atlanta brides on a modest budget who are willing to venture outside the box a little. They have TONS of beautiful options, in all sizes, styles and budgets!
Follow up? Nothing to date.
There you have it. In summary, I was (mostly) delighted by my Atlanta dress shopping experience and learned a great deal about how the bridal gown industry operates. There are differing techniques of selling, trying on, and overall feels of appointments. In the end, it all comes down to what gives you enough warm and fuzzies to buy your dress with them. But damn, it sure helps if the boutique hits the right balance of personal, fun, professional and quality.
I’ll have another (BIG) post on the dress I actually went with soon!
Till the next wedding adventure,
I found my dress! If there is one part of planning a wedding that makes it feel real, I’d say that is up there. I had never even been dress shopping with anyone before (and I’ve been in quite a few weddings), so it was definitely a little overwhelming. Having seen far too many episodes of Say Yes the Dress, I planned my entourage very carefully. My mom, littlest sister Ali, and my friend and bridesmaid Cassie all accompanied me. I figured I had a more mature perspective, a teenage hipster’s perspective (Ali is 16), and someone who sees me on a day to day basis.
We had appointments at two different shops, a chain store and a small, local boutique. I will admit, I had a lot of preconceived notions about how I thought my experience would go. For the past year I have worked for a small business owner, and have come to appreciate the hard work and detection it takes. The small shop was also where my other sister got her wedding dress, so I know my mom really wanted me to find something there as well. I had no idea what I was looking for, and was more than willing to put my fate in the consultant’s hands.
Our first appointment was at the bridal chain store. We were the first appointment of the day, and my consultant, Heidi, was friendly and knowledgeable. She asked me a lot of questions about my fiancee, my venue, and what kind of look I was going for. I told her that I was getting married in a 1920′s theatre, so I was going for a vintage-y, Gatsby-esque look. She pulled three dresses to start, and from there was able to pull more styles that I liked. I tried short dresses, long dresses, sleeveless dresses, and dresses with sleeves. She showed me dresses that I would have never thought to try, and even though she was working another appointment at the same time, I would have never known it with how attentive she was. All the dresses she had me try were all under my $850 dress budget. At the end of the appointment, there was one dress that I was in love with. It was comfortable, beautiful, and very much “me”. It was also on sale for $399. Not wanting to make any spur of the moment decisions, we told the shop that we would be back after lunch.
We headed to the small boutique, very optimistic about what we would find. I don’t remember my consultant’s name (Megan? Molly?), but she was very friendly and made me feel comfortable right away. However, she was not very proactive in what she showed me. She basically walked me around the shop and showed me where the low price, mid-range, and high-price dresses and told me to pull what I wanted. To my dismay, none of the dresses I liked were under my budget, and they were all very similar looking. I only tried on four dresses, and narrowed it down pretty quickly to one that I could see myself in. It was beautiful, but out of my price range and a little poofier than I would have liked (as my mom said, I am not her “poofy” daughter). The consultant did her best to work with my budget, but even with a few discounts, the dress alone would be close to $1,000. Yikes.
We decided to hash it out over lunch, and after sending pictures to my fiancee’s family and my sister in Chicago, I made the executive decision to go with the dress from the chain store. When all was said and done, I ordered the dress, undergarments, veil, and headpiece-all for $750! My sister’s mother-in-law is a seamstress, so I’ll be able to get my alterations done for a reasonable price as well. I felt really good leaving with a dress I loved that fit well with my venue, I knew I would be comfortable wearing, and was under my budget. Such a good feeling!
If I could leave you with any advice, it would be to go with your gut and do what feels right to you, your personal style, and your budget. While I liked the dress from the boutique, I knew there were other parts of my wedding that I would rather spend my money on. Happy shopping!
A reader wrote in recently that she’d been struggling to find the perfect dress…until she saw it walk down the carpet at the Golden Globes on Sarah Hyland. Perfect, except for the color and the couture pricetag, that is.
Let’s see what we can do–we’re looking for something with a bateau neckline, a dropped waist, and some frothy goodness at the bottom!
CAN’T AFFORD IT
Georges Hobieka Couture, $$$
GET OVER IT
Satin and Tulle Gown (For Her & For Him, $269)
Ksenia’s A-Line Bateau Chapel Appliques Wedding Dress (TBDress, $188)
Knee length satin tulle dress inspired by Audrey Hepburn (Light in the Box, $149)
Side draped sheath/column bateau floor-length chiffon wedding dress (Light in the Box, $127)
Skinny white belt (Amazon, $10.99)
Bateau necklines are definitely on the rarer side–there were exactly two dresses at David’s Bridal with a bateau neckline when I did my search! But if none of these alternatives tickle your fancy, I’d suggest talking with a trusted tailor–I’ll bet they’d be able to come up with something a little more spot-on. I hope this helped!
If YOU have a dress, shoe, accessory, or other wedding accoutrement that you need help getting over, hit us up!
It takes the alloying of two metals to create rose gold: gold and copper. When blended together, they make a gorgeous pink hue that’s not only romantic, but also symbolic of the merging of your lives. On-trend for 2014 but also a classic, the blush tones of a rose gold wedding will be warm, inviting, and nothing short of breathtaking. To prevent rose gold overload, try mixing with cream…or for a fun pop of color, mint!
Clockwise from center:
Luella gown, BHLDN
Rosette flats, BHLDN
Essie Penny Talk, Amazon
Infinity Bracelet, Zulily
Arrow through heart necklace, Amazon
Rose gold hair comb, Treasures 570
Hanabi bridal belt, Something Ivory
Vintage morganite and diamond ring, Blue Nile
Rose gold plated wedding band, Amazon
Clockwise from center:
Watters Mahogany in Buff, Weddington Way
Butter London Champers, Amazon
Go for the Rose Gold Flat, ModCloth
Let Love Blossom necklace , ModCloth
Rose gold hair comb, LuluSplendor
Club Rochelier rose gold zip-around clutch, Amazon
Kate Spade Skinny Mini Bow Bangle, Nordstrom
Rose gold wishing tree guestbook, Krystles Weddings
Rose gold champagne burlap and lace bunting cake topper, A Fete Beckons
Rose gold caviar sequin linens, Joe’s Prophouse
Rose gold cake knife and server, The Vintage Wedding
Mr. Watters wedding invitations, Minted
Martha Stewart Rose Quartz craft paint, Amazon
Rose gold salad set, West Elm
DIY Wine bottles painted with Krylon Copper, Amazon
What happens when a bride wants to buck the strapless trend and not spend more than $2,000 on a wonderful gown? You get a bride in need of some shopping help.
Hey all, I could use some help in the CAI/GOI category: BHLDN Omelia. The sheath silhouette, the gorgeous lace detail, the fact that it’s not strapless (I just can’t be bothered to worry about things falling down/out), and it looks flowy/movable!… but the $2+k price tag is a serious downer. I might be up a creek with this one. I’d love to look at places like Etsy but, to be honest, I just can’t bring myself to spend hundreds of dollars on something that I can’t return sight-unseen. In a perfect world I’d love to be able to try it on (or have there be a return policy). Help?
Non-strapless, lace with movement – your wish is our command.
CAN’T AFFORD IT
Omelia ($2,200 at BHLDN)
GET OVER IT
High Neck Sheath Wedding Dress with Lace Details and Front Slit ($339.99 at For Her and For Him)
White Sheer Strap Sweetheart Wedding Dress ($918 at Unique Vintage)
Ivory Illusion Bateau Wedding Dress ($538 at Unique Vintage)
White Ruched Chiffon Cap Sleeve Prom Dress ($598 at Unique Vintage)
Cap Sleeve Fit-and-Flare Lace Gown ($950 at David’s Bridal)
Angeline ($639.99 at Ruche)
Etsy could also offer some wonderful options. On the other hand, your point about a return policy is valid. Consider using Etsy’s “Shop Local” feature to find vendors in your area. Meeting the designer in person and trying things on is always preferable to crossing your fingers and hoping it works out. Any BABs out there have suggestions for shopping on Etsy for such an important dress?
It’s rare that one dress embodies everything a bride wants in her wedding gown. Often we’re split between many options because of small details. Jane, on the other hand, knows exactly what she wants, but it’s twice her budget.
I would be SO grateful if you would use your amazing dress-finding skills to help me out with a sudden and major case of CAI/GOI:
I just fell in love with BHLDN’s new Ortensia gown It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for – a flowing, floor length skirt that starts from the natural waist, a beautiful deep V neckline, pretty (but not blingy) details – but it’s double what I can afford ($1500 is my absolute maximum).
Jane, you did the hard part: Describing your perfect dress and including the budget. Now we’ve found some options that are less than half the budget. This way, you can add extra bling – if needed – through pretty shoes, a belt or maybe a pair of statement earrings.
CAN’T AFFORD IT
Ortensia Gown ($3,000 at BHLDN)
GET OVER IT
Evelyn ($544.99 at Ruche)
Aidan Mattox Sheer-Back Ruched Gown ($475 at Neiman Marcus)
Badgley Mischka Antigua Bay Gown ($150 rental through Rent The Runway)
Sequin Bodice Chiffon Gown ($375 at Badgley Mischka)
Goddess V-Neck Wedding Dress ($550 at Ann Taylor)
V Neck Chiffon A Line Wedding Gown ($369.99 at For Her and For Him)
Be sure to check out the back of these options, Jane. Some have fantastic detail that you wouldn’t guess from the front — something I’m assuming you’d like given the inspiration. Finding the perfect dress is a tricky thing to do online – do read the return policies before ordering!
Krista definitely deserves an amazing dress for her big day, but her budget is keeping her from living the couture dream.
I’m a mom. I put my wedding on hold for almost three years because our son is a regular at sick kids’ hospital and my fiancé and I wanted to focus on him and his health and put everything else on the backburner. Now that he is doing much better, the wedding plans are back on, and I’ve found a dress.. I think about it in my sleep. I scour the internet in hopes of finding either a decent replica or pre-owned… It is stunning and I am irrevocably in love with it.
I present to you the Claire Pettibone “Versailles”. I swear Claire Pettibone is the devil trying to make all poor brides cry… Help me get over it. I cannot throw $7,000 at this. That’s nearly half the budget.
Don’t worry Krista, lots of BABs fall victim to the Claire Pettibone lust trap! Consider checking out this post or this post for more dresses inspired by the same designer. Those picks were inspired by a different designs, of course, but you never know if one of those options might be your next dream dress. Then we have the following dresses, of course, chosen to match your inspiration.
CAN’T AFFORD IT
Claire Pettibone Versailles ($7,000+ through Claire Pettibone)
GET OVER IT
Divine Downpour Gown ($1,300 at BHLDN)
Alexandria Gown ($749.99 at Ruche)
Rose Petal Spaghetti Strap Wedding Dress ($750 at Ann Taylor)
Carolina Lace Wedding Dress (£550 at Phase Eight)
Tulle Gown with Lace Applique and 3D Flowers ($1,100 at David’s Bridal)
Straps Sweeatheart A-Line Tulle With Flowers ($255 at Lemandy Wedding Dress via Etsy)
Cap Sleeve Fit-and-Flare Lace Gown ($950 at David’s Bridal)
Falling in love with couture often means zeroing in on a detail you love best then trying to match that. You could always add a gold sash, for example, to a dress that has the appliqués in the amazing inspiration gown. Also, often times Etsy shops have wonderful sample sales. If you shop for your size on Etsy, you could find beautiful gowns like the Lauren from Natural Bridals.
Adri has designer dreams but of course, not the designer budget. She actually loved a whole collection of dresses from Israeli designer Inbal Dror.
I found these Inbal Dror dresses and I’m in love with them. Could you please help me find some similar ones at a $2,000-$2,500 price range?
After an email follow up, Adri sent me the two dresses that really struck her fancy. Particularly she was attracted to the lingerie-like look at the top, the interesting sweetheart neckline and the playful use of lace. Such details, she said, seemed to draw her eye to the model’s face. She’s also expressed an interest in fit n’ flare style dresses. This request was fun and really specific – I definitely banked a couple extra CAI/GOI hours this week!
CAN’T AFFORD IT
Inbal Dror dresses (In the $5,000 neighborhood)
GET OVER IT
Theia Beaded Strapless Mermaid Gown ($1,995 at Neiman Marcus)
Strapless A Line Wedding Gown with Layered Skirt ($379.99 at For Her and For Him)
Mermaid Style Wedding dress with Corset back ($1,500 at All Things Luvly via Etsy)
Amanda Bridal Gown ($1,245 at Nicole Miller)
Crepe De Chine Halter Bridal Gown ($1,200 at Nicole Miller)
Sophia Kokosalaki Agnes Pleated Crepe-Jersey Gown ($2,100 by Net-A-Porter)
There’s also the option of going with multiple pieces. Ann Taylor has a Chantilly lace bustier for $250 with a couple of skirt options that will keep the whole ensemble to $600 before taxes. Adri was kind enough to send me a photo of her in the current front runner, and it was beautiful. Are there BABs out there with other options for her to consider?
It feels great getting compliments on your kickin’ attire, especially when the compliment isn’t followed up with “I almost bought the same thing at [big box store] last week”. You want the new hotness, the unique, the inspired, not yesterday’s trends! I’m going to let you in on a secret: you can get that new hotness at Hello Holiday.
Hello Holiday is all about showcasing emerging designers (plus super select vintage gear), so you have the opportunity to rock all the freshest fashions and rare finds that will leave your friends, well-wishers, and frenemies burbling in piles of green jelly. Plus: Tights of the Month Club? I’m dying here–surprise tights day stands to be the best day of every month! Even better, Hello Holiday is accessible–not sure how a garment is going to fit? The team at Hello Holiday is happy to measure the garment in question for you or even show it on a fit model so you have an idea of how it looks on a body, and as a hard-to-fit person, I can tell you that this is a truly magical option to have rather than ordering blind. Hands down, Hello Holiday is the bomb-diggety – especially since you can get 10% off any order with our special coupon code: BROKEASS! That makes them the bomb-diggety-est, in our book.
Per usual, we have several other BAB exclusive deals to share with you this week! THE SAVINGS! OH, THE SAVINGS!!!
Save 15% on your entire order of adorable, custom wedding invitations from Etsy seller Yellow Hype with the code HYPE15!
Super-fun Etsy shop The Bridal Prop Shop is extending a a 25% Grand Opening discount to all BAB readers with the code BROKEASSBRIDE25 through March 15th!
Nina K.L., a fabulous, Los Angeles-based designer of BEAUTIFUL custom couture gowns, is offering BABs an amazing deal: get 20% off your order when you mention BAB *and* snag a free lingerie bag!
Hey BABs! Save 15% off of orders of $100 or more at My Wedding Favors with the code MWBROKEASS –FYI, they’re one of only three online retailers for the Kate Aspen Disney Fairytale Wedding Favors!
Save an amazing 25% on gorgeous eco-couture wedding dresses from Green Queen Deborah Lindquist with the code BAB !
AND here are a few sweet, BAB-exclusive deals from our FABULOUS partners!
A Cake To Remember - purveyor of gorgeous gumpaste cake decor, cake toppers, molds, tutorials, and more – has a special offer for you! Slap in the coupon code BROKE during check-out and snag 10% off your order! Dig in, Broke-Asses!
Use checkout code BROKEASSBRIDE when securing your Wedding Gown Preservation Kit and score free shipping and a Starbucks gift card!
Five Little Gems is offering Broke Ass Bride readers an exclusive discount–15% off anything in the store with the code BROKEASS15 ! PLUS, get a free pair of matching earrings with any necklace ordered from their Beaded Necklaces or Statement Necklace categories! SCHWING!