Posts in the 'wedding gowns' Category

“But How Will It Look on Me?” A Wedding Gown Test Drive

Affiliate Disclosure Statement

For all the talk we have on BAB about trying on wedding gowns, we rarely discuss our level of expectation when it comes to a gorgeous gown we’ve been ogling online vs. the reality once it hits our likely not-model bodies. With this in mind, I put my head together with the amazing team at BHLDN who came down to Dallas for a trunk show and managed to finagle an appointment for me to actually try on their gowns live and in person. I recruited the help of my girls at The Purple Pebble (the amazing photographers behind the brides in glasses shoot) and brought Real Bride Shannon with me for hair, makeup and emotional support.

The last time I put on a real wedding gown was during the aforementioned shoot with The Purple Pebble — which was also about 17 pounds ago. On my 5’2″ frame, 17 pounds is a pretty good chunk to add — especially given I already have a fairly large bust (36C) and a curvy frame. So, you could definitely say I’m not an exemplification of the girls you see modeling the BHLDN gowns on the regs. And that’s exactly why I wanted to do this shoot: You guys are just as real as I am — we come in all shapes and sizes. And because we feature BHLDN gowns so often, I felt it necessary to be able to have my own experience with the dresses. I made sure to try on a few favorites — Persiphone with her gorgeous tulle, Wisteria in all her shimmering goodness, Elsa with her removable skirt and Cascada who was just the softest and flowiest.

On the model:

Persiphone

Persiphone Gown, $1350

On the BAB staffer:

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How It Felt:

Oh, Persiphone. I love you. This Watters gown is so pretty. The beading at the top is heavier than I anticipated, but not overbearing. The dress overall is gorgeous, but since I was in a sample size and I probably should have sized up one or two, the sheath skirt underneath was a little tight and bunchy, but had it been my size it would have likely been perfect. For ladies looking for a little bosom bump without being too risque, the V-neck is showing but in a modest kinda way. The stylist added the Pearl Petal Halo, which is not necessarily how I, personally, would wear a headpiece, but I thought it complemented the look in a really fun, whimsical way.

On the model:

Wisteria

Wisteria Gown, $2,100

On the BAB staffer:

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How it felt:

When this BHLDN line first hit the Internetz, contributor Elaine emailed me IMMEDIATELY with this dress saying she thought it was just so me. And she was totes right. This gown has nearly everything I like — shimmer, twirliness, a surprising color and straps. I kept getting nervous with the detail, though, because I’m totally one of those people whose jewelry will get caught on everything and I was so scared to rip one of those gorgeous metallic lace pieces. Wisteria has a little bit of an edgy punk-rock kind of feel to her, which I’m totally drawn to. And she’s light as hell — seriously. I put her on and, with the exception of the million extra feet of material since I’m obviously closely related to a hobbit, it was so easy to move in.

On the model:

Elsa Skirt

ElsaElsa Gown, $1494 and Elsa Tulle Skirt, $595

On the BAB staffer:

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How it felt:

With all her intricate beading, Elsa is kinda heavy, but she slinks over your body in such a way that it feels really good and she makes a great sound when you walk. The removable tulle skirt is super fun, but I kind of wish that rather than having to step out of it or slip it over my head, there was a button so you can just undo it and let ‘er drop, a la snap pants style. Its hook-and-eye closure does streamline the removal process, though. This look was styled with the Floret Tulle Sash as a headpiece, which again, isn’t really my style, but it did make me realize that this dress is incredibly versatile — you can totally do anything with it. I was very surprised by how I felt in Elsa, because she’s certainly the slinkiest of the bunch which made me a little trepidatious at first, but she made my curves stand out in such a way that I felt sexy and gorgeous and confident, which is exactly how I want to feel in a wedding gown. Her beading is so, SO gorgeous in person. I truly thought that one of the gowns that would show off my upper half while camouflaging my lower half and highlighting my waist would be my preference, but Elsa did a significantly better job of making me feel wonderful than some of the others.

On the model:

CascadaCascada Gown, $1600

On the BAB staffer:

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How it felt:

If ever there is a reason to venture outside your preconceived notions with your wedding vision, Cascada is it. With her little strips of fabric and uber boho look, she is so not what I would gravitate toward, but I fell in love with her the second I put her on. She’s light, she’s soft and she totally brought out a sassy side in me. Cascada is comfortable to walk around and sit down in, and she flows like you wouldn’t believe. Getting married in the woods, in a back yard or on the beach? This could be your homegirl. Cascada was styled with the Honeysuckle Halo, which I also really liked, but would be more apt to wear traditional headband style. I’m just not a halo person, I guess.

Overall, I was just as thrilled with the BHDLN gowns as I hoped I would be, which is awesome — because how much does it suck to love something until you personally experience it? There were definitely a few surprises: Never in a million years would I think that a slinky sheath would make me feel more confident than a ballgown or fit and flare, which — adversely — made me feel a little more self-conscious about my height. But it’s a good reminder that as my body changes, it’s important to explore outside my standard comfort zone to figure out what makes me feel the best — because when you feel good, it shows.

A good tailor is always key when it comes to wedding gowns, too, because they’ll make the fit right for you and your body type. I, personally, recommend using an independent seamstress who is knowledgeable about wedding gowns and their structures, because those things can be complicated. A seamstress like this may often be cheaper than your average bridal salon, and s/he could have a faster turnaround.

A special thanks goes out to Ally and Megan at The Purple Pebble, Jessica and team at BHLDN, the crew at Anthropologie in Southlake, TX and Real Bride Shannon.

 

 

Boob Love: The Gown Tour is Cruising Through Memphis, Miami, L.A. and Fort Worth

The Broke-Ass Bride is proud to partner with Brides Against Breast Cancer, turning gently used designer gowns into a beacon of hope in the worldwide fight against breast cancer. If you’d like to donate your gown, here’s how. If you’re in need of a gown, Brides Against Breast Cancer runs a nationwide tour of gowns, and you should most definitely check it out when it rolls into your town! And if you’re in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, be sure to come to the show and meet Christen, BAB’s very own Unicorn Wrangler!

bridesagainstbreastcancer

Cordova, TN – Memphis Area August 9, 2014 Esplanade Banquet & Conference Center
Whittier, CA – LA Area August 15 – 16, 2014 Radisson Hotel Whittier
Miami, FL August 15 – 16, 2014 Intercontinental at Doral Miami
Fort Worth, TX August 22 – 23, 2014 Renaissance Worthington Hotel
Dayton, OH August 23, 2014 Dayton Marriott
Houston, TX August 24, 2014 Hilton Houston Post Oak
Mayfield Village, OH September 12 – 13, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn
Aurora, IL September 12-13, 2014 Westfield Fox Valley
Welches, OR – Mount Hood Area September 13 – 14, 2014 The Resort at the Mountain
Skokie, IL September 14, 2014 Westfield Old Orchard
Annapolis, MD September 19 – 20, 2014 Westfield Annapolis
Atlanta, GA September 20 – 21, 2014 The Westin Buckhead Atlanta
Denver, CO September 20 – 21, 2014 DoubleTree by Hilton Denver Stapleton North
Jacksonville, FL September 21, 2014 Sheraton Jacksonville

 

Boob Love: The Broke-Ass Bride + Brides Against Breast Cancer

The Broke-Ass Bride is proud to partner with Brides Against Breast Cancer, turning gently used designer gowns into a beacon of hope in the worldwide fight against breast cancer. If you’d like to donate your gown, here’s how. If you’re in need of a gown, Brides Against Breast Cancer runs a nationwide tour of gowns, and you should most definitely check it out when it rolls into your town! And if you’re in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, be sure to come to the show and meet Christen, BAB’s very own Unicorn Wrangler!  bridesagainstbreastcancer

Tulsa, OK May 16 – 17, 2014 Hyatt Regency Tulsa
Providence, RI May 16 – 17, 2014 Hilton Providence
Dover, DE May 18, 2014 Maple Dale Country Club
Charlotte, NC May 23 – 24, 2014 Embassy Suites Charlotte
Roanoke, VA May 24, 2014 Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center
Arlington, VA – DC Area May 31 – June 1, 2014 Le Meridien Arlington
Woodland Hills, CA – LA Area May 31 – June 1, 2014 Hilton Woodland Hills/Los Angeles
Bangor, ME June 1, 2014 Four Points by Sheraton Bangor Airport
Erie, PA June 8, 2014 Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel
Henderson NV – Lake Las Vegas Area June 14 – 15, 2014 The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa
Lombard, IL – Pretty in Pink June 21 – 22, 2014 Jasmine Galleria
Laramie, WY June 21, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn Laramie & UW Conference Center
Carbondale, PA June 21, 2014 Best Western Pioneer Plaza
Bakersfield, CA June 22, 2014 Four Points by Sheraton Bakersfield
Weehawken, NJ June 28, 2014 Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel
Marietta, GA – Atlanta Area June 28 – 29, 2014 Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center
Louisville, KY July 12 – 13, 2014 Ramada Plaza Louisville Hotel & Conference Center
Orlando, FL July 19 – 20, 2014 DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown
Emeryville, CA – San Francisco Area July 26 – 27, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
Whittier, CA – LA Area August 15 – 16, 2014 Radisson Hotel Whittier
Fort Worth, TX August 22 – 23, 2014 Renaissance Worthington Hotel
Beachwood, OH – Cleveland Area September 12 – 13, 2014 DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland East – Beachwood
Welches, OR – Mount Hood Area September 13 – 14, 2014 The Resort at the Mountain
Jacksonville, FL September 20 – 21, 2014 Sheraton Jacksonville
Bridgeville, DE October 5, 2014 Heritage Shores Club
York, PA – Lancaster Area October 17 – 18, 2014 The Holiday Inn Conference Center of York
Birmingham, AL October 24 – 25, 2014 The Harbert Center
Ontario, CA – Inland Empire Area October 31 – November 1, 2014 Radisson Ontario Airport
Minneapolis, MN November 1 – 2, 2014 Millenium Hotel Minneapolis
Riverhead, NY – Long Island January 30 – 31, 2015 Atlantis Banquets & Events
Bloomington, MN February 27 – 28, 2015 The Park Plaza Hotel Bloomington

Five for Friday: Stunning Looks from BHLDN’s Summer Lookbook

Happy Friday, BABs! My love for BHLDN grows ever stronger, especially with the release of it’s Summer Lookbook this week. The first image in the lookbook featured one of its gorgeous gowns coupled with an ethereal flowing tulle skirt, and I DIED. Far be it from me to keep the love all to myself, so for this week’s Five for Friday, I picked my five favorite looks from BHLDN‘s Summer Lookbook.

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Ellie Gown, $1,395.

I’ve been finding myself loving lace a little more these days, and the cap sleeves paired with the slight keyhole in the back plus buttons made me swoon a bit.

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Valley Dress, $800.

I’m a sucker for short white dresses, and this one nails it. I love the lace shoulders and the faint tie at the back of the neck is such an unexpected but sweet addition.Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 4.29.05 PM

Elsa Gown, $1,495 + Elsa Tulle Skirt, $595.

You guys, I can’t even with this. The Elsa Gown on its own is stunning — beading, slim lines and totally reminiscent of flapper-ish style. Add in the tulle skirt? Game over. I would wear the shit out of that skirt even well after my wedding day.

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Nuptia Dress, $500.

The Nuptia Dress just screams out to be worn for a pretty, casual garden wedding or a bohemian beach bash. Normally, tiers and ruffles aren’t really my jam, but I feel like this dress is so well balanced and subtle, that it makes me second-guess my hesitation.

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Waterfall Dress, $850.

I have to admit, sleeves have been growing on me. And I think this particular sleeved beauty would be perfect for one of those late-summer/early-fall weddings when the air starts turning crisp and you have to start toting a cardigan everywhere with you.

BONUS:

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Mint Sprig Booties, $110.

I’d be completely remiss if I left these shoes out, because I love them so. For no other reason than they’re so gorgeous and slightly surprising in color and shape, but still completely elegant.

What do you think, darlings? Which of these new looks from BHLDN is your favorite? Tell me in the comments!

Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! Vera Wang’s Eliza For Under $1500

Hello again! Did you miss me? Last week Bev wrote in wondering if we could help her find something as beautiful as Vera Wang’s Eliza gown.

“I can’t get over the dreamy textured skirt of Vera Wang’s “Eliza,” but even as a used or sample dress it’s priced at $3K-$4K!”

Oh, Vera, how do you do it every time? Anyone that is even a tiny little bit obsessed with bridal fashunz KNOWS Vera Wang is the holy grail of wedding dresses. The textures, the taffeta, the tulle, (drool) she just GETS IT. Last year, this dress hit the bridal market by storm, and trust me Bev, there are a TON of other ladies who fell in love with this dress. The only thing that isn’t so great about it, is its price tag…10K! EEEK! Most of us are trying to plan our entire dream wedding for 10K, amirite? I will admit this was a little bit of a challenge simply because Vera is one-of-a-kind but I believe I found you some lovely alternatives.

CAN’T AFFORD IT

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Vera Wang’s “Eliza” $10,000 at Vera Wang

GET OVER IT

LightInTheBox

Ball Gown Strapless Floor-Length Tulle Wedding Dress With Sashes $249.99 (Style: #00171536) at Light in the Box

TBDress

Fascinating Strapless Floor-Length Ruffles Beading Ball Gown Wedding Dress $308 (Item Code: 10879918) at TBDress.com

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Ball Gown with Corded Lace Bodice and Tulle Skirt (Style: VW351065) $749 at David’s Bridal (Psst! It’s a Vera!)

BestBridalPrices

 A-Line Natural Waist Ball Gown With Strapless Sweetheart Bodice With Re-Embroidered Lace and Tulle (Eden Black Label Style: 2421) $799 at BestBridalPrices.com

DavidsBridal3

Strapless Tulle Ball Gown with Lace Appliques (Style:VW351162) $1100 at David’s Bridal (This is also Vera!)

MadameBridal2

Strapless A-Line Silhouette With Lace Overlay (Casablanca Style:2145) $1280 at Madame Bridal

BestBridalPrices2

Tulle Ball Gown With Sweetheart Neckline And Beautifully Ruched Fabric On The Bodice (Style: Chimere 3MD787LU) $1398 at BestBridalPrices.com

BestBridalPrices3

Ball Gown In Sequin Tulle With Lace Sweetheart Bodice Finished With A Crystallized Beading At The Waist (Style:BL064) $1406 at BestBridalPrices.com

I also wanted to point out there are a lot shops out there like this where you can find a replica or pay someone else to make the dress for you, but I’ve heard mixed reviews, so I’ll leave that up to you. I hope this helps you find your dream dress for less or at least gives you some good ideas. Let us know what you think!

Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below!

 

Broke-Ass Brides Against Breast Cancer

The Broke-Ass Bride is proud to partner with Brides Against Breast Cancer, turning gently used designer gowns into a beacon of hope in the worldwide fight against breast cancer. If you’d like to donate your gown, here’s how. If you’re in need of a gown, Brides Against Breast Cancer runs a nationwide tour of gowns, and you should most definitely check it out when it rolls into your town!

bridesagainstbreastcancer

Hurst, TX – Dallas/Ft. Worth Area April 4 – 5, 2014 Feragne Villa Wedding & Event Venue
Boston, MA April 4 – 5, 2014 Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Boca Raton, FL April 4 – 5, 2014 Embassy Suites Boca Raton
St. Louis, MO April 4 – 5, 2014 Holiday Inn St. Louis South County Center
Mobile, AL April 6, 2014 The Battle House Hotel & Spa
Columbus, OH April 6, 2014 The Fawcett Event Center
Reston, VA – Washington DC Area April 11 – 12, 2014 Sheraton Reston Hotel
Wichita, KS April 12, 2014 Holiday Inn Wichita East I-35
San Ramon, CA – SF Area April 12 – 13, 2014 Crow Canyon Commons
Austin, TX April 19, 2014 Hyatt Regency Austin
San Diego, CA April 19, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar
Cincinnati, OH April 19, 2014 Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
Columbia, SC April 26, 2014 Hilton Columbia Center
St. Petersburg, FL May 4, 2014 NOVA 535 Event Space
New Brunswick, NJ May 4, 2014 Hyatt Regency New Brunswick
Philadelphia, PA May 9 – 10, 2014 Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District
Sioux Falls, SD May 10, 2014 Sheraton Sioux Falls Hotel & Conference Center
Richmond, VA May 10, 2014 The Westin Richmond
Metairie, LA – New Orleans Area May 10, 2014 Four Points by Sheraton New Orleans Airport
Tulsa, OK May 16 – 17, 2014 Hyatt Regency Tulsa
Providence, RI May 16 – 17, 2014 Hilton Providence
Dover, DE May 18, 2014 Maple Dale Country Club
Charlotte, NC May 23 – 24, 2014 Embassy Suites Charlotte
Roanoke, VA May 24, 2014 Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center
Arlington, VA – DC Area May 31 – June 1, 2014 Le Meridien Arlington
Woodland Hills, CA – LA Area May 31 – June 1, 2014 Hilton Woodland Hills/Los Angeles
Bangor, ME June 1, 2014 Four Points by Sheraton Bangor Airport
Erie, PA June 8, 2014 Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel
Henderson NV – Lake Las Vegas Area June 14 – 15, 2014 The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa
Lombard, IL – Pretty in Pink June 21 – 22, 2014 Jasmine Galleria
Laramie, WY June 21, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn Laramie & UW Conference Center
Carbondale, PA June 21, 2014 Best Western Pioneer Plaza
Bakersfield, CA June 22, 2014 Four Points by Sheraton Bakersfield
Weehawken, NJ June 28, 2014 Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel
Marietta, GA – Atlanta Area June 28 – 29, 2014 Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center
Louisville, KY July 12 – 13, 2014 Ramada Plaza Louisville Hotel & Conference Center
Orlando, FL July 19 – 20, 2014 DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown
Emeryville, CA – San Francisco Area July 26 – 27, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
Whittier, CA – LA Area August 15 – 16, 2014 Radisson Hotel Whittier
Fort Worth, TX August 22 – 23, 2014 Renaissance Worthington Hotel
Beachwood, OH – Cleveland Area September 12 – 13, 2014 DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland East – Beachwood
Welches, OR – Mount Hood Area September 13 – 14, 2014 The Resort at the Mountain
Jacksonville, FL September 20 – 21, 2014 Sheraton Jacksonville
Bridgeville, DE October 5, 2014 Heritage Shores Club
York, PA – Lancaster Area October 17 – 18, 2014 The Holiday Inn Conference Center of York
Birmingham, AL October 24 – 25, 2014 The Harbert Center
Ontario, CA – Inland Empire Area October 31 – November 1, 2014 Radisson Ontario Airport
Minneapolis, MN November 1 – 2, 2014 Millenium Hotel Minneapolis
Riverhead, NY – Long Island January 30 – 31, 2015 Atlantis Banquets & Events
Bloomington, MN February 27 – 28, 2015 The Park Plaza Hotel Bloomington

Ask Heather: Navy, knee-length, one-shoulder dress sold in stores

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Photo courtesy of bridesmaiddressaleca

Dear Heather,

I need to find navy, knee-length, one-shoulder bridesmaid dresses. The catch – under $100 and something that stores carry. My maid of honor lives out of state and wants to try it on before she buys, and I totally agree! I’ve heard too many horror stories of online dresses not fitting right! Help me, please!

Bride Seeking Little Blue Dress

Dear Blue,

I will admit that this is a little outside of my bailiwick. However, I’m attempting to tackle it anyway in the hopes that my lovely readership will chime in with their suggestions.

After copious Googling, it seems like The Dessy Group might be your best bet. I’m not sure where your MOH lives, but they have an easy-to-use store finder and tons of stores. They also sell Alfred Sung, who offers a navy, knee-length, one-shoulder dress for $99.

And now, I’m going to be annoying. I know you said you wanted it to be sold in-store. However, Target now sells bridesmaid dresses. They are not sold in stores, BUT don’t stop reading! They’re affordable (most of them are around $70) and you can return them at Target stores, no questions asked. I actually purchased one a few weeks ago. It arrived super-quick, but it was a bit too small. I went to my local Target Guest Service counter, said “this doesn’t fit”, and they took it back, no further questions, full refund. Plus, if you have a Target REDcard (which is that whole “Would you like to save 5% at Target today” script you hear whenever you shop there), shipping is free. Your MOH could order a few in different sizes, see if anything fit, then return whatever she didn’t like. And they definitely have navy, knee-length, one-shoulder dresses for less than $100.

And now, valuable readers, please chime in! Do you have any recommendations for Blue? Tell us in the comments below where she should go for her ultimate bridesmaid dress!

Broke-Assedness For A Cause: Brides Against Breast Cancer

bridesagainstbreastcancer

Brides Against Breast Cancer is an amazing charity that we’ve partnered with–they accept new and used gown donations, which they then send on roadshows across the country to sell to brides like you for an average price of $600! They also do “Run and Renew” 5K events as fundraisers, and every year, they raise around a million dollars for those impacted by cancer. Incredible, no? If they’ve got an upcoming event in your area, you should definitely check it out! PLUS, our very own Christen will be volunteering at the Jacksonville show, so definitely come and say hi!

The Nationwide Tour of Gowns upcoming schedule:

Northbrook, IL – Chicago Area March 15 – 16, 2014 Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel
Lee’s Summit, MO – KC Area March 15 – 16, 2014 The Pavilion at John Knox Village
Oklahoma City, OK March 15, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn – Quail Springs
Altamonte Springs – Orlando Area March 16, 2014 Embassy Suites Orlando – North
Tallahassee, FL March 16, 2014 Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown
Houston, TX March 21 – 22, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn Houston Energy Corridor
Albuquerque, NM March 21 – 22, 2014 The Hotel Cascada
Denver, CO March 22 – 23, 2014 Denver Marriott Tech Center
Sarasota, FL March 29, 2014 Westfield Southgate Mall
Temecula, CA March 30, 2014 Mount Palomar Winery
Essex, VT – Burlington Area March 30, 2014 The Essex Resort & Spa
Hurst, TX – Dallas/Ft. Worth Area April 4 – 5, 2014 Feragne Villa Wedding & Event Venue
Boston, MA April 4 – 5, 2014 Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Boca Raton, FL April 4 – 5, 2014 Embassy Suites Boca Raton
St. Louis, MO April 4 – 5, 2014 Holiday Inn St. Louis South County Center
Mobile, AL April 6, 2014 The Battle House Hotel & Spa
Columbus, OH April 6, 2014 The Fawcett Event Center
Reston, VA – Washington DC Area April 11 – 12, 2014 Sheraton Reston Hotel
Wichita, KS April 12, 2014 Holiday Inn Wichita East I-35
San Ramon, CA – SF Area April 12 – 13, 2014 Crow Canyon Commons
Austin, TX April 19, 2014 Hyatt Regency Austin
San Diego, CA April 19, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar
Cincinnati, OH April 19, 2014 Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
Columbia, SC April 26, 2014 Hilton Columbia Center
St. Petersburg, FL May 4, 2014 NOVA 535 Event Space
New Brunswick, NJ May 4, 2014 Hyatt Regency New Brunswick
Philadelphia, PA May 9 – 10, 2014 Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District
Richmond, VA May 10, 2014 The Westin Richmond
Providence, RI May 16 – 17, 2014 Hilton Providence
Charlotte, NC May 23 – 24, 2014 Embassy Suites Charlotte
Roanoke, VA May 24, 2014 Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center
Lombard, IL – Pretty in Pink June 21 – 22, 2014 Jasmine Galleria
Weehawken, NJ June 28, 2014 Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel
Louisville, KY July 12 – 13, 2014 Ramada Plaza Louisville Hotel & Conference Center
Emeryville, CA – San Francisco Area July 26 – 27, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
Whittier, CA – LA Area August 15 – 16, 2014 Radisson Hotel Whittier
Beachwood, OH – Cleveland Area September 12 – 13, 2014 DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland East – Beachwood
Welches, OR – Mount Hood Area September 13 – 14, 2014 The Resort at the Mountain
Jacksonville, FL September 20 – 21, 2014 Sheraton Jacksonville
Bridgeville, DE October 5, 2014 Heritage Shores Club
York, PA – Lancaster Area October 17 – 18, 2014 The Holiday Inn Conference Center of York
Birmingham, AL October 24 – 25, 2014 The Harbert Center
Minneapolis, MN November 1 – 2, 2014 Millenium Hotel Minneapolis
Riverhead, NY – Long Island January 30 – 31, 2015 Atlantis Banquets & Events
Bloomington, MN February 27 – 28, 2015 The Park Plaza Hotel Bloomington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run and Renew upcoming schedule:

Wildwood, NJ 5K Run & 1 Mile Fun Run October 4, 2014 Memoreys by Morey’s Piers

 

Real Bride Peach: Atlanta Bridal Boutiques – A Peachy Review

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.

At Alfred Angelo, Dunwoody, GA with my awesome and equally dorky MaidTron of Honor!

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!

David’s Bridal, Buckhead, Atlanta GA. My Maid of Honor proves that bling sashes make GREAT headbands.

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,