The Dress

February 21, 2009 at 5:29 PM (Laura's Wedding) (, , , )

Perhaps one of the most exciting portions of wedding planning is the dress.  Let’s face it- no matter what kind of bride you are, you want to look your best- better than you best!  You want his jaw to drop when he sees you and for him to know beyond all doubt that he is marrying a GODDESS!!!  A very reasonable (most of the time), sweet-tempered (again, most of the time), spirited (always), beautiful (Always! *cough*) pint-sized (comparatively speaking) Goddess (This assumes that Goddesses are larger than people…it’s never been proven).  Regardless of your budget, your style, your size or your shape, you want to look GOOD.   Not just “This one is nice.” but “I look GOOD!”  And as this is an important part of the getting married process, you want the quest itself to go well.  There are lots of places you can go and you’ll have a different experience at each one.  My foray into the wedding dress shopping world was brief (it only took one day) but quite diverse!

Wedding Dresses

Wedding Dresses

We ventured out- a merry band of three: The Mother of the Bride (Lucinda), The Matron of Honor (Alexis), and The Bride (me!) on a brisk Monday morning.  A dutiful bride, I had scheduled appointments with a couple bridal salons in Nashville figuring we’d start close to home (I live in Nashville) and work our way toward Franklin if we had no success.  I even came prepared with the appropriate under garments as advised to make it all as easy as possible!

We arrived to our first appointment, coffee in hand, smiles in place, excited to begin and…it was…disappointing.  Upon entering, we were greeted by a petite blond with a chipper smile who did not ask our names, did not ask any questions actually.  She directed us to the wracks of different designers to pull from and left us to it.  A little startled, we complied.  We pulled all sorts of dresses, not really knowing what we were looking for and began to notice that the dresses were rather dingy and had a definite odor.  In the dressing room itself (shivering, I might add as it was a brisk 61 degrees in there) we discovered that it was far worse than we had thought- the insides of the dresses were COATED with various shades of tan and pink- facial imprints of those who had come before- my skin began to crawl before the first dress had been zipped up!  Stalwartly we pressed on- steadfastly NOT looking too closely at the dresses.  The petite blond wandered in and out without warning every few dresses or so (luckily she left the clips and my ladies were quite handy with them!).  Not the most useful assistant.  Needless to say, we did not find a dress there.  I still don’t really know if there were any good dresses there or not- upon reflection, it’s hard to know what the dresses would have looked like if you weren’t constantly distracted by a gray patch here and bad smell there.  It didn’t matter in the end- no way was there going to be a special “I look GOOD!” moment when you’re thinking how nice a bath would be.

After a suitable recovery period, we proceeded to the next appointment.  We went to b Hughes Bridal Formal on Harding Road in Nashville.

b.Hughes Bridal Formal

b.Hughes Bridal Formal

When we entered, we were greeted by Allison; the store was in disarray as they had just returned from a fashion show, but already, we felt better.  Allison was warm and sweet- she showed us the different designers’ wracks and let us browse a bit, pulling any dresses we were interested in and she set them in the dressing room for us.  The dresses were beautiful!  Some had been mangled by models (Allison had a story for each dress and seemed personally affronted by each injury they had suffered since coming into her care) but all were blessedly clean!  Allison made sure that we had all the major shapes and styles to try out- A-lines, Princess cut, Mermaids, and Ball gowns- there was a representative from each.  My mother helped me into and out of each (some are amazingly heavy!) and Allison set me up on a step in front of some large mirrors as she clipped each dress where they would be if they were my size.  We joked that she needed to order some ugly dresses so that we would have some to say “Definitely no.” to!  She really took the time to talk to me about what I liked and disliked about each dress and then made suggestions for other dresses or alterations that could be made.  The whole experience was relaxed and fun- just the way it should be for every bride!  In the end, the choice was obvious- I actually had one of the moments where you look up into the mirror in a dress and find a big dopey smile and a glowing face.  That was all my mother and sister needed to see to know, we were done!

I know you all want to see the dress that we chose- but Jim knows where this blog is!  I’ll tell you that it is by Romona Keveza, but that is all!!

Wish me luck!

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4 Comments

  1. sgdish said,

    Sounds like your first appointment was a chain. My daughter and I experienced that behavior as well. We were left to do everything ourselves and no help was offered. The second experience was much more the way it should be. I’m just starting a bridal business, and I feel service and treatment of the customer is crucial to my success. And that look on your face when you found IT, I want to experience that with each of my customers!

    • adornments said,

      Prepare for a barrage of questions! What kind of bridal business are you starting? Where are you located? Do you have a web site? We’d be happy to link to link to your website if you like. We’re always excited to hear about new businesses and like helping out if we can with a little free advertising! 🙂 So, if you are interested, please tell us a bit about your business and your goals, etc. Thanks for commenting! Good luck!

  2. sgdish said,

    Thanks so much for your interest. By the way, I love your business concept — so many talented people under one roof. I’m an artist wanna be with no specific talent — sigh!

    About a month ago, I was notified by my company that they were closing my office. I’ve worked there for 6.5 years, and I had been considering a business of my own even before that. With my daughter’s impending wedding, and facing unemployment, one child in college and another in private high school, I knew I needed to be creative. While digging for a deal on her wedding dress, the enthusiasm and passion for something crept inside of me. I had hoped for something like this.

    I’m just starting things up since I’m closing up the office still, and in the beginning, I plan to use the home studio to set one-on-one appointments with brides and their moms to find a beautiful dress at a fantastic price. What you won’t find at my place is $3,000 designer dresses that are ordered. What you will find are dresses I have found through contacts at unbelievable prices. I’ll also feature vintage gowns for that bride who wants a one-of-a-kind look, but can’t afford the custom price tag. So many of those can be altered and changed up to make more current by a good tailor. The most important thing to me is that the bride doesn’t feel discount means being treated like she’s at a discount department store. Being a bride is too special to feel like that! I want my walls to be full of wedding photos of brides in gowns supplied by me! The idea of that makes me feel giddy.

    My blog is still rough, but I wanted to put something out there. I’m collecting dresses every day. I’ve loved textiles for as long as I can remember, and have always felt comfortable with a sewing machine or needle and thread. Check it out at: http://abridesbigday.wordpress.com.

    I’d love any mention you can offer. Thanks again for your interest. I love your blog by the way. Sounds like you’re well on your way to having things organized.

    • adornments said,

      We are always happy to help! I’ve posted a blog about you on our blog- check it out and let me know if you want anything else/more said about you or if you have any pictures you want me to post on there. I recommend that you contact Ashley from Ashley’s Bride Guide (http://www.ashleysbrideguide.com) about your business- she loves doing features on new businesses- especially local vendors who are doing something a bit different from the norm (definitely you!). Also, you may want to check out Dream Weddings on a Budget (http://www.weddingsbytammy.com/)- you may be able to set up a mutual referral relationship with Tammy (can’t hurt to ask anyway!) and Wedding Wire (http://www.weddingwire.com) is also a useful site for advertising on as well as finding other vendors to form relationships with- it really helps to know people in the wedding business when you’re just starting to get the word out about your business! Let me know if you have any questions or are having any events or anything. Also, we could always design some jewelry for some of your dresses if you’d be interested in that- custom jewelry for custom dresses. We could leave a couple pieces with you to show your brides the possibilities and offer discounts to brides that you refer, that sort of thing. If you are interested in that kind of arrangement, just let me know! 🙂 Thanks!

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