Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hunting for THE Dress

The week after I got engaged, Sister J, being the very excited MOH that she is, wanted us to go wedding dress shopping.  I wasn't sure if I was ready, but she was really excited to start looking at pretty dresses and wanted some girl time together to celebrate.  So I headed up to Massachusetts, and Sister J made an appointment for us at David's Bridal.  Mom Busy Bee, Aunt Busy Bee, and Bridesmaid A came along as well.

Now, there are pictures of dresses ahead, so Mr. C, I have to kick your cute butt out.

I pulled a pictures of a few dresses ahead of time, but because we weren't being super serious, I didn't have much in mind.  But still somehow, I ended up putting on veils and being in the store for over two hours!  There was a mini panic attack at one point, because we had only been engaged for two weeks, and I couldn't believe I was wearing wedding dresses.

We're so excited!!  Also, there are no pictures of my mom because she CRIED when we walked through the doors.  Oh, Mom Busy Bee!

The first dress I tried on was Style 9V9743.  I liked the soft, flowy, Grecian feel to it, but I think ultimately was looking for something more structured. (Also, for the future, don't take pictures from this angle.  So many chins!)

The next dress, Style 9BR1035,  was to satisfy Mommy Busy Bee.  She wants sleeves in the church, so we thought we'd try something that wasn't strapless.  I actually don't hate the way this sits on me, and I think it complements my collar bone and shoulder line.  But other than that, the dress was just a big ol' "meh" for me.

I look super grinny in this picture.  Honestly, looking at the photo, I hate the dress on me.  I don't know if I liked it then, or was just smiling that big because everyone was harassing me that I didn't look happy.  This dress, Style N9829, was supposed to have more gathering, so maybe the sample was whack or the size was whack, but it really doesn't look anything like the photo on the David's Bridal website.

Also, note that Sister J is the one holding the dress up on me.  I'll explain that later.

At this point, I was tired, getting cranky, and definitely hungry.  Style 9E9351 was fine.  Not too thrilling, and the beading looked and felt cheap to me.  I was pretty much checked out by now, but Sister J had grabbed one more dress for me to put on.

This one, Style 8CT314 by Oleg Cassini, was by far the favorite of the day.  I liked the beading, the shape, and the detail on the train and bustle.  And look!  A happy smile, instead of the forced cheesy grin or the cranky get-me-out-of-here stare from before.

Sister J had worked at David's Bridal long ago, and knew this dress didn't sit on me quite right, so she kept pulling it down to get the dropped waist effect that seemed to be much more flattering on my figure.

This was at about the two and a half hour mark.  Our consultant put a slight amount of pressure on me to buy then and there, but I think she may have known from the beginning, with so much time ahead of me, that I wouldnt' be buying then and there.  So we left (after Sister J and Bridesmaid A started going nutso and trying on all sorts of crazy headpieces), met up with Mr. C who had just bused in from NYC, and got our eat and drink on.

It was a fun experience, but I was sort of relieved that it was over!

Having been to other bridal salons, in retrospect, I'm able to say that part of my negative experience was due to the David's Bridal consultant.  When we arrived, she seemed so great!  She told us to show her some of the designs we liked, asked about shape and cuts, and she told us she would pull anything for us. 

Instead, she refused to pull anything that wasn't plus size (I'm a size 12/14 in street clothes, so I'm probably right on the cusp for wedding dress plus sizes), refused to let me even try something that she didn't think was going to be flattering, and pulled dresses that were made from certain materials I told her right away I didn't like.  After the first 40 minutes of the appointment, she was difficult to find.  I think she had another bride she was helping, as well as a bride coming in for a fitting.  But rather than tell us we had gone over our appointment time or that she was double booked so she would be running around, she didn't say anything, and just disappeared.   

At that point, Sister J helped me in and out of most dresses, pulled some dresses she thought I would like, and held me into the dresses that were either too big or too small so I could get an idea of how the actual dress would fit me.  Sister J became my personal David's Bridal consultant, because the one who was being paid to be there, wasn't doing her job.

You can probably tell, I wasn't a fan of the David's Bridal experience.  And most of the dresses I liked were in their highest price range.  But luckily for me, this was just a fun test run, within weeks of being engaged, and I wasn't out for some serious shopping.  What I did learn from this experience was exactly what shapes looked good, that I didn't like a whole lot of fuss on the dress (which is shocking...I love fuss normally!), and that it would probably be better to have a smaller crowd when I was out shopping - too many people made me stressed out!

What was your first dress shopping experience like?  Have you ever been to a David's Bridal?  

All personal photos.


  1. I luckily had a better experience than you at my db, but only because my consultant was a girl in one of my classes whom i had become friends with. however, on a separate occasion when i took my MOH to try on dresses (and i didn't make an appointment) our consultant never really helped us and i pretty much had to be my MOH's consultant. i should've made an appointment, so that was my fault, but still...

  2. I'm so glad you had a better experience. From what I've heard/read, it's really dependent on your consultant that determines the experience you had. Luck of the draw I guess!

  3. I was slightly more impressed with the consultant we had at DB when I went to buy Tasha's dress, but when I went back to pick up the dress I literally stood there for almost 40 MINUTES waiting to be helped. And all I had to do was pick it up and leave!

  4. It's so hit or miss! No wonder there are such mixed reviews. But honestly, if someone asked me whether or not to go there, based on my own experience, I would say no!