Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the day I found my wedding dress. So while I don’t have any “official” pictures back from the wedding, I thought now would be a good time to write about finding and fitting the dress.
I would say finding the dress was a little more stressful than I anticipated. I really enjoyed the process on some levels, but I also was really nervous that I would never get “that feeling.” To be honest, I never really got “the feeling.” I went to 3 fittings in the city (Kleinfelds, Wedding Atelier and Designer Loft) and two upstate (Something Bleu and Angela’s), plus a couple trips to David’s Bridal to check out the Vera Wang, Oleg Cassini and Melissa’s Sweet collections.
By the time I went shopping last thanksgiving weekend, I was really getting nervous that I would never find something, I had plenty of time, but I needed to find the dress for my own sanity. I tried on a few things at Something Bleu on Black Friday and almost bought something that was beautiful but not right. Fortunately, I felt like I was being pressured by the staff, which made me question whether the dress was really what I wanted. I don’t respond well to sales team pressure. You can read a little more about my dress shopping experiences in this post.
Fortunately, I walked into Angela’s the next day and it was a totally different experience. I loved my sales attendant Nora, who sat down with me to discuss what I wanted and never once put a drop of pressure on me. They made the process so fun and made me and my mom and sister feel so special. I tried on a few dresses and then I tried on a Tara Keely 2206 dress that I had tried on at Kleinfelds and Wedding Atelier that hadn’t left my mind. I stepped out and my sister and mom immediately loved it. This was the first time I got a real reaction from anything I tried on with anyone. I looked in the mirror and I knew it was the one. It wasn’t that I had a “feeling,” but I realized this dress had all the pieces I was looking for, it was strapless, it was short of a fit and flare/mermaid combo, it had a sash. It’s funny, I tried it on in white at Kleinfelds and the white made my skin look really red, while the ivory was much more flattering.
White at Kleinfelds
Same dress in ivory at Angela’s (old location)
They pop the champy when you find your dress at Angela’s–another reason that I’m pretty sure I was meant to buy my dress there. While I knew I would have to travel back and forth from NYC, if I got my dress at Angela’s; I fell in love with the people there. In addition, they were offering 15% off that weekend, plus alterations were capped at a reasonable price, so it was kind of a no brainer.
What I didn’t know was that they were moving to downtown Albany and to the most beautiful wedding dress store I had ever seen. When I walked in to their new space for my first fitting, my jaw dropped to the floor. It’s gorgeous and luxurious and the dresses are STUNNING.
I felt like a total princess throughout my fittings. I’m going to be honest, I had a few crazy bride moments when things weren’t laying right or I didn’t really think it was flattering, and they handled everything so graciously. I had about 6 fittings and they never complained when I wanted to fix just one more little thing. They even hugged me goodbye as they helped me put the dress in the car when I picked it up a few days before my wedding.
Here’s a few photos from my first fitting (I’d advise that you brush your hair before fittings, do as I say…):
The belt might look a little strange to you. The belt the dress came with was about $500. I opted not to buy it and went on an all out rampage to find it used or to find something similar for less. On a side note, Angela’s was the only store that totally me that I wasn’t obligated to buy the $500 belt. After probably a few months of constantly checking preownedweddingdresses and scouring Etsy, I finally bought the sash above from an Etsy seller. It was about $85. However, the ribbon was a strange color, so I spent another $50 buying ribbons, trying desperately to find the perfect shade of champagne.
Finally on my second to last fitting, I still hadn’t found the right shade, and my absolutely wonderful tailor and the store owner, Janet, decided to see if they had any spare ribbons in the back, she came back with the perfect color and reattached the appliqué to the ribbon–all free of charge. This seems like a good time for an open letter to Janet: Janet, I don’t think I could ever express how wonderful you made the fitting process for me and how much I absolutely adore you. You exceeded my every expectation.
Here I am, on my wedding day, in my dress.
Despite lots of anxiety along the way, I was so happy with how my dress ended up and I am 100% happy that I went with the dress. So if anyone out there is wondering if they’ll ever find “their dress,” I want to assure you that you will.