Not going to lie, I am a massive fan of the show, "Say Yes to the Dress".
:: Bride got back! This was my second-runner up dress ::
Even before I was engaged my stylish, and very bridal enthusiastic, sister Lindsay mentioned a trip visiting the mecca itself – Kleinfelds in New York City – and the idea of that was really exciting. Basically the day after we announced our engagement Lindsay was on the phones booking New York appointments – best maid of honour ever! I would have probably just thought we could walk right on in!
Matt and I for the past two years have visited friends in Manhattan during the November long weekend so this year my family heard about our trip and booked themselves to come along dress shopping! Of course they were welcome with open arms carrying bridal magazines.
Before New York we wanted to gain some perspective so we first went to a few stores in Toronto – everything from a custom dress shop, to a fancy store in Yorkville, to budget bridal stores. My family was awesome taking pictures of me and filming my "walk down the aisle" in the store, which was a great idea to see how the dresses moved! The custom shop was cool but for my high school prom I had a HORRIBLE custom dress experience that left me never ever wanting anything custom ever again. The designer insisted I order a size 14, which I was a bit bigger in high school but not that much bigger. When the dress was ready I tried it on and I looked like a fat mermaid complete with fins,litterally there were fin-like ruffles on the bum of the dress. It was terrible and I vowed to myself then and there that buying dresses off the rack is the way to go. So the custom idea was out and the other stores we checked out seemed ok but I wanted to see what New York had to offer.
I went to New York with an idea of the dresses I wanted and there we only visited very high end stores, I'm talking 5k+ per dress – which from years of watching bridal shows I had been totally brainwashed into believing that basically that's what you HAD to spend if you wanted any dress that was half decent. Spoiler alert: turns out luckily that's totally false information.
I found two dresses that I loved in New York. One was an Oscar de la Renta which was absolutely beautiful but I feared for my conservative country-man groom that it would be a little too avant-garde for his taste. The second dress contender I found at Kleinfelds and I loved it but it was over my budget and after I learned that I would have to pay additional tax on top of the dress to get it home then find a tailor to alter it here I decided to pass on it. A dress is after all just that – a dress!
Anyway I went back to the first store we shopped at in Toronto – Ferre Sposa – and I feel in love with a dress that I had originally tried on about a month ago. I wrote about my initial disappointment with the initial bridal shopping trips in my blog here. I admittingly didn't give the dresses much of a chance the first time we looked because I wasn't totally prepared for what the experience would be like. Going back I went with my game-face on, I knew what to expect and I was ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase! I brought three girlfriends with me, my "panel" and they were adorable, so great to have them be completely supportive. After 10 minutes I said yes to the dress at a price tag of less than 1/5th of my original budget! I have shoes that cost more than this dress!! I absolutely love my dress and the best part is I don't feel like I've compromised in the slightest. The designer for those of you who are in the market is La Sposa – a designer from Barcelona.
Running this business has really re-taught me the value of a dollar and made me realize what is important to me and what isn't. I work freaking hard for $5,000 and when I feel like it will make me a better person, business woman, friend whatever I'm happy to spend money. When it won't I'm not going to spend it just because it was allowed. The dress is where I decided to hold back a bit and I'm really glad I did.
Bottom line: spend the money on the things that will be most important to you. You can find an absolutely beautiful dress for under $1,500. As much as "Say Yes to the Dress" is an amazing show don't let it trap you into thinking you need to spend an arm and a leg to be happy!