Grey Likes Weddings Rockin' a new rock?!

In late February I decided it was time to begin my search for THE dress. My mom travels for her job so in the midst of her busy season we met after work one evening at a local bridal shops. I met with a consultant and started pulling dresses. I told her I didn’t have any styles of dresses that I was set on other than a few images I saved from online browsing. That Wednesday we ended up narrowed our first round of dresses to a top four. As someone who is consistently immersed in fashion and has a love for shopping & trying things on, none of the dresses left me with an, “I LOVE THIS” feeling nor did they induce tears.

Fast forward to following Saturday, my very pregnant best friend, Jackie, made her final trip home to help me find a dress. With my mom in tow, we ventured back to the bridal shop. I let both of them pick a few dresses for me to try on – why not having a little fun with the process. We threw the top four dresses back into the mix. Did I want something backless or something with lace? A ball gown? Mermaid style?

About twenty dresses into the day; I made a comment to my consultant and mom that I didn’t LOVE any of the dresses we were trying on. I liked the tops of some dresses, while the bottom of others. And I had yet to get a “WOW” reaction from both my mom and best friend. Pulling the attributes of the dresses we did like, we sent my consultant to find a dress that fit those requirements. She came back with a dress that the moment I stepped out of the dressing room, my mom’s mouth dropped to the floor. It was a similar fit to the other dresses that we liked, but without the lace and intricate detailing of what I had been leaning towards.

As I stood in that second to last bridal gown of the day, I turned and saw my consultant putting back the dresses from my room. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw her put back one of my top contenders. With that, I knew she was over our appointment, throwing in the towel on us. We decided to leave, and possibly hit up another bridal salon to see if we would have different results. After getting dressed, I decided to walk over to the very expensive rack of dresses and simply browse {for the record, I told the consultant, my mother, and Jackie that they were not allowed to pull any dresses from this rack before we started the appointment}. NEWSFLASH. This is a bad idea, I repeat bad idea. But, we were leaving; I was already dressed to go, what was the harm in looking? Well, let me tell you.

After making it three quarters of the way through of puffy, sequined wedding numbers, I found a dress hiding between two frilly, poofy ball gowns. I pulled it out and glanced over it. It hit all the requirements I had been looking for. I walked the dress over to my mom and best friend who were chatting and said, “Mom – is this the style of dress you saw me in?” She smiled and nodded. I then put a disclaimer on the dress that it  was from the ‘Off-limits’ rack but we threw all caution to the wind – what’s the harm in trying it on…

The harm, I tell you, is falling in love with said dress. With my consultant checked out for the day – it was up to my mom and best friend to get me in the dress. We stood there in the dressing room and the moment it was zipped, I burst into tears. I finally had the moment, that once in a life time feeling, “This is my wedding gown.” Jackie went to find the belt and the veil I had tried on earlier and my mom and I went to look at the price tag. But of course, the tag and bar code were attached to the dress, but the price was ripped off the tag.

Our consultant ended up coming back into the room to clip me into the dress and was shocked we were a) still there and b) that I found a dress I loved and cried to boot. Once out on to the main floor, I couldn’t stop admiring this dress. Jackie asked me one question while we were waiting to hear the price of dress, “Do you want to take this dress off?” And I just shook my head. I was in love with this dress and I didn’t care who knew it {cue Elf montage}. But alas, my dreams were dashed when the price was announced. About triple what we wanted to spend on a dress.

So what’s a girl to do when the dress she loves is too expensive for her budget and there is no Randy from “Say Yes to the Dress”? I offered to buy the sample gown from the salon, but they wouldn’t sell it to me, nor did they have any similar gowns. I looked into a custom dress shop in town to get pricing to make a similar dress, but feared it would be too costly as well. So where does one go when she has exhausted all options? She should go straight to Google {okay, not always, but in my situation, yes, Google is where I went}.

I searched the style number and  designer and found the exact dress on for half the price. The seller and her hubby ended up planning a less formal wedding which in turn meant this formal dress went unworn. The even bigger kicker, the seller was from Switzerland and the dress is not my size, not even close {but that’s what a good tailor is for}. I utilized my work’s shipping department to get a good rate on shipping international and used for payment.  Once we figured out the particulars, she shipped the dress and the next day I received it. No joke. Upon receiving the dress I had three days to inspect and try it on before I released my payment to her on Sign, sealed, & delivered. Now all that is left is finding the veil, a belt, & getting the dress fitted.

For all the newly engaged ladies out there, my only advice is to have an open mind & be patient. Did I ever think I would buy my wedding gown online? Not a chance. But when you are looking for the best deal or have your heart set on something particular, it’s worth taking a risk!

Images: Photography by Elizabeth Messina | Styling by The Life Styled for The Knot