I pray shopping for a wedding dress will be a fun experience, and we will find what we are looking for. I hope we will have an enjoyable and memorable day. I hope I feel like a bride. I hope I will not get overwhelmed by the amount of choices out there and can stay true to the style of our wedding. A style that I love. I pray to stay in budget and not go overboard with any wedding decisions. And I pray that I will be at peace about the decisions that I make today.
Good morning, friends! Today’s post is a wedding update. We are talking all about the wedding dress and how I tackled the shopping process. So, grab your cup of coffee and come sit down with me as we discuss dresses.
What I Researched + How I Used Pinterest as Inspiration.
I am researcher by nature. It is a part of my personality. So, before I booked an appointment with any bridal salon. Before I told my family and friends what I was envisioning when it came to the dress. Before anything. I went straight to Pinterest to figure out what I wanted before I had too many options/decisions/questions staring me straight in the face.
So here is how it worked. First, I pinned a whole bunch of dresses that I loved on Pinterest. Any dress that I loved. And once I got a good amount of images (maybe 50 or so), I went through the images and looked for consistencies.
For example, the majority of the wedding dresses that I pinned were lace. I had very few without lace (maybe 5 or so). And of the 5 or so dresses that were not lace, I didn’t necessarily pin the image for the fabric, but rather the style or fit of the dress. This helped me to see that I wanted a dress with lace.
So, I did this with the factors that play into choosing a dress. Length. Fit. Sparkle. Bling. Poof (or lack there of). Train. Sleeves. Veil. All of them. And, I determined a guideline for what I was envisioning. From there, I picked three top images that I felt best envisioned what my gown might be.
Once I figured out what I was looking, I then began researching bridal salons. I live in Baton Rouge, LA. We have great options for wedding dresses and shopping here. I’m also a short drive away from both New Orleans and Lafayette. So, I knew those could be areas of possibility as well. But, the more I thought about our schedule and how my weekends are usually spent on other things (like photography!), I wanted to do my best to stay close to Baton Rouge if possible. I felt like it would help with time management and other commitments on my end.
So, I began researching bridal salons in Baton Rouge. First, I looked at the designers the stores carried. Was this designer my style? Did they have options similar to what I was looking? Next, I did research on budget. Did the store carry many options in my price range? Was the style of dress that I pictured even in my budget? Lastly, I asked friends and looked online for information regarding customer service. When you are choosing something as important as your dress, you want to work with the right people that match your personality. That led me to select two bridal salons to book appointments and begin the shopping process. I felt like this was a great way to start.
The Shopping Day.
Now that I had an idea of where I wanted to shop, my style of dress, and an idea on budget, I contacted my family and friends to get a group together to come spend the day with me.
I kept my attendees rather small. My mom and nanny made their way to Baton Rouge along with my future mother-in-law and my matron of honor to shop with me. I booked two bridal appointments (a morning appointment and then an afternoon appointment) and scheduled a lunch for in between.
Remember those three pictures that I narrowed down from Pinterest, they came handy during this time. So, the week of the appointment, I sent out a group text letting everyone know the schedule. Along with that, I sent pictures of what I was looking for to give everyone an idea of what I envisioned. It helped when we were in the salon staring at racks and racks and racks of wedding dresses. I was completely open to trying on any fun styles that my group pulled, but I also made sure that we had plenty of options that I loved as well.
The First Appointment: A 10:00 a.m. morning appointment
The Mood of the Group: hyped/excited/full of laughter/joyous
The appointment began with my group and I picking a few options to try on. Then, I made my way into the dressing room and slipped into the first dress. Full of lace. No bling. A little bit of a train. But, the group (and myself as well) didn’t love it. The group voted a “thumbs down” on the first dress.
I slipped into the next dress. Same thing. Just sad faces. Then, we switched the style to something a little different.
The third dress. It was full of lace. Less train. Good fit. It was the first and only moment during the day where I felt bridal. And, it was perfectly in budget. From there, that dress became the dress. The one dress that I always came back to.
I continued to try on dresses. I tried on a dress with a lot of bling for my mom. As well as one with way too much fabric/poof for me. As well as another that was way “sexier” than I wanted to be on my wedding day. It was entertaining to say the least.
Then it came time to select my final three. I tried on those dresses once again, and knocked out another dress. But, I always came back to that dress. I slipped on the dress once again and had the bridal representative add the veil. And I loved it. As well as the group.
Because we had another appointment that afternoon, I had the bridal salon take down my information. I let them know that I would be in contact with them during the week if I decided to purchase the dress.
Side Note: This was the funnest appointment of the day! My group… They like to have fun and laugh. And, our bridal representative had a blast with us throughout the process.
The Second Appointment: A 2:00 p.m. afternoon appointment
The Mood of the Group: less peppy/a little tired (We picked up coffee, but I don’t think it helped)
We grabbed lunch and then made our way to the second appointment. I’m not sure if we had too much time for lunch or if we already had made up our minds because of the first appointment, but this appointment wasn’t the same. The feel of the group was different.
The process began the same as the previous appointment. We picked five dresses as a group that I wanted to try on. From there, our bridal representative picked a few that felt like the style I was picturing. And we began the process once again.
Unfortunately for this appointment, I never fell in love with any of the dresses. And neither did my group. I loved the lace detail, but the style and heaviness of the fabric really made my decision for me. The dresses never felt like me and how I envisioned myself as a bride on our wedding day. Plus, I kept picturing the dress that I had fallen in love with during the first appointment. That made my decision a little easier.
I thanked my group for a fun/laughter filled day and decided to sleep on the decision for a weekend before I made any purchases. And the more I thought about it, the more I loved that dress.
So, first thing Monday morning, I booked an appointment after work that week to try the dress on one more time and make my decision. Even with that appointment I felt the same way that I had felt the first time I slipped on the dress…
I felt like a bride.
Finalize the Guest List (For the most part, done.)
Order and mail Save the Dates (Done. Envelopes are stuffed, stamps are on, and these need to be put in the mail sometime this week!)
– Figure out a color palette (This is a work in progress. It’s neutrals for the most part – ivories, taupes, maybe a pop of gold. I’m narrowing this down slowly).
Engagement Pictures (Done. We photographed our pictures this week – It was so much fun!)
– Find a Florist
– Select Bridesmaid Dresses
– Create the Wedding Registry
– Rehearsal Dinner Brainstorm/Ideas
XOXO – Ashley “AKA The Future Mrs. Hooker”
One More Thing… Thank you to “my group” that came with me to select the dress! You ladies did an amazing job! You made my day with all the signs, emojies, boxes of Kleenex (and lack of tears), and everything else. I couldn’t have done this day without y’all! THANK YOU!