Did I ever tell you how I found my wedding dress? I didn’t actually find one dress, I found three, or they found me.
When I found my first dress I didn’t know where my wedding was going to be. I’m not sure I even knew what month it was going to be in but I wanted my dress to come from the running of the brides, which was this crazy event that happened at Filene’s Basement in downtown Boston. Filene’s is no longer around but years ago when I lived in Boston I used to visit the store all the time for amazing prices on designer clothes.
Each year they would get a shipment of sample designer gowns, which they sold for a low price of $250 each. I had been to the event once before with my camera just because I was so curious. Teams of women would line up outside the door waiting to bust in. The women had on leotards, spandex, bathing suits or wherever else would facilitate a fast change in the middle of the store. There wasn’t much order to how the dresses were arranged so you needed a team to find your size and style and then bring them back to your corner.
I can’t say that I planned my approach all that well but I do think I brought snacks. My partner, mom and a friend joined me and we did our best to wade through the racks and racks of dresses and half naked women. In the end I found a beautiful Amsale dress with a skirt so puffy it could have taken up a whole aisle. Not exactly what I had in mind but I was determined to have a dress and I went for it.
Soon after my purchase my partner and I decided to get married on Cape Cod in August. Yeah, this dress was not going to cut it. It was way too much dress and too heavy for a summer wedding. Back to the drawing board. My mom, who is an amazing shopper, can size anyone up and find them a beautiful outfit. She had been doing it for me my whole life so why not find me a wedding dress too? The dress she found was a beautiful champagne, silk Ann Taylor dress. It was long, strapless and had a few covered buttons along the back. It was elegant with clean lines and quite lovely but it wasn’t the dress.
I let some time pass before I started looking again. I was a little overwhelmed and needed to focus on other wedding details, but I didn’t want too much time to pass. My sisters got their dresses at this great shop called Vows in Watertown. They both selected designer gowns and they looked stunning. I’m not sure why I didn’t look there but this was a gay wedding so I went about things a little differently. If I knew then what I know now I would have visited all the gorgeous wedding boutiques I now adore. They know what they’re doing and will help you select your perfect dress.
So where did I get THE dress? A place that wasn’t even on my radar. It was a winter afternoon and Brett and I decided to hit David’s Bridal just to look at styles. I remember it was winter because after trying on a bunch of dresses and then calling it quits, I found one more dress and it took a solid ten minutes to undress. The dress was on the back of the catalog and the model had boobs. I, on the other hand, did not so I wasn’t expecting a match. It was a cream, halter style dress with a slight train and my favorite part, a fabric flower on the waistline. It was kind of perfect for a summer fete so we said yes to the dress! There was no posse of girls crying, fancy couch or confetti canon. It was just me and Brett in our winter boots and heavy coats but the dress was finally acquired.
Aside from the poor alternations that got fixed (sort of), I loved that dress and it was so me. I was comfortable, summer-styled and able to boogie down after a good bustling. What happened to the first two dresses? The Amsale poof-tastic dress was donated to a church for a bride in need, and the Ann Taylor dress was used at least once for a stylized shoot and later brought to a consignment shop.
What would I have done differently? The one thing I learned is working with experts makes all the difference. The style of my dress may have been exactly the same but having a quality dress and working with true professionals could have made that experience memorable in a more positive way. I would also say let your personality come out in your dress, or suit, for that matter. For me I wanted a dress with style, comfort and made me feel pretty. Want to see my wedding dress? Check out the photos below.
My dress is the one hanging on the right. Brett’s dress was once her grandmother’s.
My sisters, cousin and I dancing to Come On Eileen!
When venturing out to find your dress have fun, find a style that suits you, and do everything with love.