Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Follow the Bride: I Said Yes to the Dress



Wedding dress shopping was one planning task I was most looking forward to. I’ll make other visits to florists and caterers, but I’ll never have the opportunity to try on wedding dresses again. The thought of stepping into some fabulous creation lined with layers of tulle or sleek, slippery satin and seeing myself for the first time as a bride, had me feeling a little giddy. Am I going to find “The One”? Am I going to cry? Why am I so nervous?
Ok, the reason I was so nervous was because I had scheduled an appointment at the illustrious Kleinfeld Bridal boutique. “They are going to pressure you to buy something,” one critic told me. “Jeez, I hope you have $10,000 budget because that’s how much all their dresses cost,” said another. I tried to look past what people said. I wanted to go to Kleinfeld’s, so I gathered up my most trusted advisors—my mother, my future mother-in-law and a close family friend—and I went to Kleinfeld’s.
Here’s my review: Kleinfeld’s rocked! There’s one episode where Randy and one consultant get a little competitive about who can find the best fairy inspired-dress. When the bride says “Yes,” to one of Randy’s selections, he practically does a fist pump he’s so excited. I saw that episode before I went dress shopping and I wrinkled my brow because I didn’t get it. Then I got there and saw the professionals at work. These people know what they are doing and they take a lot of pride in doing it well—they have turned the art of wedding dress shopping into a science. With that being said, you shouldn’t be surprised when I tell you I said yes to the first dress I tried on. My consultant, Jacqueline, asked me a few questions about my wedding, looked at a few pictures I had brought in and then bee-lined it to the dress. I didn’t say yes right away, I tried on about seven other dresses and none of them even came close. Not even the Reem Acra, or the two Monique Lhuillier's I tried on after. (Ok, they were a little out of my price range, so it’s a good thing I didn’t like those!) Then I climbed (literally) back into dress number one, marched out of the dressing room and declared it mine.
I know what you’re thinking: I broke every wedding dress shopping rule in the book. I only went to one store, I made a decision after one dress and I tried on gowns that were way out of my price range. Am I going to spend the next 10 months regretting it like the experts predict? No way! I walked into this experience with an open mind; my only goal was finding the wedding dress of my dreams. I found it. And I learned a very important lesson while doing so. The stacks of wedding magazines and etiquette books I’ve piled on my nightstand are useful—I’ve gathered so many great ideas from them—but these books are just a guide. In the end I’ll always default to my own way of doing things.