The quest for a bridal dress is the pinnacle experience for a bride. I should know. I just experienced it. And I learned a lot.
I had the biggest Pinterest board with all the dresses and styles that I thought I would want to look for. When I actually got to the bridal shops, it all went out the window. The 3 things I that did not change was the style/fit I knew would look best on my figure, what I believe my fiance would like and what I believe would be appropriate for the kind of event we were planning. In keeping those things in mind, I believe I made a great choice. If I just kept in mind what I had thought I wanted to wear, I would have spent much more than I wanted and I do not think it would be what my fiance envisioned or what would be appropriate for the style of our wedding.
So.. I invited my best friend, mother and soon to be mother in law to come look at dresses. We started with a chain bridal store. Davids Bridal. I have to say. The nicest staff, no pressure and beautiful selection of dresses. I think they had a lot to choose from for variety of price points as well. Some of the dresses I did not think were the nicest material or quality but like anything, it depends on the designer. I have at least one dress there that I thought I would try on again.
My second stop was a small boutique bridal shop. Much smaller with much smaller selection. The quality ( and price tag) much higher. Gorgeous dresses to choose from. Staff was very kind but I definitely felt the pressure as I was asked if I wanted to “Say Yes to the Dress” and that if I wanted this dress it would have to be ordered in the next day to come in on time. The $1550 lace sleeved to die for dress for a winter wedding. So I felt the pressure, but did not buckle and said maybe? Yes. Maybe. Maybe I can take 2 days to marinate in all the dresses I tried on that day. It is not like the dress could not be ordered 2 days later right? So, I left with a maybe and looked forward to reviewing all the cell phone pictures that we took.
Now money was not the issue. My loving and generous parents decided to give me any dress I wanted. But, I knew I needed to look at both dresses and sit on it. I mean, you also wear this dress once. Once! Then it sits in your closet aging like the creases around your eyes. It bothered me. I went over in my head the venue of our wedding, what my fiance would be expecting and what I felt I would be most comfortable in as a bride.
After the weekend passed, I decided I needed one more store. The Savvy Bride in Stratford. After a simple Google search, I found the small boutique that opened in February. The premise of the experience is that you are buying a designer never worn sample dress from all the larger, big bridal stores at a fraction of the price. In fact, all the dresses are under $2000 and 30-60% off retail! I thought interesting. I guess I did not care if I waited 6-8 months for my dress or walked away with it that day. One benefit is that I could start looking for shoes right away and see the seamstress for any alterations now. And if I found what I wanted at a fraction of the price, score!
Once I got to the store I just had that feeling. Meeting Erica Laferlita the owner and having the store to ourselves was very special. She was easy-going, fun and very helpful in giving an objective opinion. Plus the selection of gowns was amazing! All so different in an a huge array of sizes. I believe I picked at least 12 to try on. Some I put on and did not have to even leave the dressing room because I knew it was a no. Some I had to turn in, walk around the salon and get my mom’s opinion. All in all I had two very different dresses that I just loved. One stood out and one was the winner! Erica gave us a great deal and a fantastic experience.
Aside from dresses, Erika has veils, antique jewelry and hair accessories for all your bridal needs. If you have gone to the big box stores or even small bridal boutiques, instead of saying Yes to the Dress right away, do yourself a favor and say Maybe and make an appointment with Erica.
And yes, we said YES TO THE DRESS! If you do, Erica will take your picture on the Love Couch and post on social media. Fun!