Out of all the decisions that we made for my sister's wedding choosing our dresses was most definitely the easiest. Funny enough, both dresses were actually found pretty much by chance. Below is a the story of how we found "the dress."
After my sister announced her engagement (over facetime and almost immediately after since that's how we roll) I began to set up plans for us to go shopping for "the dress." Since there is nowhere better than NYC for shopping, we decided to make a weekend out of it and I made a few appointments at some boutiques ranging from high to low. I know that wedding planning usually doesn't start with the choosing of the bride's dress, but I also knew that there were going to be so many little details to figure out (a lot of which are pretty mundane) that it would be best to start with something super fun like picking out what she would walk down the aisle in. Plus, I really thought that we could take cues from the style of the dress that she choose and that would help down the road when we were making other style decisions- and it definitely did!
When we went dress shopping we had my sister-in-law with us which was perfect since I can sometimes get a little over excited (or a lot over excited). The idea was that she would try on dresses to get a sense of what she liked and didn't like. Never did we think that we would be going home with a wedding dress and to boot a wedding dress that was under $400!
Yes, it was a very productive day!
We started the morning off with brunch (and wine) and then hit the first boutique which was probably the most expensive of them all. We weren't really sure what we were looking for and I was pretty unimpressed when we found out that she was really only allowed to try on dresses in her price range. For me the idea of this trip was more of a scouting mission to see what cut / color we liked, not necessarily to find the exact dress. Well, it turns out that window shopping isn't really a thing anymore. That being said we had incredible service from the sales associate and for the next hour my sister tried on dresses, I cried, she tried some more on... we looked around a little and then we left.
More wine, followed by lunch, which meant we cancelled our next appointment at another luxury boutique after assuming that the experience would be similar to the one from earlier in the morning. Anyway, our last stop of the day was at the J. Crew bridal boutique and this was the place I was the most excited about because everything was in budget and I was looking forward to the opposite of the whole Pretty Woman experience that we had earlier in the morning (it's veryyyyyy expensive).
We had googled the address and actually had lunch across the street so we wouldn't be late. As luck would have it the bridal boutique had moved which meant we were going to be twenty to thirty minutes late for our one hour appointment. We called hoping they would understand given that it's their address that is actually listed wrong and sadly they didn't. From the uber we had some dresses pulled but when we got there we didn't really have a chance to look around given that they were going to kick us out in 30 minutes (oh, and they did!)
My sister tried on a few dresses that we had been stalking online and while they were beautiful they clearly were just not "the dress." Defeated we were about to leave when we figured that we might as well try on bridesmaids dresses so the entire day wouldn't be a waste. I already owned a dress that I was planning on wearing and to see what style would go with it my sister tried on a beautiful blush gown.
You all can see where this is going, right?
From the minute she tried it on we all pretty much yelped "that's the one!" It wasn't so much the cut of the other dresses that we didn't love, it was actually just that we didn't love her in white. Same goes for me, and I then retold her the story of my wedding dress and how I had always wished that I had worn something other than white because it looks so badly on me. We went back and forth (at this point we were shuttled out of our room andwere trying on dresses by the sale rack) and as luck would have it the store manager walked by (who was adorable and oh so stylish) and she took mercy on us by finding us a room and helping us out. We looked at a few bridesmaid dresses in gray and continued to fall more and more in love with "the dress" the longer my sister had it on. It was then that we were told that the color was actually being discontinued and that there were only two left in the company in her size. Let me tell you, a credit card has never been thrown down faster. Since it's J.Crew we were able to go upstairs and pick out the wardrobe for the groom's side and soon enough we were at ABC Kitchen with drinks in hand celebrating our victory!
When we got back to Boston the next day, I received a frantic text from my sister relaying a conversation that she had just had with her groom that went something like, "how was dress shopping?" "Great, I found my dress!!!" Her groom then said something to the effect of "as long as it's white I'm sure I will love it,"
Immediately, I made an appointment at our local BHLDN to try on a few more WHITE dresses. We had loved their dresses from the site and I certainly didn't want to be responsible for any disappointment on the big day. My sister was still sold on the blush dress, but we decided to try on a few more just to be sure. I'm not kidding when I say that she tried on one white dress and then said, "yep, I'm sure." Even the salesgirl had to agree that the blush was the one that really made her light up, even though it was from another company.
We started to look around for shoes and accessories when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a beautiful peacock colored dress, I tried it on next to my sister and immediately we both were 100% sold that these were the dresses. We immediately scraped our original plan for grey and the rest, as they say, is history.
Words don't even describe how happy I am with the dresses that we chose. They were light, airy, comfortable (my sister's even had pockets!!!) and best of all they were affordable. I loved that the bridesmaid dresses could all be worn in a slightly different way and as for my sister she has never looked more beautiful. I truly believe that this dress was meant to be her wedding dress!
So, that my friends, is the story of the dresses. It is also proof that you don't have to spend a ridiculous amount of money for a wedding dress and that sometimes you just have to be willing to try things on and think a little outside the box! xx
P.P.S. Remember this beautiful elopement story? It's still one of my favorite posts to date!
Photography by Fidelio Photography