I wrote a long email for a friend the week she got engaged, and have since sent it to two other recently-engaged friends! I have decided to post a whole wedding series in sections to keep it organized. This section obviously being about dresses. This will be mostly helpful to the Houston-Area bride-to-be, but some parts will be helpful for everyone!
Every shop changes with the season in inventory but this was just my experience! I went to about 15 places and 3 of those I went more than once.
My best advice for dress shopping is to find designers you like on Instagram and see what shops carry that designer in your area. I did not do this! Bad idea. And if you have a mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, etc. who would love for you to wear their dress, try it on before you go dress shopping! If you love it, you will save time and money, have your something borrowed, and bring a little extra sweetness to your wedding day. I hope if I have a daughter she will be able to wear my gown, especially after wedding dress shopping was my least favorite thing to do.
If you like simple- look up Allison Webb. That is the designer of my dress. Most of her designs are classic, timeless and simple; which is what I knew I wanted. My seamstress was very impressed with my dress. She kept saying how they do not make dresses with this great quality anymore; and she particularly loved that the liner was sewn into the dress. (I forget everything else she said as fabric talk goes over my head)
Most shops are going to say “10% off if you buy on your first time” don’t do it.. buying the wrong non-returnable dress is not worth saving an average of $150 obvi and second-guessing your choice is definitely not worth the savings. Peace of mind is invaluable; especially when there is so much thinking and planning that goes into a wedding already.
Now on to where I bought my dress
– Now & Forever Bridal: this is where I got my dress! It was literally “last year” and I had no idea. I didn’t pick it for myself, either. The man helping me (I think he’s an owner) pulled it for me. Keep in mind I had been to this shop previously with no luck and about 14 others, on probably 5 different days of dress shopping. Before this appointment my friend, Libby said “don’t think of it as the most important dress of your life, think of it as the dress you get to marry Luke in and pick the one that makes you think that” or something along those lines. Once I had tried on all of the dresses I picked for myself, I tried this one on. I immediately cried. Finally, I felt like I was wearing The Dress I was going to marry Luke in. Tears quickly turned to joy when the man told me I could take it home that day and it would be 1/2 off. This is what they call “off the rack”. I called my dad and he was so happy!
I googled the dress and price as soon as I got in the car and it turned out I had actually gotten it for about $500 less than half off! This option surely presented a challenge for alterations, but it worked out!
A few other places I went…
–Nordstrom: limited selection but some nice stuff that’s not crazy expensive
–Casa De Novia: very pricey but so nice; first place I went to! They ask you your budget in private, which is nice and offer you water. Very good service
–Houston Bridal Gallery: my friend put together a skirt and top from here and made it into a dress and it was beautiful
–Brickhouse Bridal: big selection, reasonable prices! Wide variety and they were nice.. it’s far though and didn’t really see anything that other places wouldn’t have
–Ventura: I know a lot of people who found their dress here. They have a lot of options and very good prices
Lovely bride: good very plain and simple options
Happy Wedding Dress Shopping!