I went wedding dress shopping last weekend without the intention of ever buying a dress. I was probably every consultant’s worst nightmare. But guess what? I bought one.
I never expected it to become a battle between what I think I wanted and what I really want.
I started off at Bryan’s Bride, which has a vast selection of traditional gowns. Lace, beading, satin, bows. You name it, they’ve got it. The store is brightly lit with tons of room and a clean, spacious fitting room. My consultant Irene was super helpful and sweet, and she patiently laced me into each dress.
I must have tried on 10 dresses or so. My favourite was a sweetheart A-line gown with a corset back. It cinched me in, in all the right places.
Unfortunately, I’m having a lunch wedding at a restaurant and it just didn’t seem to fit my venue. I never pictured myself as a traditional bride. I was aiming for romantic, whimsical, flowy and ethereal; yet this dress was elegant, formal, traditional, and kind of sexy. It had lace and I love lace. Most of all, it gave a great shape to my body.
So, my friends and I hopped on a skytrain and headed for New Westminster to a store named Golden Brides—a store my friend Tina strongly recommended. Both of her sisters bought their dresses there.
When I walked in, I was greeted with row upon row of dresses. It looked more like a stockroom than a bridal salon. I browsed for a good 20 minutes and didn’t like anything. The fitting rooms were curtained off sections, not actual rooms. Nobody helped me in and out of dresses except for my best friend Maya.
Out of curiosity, I looked at a rack of bridesmaids dresses. I grabbed a flowy white gown to try on, mostly for fun. It had a ruched bodice and an empire waist.
Maya zipped me in and I stepped onto the pedestal. A sales associate wrapped a crystal belt around my waist. I gasped. It was so beautiful, it took my breath away.
When she placed a veil on me, I cried. My girlfriends hopped up from the couch and hugged me.
“You cried in it so now you have to get it!” my girl friends exclaimed.
I tried on so many traditional wedding dresses that looked phenomenal, but none of them came close to making me feel like this one did. I tried to be a traditional bride, but I just didn’t feel like it was me.
I can’t post my real dress here, but it very much looks like this gown by Jenny Yoo.
Jenny Yoo Aimee Dress
I can’t believe I have a dress. It’s all so surreal. One day I didn’t have a dress, the next day, I do!
I learned to trust my gut and choose the gown I really wanted, instead of the gown I thought I wanted. You really can’t judge a book by its cover. Golden Brides doesn’t give you the full-service salon experience, but it gets the job done. To top it off, I got a phenomenal price—the dress, the crystal sash, and the alterations cost me under $500. It’s about half the price of my original budget of $1000.
Time to go crazy with accessories!