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A Wedding Dress Shopping Story

by Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo’s Lead Stylist Suzanne Ardite

Congratulations ~ You’re engaged! You are about to embark on one of the most joyous and daunting journeys of your life… planning your wedding. There are so many things that will require your attention and planning skills in the next few months. You will hear and read so much advice on wedding planning that your brain may overload. And, one of the most anticipated and heralded moments in your journey will be finding THE perfect dress.

But, before you start pinning those dresses on Pinterest and making those appointments, you may need to contemplate what kind of bridal appointment you wish to have that will help you accomplish your goal. This blog tells an actual story of one of my recent brides so settle in.

Who Am I?

My name is Suzanne Ardite and I’ve been fortunate enough to work as a Bridal Consultant for many years and in many states before finding my newest home at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. I have seen attitudes toward fashion and function change with regard to the bride’s gown and the nature of bridal appointments has changed along with it.

Not that long ago, bridal gown shopping was exclusive to the bride-to-be, her mother or grandmother. Perhaps a Godmother or sister would attend the appointment. It was this core group that joined the bride and offered their opinions. Now, with the advent of popular reality shows like, “Say Yes to the Dress”, appointment dynamics have really changed.

Many appointments are a full bridal party event, bringing very large groups and some complete with alcohol. Some guests wander off during the appointment, pull dresses that the bride has no interest in (“Oh just try it on for fun!”), is over budget (“Just try it, it’s so gorgeous!”), or they attempt to accessorize dresses the bride doesn’t like (“Try a veil with that one!”)

This is not how you initially shop for the most special garment of your life.

Let’s Talk About The Search

Your dress is more than just a garment to be worn on your wedding day. The “modern” bridal gown is imbued with a traditional mystique that harkens back to Victorian England. This creation of silk, tulle or lace has the power to convey your identity and personality to all gathered. It creates ambience and whispers of the overall theme of your day. It speaks of sophistication and elegance. It shares your sense of whimsy and fun, all while flattering your silhouette and inspiring awe. That is a lot to ask from a dress.

It’s with these thoughts in mind that we, as bridal consultants, do our very best to provide you with our undivided attention, knowledge, and expertise to help guide you to the one particular dress that will make heads turn, remain in your guests memories, and most importantly, be the one in which you go from Miss to Mrs.

Case In Point

One of my recent brides, Carly, was married in November to her wonderful fiancé, Jim. She looked absolutely phenomenal in a gorgeous, customized, ivory-colored Casablanca tulle and re-embroidered lace gown. But, she was only able to find her dream dress after readjusting her appointment priorities and focusing on her objective.

Carly is an admitted people pleaser by nature and one of the nicest people you could meet. Wanting to make sure everyone felt included, she brought her entire bridal party to her initial appointment at a big box store. What she expected would be a magical day turned into a huge disappointment which left her full of confusion.

Her group was trying to be helpful of course and she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings so she continued trying on gowns pulled and suggested for her that she knew she would never consider for her special day with Jim.  Carly tried to ask her stylist for help in what would look best, but the consultant was working with multiple brides and could not focus on her. She continued trying on dresses that others liked, waited for mirror space and the consultant’s attention.  Feeling overwhelmed, Carly decided that if she were to find the gown of her dreams – the gown she wanted Jim to see her in as his bride – she needed to rethink her appointment parameters.

An Appointment With Intention and Focus

For her appointment with me at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, she chose to limit her audience to her amazing mother, Petrina. During our quiet, intimate appointment, we were able to target what Carly truly wanted in her dress.

We discussed her wedding venue, theme, color pallet, and the overall aesthetic of the day. We narrowed down the most flattering silhouettes to compliment her figure. After we accomplished this, we were able to narrow down her choices further. Could she dance in it? Would she be comfortable in the gown for her long day? What dress color would compliment her skin tone best and photograph well? Would she need foundation garments or special alterations to customize the dress to her specifically? Could we make custom changes to make it absolutely perfect for her? These are all critical topics that needed to be addressed with intention and focus, with every bride.

At the end of our 90 minutes together, Carly was able, confident, and delighted to say “YES” to her dress… and enjoy a champagne toast and shed a few very happy tears!  For a stylist, sharing this moment is incredibly special.

A Better Way – The “Reveal”

You may find as a bride that you are sometimes put in a precarious position of having to meet other peoples’ expectations even though it is your special day. Some brides feel obliged to acquiesce to others on dress choice, but placating other people does not always translate to your satisfaction or happiness.

Of course you want everyone to have a special part in seeing you transition from daughter, sister, cousin or friend to bride. This can be accomplished with minimal effort and will satisfy everyone’s desire to have a part in your big day.

After you have said “YES” to your dress and the gown arrives from the designer, we will schedule you for your Bridal Gown Try-On Appointment. This is a very special appointment at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo because you are trying on your dress. We refer to this appointment as The Reveal!

During your Reveal appointment we encourage you to bring in your bridal group!  You can finally share with everyone your dream dress and your vision for your big day. It is a wonderful way for your nearest and dearest friends and family to participate in choosing the finishing touches to complete your wedding day ensemble. It is at this appointment where you may find that incredibly special “something old” or “something borrowed”! Everyone gets to participate in your final touches, take pictures, and see you transition to a bride in YOUR dress, that you chose, and your party will see it is the perfect dress for you!

How Many Should I Try On?

Are you indecisive? The more you try the harder it will be.  Are you shopping too early? You may wish you had waited for the newest inventory.  When you find a dress you love, that checks all the boxes, say yes with confidence.

“Oh, but you can’t say yes yet!”

Why? If you found a dress you love that checks all the boxes, everyone loves it, and one person says, “You can’t say yes yet, you need to sleep on it.”  Why would that one person tell you not to say yes and put doubt in your mind?  Because he or she doesn’t like it?  Because you aren’t capable of making the right decision, after you and your stylist found the exact dress you described?

Now you leave, confused and disappointed, thinking you must not know what you’re doing (why didn’t she like it, I loved it) or you must have looked bad (she thinks I’m in the wrong style). Our stylists would never pull dresses that don’t flatter you. Bring a smaller group of those whose opinions you trust, trust your stylist, and ultimately, trust yourself!

The Moral

You know when you know. You will have that moment, you will get chills, you just might start to cry. Your smaller group of loved ones will support you completely. When you know, say YES! Once you do, all of your other details will fall perfectly into place and your vision will become clearer.  Now it’s time to move onto a bridesmaid appointment and there you can kick back and enjoy being a bride-to-be!

Make your appointment with Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo online.  Our family-owned Warrington PA bridal & tuxedo shop will take personal care of you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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