Yesterday I mentioned a little road trip that I was embarking on and now I can share the details. Well, some of them at least.
A few weeks ago my sister, mom and niece came to Richmond and we went to a couple shops here locally. The first place we went was Bridal Elegance. The staff was super helpful, not pushy at all and they had a good selection of dresses. I tried on 10-12 dresses and was able to figure out right away that my vision of a lace, form fitting dresses wasn’t going to work for me.
Here is one of the dresses that I loved online and tried in the store and didn’t like at all.
All the lace dresses looked like the dress was wearing me rather than me wearing the dress. I also thought I would like to have cute shoulder straps on the dress, but soon realized that a strapless, sweetheart neckline was my favorite style.
(Not my dress)
One dress I tried on at Bridal Elegance was my absolute favorite and I just kept comparing every dress I tried on afterward to it. The price was a little over what I wanted to spend, but not by much so it was still doable. I left feeling super happy that I found at least one dress that I loved.
The second place we went that day was Tiffany’s Bridal. They also had a good selection of dresses and were friendly, but unfortunately the appointment started off on a bad note because they had somehow accidentally deleted my appointment and they didn’t have a sales consultant that could give me her full attention. They sent someone over to help out periodically but for the most part, my sister had to help me get in and out of the gowns. I tried on quite a few dresses at Tiffany’s and some were gorgeous, but none of them excited me as much as the one I had found earlier.
(Not my dress)
So after two places and 4 hours of shopping, we called it quits for the day and I figured I would make more appointments at some other shops over the next few months, just to be sure there wasn’t something better out there for me.
So back to the road trip, Ellen (Isaac’s mom) and I drove to Lynchburg yesterday to a really unique bridal store I had heard about from a vendor when we were looking at venues.
The name of the shop is Church St. Bridal and they sell sample dresses that have been donated from different bridal stores. Most of their dresses come from Kleinfeld Bridal – the famous “Say Yes to the Dress” store. All the dresses are priced at an extremely discounted price and the proceeds from the dresses go to support YCWA of Central Virginia- a battered women’s shelter. Definitely a win-win situation!
It was completely worth the four-hour car drive there and back!
The store was really well organized and the staff was super knowledgable and helpful. The biggest perk is the prices! For $200-$900 you can purchase a bridal gown that retailed for $800-thousands. Sometimes the shop receives dresses with a retail value between $10,000-$20,000. These are priced higher in order to discourage speculating.
Since the dresses were samples, some had small make-up stains or were missing a few beads, but nothing that couldn’t easily be fixed. I tried on about eight dresses and ended up falling head over heels in love with the last one I tried on. It’s beautiful and fits like a glove! I think the top might need to be taken in a bit and sit a little lower on my chest, but otherwise I don’t think I’ll need much alterations done to the dress. I couldn’t stop smiling when I had it on and kind of wish I could be wearing it right now. It’s that lovely!
Isaac’s mom was a huge help the whole day and helped immensely in making the final decision. Although I definitely wish my bridesmaids and mom could have been with me, it would have been really hard to coordinate. I could have put the dress on hold and waited until I could bring more friends and family to see it, but I knew it was MY dress so that didn’t seem necessary. I sent them all photos and they’ll get to see me in it very soon, I’m sure.
So after only three stores and about 30 dresses, I said YES to the dress! Obviously I won’t be posting any photos of THE dress because I don’t want my fiancé to sneak a peek before the big day. 😉 Don’t worry though, I’ll have plenty of photos to share after the wedding.
Oh, and the best part about buying my dress at Church St. Bridal is that I already have it at my house so I can go put it on whenever I want. Maybe I’ll go do that now…