Wedding Dress Shopping as a Curvy Bride
I had the incredible opportunity to go dress shopping in New York City a few weeks ago. I'm so excited to finally share my experience with you! I was incredibly honored and humbled to have 4/5 bridesmaids with me and my mom in one place (we missed you Mallory)! This is particularly special because all came from four different cities to be there with me.
*disclaimer: none of the wedding dresses displayed in this blog post are my actual dress*
Prior to this shopping day, I caught a last minute appointment a few weeks prior at Lovely Bride NYC. When I went with my friend / bridesmaid Rosa, I really had no idea what I wanted. I had a Pinterest board filled with ideas. Our stylist, Nina was phenomenal. She showed me exactly what I thought I was looking for. Then, she pulled out a dress that was something I'd never think to try on. In fact, I had two of my feet in the dress around my ankles when I said, "I don't really like this one." Rosa and Nina encouraged me to just try it. Without giving too much away, my vision and direction of dress shopping took a total 180. This was the dress to beat. Something I never thought I would love!
My best advice is to go into dress shopping with an open mind with low to no expectations. I was more excited and looking forward to spending time with my friends than the actual task at hand!
First stop of our trip: Kleinfeld's!
I was "lucky" enough to get a last minute appointment three weeks out at Kleinfeld's. My friends arrived on Friday afternoon, so we were able to get in then. To be honest, I had very low expectations of the salon. When we arrived, the waiting room was jam packed and there was a sign that said they were filming TLC's "Say Yes To The Dress."
We were lucky enough to get paired with Shay, as seen on SYTTD. He was a ball of fun energy and we really enjoyed working with him. I showed him the vibe that I was going for and we quickly realized that we weren't going to be able to find a dress there. Instead, we decided to have a little fun with it and try dresses on for fun! One of the best parts about Kleinfeld's was that they had a wide range of sample sizes. This was something that was very important to me as a curvy bride. I was able to zip up the majority of dresses that we tried on.
It was pretty cool to be inside of the dressing room, it looked exactly like the show!
On Saturday, we had a full day of shopping planned!
Our first stop of the day was The White Gown:
We were greeted by a very friendly sales associate and she helped us find and try on some options. There were a lot of different styles, nothing that felt quite right. There was one dress that I loved but I literally could not get a thigh into it, so instead we held it up against the front of my body.
Ok- let's get a little more real here. I am plus size model. I am very familiar with sample sizing, things not fitting, clothing needing to be altered, etc. However, I found it extremely difficult to want to buy a dress that I could not get over my head. I am a size 14- I represent the average size woman in America. It was a tad disheartening to walk into a salon and have dresses unable to zip/ close. It didn't bother me all that much, but thinking of other women coming in and feeling inadequate upset me more. Nonetheless, we found a dress that we liked there. However, there were too many alterations that needed to happen in order for it be 'the one.' I was looking for a dress that was perfect for my body type "as is" with minor alterations.
We continued on to our third stop of the trip, Wedding Atelier.
To be honest, we weren't really sure about this place. We had a difficult check in process. This was the only place where your shoes needed to be taken off for cleanliness, which we later appreciated. We quickly were able to overlook those quirks once we met our stylist, Daisy.
Daisy took the time to get to know my entire crew, which meant a lot to me. She was incredibly kind and personable. She even remembered everyones names. Daisy asked us questions and took down some important information about our wedding. At this point, there was a dress to beat, the same dress I showed to Shay at Kleinfeld's. I showed it to Daisy, expecting her to say that she couldn't find anything better- like Shay did. After assuring me that she had something better, I reluctantly went into the back dressing room with her and tried on her first suggestion.
Without revealing too much, let's just say there were tears. To be honest, I never thought that I was going to have that "moment." Well, I did. I held my composure, but my eyes welled up. I turned around to gauge the reaction of my crew and they were also crying. My mother - who is the strongest, fiercest woman I know- was crying. I knew... This was it. They added a veil and jewelry to see the "look" come together and I didn't want to take it off! After about twenty five minutes of having the dress on, I tried on a few other ones. Nothing could top Daisy's first pick.
I had two other appointments scheduled for the day, one that I cancelled. However, I didn't feel obligated to buy 'the one' just yet. I wanted to sleep on it and compare it to a dress I tried on at Lovely a few weeks prior. Strategically, our last stop was Lovely Bride.
In the end, the dress we fell in love with the #1 Daisy's choice at Wedding Atelier. So, we celebrated the only way we know how- with a pasta and rosé filled dinner at Aunt Jake's! I am incredibly grateful to have been able to have such a fun and productive girls' weekend. Since my friends are all over the map, I was overwhelmed with emotion that they could all be there for me. I really have the best friend/ support system a girl could ask for. Here's to a fun filled year ahead!
All photos courtesy of Kristen Mirand @KristenMirand, @KandidsByKris