Source: Friend of the Bride
Well, I've found a dress! And in an unlikely place (I think) - at a Charity Sample Gown Sale. I don't remember exactly where I first heard about this particular sale, Brides Against Breast Cancer, but I remember thinking how fun it would be to make an event out of it even if I didn't find a dress. I reached out to a group of my friends, and my mom, and it turned out a bunch of us could all make the 3 hour trek down to Portland the weekend of the sale, so we decided to make a little trip out of it.
Approaching the weekend of the sale, I was excited and optimistic about finding a gown. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have been. The sale was popular, and I'm not a teeny size, so my selections were more scarce than other girls. There were a lot of gowns, but some of them were pre-owned and not in great shape, so the options that were still pristine were even fewer. However, with a few tips, I found a gown I love that just needs a bit of seamstress alterations to make it perfect for me. I would totally recommend at least trying one of these sales because you can score an amazing deal. Here is what I would recommend:
- Go shopping ahead of time. This was so so important because it let me figure out not only what styles I liked, but also what looked good on me. As many brides experience, the style that you see pinned and LOVE may not be the best for your body type. Shopping at a couple salons gave me the chance to get some of my "dream dresses" out of my system and to realize that something else may be perfect fo rme.
- Make a cheat sheet. If you have friends and/or family shopping with you, create a cheat sheet of styles, fabrics, colors, etc to help them know which options to pull for you. This gave everyone a great start to know what I was looking for, even though I ended up trying on many many dresses and not every one stuck exactly to my guide. But, it also helped eliminate some dresses I knew weren't me at all.
- Go back one last time. I was about to throw in the towel on my search at the sale when we all decided to walk through the racks one more time. And I'm so glad I did, because after having seen a few good contenders, one caught my eye that I hadn't seen before. I don't know if another girl had been trying it on and it had just been put back on the rack, but it was just different enough to be perfect for me. I'm so glad I made that last lap.
I can't wait to share more about my wedding day look, but for now I'll share some of my favorite inspiration gowns from my Bridal Attire pinboard. They all have a romantic silhouette, sweetheart necklines, off-white color options, and architectural detailing that I love.
Source: Brides - Dress Nouvelle Amsale for Nordstrom
Source: Junko Yoshioka
Source: Paper & Pearls
You can always read more about my wedding journey at my personal blog, The Ravenna Girls.