Saturday, April 25, 2015

the wedding dress hunt, part one












Our wedding may still be over a year away (May 14th of 2016) but I could hardly wait to start searching for a dress. Mostly because I know myself well, and I am going to be one picky lady when it comes to finding The One. My search began in New York with the adorable Liz (who is also newly engaged!) by my side and it was definitely an eye opening experience. Also, it's worth mentioning that the only thing I came close to actually purchasing that day was a vintage mint green sequined cardigan trimmed with marabou. Shocking, I know.

We went to four spots: Alexandra Grecco's studio (of course), the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show (home of the sequined cardigan I sadly did not buy), Stone Fox Bride, and Lovely Bride. Alexandra's dresses and studio were just as expected: perfectly amazing. The dove grey silk number in the second and third photos was my favorite and made me feel like I was wearing the lightest, softest nightgown. The vintage show was overwhelming but fun, and I did see a lot of wedding-worthy frocks but they were mostly from the 1920's and 1930's and built for a 12 year old's body.

I was really excited about the next stop, Stone Fox Bride, but my experience lasted all of ten minutes because the samples were incredibly tiny (mostly size 2's) and the selection (although very pretty) was surprisingly small and beyond my budget. Also, the woman assisting me had a slightly cold demeanor that made me feel as though I was being hurried through the experience, which is not pleasant when you're standing there half naked wearing some unflattering high waisted nude underwear and struggling to pull complicated garments on and off. I only tried three dresses on, felt terrible about myself, and quickly got dressed so that I could cheer on Liz (who was only having slightly more luck than I did). I imagine a tiny lady would be in heaven here, but it wasn't for me.

Fortunately our last stop, Lovely Bride, made up for this awkward experience. The woman assisting me was a total doll (whew) and made me feel comfortable despite the aforementioned weird trying-on-white-dresses underwear situation. Liz and I both had one main reason for going to Lovely and that was the selection of Rue de Seine dresses (I'm wearing my favorite in the last photo). I tried on about ten different dresses and really liked three of them but none of them were quite perfect, although it did help me rule out certain things that probably don't look too flattering on me.

I would love to find a vintage dress but I'm still open to something new. I like the idea of finding a dress by a designer I love (Honor? Erdem, perhaps?) that isn't technically a wedding dress, since the thought of wearing something really bridal-y turns me off. In the meantime I will be trolling the internet for options like a madwoman. Wish me luck, and let me know in the comments if you have any wedding dress hunting advice (or horror stories) of your own!

9 comments:

M Y R T L E said...

As a fellow dress lover/dealer, I was also shocked at how uncomfortable wedding dress shopping was! I also had a nice experience at Lovely (the LA location) and with Alexandra (did bridesmaids with her!) but the general atmosphere of sample dresses and pushy sales people made me feel like I was buying a used car! I would definitely recommend shopping designer labels at high end department stores and keeping up your vintage dream. I ended up finding my dress at a local vintage shop (The Way We Wore) after endless nights searching 1stdibs. You should definitely go to the Honor store for the experience--my favorite dressing room anywhere!--and you might like Houghton as well (but it's $$$)

Oni said...

that last dress looks stunning on you. Im sorry you had that experience at stone fox. :( good luck with your search and keep posting the journey. I didnt get to wear a wedding dress when I eloped so I will live vicariously through you.

Madison McQuary said...

Oh such lovely dresses! I wish you the best of luck in finding your absolute PERFECT dress....this is such an important day and you should feel utterly perfect:)
-Madison
www.1minniemuse.blogspot.com

England Aiven said...

Simple is best, just like the simple bridal style. http://www.aiven.co.uk/wedding-dresses-c120/a/elegant_simple_o3v1079/

Julia said...

Eeeeee, I can't wait to hunt with you!

Kati said...

All of those look very pretty! Best of luck to you. I got married in 2013, and also wanted something unique, affordable, and in addition, I did not want the traditional wedding dress shopping experience you see in the movies. I got married at the county registrar so I wanted a cute dress and not a huge ballgown. Ended up going to Forever21 and getting two dresses (I know, fast fashion is not that great, but there you have it). I wore one to the ceremony at the registrar, with a vintage "bed jacket" over it, to create a new dress. I wore pale blue tights with it, and some stack-heel shoes my mom gave me. For our reception party a few weeks later, I wore the other white dress along with some sandals I found that had our wedding colors blocked in them: turquoise and orange. I found a little flower crown on Etsy. Online is GREAT for wedding stuff, as you are finding out. But, I had better luck trying on dresses in person, because I have wide hips. What a fun time--enjoy! :-)

Catherine said...

my friend is also getting married at looked at some Rue De Seine dresses. their all so beautiful! Stone Fox also looks like it has some beauties - shame the shop assistant was in a bad mood! I personally will be sewing mine, but ill have to look around to find ones i like that i want to use as inspiration. Good luck on your hunt! I hope you find you magical dress soon! And unless you really want it to be, it doesn't have to be white! Why not pink or green??

birdhouse productions said...

Ashley, you look gorgeous in everything you wear! And these dresses so far are all impeccable on you. You wear them well, and none of them wear you. :) I was so worried about finding a dress that wouldn't wear me because I'm a bit short (5'2'') but had an incredible experience at The Wedding Shoppe in Wayne. I found the dress of my dreams at a Monique Lhuillier trunk sale and while it didn't fit at ALL like it was going to when I tried it on, the tailor they had for me there crafted it like a dream for me. I hope you have a similar, incredible experience elsewhere and know you will find the dress of your dreams! Such a fan of yours. Oh, what I'd give to film your big day... <3 Happy hunting!

knittedowl said...

What beautiful dresses! I was originally considering crocheting my own wedding dress - I found a lovely pattern and bought the wool and everything. But I quickly realised how fiddly/difficult/crazy that was. I then decided on a vintage beauty, and I trawled eBay and travelled all over the UK in search of my perfect dress.

Eventually a friend recommended the shop she found hers at, Glory Days Vintage, in York in the North of England...and I found mine there, too! It was from the 1970s, polka dot tulle with a high neck, three quarter sleeves and floral embroidery at the neckline. I wore it with pale pink Swedish Hasbeens, a coral cardigan and a huge coral peony crown. I loved my look!

Really looking forward to seeing what you choose. Also VERY jealous of your being able to visit BHLDN :) Also...May is the best wedding month! We got married on 10th May. Best of luck Ashley! xx