Updated 3/31/17* See bottom of the post!
As a bride-to-be, this is perhaps THE MOST exciting part of the entire wedding planning process! This is the part that I wish would NEVER end; so I knew I had to document this part of wedding planning on the blog!
In this post, I will show you gowns from 5 different designers in various price points. I let my consultant, Stacey, pick these out knowing what I like and don't like and really enjoyed the process of trying on different gowns. At the end of the post I'll reveal the designer of my ACTUAL GOWN but, of course, not the actual dress. That will come after the wedding!
As far as the type of gowns I have been looking for, this is what I like and don't like: I don't have very clear and defined collar bones (I know, the weirdest body part to be NOT confident about...) so I try to avoid all strapless/tube tops. I also prefer tulle/organza over satin in any scenario. I wanted something airy and fluffy, but not overly princess-y. I wanted something that will elongate me and give me a very "bridal" silhouette, but also have something that will be memorable and not just "a bridal gown".
The White Flower Bridal Boutique turned out to be the boutique that really understood my vision and had everything that I wanted in stock. They are located in downtown San Diego. If you're a bride to be and are shopping for a gown, don't forget to make an appointment and visit them!
P.S. This s not a sponsored post in any way, shape, or form!
Stacey Kerr is my wedding consultant at The White Flower. She's been SUPER helpful, knowledgeable, responsive, and patient with me throughout the whole process. I'm SO glad I got to work with her!!
So, here are Stacey's picks that I tried on! I also brought my own shoes (The Jimmy Choo's you see to the left of the picture below!)
1. Two Piece Outfit: Lea Ann Belter Top Arabella & Wtoo Skirt- Effie
I knew going in that I wanted to have something that's less conventional. A two piece gown from different brands definitely checked that box! I love the top that hugs the body (super flattering!) and the bottom that is everything you can ask for a fusion ballgown/A-line skirt!
2. The Vintage Elegance: Wtoo- Lenora Gown
I also wanted to make sure I tried on something that I just wouldn't even think of trying if someone didn't pick it out for me. I wanted to make sure my pre-conceived notions were not blinding me from finding the perfect gown. So this was the one that Stacey grabbed for me - I loved the vintage and elegant design. But, as you can probably see on my face, it ultimately wasn't something that I felt like I could be myself in.
3. The One That May Have Gotten Away: Essence Of Australia 2292 Gown
I had a little episode before I finalized the decision on THE dress. The first time I went with my entourage to the first boutique (which will remain anonymous), I actually ended up putting down the deposit toward an Essence of Australia dress. It wasn't the one I'm wearing in these photos because it was a sample dress and they didn't allow photos. But, I kind of got suckered into the "deal" because it was during a trunk show, and that they were offering something like (don't remember exactly) 50% off. So, the next morning, I literally woke up and KNEW I made the wrong decision. Thank goodness it wasn't too late and I was lucky enough to be able to reverse that decision. But I learned the lesson of listening to my heart and not my brain, and eventually found the dress that I LOVED at The White Flower boutique and hadn't changed my mind since!!
4. The Unexpected Contender: Martina Liana 822 Gown
The moment I put the dress on I knew my first impression about the dress was wrong. This is one of those dresses that fit SO well and accentuate all the right parts of your body. It sounds weird but I felt like a goddess in this dress! The only caveat was that I wasn't looking to look like a goddess... if that makes sense. I still needed my dress to be a tiny bit more conservative, and not show so much curves. But I have to say I didn't expect the dress to make me feel as amazing as it did. I would recommend any bride who wants to look dazzling and sexy!
5. Made my heart flutter: Hayley Paige Lorelei Gown
I CANNOT gush enough about Hayley Paige gowns... She truly masters the whimsical and romantic look in EVERY dress she designs. I am a story teller and a content developer, I feel like I appreciate all things that tell stories, too. Hayley Paige gowns do exactly that. This particular dress I tried on was a slightly larger size, so it obviously didn't fit perfectly. But imagine the sleeves perfectly tailored to my arms, and the top fitting a little more snugly... This dress was SO dangerously beautiful I was scared that I would change my mind about the dress I'd already committed to!
Even thought I felt SO strongly tempted, I still didn't change my mind. Thank goodness. LOL. And you may have guessed by this point, YES, I went with a Hayley Paige gown!! And I will be walking down the aisle in 8 days in it... I CANNOT BELIEVE!!!
It's been 20 days after the most dreamy day of my life, and here is the actual gown that I wore on my big day: the Hayley Paige Dori gown! It was perfect in every single way: the color, the fit, the way it moved, the way it made me feel.. I don't think I could've possibly moved a better gown!!
Which gown do you like best and why??
All photography by Cavin Elizabeth Photography