Yes ladies, it’s just like you dreamed. Wearing your wedding dress on your special day is better than chocolate. (And that’s saying a lot for this chocolate connoisseur!) I approached the wedding dress shopping experience by thinking of my dress as my signature – everyone’s got one but mine is unique to me.
If you know me, it wouldn’t surprise you that I didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding dress – I wanted something all my own. Classic, but different and still definitely white. I wanted to feel like a bride, but without the poof and lace. Sexy, but modest. Comfortable but form fitting. The fun part about the bridal industry these days, is that you can find a dress with all those unique features, on a budget and without having to design one from scratch.
There are so many options! (Which can also be overwhelming…)
Wedding dress shopping
My husband and I might live in Florida, but we wanted to get married in our hometown of St. Louis, where our family and most of our friends still reside. St. Louis is also where we got engaged, so we could celebrate with our family. (Great work Mitch!)
The very next day after Mitch popped the question, I went and looked at dresses and venues with my mom. I know that seems quick, but this was my only chance to see things in person in St. Louis — before I had to go back home to Florida.
We found a dress we both really liked at the second boutique we went to in St. Louis, Mia Grace Bridal. But we were so new to the process, that I had to keep looking. (The dress shopping experience can’t be over that quickly, right ladies?!)
I always envisioned my mom being by my side the entire wedding dress shopping experience – but sometimes life happens. A few days later it was back to reality, back to work, and back to Florida.
My spontaneous Kleinfeld’s experience
A month later I was in New York working the President’s Cup for the PGA TOUR. A few days prior, on a whim, I reached out to Kleinfeld’s to see if they could squeeze me in for an appointment and they did! Who knew their staff and CEO Ronnie, were such big golf fans?!
The entire experience at Kleinfeld’s was a dream and I was so grateful to the staff for treating us to a VIP afternoon. I found a few dresses I liked (in my budget) and I FaceTimed my mom. But we kept comparing all the gowns to the dress we both loved back in St. Louis.
Thank goodness for technology! It was so hard not to have her with me that day but my friends helped take photos and her send videos. (Another big shout out to Mattie-Lou who went along with me. She was a great friend, that didn’t give her opinion much and let me form my own thoughts about the dresses I tried on. She was the perfect person there for support when my mom couldn’t be there!)
Saying “Yes to the dress”
Sorry to ruin the fairytale ending! But I did not say “Yes to the dress” at Kleinfeld’s and they were super understanding. You have to go with your gut!
I went one more time to a boutique in Jacksonville, FL, with a friend but nothing to call my mom about. I still couldn’t pull the trigger on the dress I knew in my gut was the one, because I had yet to try it on in the exact color I wanted. I imagined myself in the dress with an ivory mesh underlay instead of the nude that I tried on in St. Louis. After doing some research and calling around I drove to Orlando early one morning, before my afternoon shift in the PGA TOUR Studios back in Jacksonville.
All this, just to try it on the in the exact color I envisioned that I wanted. It was worth it!
There, I knew, it was time. As much as you want to drag out the process ladies – don’t overcomplicate things or try on too many dresses. Go with your gut! You won’t regret it!
So I called up Mia Grace Bridal in St. Louis that day and finally placed the order for my wedding dress (in the exact color I wanted). In the long-run it was a relief to have the dress in the city I was getting married in. No traveling on a plane with my wedding dress. The thought of having to do that still stresses me out!
Wearing my wedding dress on my big day was one of the things I looked forward to the most and it was magical. I felt so good in it, it matched my personality to the ‘T’ ?Not to mention, it was super comfortable! I didn’t have a care in the world while wearing it all night and I felt like a million bucks. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
Now, how do I figure out how to wear it again? I might have a few ideas… Stay tuned!