Sunday, May 15, 2011

'Say Yes to Your Dress?'

For as long as I can remember, our children, who are all adults now, have been our ‘guinea pigs’… and this past Mother's Day weekend was no exception. Even though we were in San Diego celebrating 'Our Day', Marjorie and I were doing what we do best...being InnCredible wedding planners on the look-out for fabulous wedding ideas, and interesting topics to share with you, our readers.

So, while we were out having a little 'retail therapy' time with our girls, we happened to pass a major chain bridal store, when one of our girls wondered aloud, 'if buying a wedding dress was really as crazy stressful and insane as it is on 'Say Yes to the Dress'?

Light bulb!

That's all the incentive Marjorie and I needed to get our creative juices flowing. We gals were on a mission to find out!

There are a lot of bridal salons in the San Diego area to choose from, so we decided to check with a few local wedding professionals and learned about a fabulous bridal boutique called ‘Here Comes the Bride’. Perfect! We had our location, now our only problem was...which one of our girls would be our ‘test mouse’ and volunteer for the arduous task of trying on one gorgeous dress after another while we 'wedding planners', aka Moms, gathered our valuable information.

Well, in keeping with her 'dare-devil, I'll try anything' character, Marjorie's daughter, Meagan, bravely volunteered to take on the daunting task of being our model. I know...I know, it was a tough job, but someone had to do it’… so a million thanks to our brave Missy Meagan for being our Rock Star!

From the outside, 'Here Comes the Bride' doesn't look like much...but, oh my goodness, when we walked inside, the place came alive with some of the most spectacularly beautiful wedding gowns I've ever seen. I couldn't keep my hands off them! And neither could any of the girls. We had a blast looking through the different styles displayed in all their glory while trying to select ones for Meagan to try on. Not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination!

And of course, I instantly found the MOST InnCredible pair of shoes in the store....oh yeah! I just these shoes! And they fit! LOL!

Marjorie, on the other hand, being the classier, more down-to-earth one of our dynamic duo, picked another pair of shoes...pretty, but not as fabulous as the purple ones! LOL...just joking! They too were gorgeous!

But, we're here to talk about dresses, not back to the dress trying/buying experience.

We were extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to work with, Rebecca Martinez, manager of this fabulous bridal boutique. Rebecca was amazing! She was a wealth of information and gave us some fabulous tips for making your wedding dress shopping trip a huge success. And, you'll be happy to know, according to Rebecca, buying a wedding dress is nothing at all like what you see on 'Say Yes to the Dress'. And we certainly found that to be the case. Even though we were there for research and not dress buying, the entire day was delightful!

So, what can you expect, and what do you need to do to prepare for an InnCredible experience?

First, you need to make an appointment at the salon. This is critical to get the kind of one-on-one attention you deserve, and many salons won't see you if you don't have an appointment. Remember, this isn't like going to a department store to try on dresses…this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so you want to be prepared. Rebecca says, the typical appointment usually lasts about an one and a half hour, so plan accordingly.

When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire to give your consultant a bit of information about you and your dress choices.

Always go to your appointment with an idea, and pictures, if you have them, of dresses you like, or styles you’re interested in. However, Rebecca says 'it’s also important to keep an open mind, because you never really know what will look good on you until you put it on.'

At ‘Here Comes the Bride’, we were asked to shop the racks of dresses and choose the gowns we felt would be perfect for our impostor ‘bride-to-be’. Now, this is may not be the case at other salons. Just as each bride has her own personality, each salon has its own personality as well. So, choose your salon wisely for a great experience.

When it comes to who to bring, Rebecca suggests that you bring a few close friends and family members…and I emphasize the word, ‘few’. She suggests no more than 5-6 people.

So we brought, Meagan's crazy best friend, my fabulous daughter, Ailis, naturally!

Meagan's InnCredible Mom, and my 'bestie', Marjorie, of course!...It wouldn't be a party without her!

And my darling daughter-in-law, Tiffany...and that was it! Four in total, if you include me. Not too many, not too few. Remember, the more people you have, the more opinions you'll get and that, Rebecca says, can be confusing and distressing for any bride.

Rebecca also suggests that those in attendance keep quiet until the bride gives her opinion on the dress she's trying on. Great advice, but something we had a difficult time adhering too. Every dress that Meagan tried on looked so amazing on her, it was difficult for us to stay silent. No matter how hard we tried, the 'oohs', the 'awes' and 'gasps' flew uncontrollably as she walked out from behind the screen. But, even though we had a very difficult time keeping our opinions to ourselves, please, 'do as we say and not as we do', and 'keep quiet' until your bride gives her opinion so you don't influence her choice.

When trying on your dresses you'll be asked to do so without a bra. Yep, you heard me, no bra! That's because fabric on fabric causes the dresses to not fit properly because the fabric can slip or pull. So don't panic when you're asked to remove yours with that first dress. When all is said and done, your dress should fit you 'like a glove', so the only undergarment you'll need is a pair of panties. And this holds true for your wedding day as well.

We also learned that binder clips are a brides new best friend! Not every store is going to have the dresses you choose in your size, so consultants use binder clips to pull in all the excess fabric so the dresses fit properly. And, of course, being the creative, wild and crazy bunch that we are, we told Rebecca these handy little helpers would be a lot more fun if they were blinged out with Swarovski crystals! Great idea, right? Hee hee!

Once you 'Say Yes to Your Dress', your consultant will take your measurements and run them through a computer to determine the correct size to order. Very few brides fall into a perfect size, so expect to have some alterations done. The time it takes to actually get your dress depends upon the designer, but typically, the experts suggest allowing at least 6 months before your dress arrives.

Each salon has different pricing for the alternations necessary to make your dress fit you perfectly on your 'Big Day'. So be sure to ask your consultant if there is a 'flat fee' for all the alterations you'll need, or if each alteration will be priced separately. This is important because these alterations will add to the cost of your dress.

Alterations are typically done 2-3 weeks prior to your wedding, so if you're short on time, make sure you ask what the price is for a 'rush' job. It's also advisable to be the size you want to be at the time of your alterations appointment so you don't have to have any last minute alterations done. These too can be costly!

Lastly, remember it's your wedding and you should pick the wedding dress that YOU love, not the one that makes everyone else happy. Unlike on 'Say Yes to the Dress', with a little planning, your dress buying experience can be fun and exhilarating. At 'InnCredible Events', want you to walk down the aisle in THE dress you absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, know in your heart, is YOUR dress. Most brides KNOW the moment they put on that perfect dress, so Rebecca says, 'go with your gut...don't second guess yourself'. Choose the dress YOU love and have fun!

Until next time....

Making your wedding InnCredible
InnCredible Events

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  1. Great job, Carrell! It was especially fun!

  2. Thanks so much. It was a fun, fun day!!!!