How Not to Wedding Dress Shop

This week I checked another major wedding milestone off my checklist... I bought a wedding dress.

But this isn't the story of how I bought my wedding dress (which I'm super excited about!)... this is the story of how I almost bought the wrong wedding dress. Thankfully I had a level headed friend along to help me make the right decision, but hopefully this story might save someone else.

Why did I buy my dress a year in advance? Well... in case you didn't know, December is the best month to buy a wedding dress.
Reason #1: Think of these dresses as cars. They are incredibly marked up like cars, you are expected to haggle, year end causes owners to want to reduce their inventory for tax purposes, and next year's models are coming in very shortly. So how do you reduce inventory? You reduce your prices!
Reason #2: Between Christmas and Valentines Day, more couples get engaged than any other time of year. What do excited engaged girls want to do almost immediately? Go dress shopping! Since guys are holding off proposing till Christmas, wedding stores are very empty between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This means more sales!

So I decided to do all dressing shopping in one week. This way I wouldn't overwhelm myself with choices, get a great deal, and get a major purchase out of the way. Win, win, win situation.

My mom was a little disappointed that she couldn't be with me until I reminded her of prom dress shopping. Let's just say that when it comes to shopping for me, my mom and I don't always see eye to eye. She then agreed it was best this way.

So.. back to my story. In Jacksonville there was a very expensive dress store that sold wedding dresses. Sharon Batten sold Vera Wangs, Oscar de la Renta, and other insanely overpriced dresses. Saturday at noon the store closed. So last Tuesday when I found out the store was closing, my boss sent me to shop during my lunch time. Store closing = insane deals.

And I found a sample dress that fit me perfectly. Normally a sample dress is HUGE and needs to be clipped in order for you to have of how it fits, but this would have needed almost no alterations.

Note that I look pissed because I was stressed and worried about time. This was a Vera Wang dress that was originally $5,500 but already marked down to $1,400. It also looks a hundred times better in person. And that light makes me look pregnant but I'm not. Also this was a camera phone picture so quality is even worse.

So it is Tuesday. The store is closing soon. This dress is beautiful and I have 15 minutes to make a decision on whether or not to buy this dress. If I don't buy it, there is a really good chance it wont be there even after work. I was freaking out. Luckily Christina had agreed to meet me last minute and was able to be a voice of reason. While the dress was beautiful, it was still out of my price range and I didn't LOVE it.

So my plan was to not buy it, go to a sample sale at White Magnolia on Thursday evening, and if I didn't find anything better, make an offer Friday morning for $700. I believed if it were meant to be, it would still be there.

Luckily White Magnolia was a much better experience and I was able to buy a dress I am in LOVE with for a great price and have no regrets. Story about that later.

So if you go dress shopping, don't go during your lunch break or any other time there is pressure for you to make a decision quickly. Don't let a label sway you to like something more than you would if it were from David's Bridal. Don't settle for like... you will know when the dress is right. And please make sure you bring along a levelheaded friend. Trust me.. that's the best accessory to have.


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