Back in high school, I had always worn hand-me-down gowns to school dances. But when Junior Prom rolled around, my mom agreed to buy me a brand new dress for the occasion! I expected our shopping day to be so fun - I'd finally get to choose the perfect gown for me, rather than settling for one that my cousin had loved. But as we walked through the LA Fashion District for hours, searching countless shops for a flattering dress at an affordable price, I started to get frustrated. It turned out that for me, this was an overwhelming task and surprisingly not fun. Although we left with a gown that I loved, the process of finding it was something I didn't care to go through again and I happily wore hand-me-downs to the remainder of my high school dances.
When it came time to start thinking about wedding dresses, I worried I'd be reliving that prom dress shopping day : disagreeing about what looked good, getting frustrated with what was available in my limited budget, feeling overwhelmed about it instead of enjoying it. But when I casually mentioned to my mom that I'd probably just buy my wedding dress online… she looked at me like I had just run over her puppy.
So I decided it wouldn't hurt to book an appointment.
Rather than going into it thinking "I need to find my dress today," it was just a girls afternoon with my mom and my future mother and sister in law. I wasn't going to buy anything, I was just there for fun! I made my appointment at BHLDN since I've long admired their beautiful dress selection, plus since their store is located in Beverly Hills, I knew it would give us plenty of fun places to visit before and after the appointment.
It ended up being a perfect day AND... I bought a dress! Hooray!
We started the afternoon with lunch at Gracias Madre, a vegan Mexican restaurant.
^ sangria with a chocolate covered strawberry inside? yes please!
After lunch, we headed a few blocks over to BHLDN.
As I chatted with the consultant, my mom, Shelley, and Taryn were all browsing dresses, pulling different styles in my budget that they wanted to see me try on. After we had a few lined up, I headed back into the fitting room and was explaining to the consultant that I probably wouldn't be buying anything today, as she helped me slip into the first dress. She clasped the back and I turned to look in the mirror.
"Uh oh." I said. It was perfect.
She started laughing and I asked her if people ever actually buy the first dress they try on. She assured me that it does happen. Sometimes it really is that easy! I held my breath as I came around the corner to show the dress to my family and stand in front of the mirror, and when the girls saw it their faces said it all - it was unanimous! :)
I ended up trying on about 5 more dresses just to see different styles, but that first one was the winner. I tried it on a second time at the end and as soon as I had it on I felt totally sure of it once again so we bought it! The consultant brought us cute little cans of champagne (nothing says "laid-back" like champagne in a can, right? ha!) and we took some pictures and celebrated together.
^ one of the lovely contenders, but not the one I chose :)
I'm so glad I decided to put my apprehension aside and make a dress appointment. It was a wonderful experience and I'm thankful that the women I love were able to be there with me for that super easy, super happy, say-yes moment.
Another great day I'll remember forever.