Hello, hello! Today I'm going to talk a little bit about the search for my wedding dress…it's been, like most aspects of wedding planning, a surprise. I've been to a lot of bridal salons and I've helped numerous brides and friends hunt for their perfect gown. Now that it's my turn, I've been prepping for the shopping experience much like how I would advise my clients. 

I've been spending time on Pinterest and thumbing through a few magazines looking for gowns that catch my eye. To my surprise, I've been drawn to one style in particular! I was excited to try some of this style on. Prior to actually venturing out to the bridal salon, I recurited a small crew to assist me in shopping. In short, I asked my Mom, my sister, and my friend, Randi, who also happens to be a stylist. 

Ballgown 1

Now, there are several schools of thought regarding the appropriate number of people to accomapny one to the bridal salon; for me, a smaller group was the best idea. However, I have some brides who bring their entire bridal party (sans groomsmen, of course) and other brides who have decided to shop solo prior to even showing anyone close to them. Other brides bring the groom–as with most decisions related to wedding planning–there's no right or wrong answer! 

When we arrived at the bridal salon I was SO EXCITED! As I browsed through the gowns (so many beautiful gowns!) I started to feel a little overwhelmed. I was finally in a bridal salon shopping for myself and overwhelmed that I was going have to pick a dress (eventually). 

Even though I knew it before I became engaged, it has become increasingly apparent how emotional and, sometimes stressful, wedding planning can be. It's a beautiful wonderful mess and I'm so happy, but it has definitely snuck up on me. It's a lot easier to plan someone else's wedding, you guys! Hah! 

Stepping into that first gown was surreal; it was definitely not my dress, but it was an amazing moment to step out in front my Mom and sister and Randi dressed as a bride. I was not in my black “wedding planner” atttire as I am at my weddings, but as the bride. I took a moment and many deep breaths. Much to my surprise, the style I thought I loved wasn't at all what I imagined on myself. I felt beautiful, but it didn't feel like me. I tried a few more in the same style on and finally, at the suggestion of the salon, I tried on a different style.

When dressing shopping, I remind my clients to be open minded to the process; what you think you want may not be what you end up with. Actually, that happens all the time! I also tell my brides to be open to the suggestion of the bridal consultant; they know their gowns and can easily place you in different styles because they know the general fit of the gowns they sell and various designers. 

When I tried on my first gown in the style I know will be “the one” I had my gown shopping “a-ha” moment. It was amazing! The dress didn't even fit me and I felt incredible in it! The shape and the fit of this style was so flattering on me and the shape was wholeheartedly endorsed by my dress shopping crew! 

I have not “said yes to the dress” yet and I doubt I will share my gown prior to my wedding (sorry! but no spoilers from this girl), but I have learned so much about who I am as a bride. And the vision I had in my head continues to evolve with each new planning experience and decision. 

Did you choose a gown that was just like the style you pictured yourself wearing or something totally different? How did dress shopping surprise you? Let me know in the comments!

Keep sparkling–