First let me say that it is very important for any bride attempting a budget to go to as many bridal shows as possible. This will give you so much information on what is available, huge discounts, and haggling power that you may have never had before. If you have an opportunity to go to a huge bridal fair consider doing it.
The tale of my wedding dress starts about a week and a half ago where I along with my maid of honor had an opportunity to go up to David's Bridal which is a good hour drive from my house unforetunately. We got up their and was greeted by a snobby woman who proceeded to ask why I waited so late in picking out a dress. 7 months to me is still quite a long time before the wedding, I think and I couldn't believe the way this woman was talking to me. So she asked me what I wanted in a dress and colors I liked and I had an idea already of what I wanted my dress to look like. I wanted gathered pick-ups with a train, sleeveless, and with beautiful beading. She showed me a small handful of dresses that I didn't really care for the style of and said "well, try them on for me so I can see how they look". So I went to the dressing room and tried on these dresses only to find out what I already knew....that I didn't like them. The sales woman tried to talk me into one of the dresses by telling me how nice it looked on me and how I would otherwise have to order out of the catalog and pay for it before I could get to try it on and if it didn't fit I would not get my money back. Wow...customer service has come a long way since I last purchased something. I started to think maybe I would be better off buying the dress I knew fit me and looked pretty good on me. This dress had pick-ups but not the way I wanted and a halter top. Other than that it was plain and had no beading or train. This was $399 which was the best thing about the dress. I had put my budget for the dress at about $700 and was not trying to go over it. My maid of honor thought that I looked good in the dress and took some pictures with her phone while I had tried it on. I left the store feeling like I should settle on this gown because it looked good on me and it had a good price but otherwise I was very sad that they didn't have a dress for me and was not willing to work with me.
Then there was a bridal fair at the Wildwood Convention Center on Saturday which I went to with my mom and I ran into none other than David's Bridal. The sales woman began to ask me if I would make an appointment with one of her consultants to try on wedding dresses and told me I would receive a $50 gift card if I did. I told her I had just been there and couldn't find what I was looking for and she assured me that they get new dresses in all the time and that maybe something else would be there when I went in. So she made an appointment for tuesday and handed me the gift card. I figured at the least if I get the $399 dress I will save $50 so it sounded like a good idea but some how I still felt sad. It just wasn't "the dress". I was considering not going to the appointment but I did end up making the hour drive and when I got there I was greeted by a different consultant who went through the usual set of questions. I this time was trying to keep a more open mind on different styles of dresses that I was hoping would give me more options than the plain trainless halter that I was considering. I tried on the dresses with my 3 year old on looking and found a dress that was a bit more my speed with beading and a train. The price tag was $849 I believe but they were having a sale which the woman last week never told me about which would get me a $100 off plus I could use my gift card so the price was looking a little better. I think the sales lady realized price was a factor at this point. I was walking around the store trying to convince myself to pick one of these dresses and I thought about my first wedding. How I settled on the first wedding dress I tried on which was second hand at a thrift store for $250. I didn't like the dress really but it fit well and I was getting married because I was pregnant. I settled on the man and I settled on the dress and i didn't want this marriage to be like that. I told the consultant that and I explained again the style of dress that I had in my head from reviewing all the magazines and websites months before. She then looked at me like a light bulb just went off above her head. She went over to the rack and pulled off a size 6 dress and showed me. It was the dress...no where near my size but it was the dress. She told me it was on clearance because it was last year's model and it wasn't something they could order. I sulked and she walked away for awhile. She came back and said prepare to be happy. She explained that there was another store that has the same dress in my size and the original price was $899 and it was marked down to $799 which she went to her manager and asked if they could do better with the price and she said yes if I am going to buy it they would knock it down another $400 since it was last year's style and on top of that I was able to still use my $50 gift card. WOW!! Now that is customer service. So needless to say I teared up said yes and walked away a happy girl. The very next day they called me to come pick up my dress, the dress, and it was only $349.
....and it fit perfectly, ever after:)
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