At long last, I can finally share my wedding dress shopping story & photos on my blog! Like most of the items in my closest, I found my dress at a discount price at a non-for-profit bridal boutique in NYC.
It all started when I had this fabulous [and wildly crazy] idea that I would wear a dress made of ostrich feathers. I hadn’t seen it anywhere, but I just assumed it existed [because who wouldn't make or want to wear feathers to their wedding?!]. As soon as Adg popped the question in February, I started to look. Everywhere. And came up with nothing, except a very beautiful look-a-like dress at Demetrios in South Tampa. It was a fit and flare, with delicate pieces of organza silk shaped like feathers. I tried it on once by myself, and loved it. It was very close to the dress I had in my mind, so I dragged my best friend, mom and sister to look at it. They loved it just as much as me, but I obviously hated the price tag… Just under $3,000! And while I know that $3,000 is a ‘fair’ price for a dress, I couldn’t imagine spending that much on a dress that lacked feathers. So I left, empty handed but with the intention of visiting my best friend in NYC and finding my very fabulous ostrich feather wedding dress there!
I scheduled a short trip to NYC for March and I booked several appointments at little boutiques and made a list of places I wanted to shop at. My first two days in the city were a bust. But the whole time I kept thinking, just wait until Sunday, wait until Sunday. Sunday’s appointment was at the Bridal Garden, a not-for-profit bridal boutique with donated designer wedding gowns discounted up to 75% off the original retail price. They have samples, overstocks and even once-worn dresses that are donated by designers, stores and brides. And the best part is, proceeds benefit education for disadvantaged children.
On Sunday morning, my best friend Jenna and I arrived at the Bridal Garden, a tiny boutique on the third or fourth floor of a brick building off 21st street. It was neatly packed with designer dresses [Vera Wang was everywhere for less than $5,000!]. The dress coordinator asked my size, I said six. She went on to tell me to look for dresses that were at least an eight or greater, and they could always alter them down. I agreed, threw my coat and scarf on the chairs and looked straight ahead, and then I saw it…. feathers. Ostrich feathers. I gasped and grabbed Jenna’s hand. The dress coordinator kindly told us that before we went over there, those were size six and below, and they would not fit. I wasn’t offended, by any means. Trust me, I was more relieved to be finally in a wedding dress room that had feathers!
Jenna proceeded to grab it, as I went to the other sections and sorted through all the dresses, looking for feathers. I didn’t find any, but I did find some pretty fabulous designer dresses at a steal of a price. I tried on at least 10 of them – some were beautiful, but not my style, some were gorgeous, but wouldn’t even zipper!
Lastly, I tried on the size six ostrich feather dress – and not only was it the most beautiful dress [partly because of the feathers], but it was the only one that zipped easily, fit comfortably and required NO alterations [other than hemming because I decided to wear flats, not heels on the day of the wedding!]. It was stunning, and exactly what I wanted and at a fraction of the price. Originally $8,000 – I scored it for less than $1,600! The dress [and price!] couldn’t have been more perfect for me.
And as much as I like to think that I surprised my handsome groom when I walked down the aisle in my gown, it was probably no real surprise at all that I would be wearing feathers…