Saying ‘Yes to the Dress’

Wedding dress shopping was surprisingly easy


Yes, I recently bought my wedding dress.

No, I did not make the trek to Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City to be on TLC’s hit show – even though I have watched “Say Yes to the Dress” religiously for as long as I can remember.

Although I was not on camera, I did say “yes to the dress,” and in those words exactly. I had a great experience and found the perfect dress by just staying in Buffalo.

If you read my last column about getting engaged, you would remember that planning for a wedding on top of work and classes is stressful to say the least.

Though I have made a lot of progress in my planning, there is still a long way for me to go. Luckily, buying a wedding dress, something I thought would be very difficult, was the easiest step in my journey so far.

After looking at all the recommended wedding timelines the internet and bridal magazines were giving me, I knew that I had to get going on a dress. 

Typically, shopping is easy, but dress shopping requires a ton of planning. You have to try them on, order one, wait for shipping, get alterations done, attend numerous fittings and only then, are you prepared to actually wear the dress on your big day.

With all of that ahead of me, I had to get cracking. I was starting to research bridal salons and was about to start booking appointments that worked for my bridal party’s schedules. 

Last minute, I heard about a sale going on later that week at a bridal salon in Williamsville. They were moving locations and had all of their older styles (a.k.a. not from this current season) on sale for 50 percent off. 

This type of sale on designer gowns is unheard of, so I knew I had to at least go and check it out.

Since it was a sale and I found out about it late, I couldn’t bring as large of a party along with me and it wouldn’t have worked with my bridesmaids’ schedules anyway. I brought just my mom with me and she was all the input I needed.

I really wasn’t expecting to purchase a dress this time. I had never tried on a wedding dress, never walked in a bridal salon and didn’t have my planned entourage with me.

All I knew was that I couldn’t ignore this good of a sale. We got to the salon, I was set up with a stylist and then started picking out what to try on.

I bought the third dress I tried on. I loved it from the second I put it on, but it wasn’t a style I was expecting to like, so I tried on three more after it just to be sure.

When I couldn’t stop comparing the other dresses to the third one, I tried it on again at the end. My stylist put a veil on me and turned me around to take a second look.

As soon as I looked at myself in the mirror, I immediately started crying and knew that this dress was the one. I wasn’t expecting to have that dramatic of a reaction to seeing myself in a dress, but I am glad I did because it made the decision so easy to make. 

I didn’t have to overthink the purchase or wonder what other, potentially better dresses were out there. My dress made me cry happy tears, so it can’t be beat.

I won’t disclose what the dress looks like, just in case my fiancé decides to pick up this article. I want my dress to be a complete surprise when he sees me in it next summer.

I tried on a total of six dresses that day, all different styles to make sure I knew all of the options available to me. They were all beautiful, but only one made me cry. That third dress was unbeatable – the deal was unbeatable, too. 

Since the dress was a floor sample, I was even able to walk out with it that day. No ordering and waiting for it to be shipped to me.

I spent around an hour and a half in the salon, from the time I walked in to the time I walked out with my dress in hand. I’ve spent more time shopping in regular clothing stores in malls. 

I admit that I am very picky when it comes to clothes. It took me months to find my prom dress, so I thought the perfect wedding dress, which is a much bigger deal than prom, would be impossible to find. I was worried that there wouldn’t be a dress out there that wowed me or I wouldn’t know a dress was the one when I found it.

Whether it was luck or fate or a mixture of both, I found my dream wedding dress and the decision was so clear. It was my first time going shopping for it, the third dress I ever tried on and the purchase was half off. To say the least, it was easy.

What I thought would take months took half of an afternoon, and in the whirlwind of things required for wedding planning, I am thankful a decision was quick and easy.

While I do sometimes wish I didn’t find my dress so quickly, so that I could keep having fun trying on different dresses and bring along my bridesmaids, I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience.

Kirsten Dean is the assistant features editor and can be reached at kirsten.dean@ubspectrum.com and on @KirstenUBSpec on Twitter.