I'm pretty sure most of you won't be able to relate to this post, but if you can, I hope it is encouraging to you that not everyone looks forward to the dress shopping experience. And if you're a bride who loved going to stores and trying on dresses, that's awesome! It just wasn't for me.
Because most brides do look forward to dress shopping, right? It's often one of the most anticipated and biggest events of the wedding planning process. For various reasons, this was not how I felt—from the very beginning. In fact, the idea of going shopping with a group of females and trying on dresses was pretty terrifying. I'm fairly small, so I was afraid that dresses would look huge and unflattering on me—and I'm also working with a pretty small budget, so I was worried about finding a dress in my price range. I'm also just not a shopper. I buy a lot of clothes online and in thrift stores and generally avoid high-end stores and fancy dressing rooms.
(Again, this whole post is the way I feel about wedding dress shopping—probably not the experience of most!)
After the newly engaged period was over, I immediately turned to looking at dresses online. One of the first places I looked was J. CREW, for three reasons.
1. J. CREW has the kind of simple understated elegance I was looking for in a wedding dress.
2. The prices weren't more than my entire budget combined.
3. I know my size from J. CREW, which meant I could order online and not worry about it fitting.
I had several favorites.
Images via J. CREW Wedding clockwise from top left: Bettina, Sararose, Sophia, Sinclair, Lyden, & Larissa
You probably notice a theme in the dresses above. First of all, they're straight and simple—I wanted to wear a dress that reflects my every day personality. A lot of people say that you don't know what kind of dress you want until you try it on, but based on dresses I've chosen (or vehemently discarded) for other formal events, I am 100% confident a poofy dress is not for me. Second, none of these dresses are strapless, both because of comfort and family reasons. Third, all of these dresses are under $1000 (in some cases under $500).
I think all of these are beautiful! In fact, I probably would wear any of the dresses above. I did have a preference from the beginning. Mr. Lemur vetoed some of them—yes, he's seen my dress and actually helped me pick it out. Nontraditional, I know!
I started looking around online to see if I could find any of them even cheaper. I highly recommend this, even if you think your dress is a bargain already. There are some great resale and discount sites out there (more on this in the next post).
Which dress do you like the most? Any other brides out there go an nontraditional route and skip the bridal salon experience?