The other day I shared on the blog the first half of my experience with wedding dress shopping. It includes a lot of tips in terms of what to keep your eyes out for when dress shopping! Make sure to check it out (you can click on the bold text above – all bold text = links). 😊 Today I’m sharing where exactly I went shopping for my wedding dress and my own say yes to the dress moment.
First stop….in London
The first store I went to for dresses was Les Trois Soeurs in Canary Wharf, London. The shop is smaller than I had pictured but it is gorgeous. With beautiful crystal chandeliers and luscious leather couches. I truly felt like a little princess trying on dresses here with my maid of honour and a bridesmaid. The sales associates were so lovely offering us water and letting me try on any dress I wanted. They were not pushy at all which was fab! At the end of the day though, the prices were way above what I wanted to pay and there wasn’t anything that I thought stood out enough to me.
Perhaps I’d have better luck in the US (this was pre-Brexit so the exchange rate was more in my favour!). I went to 4 different bridal stores in the US and overall the prices were much better on the wallet. It was my first time exploring the Cincinnati bridal district with one of my best friends and bridesmaid Vanessa. We’ve been friends since high school so if anyone knows my style and what I like/ dislike it’s definitely her!!
Visiting the ‘Bridal District’ in Cinci
Vanessa planned for me to try on dresses at 2 different stores – including European Bridal and Bridal & Formal. European Bridal was a bit of a disappointment. They had lovely dresses but they just weren’t really my style. I also thought they could have a much bigger and wider selection. But their store was absolutely stunning and very dreamy. The dressing room is what dreams are made of (see pic above!). The sales associates were nice and very accommodating. 😂
Bridal & Formal was incredible! Okay, admittedly, I thought the store looked a bit like a warehouse. You are able to go through the racks on your own to pick out the dresses you want to try on. A bit overwhelming at first but it was super fun! My poor Vanessa was so patient! And really helpful – you need a friend to go with you who is honest but won’t overwhelm you with their criticism. I tried on perhaps 20+ dresses. It was exhausting! And I didn’t walk away with a dress but it turns out I had found my dress here and tried it on. Also shout out to Joan B – my maid of honour’s mom – who came to see me in the dress AND she brought wine 🍷 🍷 🍷. Like mother like daughter. Love them!
As part of my bridal dress shopping I HAD to try Kleinfeld in New York City. Most of us girls have caught the show ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ (the US version not the UK version). It was a great experience and they do have a million dresses. The store is so popular that all the main areas were really over crowded. And while it did seem to be a personal experience, they didn’t seem bothered if they got my sale or not.
‘Say yes to the dress’ at Kleinfelds
I tried on ‘my dress’ at Kleinfeld (same dress as the one I tried on in Ohio) and it was even at a lower price which was surprising being that it is NYC. I was pretty close to buying it from Kleinfeld that day but I wanted a night to sleep on it before I had that ‘say yes to the dress’ moment. But the next day was Father’s Day, so the store decided to close to honour the holiday. (A lovely gesture and we should all honour fathers in that way. But it would have been really nice if someone had told me that they would be closed!)
Unfortunately, I had to fly back to London the next day. I exchanged some emails and calls with Kleinfeld after that visit to see if I could order the dress remotely. But it became a huge hassle (🇬🇧: faff) and Kleinfeld refused to take responsibility if the size of the dress ordered didn’t work. That seemed a bit cheeky especially when spending so much.
Instead I researched for bridal salons in Orlando as I was travelling there in another month with my fiancé and his kids. I found Solutions Bridal which carries the exact designer and dress I was looking for. I called to make an appointment and the person I spoke to asked for details about the wedding. Even the name of the wedding venue – which seemed a little odd. But I soon discovered it was all about their VIP treatment that they give to all their brides.
Sunshine state for the win
I went to my appointment at Solutions Bridal and met with Tali Gallo who is just lovely!! She clearly had already looked up our wedding venue online and gushed over it to me with the other girls. (I mean what bride doesn’t like being gushed over?!) Their whole point for asking was to get a sense of what atmosphere / mood the wedding will have and keeping that in mind with the style of wedding dress. Tali helped me get measured, figure out the best underwear garments to wear with the dress, a last peruse of the dresses to make sure I had the one I wanted and pick out and get measured for a veil.
It was just the perfect experience. And when I did say yes to the dress all the girls wanted to celebrate with champagne! (They really knew the way to my heart.) But I had to pass as I was driving after. Now that was about 10 months ago and I’m still in touch with Tali. She made sure that my dress and veil were made exactly how I wanted. Then had them premium shipped to my brother’s apartment in NYC. She even found me a recommended alterations boutique in London for my fittings. (FYI it’s Alterations Boutique.)
The lovely Tali
I feel like I have known Tali forever which just goes to show how amazing the service at Solutions Bridal is! She still emails me regularly and we follow each other on Instagram and Facebook. She’s also been so supportive of this blog! I don’t know how she manages to do all of this for all of her brides and still do her day job. If you live in Florida or are travelling there any time soon – please, please, please go check out their store. And give Tali a huge hug from me if you see her!
Tell me about your own wedding dress shopping experience! I’ve heard Pronovias also does amazing dresses and their prices seemed great. Did you have a ‘say yes to the dress’ moment?