While I always say I am an avid online shopper, I think a more appropriate term for what I do would be online window shopping. Of course when I got engaged, my random browsing took on a new focus. I do feel that in many ways the internet is the best planning tool a bride can have. Not only is it free (which big, glossy wedding magazines are NOT, although I have accumulated far too many already) but there are infinite ideas, inspiration, and tips if you know where to look.
Its also possible to take your online wedding planning to the next level: ie purchasing your wedding paraphernalia from the billion of internet vendors that exist. For things like invitations and accessories I’m all for it, especially because the internet allows you the freedom to shop for what you really want which might not be possible in your hometown. But as I get deeper into planning my own wedding, I’ve found there are some things I don’t want to compromise on.
I’m all for saving money, and I’m certain that there are many reputable online dealers where you can get designer bridal gowns at knockdown prices.Yet while this may well be selfish, I want to splurge not just on the dress itself, but on the experience of buying the dress. I’ve already hinted at my hatred for David’s Bridal, and that mostly springs from the fact that when I tried on dresses there, I felt like an assembly line bride. Not to mention the terrible petticoats and girdles they shove every customer into prior to trying on gowns, regardless of your size or shape. The experience as well as the dresses feel so manufactured.
So far, I’ve had much better luck with small bridal boutiques like La Jeune Mariee in Worthington and Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal department which is much smaller than it sounds. Most of the dresses are more expensive, but the whole process felt individualized and relaxed. Both of the women who helped me sat down with me first to talk about my personal style and devoted their attention entirely to me. As of now I’ve narrowed the dress hunt down to four that have drastically ranging prices from $600 to $5,000. Whether I choose one of these dresses or something totally unexpected, I’m glad I’ll have the luxury of doing it at my own pace and in a comfortable environment.
However, I do want to say, here and now that I don’t believe in either vacuum sealing your dress in a box never to see the light of day again, or saving it for your daughter. The odds that she will want to wear a dress that reflects your style and your taste are slimmer than Victoria Beckham, and the more money you spend on your dress, the more ridiculous either of these options become, at least for me. I’m undecided as to what I’ll do with my dress after the wedding…maybe I’ll get it altered so that I can wear it as a cocktail dress. Or maybe I’ll cater to gutsier girls than me and sell it online.
Whatever I do, it probably won’t be as clever as the site that sparked this unusually wordy post. Check out The Thousand Dollar Dress if you’re in a similar predicament, or you just want some more of those inventive ideas the internet is all about.