Unfortunately my taste was on the bigger side and I definitely wanted buttons down the back which adds on a lot of money. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get a ballgown, with a train, and the buttons. I also thought my best bet was to go to a large chain store, thinking they had a much larger choice of cheaper gowns. Boy was I wrong.
I headed to David's Bridal for my first fitting. It was HORRIBLE. Don't get me wrong, I think David's Bridal or similar department style wedding stores are great options for your bridal party because they offer a large selection at decent prices and a number of stores throughout the country, in case you have bridal party members out of the area. But DO NOT go there for your wedding dress.
The mood isn't the dream setting of finding your dress: it's cramped (there was nowhere for my guests to sit, they had to stand for an hour!), you're rushed (my consultant even was helping another person at the same time!), and they don't really listen to your wants.
But the biggest point is, especially for this blog, they actually didn't have that many cheap options. Well let me rephrase that, they had plenty of "cheap" options. Meaning, when I asked for lower priced dresses, they gave me that but they were terrible looking -- terrible quality, horrible materials, they looked like prom dresses. They said for what I wanted, there was no way to get it at a lower price (under $1,000).
I left disheartened, thinking I was not going to be able to get the dress of my dreams. I scoured the internet for other places. And decided to go with a local boutique that had great reviews that said they had many options for those not wishing to break the bank. This is where I ended up finding exactly what I wanted for a price that couldn't be beat!
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I cannot recommend Gesinee's Bridal in Concord enough! They have a fabulous upstairs boutique for brides only with a huge selection of beautiful dresses all under $2,000! They spend time and really feel what you want to be able to find you the perfect dress. While I will say their alterations are a bit pricey, just know that now and you can shop around for a cheaper alterations place. (http://gesineesbridal.com/)
The moral of the story is, don't be pressured to go to a huge store to find a deal on a dress. There are plenty of local boutiques that have what you want for a price you can afford. Search the internet (Yelp is your friend as reviews from other brides are priceless!) and try it out.
Where did you find your dress?