May 27

Don’t Stress on the Dress. Get that Gown Downtown!

by Shannon Calhoun · 2 comments

So, you are engaged!  Chances are good that you are all aglow and will probably have trouble wiping that goofy, love-struck grin off your face for the next few weeks.  You might even be taking down planes with the shiny new rock on your finger and nauseating all of your single friends by talking endlessly about the proposal and your “fiancé.”

What’s next?  Well, that depends on what your priorities are, I suppose, but I think most would agree it’s the DRESS!  Depending on where you are purchasing your dress, it generally needs to be done well in advance to allow for shipping and alterations.

Sophy and I set out one lunch hour on a mission to see what we could find.  Our first stop was Fashion Central .  We headed upstairs to Echo Evenings and Bridal,  which has two locations there.  The one on the top floor has a couple of wedding dresses, but is mainly evening wear that would be great for the mothers of the bride and groom and the bridesmaids, but the one in the basement has a gorgeous selection of wedding gowns.  It was so overwhelmingly beautiful and white and sparkly that Sophy and I both agreed we could have used a pair of sunglasses when we walked in.  While many bridal shops are large and busy, this one was very cozy and intimate and there were so many striking gowns, along with a great selection of veils, shrugs and stoles.  They also had some lovely hair accessories and flower girl dresses.

Old school Hollywood glamour is a popular look for weddings, and my personal favourite.  While there weren’t a large number of “wedding” dresses, at A Vintage Collective, which is also in the basement of Fashion Central, they have a really unique selection of vintage gowns.  Some white, some silver and all in impeccable condition.  They had some really fun prom dresses from the 50’s that would have been perfect for bridesmaids.  This curated collaboration by Bonton Vintage, Patina Design Works and Vintage Bliss also carries some beautiful jewellery and accessories.

Betsey Johnson is not your traditional wedding fare, but would be perfect for someone looking to do something a little different, playful and fun.  The store is an explosion of colour and crinoline and it’s impossible not to smile as you browse through it.  If you’re looking for something short and sassy to show off your gams, it is definitely worth checking out.

For those planning a destination wedding you’ll probably want something lightweight and less formal for the beach.  Right now is the perfect time to check out the CORE.  White is hot this season and can be found in many stores.  BCBG Max Azria is my favourite. Gorgeous designer gowns that are quite reasonably priced in comparison to what hangs in most bridal shops.  This would be my pick for bridesmaid dresses too.  They have so many unique styles to choose from.

If you hate to shop or need some help, Style Director, Karen Judge, at Studio Gorgeous is the lady to call.  She can customize a wedding themed event geared towards you and your friends, including a “What to Wear” presentation by a personal stylist.  This would be a fun to do as a part of any wedding shower or stagette!

If you’ve been too busy for boot camp and still need to shed a few pounds check out Wolford at Fashion Central for your underpinnings.  Not in your budget?  Go see what Winners and the Bay have in store.  La Vie en Rose and La Senza are also in the CORE and Intimately yours can be found in Bankers Hall.

A couple of helpful tips when shopping for your dress:

  1. If it’s a formal place, you are often required to make an appointment first, so call ahead to check their policy.
  2. Wear underwearthat you don’t mind the person fitting you seeing.
  3. If you have a strapless bra, bring it.
  4. Try on things that you wouldn’t normally try.  So many people fall in love with a dress they would have never thought they’d like.
  5. Do not wear dark lipstick!

Next week, Sophy and I will check out shoes and accessories.  Let us know if you have any suggestions!


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