Bridal Browsin’ (and Buyin’)

19 Apr

Our wedding is taking place this fall, so since January I have been in and out of bridal stores—scoping out dresses for myself and my bridesmaids, as well as accompanying my future sister-in-law on her dress shopping (we are getting married only a few months apart!).

I opted to limit my own gown search to three stores to avoid feeling overwhelmed with choice.

My first stop was Felichia Bridal, on Yonge north of Eglinton.  I was initially drawn to the store because they’d advertised a Watters trunk show.  (Trunk shows, they explained, are an opportunity to try on the full collection of a given designer, whereas on a regular day the store would carry samples of some but not all of that designer’s styles).  I thought it would be a bright idea to drop by the boutique before the trunk show for a first trial and (potentially) return for the show feeling sure of the purchase.  Of course that’s not how it went at all, as the Watters dresses turned out to be far above my price range.  But it was still a successful trip as I found one dress I really liked.

Despite finding one gem, I wanted to have a good sense of what was out there in terms of selection.  I dropped by a second store which had been recommended by one of my co-workers.  Jealous Bridesmaids Bridal Boutique is located in Toronto’s Bloor West Village (and conveniently, was a hop, skip and a jump from my work, before the office moved last month.)  Jealous Bridesmaids carries a great selection of gowns and bridesmaids dresses from designers such as Maggie Sottero, Sottero & Midgely, and Casablanca.  More importantly, they have the loveliest staff.  This is a small, intimate place where you feel truly at home.  Prices are quite reasonable as well.  The average dress price, I was told, is in the $1,500 range, and bridesmaids dresses are around $200.  Tried on several lovely styles here.

It was the prospect of trying on this Mon Cheri dress, of unknown price, that drew me to Becker’s Bridal.  This Danforth Ave. boutique is a Toronto institution, having been established in the mid-1940s.  They carry a variety of labels including Angolique and Pronovias.  Unfortunately their website was wrong in stating they carried Mon Cheri — it is Beckers’ sister store The Dressroom that sells some styles (unfortunately not the one that got me curious in the first place).

After a couple of weeks and some revisits, I ended up back at Felichia’s, going with the very first dress I had tried on!  (Isn’t that always the way…)

Ritché, the store where my fiancé’s sister went to try on wedding gowns seemed to have a larger collection and wider variety of styles than any of the places I visited.  She’s chosen a fanciful Pronovias dress that made her cry it was so perfect.  We returned there recently with my bridesmaids where they’ve each chosen a style they like.

The whole process of looking for a wedding gown was a very fun one and not as intimidating as I expected.  It’s one of those things that hopefully you only do once — so you have to enjoy it while it lasts!

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