Happy Blog day.. so guess what – It was finally my turn to say YES TO THE DRESS!
The day went by so quickly that I can’t wait to tell you about it on the blog. We were thrilled that Lori, *Mother in law, Mark’s mom*, was able to fly in for the appointment because Jamie wanted that more than anything. Lori has three boys, she needs girl time! 😉
The day started early, Lori was dropped off at the Boston airport from Big Mark *Mark’s dad* around 6 am, as myself, my mom, sister, and best friend Hannah got ready to leave Waverly! Waverly is about a 3 hour drive to Minneapolis, so I was awake, showered, and slightly did my hair (for once) to leave town around 7:30 am.
We picked Lori up right as she landed around 10:30 am, and then went straight to Mall of America to get the blood flowing in our legs. We all had been sitting for a little too long and needed a little pick me up before my appointment at 1:30 pm. Plus this was also Lori’s first time to the midwest / Mall of America and wanted to show her around.
The weather was pretty cold, it was actually trying to sleet / snow on our drive up to Minnesota! Which I’m not sure why I am surprised, it was the second week of October.
We went Wedding Dress shopping at A&Bé Bridal downtown Minneapolis! I was drawn to their instagram after my hairdresser, Meganne, told me she thinks this shop is me inside and out. The dress selection is non-traditional, but also free flowing, boho, and fashion forward daring. I’m a little weird, and a little over the top (haha yes, me, I am extra!) so I couldn’t wait to see all the designers, the dresses, and talk wedding for a whole day.
My bridal consultant was Lauren! She was so sweet, and I had no idea till the end of my appointment that I was her first solo bride appointment! She nailed it! Listened, laughed, and took into account what I wanted, how I felt in dresses, and in the end she picked the dress I choose based of what I said and tried on!
I only tried on 5 dresses before I found the one (The 6th one was mine)! I wasn’t much of a crier.. I might cry on wedding day, when I found my dress I was more jumping up and down and really excited – loud talking!
I tried on two different styles of dresses based on what I like, and what I wanted to see on my body. I am a short human after all, and wanted to make sure I didn’t look too short. I did bring my high heels with me, but I do plan on wearing my white knee high converse 90% of the day on actual wedding day!
The first dress I tried on, I loved the style, but it was missing something. Just a little too simple for me. But this was my pick off the rack.
The second dress I tried on was a pallet cleanser / different style completely.. yeah it wasn’t the one. Beautiful – but not for me! My mom made the comment, “See that look on her face, she made that face as a kid when I put her in pink.. yeah she doesn’t like this dress”
The third dress I really liked, like it was 82% there, but still missing something, and the bottom of the skirt wasn’t for me.
The fourth dress was something I wanted to see because I had seen it on Instagram / Pinterest and I thought it was a beautiful dress but I kept looking at as a prop for a photoshoot and not my dream wedding dress.
The fifth dress was over budget, but by one of my favorite designers (Hayley Paige) and I just had to see it on me.. It was a little two heavy, and a little too something else not for me (Not giving too many hints away hehe) Gorgeous dress and I hope it’s one of our bride’s dream dresses, just wasn’t mine!
Then – My dress – Dress #6.. which my stylist Lauren pulled I swear out of thin air, I looked it at on the hanger a little hesitant.. I actually said the words, “I don’t hate it, but I think I am judging it on the hanger and I want to try it on anyway!”
*This is key when dress shopping and glad I followed my own advice to be open minded!!
I told Lauren at the beginning of the appointment I can get easily overwhelmed so I wanted to do the initial shopping and looking and pull a dress or two, but I didn’t want to keep going back to the rack otherwise I would have an anxiety attack. She let me stay in front of the mirror when she pulled the last dress and the moment I put it on I knew it was my dream dress.
I just knew, just like I knew Mark was the one. It’s a feeling and it felt fricken cat-tastic.
I came out of the dressing room and was basically just swaying back and forth, my shoulders were relaxed and everyone could tell I loved it. We jacked me up and I basically couldn’t stop walking around in it, and jumping, clapping my hands, I was excited AF.
I will not be showing any photos of my dream dress, you’ll just have to wait until wedding day but here is a few snaps of the day! 🙂
Haven’t decided if I will show the “no” pile but maybe after wedding day I will update this blog post!
Tips for dress shopping:
-Know your budget
-SMALL group (max 4-5 people)
-Be open minded because some dresses look completely different on the hanger than on your body!
-Have a slight vision, but be open to trying
-Trust your gut
-Trust your stylist
-Trust the process
-Go dress shopping 5-8 months before your day! (Because dress making / ordering takes time!)
-Set a budget aside for alterations
-Go shopping in MN because no sales tax 😉
Things I love about A&Bé Bridal:
-No stark white (Least most of the dresses were color, ivory, champagne, blush, grey in color)
-Weird + Out there (in a good way, totally not stiff or “typical”)
-Designer’s they carry
-Cost ($1500-7000 price range)
-Friendly + no judgement zone stylists
-Clean + Modern shop decor
-Accessories on hand
-Not crowded, appointment based – so full attention was on the bride
-The way they work: Questionnaire to know your date, and things you like, they let you pick the first dresses to try on, one dress at a time, and kicking the “worse” dress out of the room after you decide between the two, the length of the appointment, explaining the buying process
-In house measurements by TWO different stylists to insure they order the right base size
-They were just friendly, and fun. I spent so much time laughing and felt so relaxed from the moment I walked in.
Overall.. that day was one of my favorite days in wedding planning. I can not wait to pick up my dress when it comes in and try it on again. I also felt pretty good because the sample sizes were a little big on me.. always nice to feel like your hard work on the body is paying off!
I would recommend A&Bé Bridal to any of my future brides because my experience was amazing, and better than I could have dreamed (or watched on TLC)!!
Jamie + Mark
A&Bé Bridal – Minneapolis, MN
Mall of America – Bloomington, MN
Lauren – Stylist
My mother- Dawn
My MIL- Lori
My sister- Andrea
My BFF (And who is in the wedding!) – Hannah