This is why I went to Brinkley:
1. I wanted the experience. I have been dreaming up wedding plans since I was a little girl. I tried to go to local bridal stores and while they were all very nice and incredibly helpful they didn't offer the selection or over-the-top customer service I was seeking. I wanted to create a memory when looking for my gown, not just hunting for one like I would shop for shoes and accessories at TJ Maxx. (Don't get me wrong, I have a serious love for TJ Maxx!)
2. There's just something about Arkansas. Both of my parents were born and raised in Arkansas and were married in northeast Arkansas almost 43 years ago. While I was not born there and have never lived there, I thought it would be a sweet nod to my loving parents if I happened to find my dress in their home state. They are paying for this celebration!
3. The gown selection. I knew very specifically that I wanted a one-shoulder gown. When looking at my local bridal shops I generally had a selection of one or two one-shoulder gowns (That dress element is not news to the fiancée, so I'm not spilling a secret.) I called to see if Low's had a specific dress and while on the phone they let me know they had hundreds of one-shoulder dresses I could choose from. I was sold.
4. Size matters. I wear a size 10 or12 depending on the label and my bust size is 36DD. (...being painfully honest here) Size 12 has always been known as the average size of US women, while I'm not sure if that still stands true I do know a lot of beautiful women who wear a size 10 and up. Trying on dresses that don't fit waist or bust can quickly bring an appointment to a screeching halt. I couldn't grasp what a dress would really look like on me when the sample size was a bridal 6 or 8. I kept thinking, "If this only zipped in the back I could feel better about it".
I tried dresses on that looked similar to this...I would have added a strap to make it one shoulder. In the end I did something very different.
My results:I had an absolutely fantastic experience at Low's. My appointment was from 3-5. My parents and I arrived around 2:45 and were in awe of the beautiful building. The hotel's original front desk is where brides check in for their appointments, while the chandeliers and black and white checkered floors wooed me in even further.This hotel had three stories, the dresses on the first floor went up to around $1200. That's the floor I chose to stay on.
The associate that assisted me was named Carolyn. This girl knew her stuff. I showed her my folder of dresses and styles. I knew I wanted ivory and did not want box pleats (they're just not flattering on anyone). I pointed out styles in their front reception area (the one with the front desk, amazing chandeliers, cute black and white floor and refreshments for my patient father) that I liked and then we headed back to the dressing room. I changed into a silk robe and then we began to wander through the rooms of gowns. There were 2 huge rooms full of gowns just in my size range. When I say full I'm saying upwards of 500 in the two rooms combined. It was wonderful. They weren't at all picky about me digging through the racks to find what I wanted.
I picked out several dresses that fit into the picture I had painted in my mind. We only made it through 2 dresses before I found the one. It was actually a wildcard dress Carolyn pulled for me. She said she thought it brought together all of the elements I pointed out in dresses I liked. She was right! I put the dress on, stood in front of a wall of mirrors and waited to see what my parents thought. My mother loved it, but I really wanted to see what my father would say. He had a huge grin on his face! After Carolyn put a veil on me, we stood together in front of the mirrors. It sure worked. I thought my dad was going to tear up for a moment and I knew I didn't ever want to take this gown off.
I did say yes and I did eventually take it off. Before I had to take the gown I fell in love with off, Carolyn let me take all the pictures I wanted. We took pictures from every angle and with both of my parents on the most beautiful staircase. Then we headed off to the veil room.
In the veil room I described what I wanted to Carolyn and the first veil she pulled was perfect. We altered what color it would be to match my gown and again took pictures. The veil is a total nod to my mother's bridal style back in the 60's. I cannot wait to share it with y'all. Unfortunately, you will have to wait until after the wedding. Sigh.
I cannot express the amount of care and genuine kindness the ladies of Low's Bridal showered over me while I was there. It was an easy decision to go to Brinkley and an even easier decision to buy my wedding gown there.
Thank you specifically to Carolyn, Dorcas and Cathy for making my gown selection process a wonderful memory.
We couldn't really take a lot of pictures other than my gown (which you're not getting a peek at...), so I just have one picture we took outside. I'm dying to show y'all my dress, but that must wait.