I'll be honest with you. I'm actually the absolute farthest from being a girlie-girl, but when it came to my wedding, I definitely made sure I pulled out all the bells and whistles.
I don't know why I thought about this now, because it's been over 2.5 years that I've been married, but I was just thinking about all the planning that goes into a wedding... a BIG wedding that is. Now, I'm not going to explain to you what each of these are because that's not the point of my post, but to give you some perspective: I had a large Filipino wedding that consisted of 250 guests, 18 bridesmaids/groomsmen, 6 ushers, 20 Primary sponsors, 6 Secondary sponsors, 4 readers, 3 flower girls, 3 ring bearers/coin bearers/Bible bearers... and I loved EVERY SINGLE SECOND of planning it!
I have never planned something so intensely that it took up every single day of my life for 1.5 years straight. I completely exhausted every single option I had for dress shops, DJs, reception halls, flowers, photography, gifts, giveaways, cakes, etc etc etc. But I don't regret any second of it, because I had an absolutely wonderful wedding and contrary to popular belief, was able to plan it out so that nothing went wrong the day of... or at least nothing that I new about! ;)
Anyway, I can go on and on about the vendors I chose and why I chose them, and maybe I'll hone in on these eventually in the future, but what randomly popped in my mind today was the dress shops I went to. I've gone to roughly 10 to 15 bridal shops in my life and each one works so differently from the others.
But first, get it out of your head that you need to go to some pretentious bridal shop in some big city to buy a $2,000+ dress. Guess what, all dresses are beautiful, and you'll find a decently priced one eventually.
The pictured dress is the one I got for $800.
With everything else that you have to spend on for a wedding, be smart with your purchases!
Anyway, what really got me thinking though was about how true it is that bridal shops have some really nasty workers! I dunno, maybe they're not married and wish they are, or maybe the married ones are annoyed by the hopeful brides that come in the door, but then get a new job!
What I cannot fathom for the life of me is that these bridal shops - like everything in the wedding industry - rely so heavily on referrals and word of mouth. Do you really think it is smart to make a bride-to-be upset? Guess what, they won't buy your dress, they will not buy their bridal party dresses and tuxes there, they will not refer you to their friends, and nowadays, they can blast you all over the internet... just like I am now.
Throughout my journey of bridal shops, I've come across many bad ones and many good ones, but the one that really was a thorn in my side was House of Brides. Coincidentally, I first encountered House of Brides when I was a bridesmaid for a friend. And just like I stated above, my experience there was so awful that I absolutely steered clear from there when it was time for my wedding. And what is one of the first things I tell my friends who are newly engaged?
STAY AWAY FROM HOUSE OF BRIDES!!
For those of you in the Chicagoland area, here are some great places to check out:
Like I said, I can go on and on about all the places and vendors I checked out for my wedding, so for all those bride-to-be's out there, please feel free to contact me for suggestions and ideas!