Thursday, November 29, 2012

Saying Yes to the Dress: Nitsa's

My journey to Nitsa's happened after all the experiences in Raleigh and feeling like I was coming up short. I felt like I had been listening to so many others opinions and neglecting my own so I decided to go to Nitsa's in Winston-Salem on my own while visiting our MIL in Greensboro. Nitsa's was the same salon my mom and I went to in Charlotte and tried my first ever Amsale gowns there so I knew I'd probably like something there!

I arrived there for my appointment and went around selecting some gowns and I was still pretty much considering any type of dress because I had not felt that anything looked better than the other. I tried some Vera, Monique, Alyne, Pronovias, Kenneth Poole and Amsale of course. For me the easiest process of dress shopping was saying NO. I could easily tell you I did not like something! 

I finally tried on a Pronovias gown that I was really interested in. It has some lace which mom liked and it had small sleeves, which I was really considering. It was very pretty and slimming but pretty heavy and needed a LOT of alterations which was a little off-putting to me, but I honestly really liked the gown! It was at the top of my list there!
Pronovias gown similar to the one I liked

After I tried this gown I went back out and looked at the racks. (Sorry I don't have a picture but for some reason the Nitsa's in Winston-Salem doesn't allow photos?!) Previously, mom had given me a budget and there was an Amsale gown that was a little over and I had faith that if it was wonderful we could maybe wiggle it out. I slipped it on and immediately knew there was something about this gown. It fit with my venue I had selected, a modern loft for that New York bride feel, and it was comfortable, different, unique and had pockets!!

I guess I should also preface the fact that Hubby wanted no lace, strapless, and my boobs to look good in a dress (I know right?!) and this dress had all those characteristics! Score one for me. I really liked the dress, I'm not sure if I LOVED it but I really liked it, I really lit up and felt comfortable in the dress. It also fit like a glove!! No alterations except a little hem, what could be more perfect?! All I had to do was get mom back to see the dress!!

I brought mom back a few weeks later and tried the two gowns that I ranked up there, the Pronovias and the Amsale, and the Pronovias was first and mom was not crazy about it. Then I tried the Amsale and I just knew deep down that was my dress. I wasn't overly emotional about it, but I just knew... I felt comfortable in it, it fit my venues, and more importantly it was unique and me!! I don't think my mom was ever over the moon about it, but I knew that this was the dress I was supposed to get married in!

Here it is... the Amsale Lauren I tried while at Nitsa's and when I finally said YES to THE dress!!

Like I said the sample fit pretty darn well so after we placed the order and waited 5 months I was pretty confident we wouldn't have to do much to the gown. We placed the order in August and it came in around January! It was exciting to get to try the gown on officially for the first time as mine though, and all that was left was a few minor length alterations to be had.
The above pictures were at my first official dress fitting! So exciting!! I loved the back and the simplicity and the gorgeous fabric. It was SO light weight!!

Final fitting and working on how we wanted to bustle the dress, after that she was mine to take home!

Well there you have it, my gown! Long story short though, I probably tried on 75ish dresses? Embarrassing, maybe a little? I just have to say that there are a lot of emotions and a lot of ideas of what someone may want for a dress, it may be perfect and what you had always imagined or it may be something completely different! I can't say that I never saw myself in a ballgown-esque dress but when I put it on it felt right! I did shed a tear or two when I said yes because I knew it was what I was going to get MARRIED in, but I didn't feel an overwhelming sense of joy in the dress. But after everything is said and done, I really did love the dress and Hubby loved the dress and that's all that matters too! No matter what the journey, frustrating, immediate, never ending, easy, it's all a process and it's all about what feels right to YOU and no one else too!! Don't ever forget that! So go for the dress that makes YOU happy and in the end you'll feel beautiful!!

mrs. a.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dress Shopping: Local Bridal Salons

In Raleigh we have/had three very nice bridal salons. I worked across from Priscilla of Boston (now closed) so I popped in there to have a look a few times and picked out a few things that I liked until I had an appointment to try on. We also had three other salons in town, there is Alexia's who carries Vera Wang and Monique for starters, Traditions by Anna who carries most notably Romona Keveza and Rivini, and Victorian Rose who carries Jim Hjelm and Watters among others.

Right before I left for my trip to Chicago where we were engaged my mom and I walked by Traditions by Anna and saw they were having a sample sale so we called and made an appointment since I didn't know what a sample sale was all about. After I came back engaged it worked out perfectly! I was excited going to this salon because of designers Rivini and Romona Keveza. When we went to the sample sale I barely picked out about 5 dresses to try on. Nothing screamed ME and I did try a few but it was disheartening. They also didn't have the selection of styles I had in mind which was a huge disappointment but what are you going to do? It probably would've turned out the ones I loved online were over my budget anyway! Overall though, it was a very nice salon and the sales associates were very nice and friendly and I would definitely recommend it to bride's in the area. They do have a good selection of gowns, just nothing that was my personality. I did like one dress but there was definitely no "this is it" moment for sure.

 Rivini I liked.

We then had an appointment at Alexia's bridal salon which I have to speak very highly of. Although it's a high end salon (so verrrry pricey gowns) the customer service is wonderful, the dress selection is quite amazing and the process of selecting a gown through them would make it very enticing to purchase from them. I highly recommend anyone looking at that salon. That being said, I only really like one or two dresses sadly. Some were over the top on the budget and nothing really caught my eye, but mom fell in love with a dress here that she's never let go of.. 
 Again on the mermaid style with this Vera Wang I liked.

 The one mom fell in love for.. (awful picture..) Reem Acra

I really liked the Reem Acra but it just didn't feel right. Also I'm a big believer in what a dress looks like in a photo and in this photo, yuckies. (Also I'm glad I didn't choose the dress because I know two ladies who wore it in their wedding and I kept saying all along I just wanted to be different!)

So off I went to Victorian Rose.. By now y'all I'm sure I've tried on about 20 dresses.. YIKES! When I arrived to that salon my hopes started to diminish. Unfortunately the salon has great labels but takes horrible care of the dresses.. They were dirty and torn and the salon's staff is horrible and it's so unfortunate to walk in there after Alexia's and feel good about finding a dress. I tried on about 20 dresses there and just wanted to cry after being there. Nothing was right and the fabric started not to feel as nice, the lace not as pretty.. I was becoming too picky and that made me reallllly nervous!!

 Of course another one of mom's favorites.. I am not big on lace..

So on to Priscilla of Boston we go! The salon was absolutely pristine because it was about a year old and the dresses were gorgeous and immaculate. The staff was always friendly which made the experience very pleasant. I tried a few that were fun but still not the "one". Again mom fell in love..

Melissa Sweet (one of mom's favorites, which WAS quite pretty!)

 This fun little number allowed you to remove the skirt and
 it was a sparkled party dress underneath! Designed for POB.

I'm a little embarassed at how bad I look in these photos so excuse me.. But after all these visits and all the salons I was getting realllly bummed out. I felt like I was setting myself up for failure and that I was never going to find the right dress. I mean four salons, probably 10-20 dresses per salon, my number was getting up there. Ironically too, I think I went back to what I tried on the first time I ever stepped foot into a salon, an Amsale.. But I will save my final step of the journey for another post. All I have to say, is that sometimes this process can be a little discerning and it may be hard to find the right dress or you may not ever have that crying moment but there will most likely be a dress that you just feel comfortable in and that's the most important thing! No matter what, once you have your hair done, makeup on and that crazy happy smile on your wedding day, you'll be GORGEOUS!

mrs. a.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wedding Dress Searching

I can't go into this post saying I had a definite "clear" vision of what I wanted but there were some dresses that really inspired me upon going shopping. I also had some criteria that it had to be something that was:
- stylish
- timeless
- glamorous
- and me!

I knew going into the wedding that my vision was "city chic", so not overly country or classic but a nice mix. I really wanted to epitomize a New York bride even if I do live in North Carolina.

I do had to admit that my mom took me shopping before we were engaged so I had a bit of an idea of what I wanted but what I wanted wasn't necessarily what mom wanted, and y'all know from watching "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" if momma isn't happy, you probably aren't going to be happy either! 

Here are some that I tried that I liked before the engagement that mom was on the fence about.. Excuse any bad appearances..

 Ines di Santo

I was kind of digging on the body hugging style originally but I did try some ballgown-esque dresses that I quite liked:

  Kenneth Poole

With all of those in mind after my first ever stop into a bridal salon when I DID get engaged I had a few more picked out in my mind but I was completely open to trying on anything they had because I knew this was one of the most important decisions of the whole wedding itself and that was SO stressful for me!

I'll be back with a break down of salons and dresses that I tried on that I did like and how I landed with the dress I did.

Happy Monday!
mrs. a. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Sales

I wanted to drop in and let all my brides-to-be know that Kate Spade is having a cyber sale that started today with up to 75% off their merchandise and I spy little white dresses, shoes and jewelry that someone may be interested! Check it out below!

Happy Shopping!
mrs. a.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I hope y'all didn't miss me too much but... 

I'm back, I'm MARRIED and I'm tan! WOO!

But really, our wedding was amazing! Hubby and I woke up the next day and he said "Let's do it again!", and I thought, for sure!! All the stress was definitely worth the result. I don't have any professional pictures yet so I don't want to share anything too much yet until I get to see them but I do plan on informing you all of the details of finding the right dress, the honeymoon, and other fun details! In the mean time I'll leave you with a honeymoon sneak peek and I'll start fresh Monday with a post on hunting for the perfect dress!!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend! We're off to see the WOLFPACK play!
mrs. a. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And I'm leaving on a jet plane!


We are leaving bright and early this morning for 8 wonderful nights to the Caribbean island of Antigua! I shall miss you all but look forward to recapping all the amazing events that our wedding was and that I'm sure our honeymoon shall be! Hope y'all enjoy the sneak peek!

MRS. a.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thank You!

I'm getting married TODAY and obviously I pre-wrote this post in anticipation for the big day but I wanted to go ahead and use the little free time I had before "I-Do Day" to say a big THANK YOU, to each and every one of you!!

I have been following wedding blogs pretty regularly and don't comment too often but through this process, a small comment can mean a big thing! I realized this when Emily Ayer now Thomas, from Em for Marvelous posted after her wedding how much she appreciated her readers comments throughout the whole wedding process and although I chimed in closer to the end I still appreciated the fact that I was acknowledge which meant she acknowledge that I loved giving feedback.

So here I am, wanting to give each and everyone of you a hug for your readership, friendship and support throughout this experience. I started this blog as an outlet for myself, to write about the wedding process so that I didn't have to bother anyone with the details that didn't want to know the details. It allowed me to vent and gave me a calm satisfaction. Slowly, I gained followers and readers and it was such an exciting thing to see! I've had over 7500 views of my blog, and although that's nothing compared to most, I'm very proud of it. Thank you for your excitement and for just reading along and being part of the journey, it really meant a lot when things got hectic!

I want to thank my fellow Southern Bride Blog ladies: Megan, who became my most frequent commenter, and Kate for being less than a month away from her own wedding, thank you both for the endless kind words and support! I want to thank Em for allowing me to follow her and her feedback, and my new follower, Lauren, especially after we recently met at a wedding and shared our experience thus far! Also Miss Rachel for being there in the beginning even though she's now a fancy lawyer ;) I also know that Celeste, Megan, Meredith, and Lauren pop in from time to time. Also I have to thank my real life friends, Meghan, Mandy, and Christa for following and appreciating my venture into the blogging world! (I know y'all read because you bring it up in conversation, so thanks a million!!)

I can't wait to marry my best friend and hope to see where I can take blogging in the future.. I also can't wait to fill y'all in on bridal portraits, my wedding dress, and other fun things I have waited to share!

Thank you again, to each and every one of you, whether your presence is known or not, I know you may have read these posts from time to time and I thank you a million times over. 

I shall see you all on my return from the honeymoon as MRS. NICK DILLMAN :)

Au revoir,

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Wedding Week Y'al!!

It's here y'all. We made it without having too many panic attacks or arguments or times when we said we just wished we had eloped.. And I'm SO ready for it!! It's been a busy past couple of weeks but oddly not too much left to do on my end, on mom's end on the other hand... oops! I've tried to let go of all the things that don't matter and that I don't really need or want to have a say in anymore just so that I can enjoy this week and get through it as happy as possible!

In the mean time I've been working out at Pure Barre getting my body in shape (and BOY does it work!!) taking Airborne because fiance has been a little sick, working on the out of town bags, finalized my rehearsal dinner outfit (Which one did I choose?? The white Zara number!! You'll see why once I wear it), purchased fiance a wedding present (shh it's a secret!), and buying last minute accessories for the day-of.

Here's a glimpse at the madness:


I just want to say if anyone has any advice, tips, suggestions, anything at all, I'd love to hear from you!! Your words definitely don't go unnoticed and I appreciate all comments thus far! I just wish you could all be here for the big day! ;)


Friday, November 2, 2012

Wedding Update: 9 days to go..!

We've reached the point where I can finally look at a weather forecast 10 days out! EEK!!! The whole weather thing makes me nervous and not because I'm having an outdoor wedding but because we want to take all of our portraits outside and enjoy the natural sunlight since we are already battling with daylight savings time (which starts this weekend by the way!!) I already had to deal with the fiasco of rescheduling my bridal portraits due to rain and I just don't know what I'd do if it rained on our wedding day! I know it's good luck but, I'm hoping for some good luck on my side for NO rain because pretty much every Saturday in October was so insanely beautiful and it looks like this weekend will be too...

Here's a glimpse at the forecast for now... and OMG 9 days?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! **insert words of encouragement and tips for getting through the next 9 days here**