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.


  1. I love seeing all of the different dresses you tried on! I'm glad I saved the pictures of my "journey", too! :)

  2. I TRIED ON A MILLION DRESSES! Its so frusterating especially when they cringe that you have tried on so many and haven't found on yet!

  3. I had my dress picked out in a magazine, tried it on at JMajors as my first dress, knew it was mine and bought it the same day. Maybe I tried on a total of 10 dresses. Completely different approach...but sometimes I feel like I missed the experience!