Finally! No more appointments, no more trips to dress shops, no more looking at the same wedding dresses over and over again! Ladies, I have found THE dress :) I'm not going to post a picture of it, in case my husband-of-the-future is spying on this blog, but I will say that my dress is not what I expected to get. I ended up getting my gown from Unveiled Philadelphia, my favorite store out of all the places I went.
A couple weeks ago, I decided to go back to Bridals by Danielle and Unveiled Philadelphia to take one last look at the two dresses I was choosing between. I realized that I needed to get my dress ordered now if I wanted to get it on time. This time I only went with my mom and mother in law. Our first stop was Bridals by Danielle, and I must say, my experience this time was completely different from my first visit.
On my way to the store I ran into bumper to bumper traffic, so I called to let them know I was going to be 5 minutes late at the most. (I'm a stickler for punctuality so I always try to arrive anywhere 15 minutes early) The woman on the phone assured me that this was ok and that they would still honor my appointment. Unfortunately this is not what happened once I arrived. When I walked into the store, the woman at the desk barely acknowledged my presence. It was only after I walked up to the desk to let her know I was there that she said "Oh hi, just wait up front, Anna (the saleswoman who had helped me before) will be with you in 5 minutes." No problem, I was late, the least I could do was be patient.
5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes went by and my mom, mother in law, and I were still waiting to be helped. During this time we were not given a single explanation. Not one word or apology as to why we were still waiting. It was late in the afternoon and the store was completely empty. Finally my mother in law said to the woman at the front (who I later learned is actually the owner of the store) that our appointment was at 4:30, it was now 4:50, and we had another appointment at 5:30. By this point, I was ready to get the hell out of the store and take my business elsewhere. The woman said "Well you were late for your appointment so I gave Anna another bride." That's funny, I called ahead of time to let her know that I would be maybe 5 minutes late, and I was also assured that my appointment would be honored.
After some snarky comments from myself and my mom, Anna finally came out to apologize and had the dress that I wanted to try on brought to a dressing room for me. I was in such a foul mood that I tried it on for my mom, and said "Ok I'm done let's go to the next store. I don't want a store with customer service like this getting any of my business." It's a shame because before that visit, I had pretty much decided to buy the dress, but after my horrible visit, there was no way I wanted to come back.
Our next stop was at Unveiled Philadelphia. I loved this store the first time I went. It's a completely different experience from any other store:
1. They book their appointments in 2 hour increments to avoid an overlap with another bride. Even if you don't use the full 2 hours, it's nice to know that all of their attention will be with you.
2. They have a huge runway in the middle of the store that you can walk down to get a real idea of the weight and movement of a dress. (Plus, you get to feel like a supermodel for an hour)
3. They don't stock the typical dress designers that you can find everywhere else. You feel like the dress you get won't be one that you can see on every other bride.
When we got to the store, they were finishing up an appointment with another bride, which I didn't mind since we were a little early. We ended up waiting about 15 minutes, but unlike at Bridals by Danielle, Frannie's husband Michael talked to me, let me browse through the dresses, and kept me engaged the whole time. By the time the other bride was finished, we were in a better mood.
I tried on the dress that I tried on the first time, plus some new dresses that they had just received from the same designer. When I tried on one particular dress, my face just lit up. This was it. It was one of the new ones that they got in, and it was perfect. The designer is Val Stefani. I had never heard of her before visiting Unveiled, but her dresses are beautiful. I'm happy I didn't go with a big name designer. Yes, it would be cool to say I work Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, or Jenny Packham, but I'm so happy that I found a dress that just felt right. It's not about the name, but how the dress makes you feel, and I feel beautiful in it. I can't wait to wear it!
Here are some examples of Val Stefani's work.