Wedding Dress Shopping: from Kleinfelds to the Boutiques

Good morning! The last few days have been full of laughter, tears and big decisions! Over the weekend my mom, mother-in-law and best friend/maid of honor came in town to help me find the perfect wedding dress. Two months ago I made appointments at Bridal Reflection, Kleinfeld and Designer Loft. Each salon allows for 1.5 hour appointments.

When we arrived at Bridal Reflection, I was impressed with the wide selection of modern dresses and veils they had to offer future brides. At the beginning of the appointment I was overwhelmed. But at the end, I was really enjoying myself and had a clear vision what type of dress I wanted for the wedding. If you’re in NY, I’d highly recommend going to Bridal Reflection. The women who work there are patient, knowledgeable and most importantly they do not pressure you to buy a dress on the spot.Ines Di Santo is the designer of this dress above, called Rochelle. It’s still one of my favorite dresses and if I were getting married in New York, I might have picked this dress. I immediately fell in love with several of her dresses. I’m petite and curvy; and her dresses fit me like a glove. Her dresses are truly couture pieces. From traditional lace dresses to sweetheart mermaid, the fit and construction of each dress fell perfectly on my body.

The dress above is the Mayne and also designed by Ines De Santo. I absolutely loved this dress! It’s a traditional lace gown with a sweetheart neckline. The design was perfect for a {formal} destination wedding in Mexico. I want to wear a mantilla at the church  and the dress looks so beautiful with a long veil.



Ines De Santo designed the dress above, called the Calais.  The back of the dress really drew me in. The sheer back was sexy and elegant. The bottom of the dress was the part that I really struggled with when I tried on this dress. I didn’t like the split of lace and tulle at the bottom.
Please take note of my black tights you see in the back of the dress. Make sure you wear nude panties and a strapless bra, I repeat…nude panties and a strapless bra.
Here are a few more dresses that were picked out for me to try on. I asked mom, mother- in-law and bestie to pick out a few dresses they loved. My mom picked the one to the right, which is absolutely breathtaking, but couldn’t wear in Mexico. The covered buttons were so beautiful on this dress, which inspired me to have them added on my dress.


Each of these lace dresses above I loved for different reasons. Starting from the far left, the lace was so beautiful. The overall dress was a little too simple for what I wanted, but the pattern of the lace was very whimsical. The next dress was absolutely stunning from the back. Ines Di Santo also designs this dress. It’s called the Lissmo, I loved v-lace against my back…so elegant The dress to the far right was not one of my favorites at the store, but looking back at photos that dress was gorgeous with the unlined lace back, the long lace train. Ines Di Santo calls this dress, Cannes.
The next place we went was Kleinfeld, which was a great experience. However, I really enjoyed the smaller boutique salons. We had the full attention of the women helping us to pick out dresses and we could walk around and look at all the dresses, veils and jewelry without getting in the way of anyone. When we went to Kleinfeld on a Sunday and the there were at least 150 women in the store. The sales woman said they had 109 appointments the previous Saturday. Phew, that’s a lot of dresses!
The dresses at Kleinfeld are top notch, without a doubt. They have thousands of dresses to try on, but the trick is…you have to find one in 1.5 hours. So in reality you only can try on 6-8 dresses. I highly recommend going to Kleinfelds with a game plan. Research their site online, ask for recommendations from other brides who visited Kelinfeld and read wedding blogs. They have specific designers for Kleinfeld, so you’ll be able to try on dresses that are not available anywhere else in the world.
I didn’t go in with a plan, however I got lucky at the first place and she let me try on several dresses.  I figured out what I wanted really quick when I was at Kelinfield. The woman helping us, recommended I try on dresses designed by Pnina Tornai. She’s a designer from Isreal. All of her fabrics are the crème de la crème. She uses the finest silks, lace and tulle there is to offer. In the photos above the one to the far left and the far right are designed by Pnina. The dress in the middle is designed by Lazaro in style LZ3201. I fell in love with the ivory lace organza and strapless sweetheart neckline. This dress was the runner up. If I didn’t find a dress at Designer Loft I was going to pick this dress. The exaggerated organza was gorgeous! My only concern was the organza would over power my petite figure.
 Although all these dresses are so beautiful, I didn’t say yes to any of these dresses. I found a dress made by Matthew Christopher, who is a local New York designer. The dress has a mix of everything I loved in all of the dresses above. Sweetheart neckline, mermaid style, lace, can be worn with mantilla, appropriate for Mexico, champagne color, puffy at the bottom and hugs all my curves. Since my fiance is an avid reader of my blog, I’m going to wait to reveal the dress till the wedding day. The dress fits me perfectly and when I tried it on and walked out to see my family/bestie, I did cry. Something about the dress made everything feel real. Each tear was a tear of joy and happiness. I’m so happy to spend the rest of my life with the love of my life and best friend.
Here is my advice to any future bride:
Make at least 3-4 appointments to try on dresses (especially if they are only 1.5 hour long).
Make sure to bring the person who knows you the best and will tell you the truth, not what you want to hear. My mom loved everything, so my bestie was the one who gave me her uncensored opinion. Love you Sara!
Have a glass of champagne before you start shopping, maybe two.
Wear nude panties and bring a nude bra. Do not wear anything dark!
Research. Research. Research.
Try on 3-4 different styles & designers, but you’ll quickly be able to narrow down what looks best on your body.
Keep the location of your wedding mind when picking out a dress.
The most expensive dresses are not always the most beautiful. Try on at several different price-points.
If you don’t like something on a dress, you most likely can have it changed. So don’t get stuck on one small detail.
I’d recommend wearing or bringing a “blingy”  necklace and earrings. It will hep with the visual effect. I wore my J.Crew necklace and it looked great with all the dresses.
 SMILE when you try on dresses, even if it’s not your favorite.
Last, enjoy every moment of shopping for the dress. It goes by so quickly!
Please let me know if you have any questions. You can always email me or as in the comment section.


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