Oh dear lord. The relief. The sweet, sweet relief. The precious exhale of relief. GIGANTIC HAPPY SIGH OF RELIEF.
I HAVE A DRESS.
And I need to stop and give thanks to my new favorite people on the planet, the bridal dress wizards at Demetrios.
Let me back up so we can play a little game called “horrendous dresses”. Or as I call it, pretty much everything I’ve tried on before now. And I should clarify- they were not at all horrendous, they were beautiful, stunning gowns. But with every dress I tried on that was not “MY” dress, I felt a smidge more hopeless and despondent. I was always told one great truth about love that I assumed would be transferable to the wedding dress hunt: when you know, you know. And when it came to wedding dresses, I JUST. DIDN’T. KNOW.
Until I walked into Demetrios (http://demetriosbride.com ).
The genius who made me not want to have a complete panic attack (even sans alcohol! Oh the horror!) was an unbelievably fun guy named Paul. Paul made me laugh, Paul made me try on everything I even showed a slight hesitation of interest in, Paul made compelling but unobtrusive pro/con points for me. Paul was a godsend.
And while Paul rocked my world, he couldn’t have done squat with horrendous dresses.
The story of Demetrios goes like this:
Greek-born Demetrios is a leading, world-renowned designer and a fashion icon in the bridal industry with over thirty years’ experience. In 1980, Demetrios’ dream of owning his own company became a reality. He purchased Ilissa Bridals of New York. Virtually overnight, he turned this small unknown business into a thriving international company. Bridal boutiques throughout the world , including his own Brides by Demetrios salons and the Macy’s Bridal Salons By Demetrios proudly sell Demetrios gowns. He is one of the most versatile designers in the bridal market, covering the entire range of styles from traditional and romantic to sleek and sensuous and is on the cutting edge of the fashion world. They have been showcased in all leading bridal magazines.
And they’ve won a bajillion awards. I like thinking about these awards because it’s highly likely the statuette is wearing a big ‘ol wedding gown.
Dallas Fashion Rose Award – Best Designer
Southwest Bridal Association Award – Manufacturer of the Year
Atlanta Fashion Award – Designer of the Year
Chicago DEBI Award – Outstanding Designer
Chicago DEBI Achievement Award – Distinctive Excellence in the Bridal Industry
Las Vegas Katelyn Jo Humanitarian Award – In recognition of Special Achievements in the Bridal Industry
Now, obviously I can’t show you the dress. But I will tell you a couple of fun facts about it.
1) It’s not white, it’s a darker champagne, which is AWESOME with the vintage feel of the space (and my white-hating skin color. Which accidentally sounds racist.)
2) It has volume without being an obnoxious plastic cake-topper/Disney princess spectacle. Somehow Demetrios has managed to marry something romantic & even simplistic but give it a show-stopping element, all while avoiding the cheese factor.
3) It gives me one hell of a J Lo booty.
That’s all you’re getting.
Everything about the experience, the staff, the quality & selection of dresses was just ridiculously awesome. I actually had fun (imagine!), instead of breaking into my typical cold sweat of panic in which dresses starts to melt together and become as indistinguishable as every scent at an over-enthusiastic perfume girl’s counter.
If you’re in NYC, here’s where you’re going to go for your wedding dress. Save yourself a meltdown &/or the subsequent hangover from dealing with the new term I’d like to coin: “dresstress”. Start on fcebook, since you’re probably sitting at your computer & procrastinating finding a dress at this exact moment. http://www.facebook.com/demetriosbride
In fact, it’s almost more important than writing this blog. But this blog is so easy. I get to sit in a comfortable chair and pour my heart out to thousands of strangers. I get to sip coffee in my pajamas & think about the horrendous dresses I’ve tried on to date, rather than stand naked in front of a woman tugging crinoline over my head.
So I’ll just write a blog about it.
I don’t have a dress. And it’s now 3 months until the wedding. And while I knew this was a pressing priority, crisis mode didn’t smack me in the face until I saw an article in The Knot recommending you order your dress at the 9 month out mark.
I have run the gamut in my dress explorations. I’ve met with private designers. I’ve been to bridal salons. I’ve 90% committed…only to second guess myself within minutes & walk out of the store flustered.
Here’s the conundrum in which I live: I want a big dress. But I don’t want a big dress. Let me clarify- I don’t want to look like a Disney princess slash cake topper:
But I have the opportunity to wear beautiful dresses quite often & I want my wedding dress to be special- something I couldn’t get away with wearing on a red carpet. I want some volume, but I want a little less traditional. A little edgy, but appropriate to the venue. A needle in a haystack.
And time is so not on my side. At this point, I’m going to be expediting the order or sneaking out with a floor sample under my sweater.
I’ve got an appointment at Demetrios (http://www.demetriosbride.com/) this week. I need you to send me “FIND THE DRESS” vibes. I have a good gut feeling- they came highly recommended & from the little poking around I’ve done on the website, I actually have hope.
To be continued…hopefully in a celebratory “I FOUND A DRESS” blog.
I’ve never watched one bridal dress show in my entire life. Seriously. Never.
Until yesterday, when I realized I’d be taking my mom with me to this magical fairy land I keep hearing about called “Kleinfeld” which, apparently, is the home base to TLC’s wildly popular “Say Yes To The Dress”. So I tivo’d it. And watched this completely foreign collection of bratty brides, demanding mothers, pushy sales people & trillion-dollar piles of fussy white fabric.
I’ve already told you how completely overwhelming this whole process is to me. Unlike the girlie girls who grew up dreaming of their big day and have magazine clippings and full sketches of some giant poofy white thing they’re obsessed with, I had ZERO idea what I wanted in a dress. I know more what I don’t like than what I do. Generally, I “Say Eff No To The Dress”.
So, I made an appointment (Yup. I know. Seriously. You have to.), and checked in with the concierge at the front desk while my mom & I waited in the grand lounge (where the hell AM I?!). I was relieved when a completely cute & non-intimidating chick named Jillian got us and walked us through a show room of frothy white sh*t to her private office SLASH dressing room.
Jillian sat us down & we talked. I showed her pictures of our venue & told her how I thought the distinctive vibe of the location should influence the kind of dress I wore. She took a couple notes, told me to strip down, handed me a silk robe & sashayed out of the room. Mom & I looked at each other. I’d call her look excited anticipation. I assume my look was somewhere along the lines of uncomfortable curiosity.
Jillian came back with 5 dresses & clamped me in them. Literally…clamped them as tight as they would go. I felt crazy skinny. I’m considering investing in real life skinny clamps, perhaps we can bring them into fashion. The first dress was stunning. It took me a minute to process how beautiful it was. I don’t know what I thought it would feel like to look in a mirror with a wedding dress on, but I wasn’t prepared. It caught me off guard & took my breath away a bit.
We tried on more. Jillian told me to think out loud, to tell her everything I was thinking, what about the dress I loved & hated. Every time she came back, her choices got better. I was starting to get some clarity on what I liked. And before long, I’d narrowed it down to two. Ironically (and despite the continuously improving dress choices) I just couldn’t get the first one I’d tried on out of my head.
She had me try my favorite two dresses on again & head out to the main gallery mirror on the showroom floor. I felt really…something I can’t describe…walking around in those dresses, walking past the other brides’ families and bridesmaids, past the salesgirls and stepping onto the raised platform under the perfect light in front of the full length mirror. Jillian put a veil on my head, and I have to admit it…I got teary. This whole thing is real. I’m really getting married. Made me think of what my dad’s reaction will be when he sees me like this. What Richie’s will be. I don’t know, the whole thing…it just got to me. I could see my mom tearing up too.
Officially the girliest moment of my life. Sigh.
I didn’t buy the dress. I “Said Maybe To The Dress”. I love them, but I want to see more. I love Irina Shabayeva’s designs so much – she & I went out for drinks last week & talked about her designing something custom for me, which is a HUGE honor. And I’ve gotten emails from a couple designers who are interested in dressing me, I need to look into everything & be sure I’m making the right decision. But that first dress is still haunting me. We’ll shall see.
I can at least say I wasn’t horrified by the experience (wait! I mean “Say Not Horrified By The Dress”). It was actually kinda cool. It’s all starting to sink in.
I’m gonna be a bride 🙂