Last weekend, my maid of honor and two bridesmaids joined me to look at bridesmaid dresses for the first time.  We went over to Here Comes the Bridesmaid, who carries a bunch of well known designers. While we did have an appointment, the experience was pretty laid back and independent. Once we checked in, we were told to browse the racks and pull out dresses we liked. We were looking short, knee-length cocktail dresses that were available in red. My goal from the start has been to find a dress that comes in the same fabric, with a couple of different shapes, so everyone can pick a dress that they feel comfortable in. I also really want to find dresses that each of my girls will be happy wearing again.

The best part about going with three of my bridesmaids is that we could try on a bunch of dresses quickly and eliminate the ones we didn’t like and then switch the dresses we did like! Jessica and Julie were our dress guinea pigs. I think they tried on at least ten dresses between the two of them. Sadly, only two really stood out. One is the yellow one to the right. It’s from Watters & Watters. It’s silk dupioni, which is a really interesting looking raw silk, so you get interesting variations in the fabric. Obviously, we’d get it in red. The nice part about this dress is that there are a couple of dresses that are made of the same fabric and have the same style, but have different neckline or strap options. Jessica and Julie both looked really cute in the dress. So, it’s on the list. The only problem is that it’s pretty pricey, close to $300. I’d rather find something a little more affordable before settling.

The other dress we found was from Watters’ other line, Wtoo. This dress also looked great on Julie and Jessica and the back was really sexy, but the fabric was a poly-chiffon and while the grey worked, we all agreed it might look a bit cheap in a red color. But I was surprised to learn that at least three of the five girls would be willing to wear a chiffon dress! I was expecting them to veto that.

So, the next step is to make an appointment at a different store. I think we’ll try Bella Bridesmaid next. They carry a ton of lines. I’m definitely excited to look at Anna Elyse, which fits perfectly in the same fabric, different styles dress goal. There’s also Jenny Yoo, Amsale and Alix & Kelly. I’ve looked on all of the websites, but it really doesn’t matter until you’re actually in the store looking at the dresses.

And of course, there’s always J.Crew. So, we’ll find something. My sister will be in the city for three weeks for a summer programming starting next week, so it’ll be much easier to get everyone together to go try on dresses and at the very least meet! So, hopefully, we’ll find something. We’re not in a rush and there are definitely a few seasons to pass before we really have to make a decision, but considering how long it can take for some of these dresses to come in, I’d rather start early. Better safe than sorry!

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Last weekend, I finally went over to Robert Bullock’s salon to try on his dresses. I have been dreaming about trying on one of his gowns since I saw it in a magazine, almost an year ago. Since I started looking, I’ve known I wanted lace, but I hadn’t been thrilled with any of the dresses I tried on. They looked nice enough, but nothing had felt right. Every dress I tried on was heavy and stiff. I was getting discouraged and a little bit nervous that I had an impossible vision of my wedding dress and I was never going to find it.

Thankfully, I made a trip to Robert Bullock’s salon. The best part of the whole experience is that Robert was there himself helping me out. I could ask about options and know that the answers were coming from the person who designed the dress.

The Francesca gown was the first dress I tried on. I’d been pining forever, it was time to finally see how it looked and it looked… okay. Sadly, this wasn’t my dress. It was really lovely, but didn’t work exactly. But I tried on six or so more dresses and loved them all.

I have never had as positive of a shopping experience as I did at the salon. First of all, every dress felt wonderful. A lot of the dresses I had tried on previously were either true A-line or fitted at the hips, which I wasn’t looking for at all. Robert’s gowns are modified A-line. Essentially, the hug the natural waist and then go out, but there is no fabric forcing the skirt out. The fabric follows the natural line of the hips. Almost every dress I tried on had this shape and I loved the way all of them looked. And because they didn’t have layers of tulle or anything else underneath creating volume, all the dresses were significantly lighter than anything else I tried on. I didn’t feel weighted down at all. The fabric was all very lush and luxurious and the dresses felt amazing on my skin. These were dresses I had no problem imagining spending a day in.

And almost every dress looked great on! Like I said, every dress hit me in all the right places and made me feel incredibly sexy. I even fit perfectly into a couple of the dresses, no pins or clips required. I felt like each dress made my waist look incredibly tiny, which I am definitely going for!

This dress is one of the ones I tried on and it got great reviews from Julie, my sister, and Kelly, my maid of honor, but I didn’t love it. It was a little too modern for me. Some of the other dresses had the lace all over and I liked that more.

Ultimately, I didn’t end up getting my dress, because I narrowed it down to two that I loved. Since Paul knows where the blog is, I won’t go into what they look like, but the next step is to head back with my mother and grandmother and have them help narrow it down. So, hopefully, we’ll do that later this month.

But I absolutely have to encourage anyone who is looking for a beautiful dress and an amazing shopping experience to go to the Birnbaum and Bullock salon. The Stephen Birnbaum has his own line and they have a line together at varying price points. But it was the best experience I’ve had so far, planning my wedding and it’ll be hard to beat. I was the only bride in the salon at the time and each bride gets the same¬†experience.