Becoming #TeamNakamura: Dress Shopping

I’ve already talked about how we met, cake tasting and now it’s time to talk about picking the dress.

San Francisco, City Hall, People's Palace, Nicole Miller, Taryn, Wedding dress

I couldn’t talk about this before the wedding because Sean reads my blog and follows me on Instagram & Facebook and I didn’t want him to see my dress until the day of the wedding. 🙂

When we got engaged, I was still living in Phoenix so Mom & I decided to head out and look at dresses.  I didn’t want to spend too much but I did want something nice.  We went to David’s Bridal, it happened to be right around sale time, probably when they were trying to sell last season’s dresses to get ready for the new line.  I have nothing against them, but I didn’t see anything that looked like what I would want, most of the dresses really looked cheap and they weren’t priced cheap.

So we headed over to Nordstrom Fashion Square in Scottsdale to check out dresses there.  I didn’t have an appointment and they didn’t have a ton of dresses, but I did see two dresses that I liked and they were super nice to squeeze me in so that I could at least get an idea.

Nordstrom, Bridal Salon, Watters, Wedding Dress

I really liked one of the dresses, a tulle A-line from Watters, shown above.  The other I believe was Monique Lhuillier but I’m not positive on that and I don’t remember now.  I wasn’t sure if they allowed photos so here I was sneaking one before I found out they did :).

Nordstrom, Bridal Boutique, A-Line, Wedding dress

Both were pretty, I really liked the Watters dress and I thought to maybe have a dress made that looked similar because both of these dresses were way out of my budget.

Next we went to a consignment bridal store Almond Tree Wedding Boutique in High Street (used to be City North) in North Phoenix.  They had a lot of dresses but there weren’t a ton in my size and while they had a huge selection, a lot of the dresses were dirty so a professional cleaning would definitely be in order.  I tried on a few dresses here, just because I was there and to see if I liked any styles more.  I tried a pretty Vera Wang but it had holes in the first layer by the feet and I was too tall to have that altered.  There was a really pretty, regal brand new Justin Alexander dress that looked nice on, but it wasn’t really me.

Almond Tree Bridal, Phoenix, Arizona, Justin Alexander, Wedding Dress

I wasn’t too discouraged because I did like a few dresses from bhldn and they weren’t that expensive and that was what I was initially thinking to get, although I really liked the tulle A-Line style.

A few weeks later, I decided to go to one last store in the Phoenix area.  There was another consignment bridal shop in Tempe, near Arizona State University, called Adore Bridal Boutique.  Before I ordered a few dresses from bhldn to try, I figured I might as well check them out.

They recommend you have an appointment because there are only 2 dressing rooms.  It is a very small boutique and they had a decent amount of dresses.  Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot in my price range & size.  And even fewer that I actually liked.  I think I picked 5 dresses to try.  There was a brand new Vera Wang in a silvery grey color, pretty, but the color just wasn’t for me.  At first I actually passed over the dress I would eventually pick, but since there weren’t a lot to try on, I figured what the heck, I might as well try it.  There was another closer fitting dress too that they recommended, but OMG whoever had that dress before wanted huge boobs because there was the biggest padded bra added to the dress, it was really ridiculous.

I tried another A-Line dress, but it had some weird bow on the front and I’m sorry, I’m not huge, but a lot of these dresses made me feel like I had huge hips.

Adore Bridal Boutique, Tempe, Arizona

When I tried the dress that I would eventually buy on, I didn’t cry but I definitely knew it was the one :).  I saw the cutout keyhole back, the spandex silk material, which felt a lot like Lululemon and I knew that it was perfect.  I had the ladies there take a few photos which I sent to my mom, who unfortunately wasn’t able to come with me, my sisters and a few friends.  I just wanted to get an opinion before purchasing but I was convinced it was the right one.

Adore Bridal Boutique, Tempe, Arizona, Nicole Miller, Taryn, Wedding Dress

I was extremely lucky as was the girl who was consigning the dress because it still had the original tags on it and she had dropped it off the day before.  I needed to have it hemmed but other than that it was perfect.  I picked the Taryn dress from the Nicole Miller Bridal collection. (Personally, I think I looked better in the dress than the model 😉 )

***Side note, this was a very form fitting dress and I had been eating a lot of french fries so I decided to eat healthier and do some boot camp style exercise in order for it to fit a bit better***

I was lucky because I got to bring the dress home with me immediately and I found someone on Thumbtack here in San Diego to hem it for me.  I’m 5’8 and I was going to be wearing flats and it was super long.  Even if I had worn 5 inch heels it still would have been too long.

The lady who I decided to work with has been in the business for years, she does a ton of theater and costuming.  Mary Jill of Easy Does It Studio was great.  She was super flexible when it came to scheduling and she was extremely reasonably priced.  As one comes to find out when planning a wedding, say the word wedding and the price triples.  This was one case when that didn’t happen.  If you live in the San Diego area, I definitely recommend you hit her up, she’s amazing.

Nicole Miller, Taryn, Wedding Dress, Ritz Carlton, San Francisco

All in all I was thrilled with my dress and it really reflected who I am, a lululemon loving, work-out, runnergirl!

Running bride, nicole miller, taryn, wedding dress, altra running, the one 2.5, a.hana design, san francisco, marin headlands

Would you run in your wedding dress like I did?


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