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Saying Yes To The Dress – In The East Bay

July 23, 2014
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Saying Yes To The Dress – In The East Bay

By Nicole Duffin / Amos Productions

The proposal day has come and gone. You are ENGAGED! Now what? For many brides-to-be shopping for the perfect wedding dress is on top of the “to do” list. However, finding your dream gown can be more stressful than fun when considering all the details that can factor into your dress selection. Perhaps you’ve dreamed of your wedding day since you were little, dressing up in princess dresses, tiaras and mommy’s jewelry, and pretending to walk down the aisle. Or perhaps you pore over images of multi-million dollar celebrity weddings, wishing you could duplicate such extraordinary affairs. Maybe you rely on social media sites such as Pinterest to inundate you with wedding photos, DIY projects, and color and theme options. Do you want your dress to reflect cultural or religious traditions? What about the season of your wedding, the venue, the theme, the style, fabric, and fit? Wedding dress selection can easily be the best and worst part of wedding planning.

Most importantly, your wedding gown should be a reflection of YOU, whether it’s flashy or conservative, haute couture or classic, satin or lace. Finding the right bridal shop that can not only provide your perfect dress within your budget, but can also satisfy all the additional “gown factors” can prove to be a challenge. Do you prefer to shop at larger chain stores, like David’s Bridal, where scores of gowns can be found in every price range, but often at the cost of one-on-one customer service? Or do you prefer smaller boutiques known for personal service, but where the selection of gowns may be limited and higher priced? Finally, do you prefer the privacy of your home where online shopping offers a convenient, yet risky option for your wedding dress selection? A huge array of gowns at every price range awaits the online bridal gown shopper, and on the surface, this appears to be a convenient, viable option. However, wedding dress sizing is not comparable to normal clothing sizes, can vary greatly between designers, and poses a definite problem for anyone ordering online. Likewise, the quality of fabric and craftsmanship, as well as fabric color may cause brides to “best guess” which gown will fit, have the right feel, and be the perfect color.

Wherever you decide to embark on the hunt for your perfect gown, be sure to schedule an appointment and allow plenty of time. Be open to trying on different styles, fits, and fabrics. Your dream dress may end up being one that you never would have imagined loving. The East Bay boasts a number of bridal shops which are unique in their inventory as well as their approach to serving brides-to-be. Highlighted here is an interview with Jamie, the owner of J’aime Bridal in Pleasanton, as well as a list of other special East Bay bridal stores and boutiques.

We would love to hear about your wedding gown shopping experience and how you decide on the dress of your dreams. Please post your story below and share your experience!

INTERVIEW with Jaime Zile of J’amie Bridal in Downtown Pleasanton, CA
Nicole / AP: When is the best time to shop for a wedding gown?
Jamie: I always suggest weekday appointments whenever possible. Weekdays are quiet and often brides that come in onweekdays have unlimited time and the entire salon and staff to themselves.

Nicole / AP: How much time should a bride allow to order a gown?
Jamie: Dresses can take up to six months to arrive in the store, so plan early to make sure the dress you love can be yours by your wedding day. Several designers try to keep styles in stock for immediate delivery, but that is never guaranteed.

Nicole / AP: What is your advice about who to bring to the bridal gown appointment?
Jamie: I recommend no more than two to three people, those who are most important to the bride. Too many opinions can be overwhelming to the bride.

Nicole / AP: How do brides typically find the perfect gown?
Jamie: Don’t eliminate anything at first glance. I can’t tell you how many brides have not wanted to try on the gown they ultimately selected. Most of our brides know within a few minutes if they like a gown or not and sometimes it takes trying on a gown several times to be sure it’s the one.

J’aime Bridal, Pleasanton
Bridal gowns priced under $2000, including a large selection ofplus sizes and bridal party dresses. http://www.jaimebridal.com | 925-846-8459

Kinsley James, Walnut Creek
Couture bridal salon with frequent trunk shows and a sample sale collection.

La Soie Bridal, Walnut Creek
Gowns priced under $5000 and selection of bridal accessories such as headpieces, belts, and jewelry.

Gesinee’s Bridal, Concord
One-stop shopping for bride, bridal party, mother-of-the-bride, and bridal accessories.

David’s Bridal, Milpitas
Large retail and online store with gowns starting at $100.

Blossom’s Bridal & Formal, Dublin
Large selection of stock wedding gowns and bridal party dresses at budget prices.

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