One Gown, No Cap… Yet.

If you asked me what I most look forward to during wedding planning, my immediate response would always be, “DRESS SHOPPING.” Some brides wait months before they start trying on dresses, but me, I dove head-first into a pool of white as soon as I got the chance. Most people would say I’m crazy for purchasing a gown so quickly, but when you know, you know.

I visited multiple boutiques, from high-end to consignment galore. The very first dress I tried on, I fell in love with, but my credit card couldn’t stand to be swiped for a piece of fabric that would only be worn once.

I decided to check out a small shop called Church Street Bridal. Their goal is to offer brides new (have only been tried on), low-cost, designer gowns, while giving back to the community. Church Street Bridal sells gowns from Kleinfields and other well known designer shops, and the proceeds go toward a domestic violence prevention center.

Church Street had a wonderful selection of dresses with an equally wonderful staff. I tried on around six gowns, but just didn’t feel that WOW/bridal factor. I fell in love with the prices but just couldn’t fall in love with a gown.

After going through so many dresses, but still only thinking of that first $1,100 perfect dress, I was starting to feel defeated. When I say defeated, I mean it in the sense that I would never be able to afford a dress that I could fall in love with. I didn’t want to be forced to settle.

After a couple of weeks of moping, I discovered this interesting device called, “The Internet.” You know that thing where billions of answers to sad people’s problems can be found? I simply searched, “Consignment wedding dresses Roanoke, VA” and out comes the answer to my problem! I was directed to a Facebook page for “The Newfangled Bride,” an upscale consignment boutique. I clicked through every album they had, checking out some of their selection, then I noticed their profile picture. The gown was PERFECT. So, I set up a date with my mom when we could meet in Salem to shop. My sister and brother-in-law even joined in on the fun!

Once we arrived at The Newfangled Bride, I noticed the shop was quaint and the wedding dresses were right up front so I was immediately drawn to them. In no time at all, this bubbly woman, Ruth, comes up to help sift through the assortment. We even found out that she sold my sister her wedding dress when she worked at a different boutique! That had to be a sign of good luck.

I was ecstatic when I found the dress from their Facebook page and immediately tried it on. I walked out, stepped in front of the mirror, and nothing. I felt nothing. I didn’t feel bridal. I didn’t feel sexy. I didn’t feel comfortable, and everyone agreed. I was starting to feel like I would never find my dress and that scared me.

Ruth came in with another gown and told me to try it on, so I slipped in and she zipped me up. When I walked out I didn’t feel excited to look into the mirror, instead I was nervous, apathetic even. I looked at myself in the dress. I LOOK HOT. For the first time in almost 12 dresses, I didn’t even think about gown number one. All I could see was myself walking down the aisle, all eyes on me, but most importantly, Ian’s eyes on me, LOCKED on me. I looked at my mom, sister, and brother-in-law and asked their opinion and sure enough, we came to a consensus and I was putting down a deposit (honestly, it didn’t happen that fast, I didn’t want to get out of the dress. I would’ve worn it home if I could!). The best part about the dress? I didn’t have to compromise on the look or the price! I stayed under my budget of $600, which made me glow with happiness.

I never could have found this dress without the help of Ruth and the team at The Newfangled Bride. A bride-to-be should never have to spend a fortune to gain the confidence to feel beautiful when it comes time to walk down the aisle to her groom.

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For anyone that’s interested (which should be all brides-to-be near Salem, VA) here’s the information for The Newfangled Bride:

107 W Main Street Salem, VA

540-389-1010

http://www.thenewfangledbride.com

I found the (wedding) gown! Now all I need is my cap and gown for graduation.

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