by Ryan Conner
Karley Osborn is a bride-to-be living in Plano. Her fiancé proposed in March. They’re getting married in July. No, she’s not crazy, and yes, she’s confident she will be able to order a dress and have it triple-fitted in plenty of time — no matter what the experts have to say about it. Karley also happened to intern for D Magazine and work as a social reporter with People Newspapers. Every Wednesday, she’ll be documenting her planning process. From flowers to fittings, she will use her first-hand experience to help other brides in the event of a last-minute love affair.
Last week, I crammed months of gown-browsing into a single day.
Although the five boutiques I visited with my mom, dad, and maid of honor last Wednesday couldn’t have been more different, each appointment began pretty similarly: with a shocked expression, a raised eyebrow, a dropped jaw, and/or an exclamation of horror along the lines of, “It’s too fast, it will never happen, you can’t be helped, you’ll have to walk down the aisle naked!” At least that’s what I heard.
I mean, I get it. I’m getting married in four months and counting. And I know that—according to every single magazine, website, and planning booklet I’ve scanned—wedding gowns are traditionally ordered a minimum of six months in advance to accommodate for ship time, fittings, and alterations. But I’m getting hitched in a hurry, remember? So all those timelines have been thrown out the proverbial window.
That being said, here is the run-down of my 24-hour crash course in bridal style.
Follow Karley after the jump.
9 a.m.—Pre-appointment Starbucks run
10 a.m.—Appointment #1, Patsy’s Bridal Boutique. 4244 Oak Lawn Ave.
Notes: Although my wedding date definitely gets an initial eyebrow-raise at, my consultant quickly recovers and suggests that I browse Patsy’s selection of take-it-home-today samples. Although I don’t find my dress at the boutique, I say “I do” to an accessory—a custom belt that’s soon-to-be-created by a designer the store works with in New York. Love it.
Noon—Lunch break at downtown Neiman Marcus café
Notes: Although the Breakfast at Tiffany’s-esque atmosphere may have been akin to torture to my father, us girls were in heaven lunching on popover bread and strawberry butter. Mmmm.
12:30 p.m.—Appointment #2, bridal salon at downtown Neiman Marcus. 1618 Main St.
Notes: I parade out of the studio apartment-sized dressing room at Neimans in everything from a tulle-swathed mermaid confection to a crisp, cathedral-worthy ball gown. And although the gowns are all dubbed a bit formal for the intimate crowd that will be gathered at my destination wedding, the appointment helps me determine that a natural waist is the best silhouette for me.
2 p.m.—Secondary between-appointments Starbucks run
2:45 p.m.—Appointment #3, Warren Barron. 53 Highland Park Village.
Notes: I experiment with a slinky, beach-y number and more than a few garden fairy fit-and-flares. Although the hands-on treatment from the salon’s co-owner made me feel very special and every gown I slipped on was gorgeous—again, the styles were a bit too formal for the venue I have in mind.
3:30 p.m.—Appointment #4, Bridal Collections by Stella. 5813 Preston Rd., Ste. 558.
Notes: By the time we walk into Stella’s, I’ll admit it—everything has begun to look the same, and I am feeling dramatic. “Water,” I say to my dad, clutching at my throat. “I think I’m going to pass out.”
5:00 p.m.—Appointment #5, David’s Bridal Frisco. 9288 State Highway 121, Ste. 100.
Notes: Our last stop lands at the lowest end of the price spectrum. But, believe it or not, it is here that I finally find my dress: A White by Vera Wang with a price tag that makes my dad cry (tears of joy, that is). When consultant Becky shares that she met and married her husband in four months—and they’ve been together for 32 years—I finally feel I’ve been really, truly understood.
As my bedraggled entourage crawled into a booth at Mi Cocina at the end of the day, I made my announcement: I was ready to say yes to the dress. Still, we all agreed that it would be best to sleep on everything. The next day, we booked Appointment #6 and popped into Lewisville Bridal Boutique (139 W. Main St.) for a final round of comparison-shopping. And while every gown I tried on was lovely, they say when you know, you know. And I knew.
So yes, David’s Bridal Frisco and best-ever consultant Becky—for this bride-to-be, you beat out more than a few Ferrari-priced gowns that had previously caught my eye. And you saved me about $9 million dollars (less exaggerated savings: $5,000) in the process. So take heart, fellow last-minute planners: In just 24 hours, I found a dress that truly feels like a reflection of my heart, and I can’t wait for Fiancé to see me in it when I walk down the aisle.