The Unfortunate Result of Wedding Gown Shopping in Haste — and a Plea for Help from a Bride Who NEEDS a New Gown for her New Venue

Let’s talk wedding gowns today.

When I got engaged, I was all over the details about the destination, the venue and the invitations.  But I wasn’t one of those girls who wanted to go dress shopping immediately because, let’s face it, I’m not an easy fit.  But for many, many brides-to-be, dress shopping is something they’ve been doing for years and years.  Some even have a stash of bridal magazines squirreled away for WHEN the big day finally arrived and he proposed.

These same girls are the ones who run out the door dress shopping within a couple of weeks of getting engaged, and they usually find the dress of their dreams very, very quickly.  Or they find it after they’ve tried on 50 gowns, all within a two-week stretch. Recently, I’ve started wondering if they’re buying their “dream dresses” a little bit too quickly based on the number of current clients I’ve got who are no longer in love with their first choice dress.

Whether they’ve changed their venues to the tropics and no longer want the 16-foot cathedral train, or they’ve simply found something else they like more, it’s happening over and over again.  I have a least three current brides who are shopping for their second dress – and not to wear as a reception option.

Brooke Alleman of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is one of these clients, and she gave me permission to share her story about the big traditional wedding she’d had planned with her fiancé Jason back in the great south, when things started getting out of control – with the guest list, the budget and the stress level.  Keeping in mind that getting married was their actual priority and things were supposed to be about what they wanted, Brooke and Jason cancelled their hometown bash and decided to run away to the Caribbean, bringing only a quarter of their original guest list with them.

The only problem Brooke saw was that she had bought an enormous, formal wedding gown that, at the time, suited her wedding venue perfectly.  And although I’ve told her my brides wear anything and everything down here on Vieques, she is bound and determined now to find the “perfect dress” for the island wedding she envisions.  In fact, she’s found it.  In Austin.  But to justify this new purchase, first she has to sell the original “perfect” wedding gown.  For the purposes of my blog research, I told her I’d help her out by sharing her story and pictures.

Brooke’s gown is the Maggie Sottero “Bernadette” in ivory with a light gold underlay.  It is a size 8. She paid $1,800 for it with the slip and veil, and she’s willing to negotiate with any bride who loves the dress as much as she first did.  It’s not that she doesn’t love it anymore, she just doesn’t think it’s right to wear on a Caribbean lawn.  Plenty of girls would, but that’s not Brooke’s style.  So she’s off to Austin in search of what she now believes is her dream dress.

A shot of Brooke from the front -- remember, it hasn't been altered!

A shot of Brooke from the front — remember, it hasn’t been altered!

The keyhole back is so popular right now, and the style makes this a perfect spring or summer dress -- even in the Caribbean! :)

The keyhole back is so popular right now, and the style makes this a perfect spring or summer dress — even in the Caribbean! 🙂

The dress has not been altered, so could easily be taken to any reputable dressmaker for you perfect fit.  Anybody with an interest in buying Brooke’s dress should email her at for more information or to make an offer (hint: don’t email me – and no,  I won’t advertise your dress, this was just for Brooke).

But back to the point of my blog – girls are running out and buying wedding gowns faster than they should.  Really, you can wear anything you like wherever you’re getting married.  BUT if you believe that certain venues call for certain dresses, you should probably wait til you’ve signed that location contract before you shell out thousands of dollars for a wedding gown.  How many times have you heard girls on “Yes to the Dress” crying the blues about the same thing?  Bought a dress, fell out of love with it, and now they’re out shopping for their “real” wedding dress with half the original budget because they’ve already bought one gown.  Don’t be that girl.

So what’s the lesson to be learned here girls?  If you haven’t settled on a wedding venue or destination, you probably haven’t settled on your wedding gown yet.  Hold back on those deposits until you’ve made the big investment and are ready to start sending out Save-the-Dates that actually have the real destination confirmed.  If you’re like Brooke and were already established and confirmed before plans change, then you’d better hope you have a wedding planner with a blog and a sense of humor willing to help you out!

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!


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