October 29, 2019
October 29, 2019
We’re officially 11 months out from the wedding, so my mom, grandma, and maid of honor came in from out of town for a weekend of dress shopping! It’s awesome how many boutiques we have available in Chicago. For this day of shopping I narrowed it down to four, which was perfect. Considering our venue and my personal style, I had an idea of what I was looking for; a clean, modern silhouette to contrast the intricate detail of the Chicago Athletic Association. Expectations aside, it was so fun to go in to each shop with an open mind and try on a variety of dresses.
I began the day of dress shopping with what I anticipated to be my favorite so that I wouldn’t spend all day comparing each dress to one I hadn’t even tried on yet. Although many people say to stop looking after you’ve found the one, I knew I’d be waiting to “say yes” until I hit up each scheduled appointment. I know how I shop and though I loved many more dresses I tried on, it just made my decision that much clearer, rather than causing any confusion.
Here’s my experience at each shop!
While pulling dress inspiration I was obsessed with Sarah Seven. I thought her clean, modern styles and silhouettes were gorgeous and fit my personal style perfectly. Luckily, we have a flagship store here in Chicago so I knew I had to start my shopping there. Walking to the store from the beautiful tree-lined Lincoln Park street set the scene perfectly for my experience.
The store, nestled in to my favorite neighborhood and designed to only have two fitting areas, make for a peaceful, intimate experience. The space is wonderfully designed, filled with gorgeous furniture, mirrors, and chandeliers, and accent walls painted in the prettiest colors. Natural light streams in for an incredibly flattering try-on session.
The focused selection of dresses, allowed for a relaxing appointment as every dress had that overall Sarah Seven aesthetic I was after. It was just a matter of which one I loved the most. And my consultant, Syvanah was so helpful with that. Not only was she great at pulling dresses, but was also highly skilled in her ability to clip my 5’2″ body into the dresses to get a great idea of what it would look like tailored.
A final cheers of champagne in the adorable Sarah Seven mugs was the cherry on top.
Lovely Bride was the second shop we visited and I think I was kind of shocked at how much I was loving styles I hadn’t initially considered. My consultant did such a great job listening to my feedback with each dress and pulling similar ones to compare. Since Lovely Bride has a wider selection of designers there was a variety of dresses to help me figure out what styles and silhouettes work for me and my body. Dresses ranged from traditional, to boho, to modern. And the range of prices felt very reasonable for a typical Chicago bride’s budget.
Although there were more dresses to choose from, the atmosphere was still quaint and allowed for an enjoyable experience. There were a few more dressing rooms so the atmosphere was bustling. This made the appointment feel slightly less intimate but also had a fun energy to it.
I adored this cute Andersonville shop. They have a beautiful selection of dresses by independent female designers (how cool is that?). We had the entire space to ourselves for our appointment which was so fun. We walked in to be greeted by the sweetest consultant, a gorgeous, cozy space, and a personalized sign with our names on it.
The type of dress selection was similar to Lovely Bride, in the variety and quality of designers, but without any overlap in dresses. One of my biggest draws to the shop was the line by Alyssa Kristen, but there were so many other unique styles I loved putting on. They also had an amazing collection of wedding accessories, like jewelry, hair pieces, belts, and veils. These little touches were really fun additions to some of the dresses I tried on.
This appointment being my third, I became very decisive in my opinions of each dress. Honestly, I felt I could have ended the day here. I had seen a wide variety of dresses I loved and had great experiences at each shop, but felt clear in which dress was the one without a need to see anymore.
It’s hard to give a fair opinion of my experience in this shop. As mentioned above, I went into this last appointment of the day feeling like I had seen all I needed to. But because I already had an appointment, which couldn’t be canceled without a fine, I figured I might as well make the most of this chance to try on wedding dresses.
The two individual fitting rooms are beautiful and they have a nice selection of higher end, intricately detailed dresses. Generally their designers were at a higher price point, which limited my selection a bit. Plus, having already learned exactly what I liked, I was very decisive when it came to pulling dresses. I only ended up pulling 3 and immediately knew none of them were right for me. While this wasn’t my favorite boutique, I’ve seen multiple people love their experience here.
Overall, I wouldn’t have changed a think about my dress shopping experience and can’t wait for my follow-up appointment to officially say yes to the dress!
Need to propose to your bridesmaids before they join you on your dress shopping adventures? Check out my wedding cards in the shop.