Brides come to Gown Boutique of Charleston usually with an idea in mind of what they want their dream wedding dress to look like. GBC bride Anna was one of those brides with a particular vision! Anna had always imagined herself in a fitted dress full of lace. The dress Anna chose was nothing she thought she wanted, but was the perfect dress for her!
What were some of your “must haves” for your wedding dress?
Since I was having a winter wedding, I wanted something that had a winter feel and look. I also was all about the lace! I always admired lace wedding dresses and how they looked.
Was your vision the same as the wedding dress you chose?
NO! I was so surprised. My wedding dress was something I never pictured myself wearing. I always imagined a fitted lace dress with a lot of beautiful lace details. In addition, I always imagined a shorter train and a beautiful back design. My wedding dress was a ball gown with no lace and a rather long train. We added a lace jacket to the top to give it that lace and winter look. This also gave my wedding dress two different looks for the night. I wore the lace jacket for the ceremony and big moments at the reception. I took the lace jacket off and added a belt for the rest of the reception. It was freezing the day we got married (high of 39 degrees and no sun) so the lace jacket somewhat kept me warm for all of our outside pictures on Daniel Island. The wedding dress I chose was not what I ever pictured myself in.
What did you love most about your gown?
My favorite part about my gown was that it was a classic look, but also very unique when I added the lace jacket and the belt. I was able to have two looks on the night of my wedding and only have one dress. The dress was heavy, but that came in handy on our very cold wedding day.
How did you know you had found your wedding dress?
I had tried on many dresses that fit the description that I had always pictured myself wearing, but the stylist had picked up on a few things I had said and had me try on something completely different. When she pulled out the dress in the dressing room I at first thought I was going to hate it because it wasn’t anything like why I had been describing. Once I put it on it just felt good and different. I wasn’t worrying about what my hips look like and the cut was just perfect for my shorter body. I knew that it was the dress when I walked out of the dressing room and everyone stopped talking. No one expected me to have on a dress like that. After we all agreed that we liked the dress, the stylist then started adding things to it, like the belt and the jacket. She showed me the two looks that I could have with this dress and how both gave me a lot of the
features that I had always pictured. I came back the next day to decide between two very different dresses. Once I put the dress on for the second time, I just knew that it was the dress.
Most memorable moment from your wedding dress shopping experience: I would say either when I walked out wearing the dress for the first time and everyone stopped talking or when I finally said “yes to the dress.”
Most memorable moment from your wedding day:
My first look. I somehow kept my dress a secret (which was very hard to do) from my fiance. I was so excited to finally be able to show him the dress that I fell in love with eight months before that day. It was also so hard not to talk about it or describe it. The wait was finally over!!! He loved it and so did everyone else.
Advice you would give to future brides about planning their wedding:
The knot app saved my life. I wasn’t a fan of planning my wedding. Have an open mind and be prepared to go over budget.
Advice you would give to future brides about wedding dress shopping:
Go in with an open mind when you are dress shopping. Listen to the stylist. They know what they are doing. My stylist picked up on little details I had said and was able to put me in my perfect dress. Don’t let the wedding stress mess up your day, and enjoy playing dress up in those pretty dresses!
Anything else you want to share about planning your wedding or your Gown Boutique of Charleston Experience:
Everything at GBC was wonderful! They were so accommodating and helpful. When I needed a day to think about which dress I wanted. They found time to squeeze me in the next day so I could try on both dresses again. Everything was organized and timely. The fittings and alterations were great, and I was able to make my dress a little more custom. My seamstress was able to recreate the back of the lace jacket and made it exactly the way I wanted it.
Everyone’s shopping experience is different. Some brides come in with a vision of their gown, and that is exactly what they end up with! Others, however, are certain of their vision, but are pleasantly surprised when they try on a dress they never imagined saying yes to! Anna’s story is the perfect example of having an open mind and allowing the stylist to work their magic. We loved helping Anna find her beautiful wedding dress that incorporated elements she loved and allowed her to have the custom look she wanted.
Photographer: Leah Melchers with Leah Opus Photography
Ceremony and Reception Venue: East Cooper Baptist Church and Daniel Island Club