Diary of a Charlotte Bride | The Dress | Charlotte NC Wedding Photographer

After getting engaged, I wanted to go shopping for my dress right away! I had so many dresses pinned on Pinterest and everyone kept giving me bridal magazines, so I was ready to dive into dress shopping! Not to mention my DVR was full of “Say Yes To The Dress” and “I Found The Gown” episodes! But shopping so early for your dress can come with a price… or so I kept hearing! As I was making appointments at local bridal boutiques about 3 weeks after our engagement, people kept telling me about the dreaded buyer’s remorse and if a bride goes shopping too early in her wedding planning, then she ends up with more than one dress and has spent thousands on one she no longer likes! This is the last thing I wanted to happen, so I backed off and decided to wait awhile… until I found out my favorite designer, Hayley Paige, was having a trunk show in Charlotte at Hayden Olivia Bridal! Then it was out with the worries of buyer’s remorse and I made my appointment 3 minutes later! I had been obsessing over this one dress I saw in a magazine a friend gave me the night of our surprise engagement party. It was by Hayley Paige and I knew the only way this dress would be in our budget is if I went to a trunk show where they offer a 10-20% discount on dresses. I went into the appointment thinking this is the dress, so much so I even went to a different store the day before to try on about 20 dresses just to say I didn’t get my dress the first time I looked! None of the dresses there were winners… obviously because all I could think about was the dress from the magazine that I would have on in a matter of hours!

So the day of the trunk show arrives and I try on the dress… it’s beautiful, but even with the discount, way over budget! So how do you let go of a dress you’re obsessing over from a magazine that you can’t afford? Its tough! My biggest suggestion, don’t obsess over a dress in a magazine and don’t’ even try on a dress out of your budget! I kept the search going at the appointment because all of her dresses are so beautiful and totally my style and it turns out I found three that I liked even more than the one in the magazine! The original dress was a huge ball gown, which I always thought that I would want that drama, but once I tried on other styles, I realized what I thought I always wanted was totally not what I wanted at all! I didn’t want to feel like I looked all dress and no one notice anything else about me that day, or even worse…look like my dress was swallowing my bridesmaids, or my groom (haha funny image)!!! So I had it narrowed down to three dresses that were completely different than what I thought I wanted, and I could not decide! Yea, that mess about how you’ll just know when you put it on and you’ll be overwhelmed with emotion didn’t happen. That’s just for reality TV. It came down to the amazing sales associates asking me questions about the vision I had for my wedding… the time of year, time of day, romantic versus modern versus rustic. It really helped me visualize my dress fitting into what I wanted for my big day and when I thought about the whole late November fancy rustic (that’s what I’m calling my theme by the way) vision I was going for I immediately knew which of the three dresses was my dress! So I said yes to the dress… 15 months out from my wedding and I have yet to have one bit of buyer’s remorse!

So recap for future dress shoppers… Don’t get attached to one picture from a magazine, don’t try on a dress you can’t afford, don’t get so locked in on what you think you’ve always wanted, try on at least one dress in every style, because you never know what you might like best, don’t worry about buyer’s remorse, and base your dress choice on the vision you have for your entire wedding! On that note… here’s a tiny sneak peak of my dress. I thought it would be the perfect cliffhanger before I go on my holiday blogging break! PS-How GORG is Hayden Olivia’s bridal boutique?! I had to show you guys… I highly recommend it! They rent out their lovely space for showers and getting ready on your wedding day too!

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See you next year, the year of my wedding!!!!

Your Diary of a Charlotte Bride,



Melissa Lynn Hunt Charlotte NC Wedding Photographer