Tag Archives: Priscilla’s of Boston

24-hours of panic

12 Sep


…here’s a teaser:

I’m still in shock about how quickly it all happened.

As many of you know, back in July I found two potential dress contenders. I nearly purchased one when I was offered a 15% savings if I bought within the week, but at the last second decided I just couldn’t rush this decision and decided to wait and re-visit the shop in September.

Fast forward to August 31st. 

Priscilla’s announces they will be CLOSING for business at the end of this year. 
I e-mail my consultant immediately, convinced that orders can probably still be taken. I don’t stress about it.

When I don’t hear from my consultant the next morning, I get nervous. I call the store and leave a hysterical voicemail begging for them to let me order one of the two dresses and ask if I can set-up an appointment. Then I start Googling news on the closing. Now the real fun starts.

They will not take ANY new orders.

I text one of my bridesmaids’ close friends, Jen, to confer.
She placed her wedding dress order in early August. We’re both freaking out.

Jen works right across the street from Priscilla’s so we make plans to reconnect after she has a chance to get over there.
I’m at work in Watertown trying not to sob into my coffee.

She texts back confirming the “No new dress orders” policy is firm but tells me that all the dress samples, veils, and accessories are out on the floor for sale at 40% off.  The store is a total zoo. People are going nuts over the news.
I leave work and sprint to my car. I’m in Boston by 3.

The crowd has died down and there are only a few brides-to-be screaming at the shell-shocked staff behind the counters. The phones are ringing off the hook! Tension is high. No one knew it was coming. Every single employee just learned they were losing their jobs the night before.

I spot my two dresses and secure them safely in a dressing room, then see a few other gowns that are in my price range at 40% off, so I grab them too. One in particular catches my eye and I remember thinking “Oh, just grab it. Why not?”

Grace, one of the seamstresses, lets me know that it’s one of the newest samples for the Spring ’12 line, so very few brides have had a chance to order it. Since Priscilla’s isn’t taking orders anymore, it will be one of only a handful of that dress style ever made. Score!!!!!!

I take my time browsing, but feel a rush of adrenaline each time the elevator door jerks open and more brides pour out.  I’m told I can only take 5 dresses in at a time, so I grab a veil and get started.

I work my way from the two I already know I love to the newer picks, trying the one I ultimately would buy on LAST.

Before I even got it zipped, I just knew. It felt perfect. Even the veil I’d grabbed without thinking complemented it perfectly. I didn’t cry, but I was smiling like an idiot.  When I stepped out to see it in the main salon, a small group of women all exclaimed “Ooooo,” so completely unexpectedly that we all burst out laughing.  It was the perfect affirmation that this dress was the one.

I’d barely walked three steps towards Newbury St. before I was trying to call home to share the news. I had a ginormous dress bag that I needed two hands to carry, so it wasn’t easy. By the third ring, I was having a panic attack.

My sister Skylar picks up and asks excitedly: Was it the dress I thought?!
Me: No… Maybe…Yes. No.
Me: It’s neither of the ones I thought I wanted. I am freaking out! Is mom there?
Skylar: Did you send a picture?
Me: I think I want to keep it a secret [pause]  Please just tell me I didn’t make a huge mistake!
Skylar: [dryly] Until I see a picture, I can’t know if you did or not.
Me: [dying laughing]

In 15 minutes I’m home and finally chatting with my mom.  I quickly e-mail all the photos taken in the salon and pause for reaction. [I’m still freaking out that I lost my mind and just BOUGHT A DRESS] but she loves it. Phew!

But the craziest thing, I realized about a WEEK after I bought my dress while I’m looking at the pictures from my first Priscilla’s trip. In nearly every single photo I took that day, my dress is on a mannequin right behind me.

Clearly visible, in a “yoohoo, over here” kind-of-way. When I think of how much I poured over these photos…trying to decide between the two dresses I thought could be “it” I just have to laugh.

And that’s the story of my dress search!

Dress Shopping Update

25 Aug

As many of you know, I spent some time at the end of July and beginning of August dress shopping and found two potential contenders, but none that gave me that “this-is-the-one” feeling, so the search continues.

My youngest sister, Skylar, has particularly enjoyed the whole process. Here are some pics from our 1st trip to Priscilla’s of Boston with our mom:

My youngest sister, Skylar, and I just before we headed in

Such a little sneak, she was looking through the desk drawers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Priscilla’s know how to treat their girls! I really enjoyed relaxing in this silky robe while my dress picks were gathered up by my lovely consultant, Patty.

Chilling in my robe, waiting to try some dresses!

Celebrating a fun trip with some cupcakes at Sweet on Newbury St.

I have to admit, trying dresses on is fun, so I can’t say I mind that the search is STILL on too, too much.

My favorite part has definitely been honing on on my “wedding dress style” and looking to art and history for inspiration.

The book, 100 Dresses: The Costume Institute | The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has been my go-to lately for dress research, but I’ve also been looking at vintage ads and photos for inspiration. I think it’s interesting how both mannequin and model are posed so similarly in these big dresses, below.

100 Dresses: The Costume Institute / The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I’m also inspired by iconic brides of the past, like Grace Kelly, Carolyn Bessette, and Jackie for various reasons:

1. Carolyn Bessett wore a gorgeous, modern silk crepe Narcisco Rodriquez gown that will probably look modern forever.

2. Grace Kelly wore a gown by MGM costumer Helen Rose when she wed Prince Rainer of Monaco in 1956. Clearly, Kate Middleton’s inspiration!

3. American divorcée Wallace Simpson wore a very modest, but elegant, Mainbocher number when she became the Duchess of Windsor in 1937.
Look at the tailoring! I die.. seriously.

4. Jacqueline Bouvier wore an ivory silk taffeta gown with a portrait neckline and bouffant skirt decorated with interwoven bands of tucking, by Ann Lowe  for her 1953 nuptials.  You laugh, but embellished skirts are a huge trend and I BARELY resisted.  Alyne’s “Wendy” gown was a serious contender. Eek!

5. Princess Diana wore  a gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for her July 1981 wedding.  Shudder. 

And finally, just a few of my more modern favorites. Gwen Stefani, Carrie Bradshaw (in the film), and Kate Moss each did bridal their own way and I think each dress is so perfectly “them” that the styles will transcend time.

That’s really all you can hope for right?

I still can’t watch the S&TC movie without tearing up when Carrie tries on this Vivienne Westwood dress (center, below). Not to mention: drool! Isn’t it gorgeous?

…this Spring ’12 dresses also caught my eye:

Anyways, that’s where my head is lately on the dress front.  I spent most of July/August focused on caterers and photographers, so I think my break is coming to an end soon. Stay tuned.