Bridal Dress Shopping at Kleinfeld & Bridal Reflections
The Bridal Salons
After getting engaged the first thing I did was buy my wedding dress. Not because I think it’s the most important part of a wedding, but because the timing worked out best for my parents and best friend to fly with me to NY to go shopping. Kleinfeld was the second salon on my list, with the first being Bridal Reflections in NYC. I ended up going to Bridal reflections Long Island studio because it was closer and more convenient. The reason I chose Bridal Reflections was because they carried my favourite designer: Gahlia Lahav. Her dresses are absolutely incredible, but also way above my budget.
I had done some research on dresses before I went. I only brought a couple of pictures with me. I went in with an open mind. All I knew is that I wanted a deep plunging V-Neckline; other than that any other option was fair game. Oh boy did my mind open up even more after trying on different gowns.
Here are some things that I learned
- There was a considerable difference between sample sizes, not only between designers but also between salons. I am 6 feet tall, curvy, and many sample sizes are made for models so they didn’t fit me well. My best friend is a lot smaller than me so I even put her in a dress I liked to see what it would look like on. Remember not to get self-conscious about trying on dresses that don’t fit you. These dresses aren’t supposed to fit perfectly when you try them on. They are only meant to give you an idea of what they should look like.
- HAVE FUN WITH IT
- Bring baby powder. One of the salons was extra warm, plus nerves, making it difficult to squeeze some dresses over my thigh and hip area. Baby powdered helped considerably.
- I brought a good crowd with me that supported me with what I like. They were honest, but not degrading. This moment is about YOU and your entourage should support that. If they don’t, make sure that you are prepared and ignore it.
- If you have a designer in mind, try to buy when they are having their Trunk Show because you will save about 10%.
The Long Island Salon did not carry any of Gahlia Lahav dresses. I probably should have done my research better, but it was also for the better because one should never try on a dress above budget. The dress I was looking at was over $12,000. My experience there however, was fantastic. They were very accommodating because I wanted to bring my dad dress shopping and men aren’t usually allowed in the salon area because of other women trying on dresses. My Bridal Consultant Jackie was incredible. She listened to my needs and wants and was extra helpful and accommodating. I fell in love with a dress here but I wanted to check out a second store where I ended up finding MY dress.
I wanted to try on some ball gowns. I had done a little bit of research before I went and the first picture is a Lazaro that sparkles like the snow. I loved it in the picture I had brought with me, but on me… Not so much.
The second one I chose because I loved the neckline, but it ended up being too much of an evening gown.
The third dress was a nice ball gown but I didn’t love the two tones of white or how it fit on my body.
The fourth dress had an incredible neckline but the bottom looked cheap in person.
This first picture really could have been my dress but it had the weird breast pads that just ruined it for me. The lace detail and the train were breathtaking.
This second dress was just too much for me. I loved the neckline and sleeves but it sat so high on body it just didn’t look right. I did have a lot of fun in it though.
The dress below was incredible. It sparkled. It had lace. It had bling. It had a gorgeous train. I didn’t choose it because it didn’t have the perfect neckline and it was heavy. I plan on dancing all night at my wedding so I really wanted a comfortable dress.
This is the dress I really thought would be my dress. I loved everything about it. I am not sure how we managed to zip it up because it was a sample size, but somehow we did, multiple times. I put this dress on at least 3 times. My only worry about this dress was because we are having a church wedding and it is not exactly church appropriate.
Kleinfeld in NYC
After watching “Say Yes to the Dress” you think you would know exactly what to expect when going to Kleinfeld. It’s not. I found it to be more intimate and it was very pleasant, but I expected to see more dresses out in the salon. Our appointment was on a Tuesday just after lunch so the salon was pretty empty which I really enjoyed. They were also filming an episode of the show that my entourage got to see. I was too busy in the dressing room talking with my consultant and her assistant to see anything but I heard that it was partially staged.
Like the show, you are greeted by your consultant and then brought into a change room that has 3 chairs, mirrors and a pedestal. It’s a tight fit but I had everyone wait outside in the main room. The high ceilings make it airy and feel like there is a lot more room than there really is. My consultant was a motherly figure who a good listener, pulled fun dresses, and I especially liked her assistant.
Kleinfelds sample sizes were significantly smaller than Bridal Reflections, but they know how to make it work when possible. These first three dresses I was not impressed with, but they did not discourage me.
This is the first dress above with an overlay. I liked it, especially the lace, but it had the dreaded breast pads so it was a definite no.
I really wanted to try on an overly ‘blingy’ dress while at Kleinfeld. This dress was way over budget (at over $6000) but I tried it anyways. I hated it. It was heavy and the crystals under the arms were already cutting into my arm. I’m not sure how women wear these dresses.
This dress was gorgeous but the breasts pads told me it was not the one.
This is the dress I really wanted to try on but it would not fit. I couldn’t even get it up. I recruited my best friend to try it on for me. She looks gorgeous in it, me not so much.
This was my favourite dress before I found “The One”. It had a beautiful sparkle to it that you can’t see in the pictures and I would have got it in a bright white rather than the the colour it is in.
I was standing in the dress above. My appointment was in its final minutes and I was not feeling ready to commit. I glanced around the salon and saw a dress hanging sideways with a bunch of other dresses. I left the pedestal and walked over about 20 ft away to where it hung. My consultant told me that I had time to try it on but she wanted to check the price first. Luckily it was feasible. After putting it on and coming out of the change room to show everyone, I felt like a bride. There really is that moment in your gut when you know. I had had it with the other dress, but this dress just felt right. Tears were shed. It took me a few minutes to commit because I really wanted to be sure but in the end I did commit.
I unintentionally filled the cliche of buying a Pnina Tornei from Kleinfeld, and I couldn’t be happier.
I know I chose right because when I see pictures of the Gahlia Lahav dress I thought was my dream dress I still think back to the dress I purchased and know it is the one.
Pictures will be posted after the wedding in late October 2017.