The wedding dress hunt continues at my second shop, Saratina Bridal. I must say right off the top, the experience at this shop was better than the first and by the end of this visit, I thought that I may have found the one!
I was so excited to head to Saratina because a) I got to go with my best friend (and Matron of Honour) and b) it was also the shop that she found her wedding dress almost 5 years ago. I had pretty high hopes before arriving, but my initial reaction was actually one of concern, because it did not seem like they had that many dresses. And when picking through the dresses with Boston, I didn't think that there would be many dresses for me that matched the checklist from the last shop. Little did I know, that I would walk away thinking about one of these dresses as a potential "yes-dress" for the next month and a half!
We actually started out quite strong on the first two dresses. They both had the details in the bodice and had the lacework continue down to the skirt. The skirts themselves were not too over the top. Dress #1 was much more tulle and princess-y, while Dress #2 had a single layer train which you can see better in the video here.
By the end of my appointment these were both part of my top three, but looking back while editing that video, I realized even more strongly that they were not the dresses for me. I still prefer #1 out of these two and think it is lovely. Dress #2 was staticky as hell and I think that would have driven me absolutely crazy.
Dress #3 reminded me why I don't like any defined 'belt' detail in a dress, because it does me zero favours. I did really enjoy the illusion back on this dress and the skirt on this dress was exactly what I was looking for. It wasn't too large or long, but the tone of the dress was not really my palette. Dress #4 had a nice bodice and that cascading detail, but it was very, VERY floral, more specifically roses. I'm not super into floral designs that are just so in my face. The train on this skirt had some very large rose details, which looks stunning but not for me. I felt the profile of this dress was very flattering for me, but the roses were too much.
Dress #5 was a quick - nope - as the detailing on the bodice gave me very boxy vibes, which was similar to dress #5 from Promises & Lace. The angular back was nice, but the lace style wasn't quite what I was looking for. It also had the belt detail that I wasn't keen on, but again the skirt style was what I wanted, so I was feeling a little down. The next few dresses were definitely on the decline from starting off so strong.
Dress #6 was a wildcard that did not pay off. It had a layered skirt (kinda asymmetrical), which I thought was very pretty, but again it had too much volume which I just felt overwhelmed me. It also seemed like a dress that needed a different type of venue - it doesn't read as an outdoor cottage wedding dress. I also did not like the bodice shape - the cups looks like two different styles were sewn together haphazardly. The back was pretty unique though as it looked like it had 3 straps a side.
The next dress was tried on to solely lay to rest the idea that I wanted a full lace sleeve. I'm over it, it is not a thing, I will end up being hot and uncomfortable. The off the shoulder aspect was nice but it was a very quick in and out dress. It felt very Princess Diana to me - I don't know why, but that's what came to mind when I had it on.
Dress #8 was definitely the beginning of the off shoulder/Juliet sleeve moment - I knew it was something that I liked from the first shop. This dress had a bit more detail on the skirt than I would care for and to be honest - I don't even think I noticed the back of this dress until I saw the photos LOL. I wasn't so keen on such a see through back with the boning as visible as it was.
Let me start off by saying YES I am fully aware that my choice of undergarment was not suited to this dress style - but it looks way more extreme in photos than it did in real life. Again I love the style where the buttons lay all the way down the skirt, but I just do not suit tight dresses. I feel like a block in this particular dress, but did love the cut of the back and the very light and slim skirt.
Then we jump to the dress I could not get out of my head. When I first walked out in this dress, Boston and I both said no because the skirt was HUGE. Then one of the lovely owners who was working my appointment said, spread your legs and hold this. She then proceeded to grab all of the more crinoline base layer and shoved it back so that I would see the skirt fall without it. It was an instant WHOA moment and we both quickly changed our minds. I loved the off the shoulder and the amount of lace detail on the skirt. I also really liked that the detail was leaves and not straight floral. I was not keen on the macchiato toned liner but someone had actually ordered the dress in ivory and she so kindly pulled it out so that I could see it and that made all the difference. So this sky rocketed to #1 spot.
The last two dresses also laid to rest the idea of any form of body hugging dress. I give up on them LOL. Plain and simple. I appreciate that others may think they look fine/good/great but I just pick my body apart in this style. I liked the bodice, back and skirt of Dress #11 more than #12, because the cut in the bodice of 12 gives a really stark contrast to the skirt as it wasn't lined. The back was too beautiful to line and I thought it would look bizarre to line only to under the arms. The booty looked better in #12 I think because of the detailing but they just weren't for me.
First things first, being properly clipped into a dress makes a HUGE difference. That may seem obvious, but I wasn't clipped in the first shop so it was quite challenging to really see how the dress looked without someone holding me in. Also, you may think you know what you want and still have your eyes opened to new styles and ideas. As much as I had a list in mind, I was still very open to trying on different styles, and in doing so, I really found a style I did NOT like aha.
I retried Dress 1, 2 and 10 at the end of my appointment and the bestie came up with such a brilliant idea. We recorded a 360 video of each dress while we talked through exactly what we liked or didn't like about the it and if any of that could be adjusted or changed when ordered or altered. It was great because as much as you think you will remember it when you look at pictures, you won't. So that is a top tip if you are dress shopping.
Dress #10 was hands down the favourite but I noticed that I didn't really get the super butterfly feeling, but being back in it I thought I felt a little something and then of course the dreaded question, how much? We did not discuss budget when we were pulling dresses (obviously a big no-no but when you're trying different styles I feel like it's ok unless you find "the one"). This dress was out of budget even before the few hundred expected for alterations. It was in that moment that I felt a little something more for this dress and decided if I was still thinking about it in a few weeks I would see what I could do to pay for it.
Which of these dresses did you like or love? Don't forget to check out all wedding related content here are on the blog and on my YouTube channel.