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Why Did No One Tell Me Shopping For Your Wedding Dress Sucks

wedding dress

Suck My (Vera) Wang. Possibly the best article title I’ve seen in a long time. It was so good, I almost coughed up the grapefruit radler I was drinking as I cackled my way through XOJane’s Sarah’s post about her traumatizing wedding dress shopping experience, seven months before her wedding.

And she was right.

Yes folks, everyone it seems has failed to tell me that this ‘magical’ part of getting married, saying ‘yes to the dress’ (I cringed when I wrote that) isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Or perhaps this was just me. After all. I am buying what could possibly be the most important dress of my life in a foreign country, where surely cultural differences rear their ugly ahead during moments like this. Right?

These boots were made for walking (on the street if you know what I mean) but I really did spot them in a wedding dress store

These boots were made for walking (on the street if you know what I mean) but I really did spot them in a wedding dress store

Wrong. As soon as I got home from an all-day shopping excursion with a good friend who I am honestly convinced in an actual saint for helping me throughout all this, I google ‘wedding dress shopping sucks’ and found gems of articles like this. The beauty of not feeling alone in this strange feeling of wedding dress disgust was almost exquisite, does that make me a bad person?

Too Tall For Tuscany? Throw In ‘How To Give a Girl Body Issues 101’

Before you think I’ve entered a full-on ‘woah is me rant (and you would be right) I should explain that I’ve been talking about getting married on this blog, a series titled ‘#MyTuscanWedding, an inside scoop at our wedding process, from proposals and where to do them in Florence – and sharing other’s stories.

While I never was one of those girls who dreamt about her big day, thinking to waltz in a store, be covered in glitter and gushing compliments by store staff. Preferably with prosecco, what I wasn’t expecting, was to be treated like a sort of annoying alien. My previous experience with anything ‘wedding’ related in Florence was to giggle at a place my friends and I referred to as the ‘ugly wedding dress shop’ in the center of town, everyone knew where it was.

Obviously I get appointments must be made, but at all of the locations that I visited, we definitely had to wait awhile by staff that looked less-than-happy to see us. Although, one of them did give us confetti (Italian almond candy), which was a nice gesture. The coffee-flavored ones were quite nice actually.

Then the ‘drum roll please’.. dress talk. The first place I went in Florence, my good friend Coco joined the fun, I appreciate her German good sense and unconditional support. As we snacked on the free ‘confetti’ candy while waiting (an absurdly long time), I took a peek at a few dresses around the shop. Lots of lace, lots of crystals and beading, lots of…interesting patterns, I wish I would have sneaked a few photos.

The ‘kind’ lady helping me looked like she has no time to waste. Which was an accurate assessment because it is the height of wedding season and she had ‘a lot to do,’ as she gave us a disturbingly long once over, even for Italian standards. First impressions— they don’t always mean everything right?

She asked me what I wanted and I uttered out an embarrassed laugh and admitted that I wasn’t too sure, you know..something a bit more simple — vintage? After all its my first time right? Expected at least to crack a smile, that joke fell on deaf ears, she beckoned me to a small table with a wedding book full of dresses, as she disappeared like a ninja through one of the many curtains. I felt like we were in a legal ‘peep show’.

Suddenly batwomen returned and barked ‘ma allora?!’ (and now?). I showed her the ones that I saved and there was an uncomfortable silence before she jetted back to the ‘bat-cave.’ At this point, Coco and I looked at one another with expressions saying ‘for real?’ is this how it is?

So comes the fun part, where as my impression is that when they don’t have something ‘in stock’ to try on, instead of letting me know, she opted to bring out a few options she had decided would suit me. That’s when the rodeo really started. ‘Vai! Go into this room and take everything off, except for your underwear and heels.

I suppose if I ever considered another type of ‘freelance’ career, getting comfortable in this kind of gear is essential.

She came back with a dress that I didn’t really get a good glance at and helped me put it on, which honestly didn’t make me feel at all comfortable. Italy has been my home for many years now, I don’t mind being naked in locker rooms or have strange body issues, quite frankly I’ve kind of gotten over that stage in life (or so I thought).

The dress is tight and the torture tightening commences. Why was it so damn heavy? My naive comments garnered annoyed looks. I had the feeling that I had enough material on to officially feel like my childhood bad-girl idol of Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. Apparently those vintage 1940’s frocks alla ‘Great Gatsby’ only look good on tiny girls from the well —1940’s. Batwoman quickly informed me that my try-on samples were limited for tall Texans who have a short torso and long legs (the sample size is apparently quite small) but anyway, forza, let’s do this!

It reminded me of teaching English in China, the end of the year all of the kids from our classrooms presented us with ‘thank you books’ written in their proud new vocabulary. ‘You are the best teacher, we love you’, all truly touching things that made us cry. Also, they decided to tell us what they thought we looked like physically, bizarre but ok, maybe its a cultural thing. One girl was presented with ‘You are so nice but a little fat’, or ‘you are very pretty but too dark.’ Mine was on the flattering side, but the drawing of me by one of the girls consisted of just a head, a bust and legs. And to be honest, they were pretty spot on. I get it, I have a short torso.

My dress choices were limited to barbie-esque, puffy skirts, lace everywhere and huge bows in strategic positions. I had the feeling that the dresses were wearing ME, instead of the other way around. Plus on that ‘scrutiny stage’ the elevated platform where you look in the full-length mirror while batwoman pricks and prods, adding as much lace as she can. This would have been perfect for the Mexican quinceañera I never had.

I may be half-Mexican but I never got to wear this! Ph. pinterest

It wasn’t all bad. I did find one I like which could have been a fun option to wear, but prices were also a limitation. Ideally I don’t want to spend over 2,000 euros on my dress. As I stepped into much-more forgiving and happier clothes that I came in, batwoman told me that I needed to decided quick! The store closes in August for the month and they need time to order ‘my size’ and get it fixed, no pressure!

My second experience trying dresses on was an all-day affair (those appointments drag on!) at some bigger places in the Tuscan countryside. Since my friend Debora is also getting married in 2016, we made a few of them together. I was better prepared this time, strapless bra, more make-up, I had this covered. 

The first spot we visited was all-right, since they also make the dresses, they can play around with skirts and tops which is pretty convenient if you want something a bit more unique. Everyone was a bit too shiny and embezzled and I got another ‘fun’ education on the limitations of my lack-of-torso body. At least Debora was there to roll her eyes and make me feel nice.

The second store that we visited after lunch was pretty nice, I again met a no-nonsense woman (maybe it is the industry) who was offended that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, yet again. Most of the dresses in the ‘dress book’ were not available to try but she brought out a few options. The entire time, Debora muttered ‘and this is what you call customer service? We just have to find the right shop Georgette.’

Bless her heart. I apparently grew ‘a pair’ in this shop because a bit more direct on what I liked, and didn’t like. When I am faced with aggressive personalities, I tend to become shy and visibly wince which is so not my personality. She (batman #2) wasn’t thrilled that I didn’t agree with all of her wise wisdom and the dress I liked most was the one that Debora recommended I try, embracing the ‘small torso’ look that I was beginning to hate hearing. I bookmarked that dress as an option and asked for a few winterish options to put on top.

Tiny little wedding jackets that would be a great little accessories for November. Unfortunately I think my ‘arm span’ was a little too much for these samples. I looked like Michael Jackson or a Russian princess, tiny satin or fake-fur affairs that cost at least, 230 euros and up. Can’t I just go to Zara? ;-). Then it was Debora’s turn to try on dresses, except they didn’t have basically anything she could try on either until October (her wedding is slated for May of next year). That was our cue to leave.

I can’t leave out the wedding shop we spotted on the road on the way to lunch. The outside resembled a bit of a horror-shop with as many frills, dolls, angels, bomboniere a girl could (not) dream of and we had to see the pandora’s box inside.

Now this looks inviting!

Now this looks inviting!

I won’t go into the dirty details but every space in that shop was crammed with stuff. I wasn’t sure where to look first and my eyes won’t ever be the same again. You know those little ring-pillows that transport your wedding bands on the big day? Well here, they were something else. Lace, heart-shaped, beaded, it looked like a corner of the shop was throwing up with 1980s-90’s wedding bliss, scratch that, the whole shop. I had no idea this stuff even existed nor was necessary. Plus plenty of that confetti, almond Italian wedding candy that almost broke my tooth once.

There were a few wedding dresses in the back that were actually ok, but the men’s suits were so shiny and patterned, the example ‘wedding couple’ photo featured a guy with a 1980’s hair wave and the shiniest purple suit I’ve ever seen. Well purple is the color of Florence so… 

Buying Online: Pros & Cons

You might think, why not buy anything online, after all anything can be found  on eBay right? Well, it’s articles like this that make me wonder if there is a little internet demon who secretly enjoys sending women dresses that look like a bird was hit by an 18-wheeler and then covered with fake diamonds.

Spot On Copy Right? Ph. Daily Mail

Spot On Copy Right? Ph. Daily Mail

Saying that, last night a good friend of mine sent me a link to J Crew, quintessential American brand that apparently ships all over the world, dresses range from 300-2000$ per frock. They are quite pretty, I especially like the shorter versions but I am not I was to be quite this casual. Decisions Decisions. 

The dresses that I absolutely swoon over are those by Anna Campbell, native to Melbourne Australia, with a collection of stunning, vintage-inspired dresses. Not particularly traditional, but with plenty of character. They do ship world-wide but I am so nervous about doing that.

Whimsical beauty, my heart swoons when I see this! Ph. Annacampbell.com

Whimsical beauty, my heart swoons when I see this! Ph. Annacampbell.com

Dress Made-To-Order?

Another option could be getting a dress-maker to whip up my ideal creation. I have been told by online friends that this was a good option and they often spent less. I do know some atelier in Florence but they are really on the luxury side vs. affordable dress making for someone on an Italian salary.

I also have the added disadvantage that I do not have a lot of time, our date is set for late November and you need a lot of time for this, consultations, fittings, time is of the essence. I do plan on visiting some of the atelier in Florence as a blogger to see their work first-hand and cover it on the blog because I am fascinated, and If I could help someone else find their one-of-a-kind frock, great! If you are reading this and have any personal recommendations, let me know!

Tips For Trying on Wedding Dresses

I am no expert but from this brief entry into the world of weddings, dresses and frilly ring-pillows, I can offer a few tips based on  my own personal experiences. I suggest having a glass of franciacorta (Italian sparkling wine) before going, just one, to easy those nerves.

  • Don’t schedule more than two appointments in one day, it is so exhausting trying on dress after dress and after two, I was so ready to go home and have a drink.
  • Wear the right undergarments, remember, someone will be seeing you in your undies as they help, stuff, torture you into a variety of dresses. Wear a strapless bra, your best underwear, a pair of low-heels and some shape-wear if you want to.
  • Do your hair and makeup (a little bit). I regretted not putting more effort into my hair etc, when I made these appointments. Since you ideally want to envision yourself on your special day, a fresh blow-dry will go a long way in making you feel in the mood to try on dresses.
  • Don’t be scared to say what you don’t like. I sometimes felt a little bullied in the wedding-dress shops, I get that these people have a ton more experience than me, but their tastes were so very different than anything I would have chosen. You don’t want to make the same mistake I did, and waste time trying on dresses that fit their vision, not yours. However, I do think it is smart to try on a bunch of different styles.
  • Bring a friend who is not afraid to be a bitch. Ok, that was a little harsh but you need support and I know this is something you typically do with your mom but having someone help you voice your opinion when you are mostly naked with heels on is a huge plus. Someone who can snap a witty response when someone tells you have no torso. My friend Kate told me she actually found her dress when she was shopping all by herself. Sometimes to the phrase ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ applies to this important choice as well.
  • This is YOUR day. So who gives a crap about anything else. When I was looking online at wedding dress tips so many articles recommended adhering to a dress code according to your guest list and venue otherwise you risk looking ‘out of place.’ In fact, one of the saleswomen asked where I planned to get married and insisted I be more formal to ‘fit the place.’ Really? I highly doubt anyone will/should judge you on your wedding day. Go with what you want, even if it is not the traditional white frock people expect.
  • Start Early! Apparently it was not ok that I waited until June for a November wedding.
  • Know Your Budget. I highly recommend having a pretty good idea of your budget. While in the USA the average money spent for a dress in 2014 was around 1,200$ in Italy, I have a feeling it is much more. The cheapest wedding dress I saw (and liked) was 1,800 euros.
  • Don’t lose weight just to fit in a dress. Get the dress that fits you now since taking it in is easier than letting it out.
  • Pinterest is great, but also evil. You cannot find everything in the ‘real world’ (and especially abroad) that you see on those gorgeous wedding boards. Call the stores ahead to ask if they have a certain dress in stock.
  • Have fun. Please – if you can, have fun, I am the first person who needs this tip, seriously!

I know it was probably foolish of me to think that this would be easy, or more straightforward, or fun, but I guess I did. I am probably being a little dramatic after what was probably a pretty normal experience for potential brides but I promised during this wedding season to be brutally honest about any and all experiences. Debora, my wonderful friend (who also owns a kick-ass B&B in Florence btw) is being a huge help to plan our day and she deserves absolute  sainthood.

Lastly, throughout the day Nico, my fiance, was texting me to see how I was doing and telling me to have fun. I recounted my awkward interactions and he just hugged me, told me I would look amazing and to not worry. I could rock up in the joint wearing an H&M lace affair and that would be cool too. I knew there was a reason I was marrying this guy..


Dramatics aside. I would love to hear your experiences, advice, stories of buying a wedding dress abroad. Everything and anything!

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28 Comment

  1. Reply
    Melissa Paul Milcetic
    16.06.2015 at 13:01

    So sorry to hear of your less-than-blissful, wedding gown shopping. Having “served” as a wedding planner for 15 years, and now happily in recovery here in Croatia, I will say, I am not surprised. Sadly, as you discovered, your dress shopping experience is felt by all too many. Me included way back, but that’s another horror story to tell another time. Your post and tips are helpful, and, if anything, serve as a reminder that not everyone’s wedding experience should or will follow the same path. Nor should the multi-billion global wedding industry tell you how it’s done. Why not a sassy suit for the ceremony and a sexy party frock for the celebration?

    And, frankly, who says you have to wear white, anyway? Is that your dream? If it is, go for it. I know if I did it again today, I would be wearing a fabulous Valentino red of a lesser label. My point is, don’t hesitate to go down a different road than than the path presented by box stores, blue labels and bridal magazines.

    Seek out your favorite dress shops and if a gown comes only in blue, and your heart does flip flops, why not wear it in blue? Or, ask if you can you get it made in white? Or, look for a real vintage boutique as most wedding gown shops don’t sell vintage, just vintage-inspired. And at that vintage store, if they don’t have your size, ask them if they have any sources, collectors or suggestions they can offer/make/seek out on your behalf for other options. People connections, they always bring the goods.

    And don’t be afraid to have something made. If you’re going to do it, there is no better place than Italy. The fabrics, the skills and the passion still exist here and it’s where most of the blue label designers send their finer work to be done. But time can be a factor, and on average, any gown, whether ordered in a store from a collection or made to order by a seamstress, can take 6-9 months and on average 2-3 fittings.

    Is there a store in another EU country that sells your AnnaCampbell.com.au? Is it worth it to go to Madrid or Dublin? It might be, how your planning priorities sort out and which ones float to the top, is important and only revealed as you emotionally experience the process. Best of luck, and if I can assist in any way, please let me know… my current website is undergoing a major overhaul but I continue to work in the industry {copy writing for wedding companies} and have all kinds of experiences to share, and possibly, resources.

    At the minimum, I can offer empathy and compassion as it is not always wine and roses, not unless you’re drinking… that prosecco and maybe out of a decanter hidden in your purse. Sending hugs regardless! It will happen, as it’s supposed to, keep the faith.

    1. Reply
      Anil Webz
      27.09.2016 at 6:13

      Thanks for the article. In my opinion however wedding dresses can be the biggest waste of money. I wore a rented dress for my wedding and it worked just as well. Hey you can use the money you save to go on a really cool vacation after the wedding. What say! Check out some great places where you can rent clothes and save money is my advice.

  2. Reply
    Leila
    16.06.2015 at 13:11

    I ordered online and was super happy with my dress! I got two different wedding dress styles in a couple different sizes from BCBGMaxAzria, chose the one I liked and returned the rest. The dress cost around $500 USD. My wedding is one of the most important days of my life, however, I personally did not want to drop a couple grand on a dress I am only going to wear once. I rather put that money to the honeymoon or some other activity. BCBG doesn’t ship to Italy, or at least didn’t when I got married on Jan 1, 2014. We shipped the dresses to my mom in the States, who shipped them here. A local sarta (I’m in San Miniato) adjusted the dress for me and added a little satin belt to cover the waist seam line, all for 20 euro. The sarta is this sweet elder woman that makes and repairs clothes out of the back of her house. She used to make collections for Prada back in the day and reminisced about taking the train to Milan and all the patterns she made for them.
    *This sarta makes custom dresses too, if you decide you want to go that route I can email you her telephone.

    I did shop around Italy a bit before I decided to go online. If you like vintage and haven’t already checked out Street Doing in Florence on Via dei Servi, I recommend it, they have cool pieces and I got a cape there for my January wedding. There is a very large wedding dress store in San Miniato called Magnani that has a big selection, one of the pictures in this post looks like it might be from there, so maybe you’ve already checked it out. There are a couple smaller wedding dress stores in San Miniato too, Mori and another one that I don’t recall the name of. All in all, the stuff that I liked was out of my price range because I was determined not to drop more than $1000 (USD, not Euro!) on the dress, it was so much easier for me to find styles I liked within my budget online. Online can be dangerous, as you’ve noticed.. I’d say safest route is to go with well known companies, though one of my friends got a custom ordered dress from China online for about $100 for her wedding, she looked beautiful and she loved it.

    Good luck and auguri!!

    ps – those bedazzled ring holder pillows sound amazing!! Wish I’d seen those 😉

  3. Reply
    Natalie
    16.06.2015 at 15:05

    I am currently planning a wedding in Ireland, while living in Rome, but I bought my dress in the US because I was afraid of the Italian bedazzling. I decided to put the money towards a ticket home, and decrease the dress budget, to be able to have that dress experience with my maid of honor and my mom.

    It was exhausting.

    I ONLY went to shops that would sell off the rack because I was not interested/able to wait the amount of time it takes to pre-order. That means we went to four shops in one day, which was too much. But it worked out because I ended up going back and buying the very first dress I tried on.

    I tried J Crew, but those were a bit too plain for my taste. (They also seemed to run big in case you go with that option). If you are considering the buying elsewhere online, my plan B for a wedding dress was to get one from Anthropologie (BHLDN). The dresses fit true to size, and were really easy to tailor– which was a key consideration for me because the tailoring can run up a crazy expense. Also, there are some sarta who won’t accept certain materials, or only agree to tailor dresses from their own lines, etc. That made the BHLDN gowns even more intriguing. The one I ended up liking most from them was only $400!

    Another option in Italy could be the Max Mara outlet? Several Italian friends encouraged me to go there.

    I’m still looking for a veil in Italy… and about to give up. Let me know if you see any for under 100 euro. Good luck!

  4. Reply
    Cristina
    16.06.2015 at 15:05

    The MaxMara in Florence is one of the only ones in the world that sells wedding dresses. My 6’1″ Florentine friend found a beautiful, elegant dress there in February. Their prices are in your budget, too. Check out their options online.

  5. Reply
    Kim
    16.06.2015 at 17:19

    I second that. Go straight to MaxMara.

  6. Reply
    Monica
    16.06.2015 at 17:51

    Hi Georgette! I’m getting married in Turin in Sept. 2016. I haven’t started dress shopping just yet because it terrifies me, and reading your post has only confirmed my worst fears! I too am head over heels in love with Anna Campbell gowns (thank you, Pintrest) so I understand the frustration with not having a boutique in Italy. I would like to recommend that you go to their website and look up their stockists, though. There are boutiques in Spain, Ireland, UK & Denmark that carry her collections. I’m thinking about going to an Anna Campbell trunk show in Madrid in September. It’s a weekend and RyanAir flights would be super cheap. This way I can try the dresses on in person and possibly get a discount (and avoid those awful int’l shipping/dogana costs!). I hope you find your dream frock!

  7. Reply
    Kayla
    16.06.2015 at 18:14

    LOVE the aussie designer! You might like http://www.bhldn.com/ – $40 flat rate (definitely order a bunch all at once to try on). Gorgeous styles in that vintage-but-not style. 🙂

    1. Reply
      Kayla
      16.06.2015 at 18:15

      Oh poo, just saw they added a $200ish charge for gown shipping. Lame! Well if you go home to try anything on, there’s a store in Houston.

  8. Reply
    LizS
    16.06.2015 at 19:35

    My daughter (U.S. citizen) married an Italian in Rome three years ago. I arrived for the Saturday wedding on Thursday and we spent the entire day Friday in Rome shopping for a dress. It was just a little stressful haha. She had purchased a short dress for the civil ceremony but changed her mind at the last minute. We bought her dress at MaxMara off the rack with no time for alterations. They were very helpful and the prices were pretty reasonable. Good luck!

  9. Reply
    Riccarda
    16.06.2015 at 20:05

    Wow, both funny and frustrating at the same time. I recommend that you find something simple that you like and go with it. The other suggestions here are quite good as well. By the way did you mean embellished instead of embezzled? The Italian shows that feature a woman and her mother and mother in law out picking a wedding dress make it look too easy, and it’s not. I wouldn’t go anywhere where I was not treated nicely, it’s your money and you don’t have to put up with rude or snotty clerks. Good luck with what ever dress you choose.

  10. Reply
    Wynne
    16.06.2015 at 21:09

    Now I understand the “Woe is me”! Just too funny. I agree with some others here: do you have time to go to Paris or London? Order online and have someone local tailor it if necessary? I also like the idea of simply finding a “regular” dress/gown that you love and see whether it can be made in white/cream/off-white (personally, I find the extreme “screaming white” dresses off-putting; I prefer a softer tone).

    And I agree – those Anna Campbell dresses are to die for.

    Mine was a very simple Alfred Angelo and cost $400. I so loved buying (and wearing) my dress, that I would often tell my husband, “I want to get married again, just so I can buy another gorgeous dress!”

    Good luck – I know you’ll find the perfect gown for you – and I can’t WAIT to see photos!!

  11. Reply
    D
    17.06.2015 at 11:06

    Your fiance sounds like a sweetheart!

    I have had 2 friends get dresses made and I would definitely not recommend that route (both in Tuscany) personally. Both brides to be were left without a dress —one wasn’t finished (despite assurances in true Italian style) and the other was so terribly off base from her wishes (dear designer ‘knew better’ than the bride, of course! bah) she refused to wear it. Both scoured the city the day or 2 before the Big Day for something white/off white/cream etc…. I’m upset just thinking of it!

  12. Reply
    Ms Polka Dot
    18.06.2015 at 4:08

    Anna Campbell has a number of UK stockists! http://www.annacampbell.com.au/stockists

    Actually you might also like the gowns of another Australian designer Gwendolynne http://gwendolynne.com.au/ (also in London) and Johanna Johnson (again has a London stockist) https://www.johannajohnson.com/

  13. Reply
    Laura
    18.06.2015 at 16:24

    I had a funny feeling it would be like this so I went wedding dress hunting when I was back in the UK and got a really nice dress in the sale off the rack from Monsoon. My Italian friend getting married had the same problem you described.. not being allowed to try on the dresses she liked because they “wouldn’t suit” her.

    Honestly, with white being so fashionable right now there are a ton of white or nearly white evening dresses out there for half the price and available to try on without an appointment with nicer assistants. Something to consider anyway 😉

    1. Reply
      Wynne
      18.06.2015 at 22:44

      I likely wouldn’t be very popular with sales staff, as no one tells me I’m “not allowed” to try something on (or really do much of anything!). If I want to, I simply will do so.

      I agree re: finding a gorgeous white dress/gown for a fraction of the price. Slap the word “wedding” on it and the price is totally jacked.

      Frankly, it goes for anything, esp. in the US, with the word “wedding”. It got to the point where some of my friends would just tell venues that the party was just a family reunion, graduation or some other occasion, and EVERYTHING suddenly dropped in price: flowers, photographers, DJs, etc. Then when the big day arrived and it was clearly a wedding, there was really nothing the vendors could do. Sometimes you’ve just got to beat them at their own game, eh?

    2. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      23.06.2015 at 10:07

      Hello Laura, it was quite a harrowing and stressful experience if I am honest. I did however, find an atelier yesterday that I like and though it is not yet confirmed, I really hope this works out because she is also just a few streets away from my house and her dresses are quite unique. I have thought about just getting a nice evening dress in white that I can find off the rack in a nice store, it will definitely an option…. vediamo! It’s hard to find time for all of this but it is quite necessary ;-).

  14. Reply
    Cindy
    09.07.2015 at 4:30

    Nice post Georgette-even you have had to suffer wedding dress blues. I can not imagine trying on gowns when I usually can’t get my butt into a size 4(their biggest from my experience). Anyway-good luck! My dress was quite different from what I originally thought I wanted-I’m glad I tried other styles out.

  15. Reply
    NParekh
    15.07.2015 at 11:16

    Hi GirlInFlorence, I couldn’t agree more with your post. I got married only last month and I had always imagined that shopping for a wedding dress would be fun until I tried it. I could not help but laugh in good humor as I went through your experiences.

  16. Reply
    simonawp
    26.08.2015 at 10:10

    Very few of my couples ask me to go with them choosing the wedding dress even because most of them come from abroad, but from what they tell me there is a big fuss around it.

    I can tell you that the “commesse” of the italian bridal shops are used to deal with italian girls who have dreamt – since they start saying a word in italian- , their wedding dress! There are italian brides who arrive in the shops and they exactly know what they want, ending up in choosing a completely different one, of course.
    So the shop assistants when they are in front of a bride who does not have a clue, they are scared because their work is double for them…I know….

    Anyway, I visited with one of my brides few years ago the shop in the picture and it was really scary, but hey, have fun, yes…I think that by now you already got your dress!

    My favourite designers are Claire Pettibone and Jenny Peckam and as you can tell, they are not italian! 🙂

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      26.08.2015 at 10:45

      Ciao Simona, thank you so much for your comment! I think you are spot on with your observations regarding commesse here. I think I underestimated this before I started looking, they were certainly shocked that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted and were very critical of anything I chose. I luckily have found a fantastic atelier near my house and we are building the dress so I am so excited about that. I can’t wait to share her story because she is a true ‘Made in Italy artisan when it comes to dress making, everytime I go into her shop, I swoon!

  17. Reply
    Tamara
    18.01.2016 at 6:36

    Hi! Have you by any chance heard of this online Italian wedding dress designer?
    http://Www.sposamore.com ? The prices are so cheap but I noticed that they’re copying designer dress pictures so I have no idea how they can replicate them for way below cost. Sigh! I’m in the same boat as you. However, living in Vancouver BC – Canada

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      18.01.2016 at 9:05

      I would’t get anything like that online because often it looks way different in person. You’d be surprised that making your own dress doesn’t have to be as expensive as it once was.

  18. Reply
    Ash
    27.01.2017 at 11:29

    Thanks For Sharing!

  19. Reply
    Inka
    25.03.2018 at 9:46

    Hi. Any chance you might know where I could sell my wedding dress in Florence? I got married l last year and the dress is just wasting space in the storage. Would love to let someone else enjoy it before it gets too old. Let me know if you have any tips..

  20. Reply
    Tanner Anderson
    16.05.2018 at 22:15

    Shopping for your dress doesn’t necessarily have to suck! It definitely can be stressful though. I like how you said it was important to have fun. If you go in with an open mind and willing to trust who ever is helping you, things can workout somewhat smoothly.

    1. Reply
      GirlInFlorence
      21.05.2018 at 10:34

      I agree it doesn’t have to suck but mine did, until I met Anna. I do agree you need to have an open mind but ultimately those helping you need to as well

  21. Reply
    Tanner Anderson
    04.06.2018 at 23:57

    Oh I’m so sorry you had a bad experience! I think one thing that really helps is having an open mind but having clear communication. Sometimes you end up with a dress that you would have never in a million years thought would be the one for you. Life is full of surprises! Also I think sometimes in life we make things as harder than what they need to be. Don’t stress yourself out and try to have fun!

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