Monday, January 12, 2015

Finding "The Perfect Wedding Dress" in less than 2 months!

They say that just like love, once you see, feel and fit the perfect wedding dress -- you just know it's "the perfect dress". I've always envisioned my wedding dress shopping to be somewhat like a 20-minute episode of Say Yes To The Dress -- Champagne, tears, 'Ohhs' and 'Ahhs'. 

The reality? Nothing like it. Well, maybe just the 'Ohhs' and 'Ahhs' part is true.

My fiancé and I are a practical couple with practical budgets so, we try to cut cost whenever we can. Since I've never been married before and I'm a recent NY transplant, I have to rely on research and word-of-mouth when it comes to planning our wedding. And, based on what I've found, the best dress showroom to shop at when finding your dream wedding dress (based on affordability + style options) is RK Bridal right at the Garment District. 

For RK Bridal first-timers, it can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially if you don't have at least a vision of "the perfect dress" in mind. Why? Well, because, when you enter the store, you will be welcomed with this... And this is just 1/10th of the space!:

Rows and rows of bridal dresses in every possible shapes, sizes and colors. 


RK Bridal has the latest styles from top designers like Maggie Sottero, Rosa Clara, and they offer the best prices! If you see your dress being offered for less in another showroom, they will even match the price.

The first time my friend and I went to RK Bridal, we just came to look at dresses. Upon seeing the millions of options, I got a slight panic attack. How am I supposed to find "the perfect dress" when there are perfect million ones!

So, I came up with a simple plan that helped me select my "the perfect dress" in less than a month (yes, true story!)... Hey, I'm a busy NY career woman!:

1. Go to, preselect the dresses that you want to try

2. Call RK Bridal at 212-947-1155, ask if they have the dresses you've selected 

3. If you're a working bride-to-be like I am, I would suggest you go to RK Bridal at 8.00 AM on a Saturday (they open at 9 AM) or 10 AM on a Sunday (they open at 11 AM), line up and sign-in (a lady usually stands at the entrance 30 minutes before opening to take names). Since they don't take appointments for the trial fittings (only customers who already purchased get schedules for alterations, etc.), the store gets crazy packed with excited women 20 minutes before opening. 

I went on a Sunday, arrived at 1030 AM, signed up (I was third on the list!) and I was immediately assigned to a consultant. There are only about 9 consultants so, if you're 10th on the list, you will have to wait for a bride to finish her bridal gown trial before you can fit... That can take up to 2 hours! If you have more than enough time, then, that should not be a problem. The waiting period can serve as your chance to look at dresses you'd like to try. However, if you're a busybee like I am, it's not exactly the ideal scenario. So, come as early as you can!

My consultant's name is Asia (very apt since I am an Asian bride-to-be!) and she is AMAZING! She was very helpful, she got me all the dresses that wanted to try in less than 10 minutes and provided meaningful insights as to which style suited me most.

I've tried various styles and designs before making a decision and it took two trips before I fell in love with "the perfect dress"--- just like true love, minus the Hollywood movie magic. 

While I am not a big fan of crowds, the best part about having a room full of women is the support/feedback that they give when they see you wearing a dress. RK Birdal is like a sorority house! Lots of 'Ohhs' and 'Ahhs' and encouragement that makes you feel good and excited! 

While the perfect dress that I selected was a crowd favorite, I didn't decide on it because of audience impact. Our wedding isn't American Idol. Truth be told, that dress that I chose was actually the top dress on my list -- it had all my qualifications: it makes me feel beautiful, it is easy to wear and I can actually get jiggy with it (yes, I tried to twerk with it.) 

In the end, you have to decide on the dress because it's the one that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable at the same time. Remember, you will be wearing that for the most part of the day so try not to fall in love with layers and layers of tulle too much (I almost did... It was the Disney-princess-wannabe in me!)

And just like that, a brideCHILLA was born. Yes, you too can find "the perfect dress" in less than 2 months ... Without turning into a Bridezilla.

Speaking of Bridezillas, I had a personal encounter with an antsy bride-to-be who transformed into a Bridezilla in the process of searching for her dress. I was walking in my very own "the perfect dress" and from across the hall, she saw me, pointed at my dress and exclaimed, "that... that is the dress that I want!!" 

I almost wanted to become a runaway bride and take the subway to escape.

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