I am not one of those girls that has had my wedding dress picked out for years, but even I have fallen for the beauty of Vera Wang, but unfortunately my bank balance doesn’t appreciate the price tag. So instead of torturing myself by falling in love with a dress I couldn’t afford I went and tried on the next best thing – White by Vera Wang her affordable collection at David’s Bridal.
Since I got engaged a couple of months ago I knew that wanted to experience David’s Bridal, not only do they have Vera Wang, but they also recently launched a collection with Zac Posen, which I love, and the price is amazing. I tried on about 10 dresses and not one was over £1,200, which is amazing as nearly all the other dresses in my search have been a lot more than that.
The beauty of David’s Bridal other than the price and the designer collaborations has to be the choice available at the American retailer’s Westfield Stratford store. The rails of dresses are never-ending and filled with so many different styles, silhouettes and fabrics to basically suit any wedding – whether you are getting married in a church, outside, at a registry office, in a country hotel or on a beach – plus most dresses come in US sizes 4-30 so something for everyone.
To be honest this choice can be a little overwhelming especially when you are asked to pick out the five you like, I think I had an initial shortlist of about 20, as there is no such thing as an ugly wedding dress. But what I did love about David’s Bridal is that they offer more than just the traditional white and ivory gowns, I finally got to try on pink, grey and blush coloured gowns I have been looking for.
What I will say is the experience at David’s Bridal is different from traditional bridal boutiques, with the choice means it is less private when trying on. You do get your own personal consultant, but you also have to share the floor with other brides, I went on a Friday afternoon and there were four brides, all with family and friends, and it felt a little bit like I was under the spotlight – everyone had an opinion on the dresses I had on. Everyone was nice, but at other places it was just my Mum and I, which made it easier to critique the dresses and narrow it down.
The dresses themselves were gorgeous, I wanted to take each Vera Wang gown I wore on home they were so beautiful, the grey one, priced at £875 was one of my favourites the texture of the chiffon was perfection and so different to everything else I had tried on. The only problem with a lot of the gowns was they were nearly all strapless, a style I just didn’t want, so it does take a lot of imagination to visualise them with straps added.
As well as falling in love with Vera Wang I also tried on the entire Zac Posen collection, because why the hell not, I love that the collection really marries traditional bridal beauty with a touch of red carpet glamour, while staying within my budget. The ballgown was divine, the detailing on the bodice was just gorgeous, but it was the fit-and-flare gown with corset detailing and the pleated tulle skirt that really took my breath away. Not only was it a great colour, I love this purple-grey shade, but I also adore the bow detailing on the back, and how it made my body look – my only wish was that I was able to sit down in it.
I have to be honest I had a great time at David’s Bridal it was such a fun experience, the variety and choice had me as giddy as a child, OK me in a candy shop, and I loved that they encourage you take pictures. I just wish it had been a little more private, it was really busy and sharing a mirror with another bride-to-be didn’t make me feel special. I also wish my assistant had more knowledge about alterations and vision about what could be changed on the dress to make it perfect for me.
If you have a limited budget, a tight deadline, and want a designer dress without the price tag then David’s Bridal will suit you, there really is something for everyone, but if you are after a more personal experience and looking to customise your gown then I think a traditional boutique might be more what you are after. But don’t discount David’s Bridal gowns just because they are a huge chain as the quality and the fashion-forward styles of the dresses really surprised me.
If only I could wear all the wedding dresses I have fallen in love with on this search!!!
David’s Bridal, Westfield Stratford - www.davidsbridal.co.uk