I finally went dress shopping! A week prior, my mom and I decided it’s getting a little too close to my wedding date and we really should go look at some dresses. I wasn’t in a hurry because my boutique of choice in Korea offers all the names I love (though expensive, good boutiques in Korea rents all the top collections from all over the world), and Koreans do everything fast– from dress fitting to alterations. So it’s not uncommon for girls in Korea to buy/rent their dress only a month or three weeks before their actual wedding. But I wanted to start looking into my American reception dress and also get an idea of ‘the’ dress I’m looking for when I get to Korea, in case I like any of the two designers.
I called both their Los Angeles shops and made an appointment for 2:30PM and 4:00PM for the following week. They’re conveniently located right next to each other in West Hollywood. It’s crucial to make appointments one~two weeks in advance and to leave an hour to two in between appointments so that you can really take your time. It is almost required that the dress be bought 6 months before the actual wedding date to give room for fitting & alterations… which really doesn’t work for me bc I’m korean. I can’t do things that far ahead of time or else I’ll change my mind in the process. For people like me, rush orders are available up to two months before the wedding date.
Our first visit was Vera Wang. She has a physical store in Los Angeles and New York, and I was told she recently opened her third store in Chicago. The one in LA is only two years old so thank God she made one just in time for all the 2012 brides. 🙂 We street parked because there were ample parking everywhere but there is valet for only $3.50. This is the entrance upon walking in and our consultant was Nicola in the back.
Monique Lhuillier is literally a block away, but we drove anyway… Monique’s store has opened here for more than 10 years. Here’s the beautiful lobby:
The array of dresses on display:
I’ve tried one at least 6~8 dresses at each shop, and I absolutely loved most of them that it’s difficult to choose, though nothing really stood out for it to be that or nothing. Dresses at both shops range from $5000~21,000, with $6,000~8,000 being the most common. Make sure to take your camera and take pictures of every dress you try on; some dresses actually look better in person than in pictures while others look better in pictures than in person.
Things I learned today from my dress tour:
-Make sure to bring a Camera and wear a Strapless bra.
-Call two weeks ahead for appointments.
-It usually takes an hour to an hour and a half per appointment.
-Come six months ahead of your wedding date to avoid rush charges!
-Research the dresses you like online prior to coming in.
-Tube top with poofy/ fluffy dress is ideal for a petite girl like me. (I’m 5’4, 95lbs)
-Vera Wang accents (huge bows, flowers) really make the dress. They are beautiful! ($200~400)
-Beaded Cardigan over a simple white dress is BEAUTIFUL in person. I was wowed, but oddly, it doesn’t come out as elegant in pictures.
-Vera wang charges a flat fee($630?) for fitting & alterations. Monique Lhuillier charges 10% of the dress cost.