My bride-friend decided that we were just going to take a peek casually - she was still over a year out from her wedding, so she didn't think she'd legitimately be looking. We got there at 3:00 PM, and the crowds were gone - no pushing and shoving, just a few girls trying on same majorly discounted dresses!
So I always imagined I'd do the same...except soon after that, Filene's closed its doors so the Running of the Brides was no longer. NOOOOOOO!!!
Fortunately, Chicago did get its own Glamour Closet a few years ago, so I still had the opportunity to try on a bunch of sample designer gowns. Glamour Closet is a sample-only store, so it's off the rack, you take it home with you that day. They can't order anything, and you buy it as-is. It's not the right route for everybody - the dresses often need a little fixin' in order to be wearable, but it gave me an excuse to try on high-profile designer gowns guilt free! I had a blast, and am so glad I went.
Some of these were legitimately in the running - we loved the Victoria Nicole, as well as the Junko Yoshioka. However, because it's a sample-only store, there's no guarantee the dress you love will be there the next day, and I wasn't ready to commit. And, truthfully, at this point, I had tried on my front-runner...and none of these held a candle to that one! I think I'm going to keep that baby a secret though... but maybe I'll change my mind!
MY PERSONAL TIP TO BRIDES: I tried on a TON of dresses. I knew I wouldn't be confident in any decision unless I felt like I had done a lot of research. I didn't get a picture of every single one, obviously, but what I DID do to help me keep track of all of them, was create a Pinterest board of only dresses that I had already tried on. I did it as soon as I got home from every shopping experience; otherwise, I knew I'd never remember them. In the caption, I wrote the designer and the store where I tried it on. It helped a lot! I still didn't remember every single one (or sometimes I could remember it in my mind, but couldn't find a picture of it anywhere online!) but, it definitely was nice to have a running record of what I had already tried on.
Was I done shopping yet? OF COURSE NOT. More to come!