A DREAM COME TRUE AT THE GOWN SHOP PERRYSBURG
My alarm clock went off at 6, but I had already been up since 3am – I was way too anxious to sleep. I jumped into my outfit, brushed my teeth and grabbed a banana for the road…even though my stomach was full of nerves & the only thing I was hungry for was the perfect wedding dress. With mom & sis in tow (and future mother-in-law on her way from Indiana) we started our drive to the most beautiful bridal salon – The Gown Shop. 3 hours of country roads, cows & cornfields passed before we were just minutes away from beginning the appointment that I’ve dreamed about since forever.
We arrived in the charming town of Perrysburg, Ohio at 9:45 and as soon as we parked my heart leapt into my throat. Every girl dreams of the day she says “YES” to the dress, but the feeling is amplified times a trillion when your passion in life is blogging all things bridal. The quiet town was just waking up and upon my arrival (of screaming, jumping, & having a panic attack while fanning my armpits) the shop owner Stacy welcomed us inside.
Just two steps inside the door and my entourage was already crying!
With such beautiful gowns hanging all around us, classical music playing in the background and the entire salon closed just for us, it was hard not to get emotional! Within the first few moments there was this calm yet exciting sense of “OMG this is really happening!” Stacy took me to the back to have a 1 on 1 interview about what I was looking for. While her questions about materials and preferred silhouettes were very thorough (and probably super helpful to every other bride) my wish list was extremely simple: all things Hayley Paige.
If you couldn’t tell from all my blogs, Hayley Paige is my absolute favorite designer in the world. Her designs are elegant, modern, fun and sophisticated – everything a wedding gown should be, but all completely different! Geometric patterns, tulle skirts, intricately beaded bodices, delicate cut outs – every dress holds its own and together they make up the most coveted collection for millennial brides.
I had asked for two certain gowns in particular, among a list of 10 that I was hoping to try on. Stacy brought the requested gowns to the back. Instead of the classic Kleinfeld process, The Gown Shop is set up so the brides change on a podium behind a giant curtain – it was so nice to stay close to the girls and felt like such a big moment every time Stacy pulled the curtain back to reveal the next gown!
I added a fun little twist to the judges panel. Instead of showing me their opinions with a thumbs up/thumbs down, I asked my girls to hold up bridal dress paddles. Y’all know me – these weren’t your average paddles. You can find some really cute generic ones here – or you can get a little krafty and include your furry best friend:
Lou & Goose
The girls held up Lou, the smiley guy, for a “yes” & my sweet, yet notoriously grumpy Goose, was used to say “dump that dress.” I couldn’t bring them with me, but as my sons, I had to have them there in spirit! Stacy asked which dress I wanted to try first and of course I chose the dress I had showed everyone for years.
When the gown went over my head, I didn’t look into the mirror until Stacy had finished clipping the dress to fit. I opened my eyes – and it was like meeting Gehrig all over again.
love at first sight.
My jaw fell open, my heart was racing – it was everything I dreamed of and more. I had always hoped this would be the dress (but of course I had my doubts, what if it only looked good on the runway? What if I put it on and it didn’t have that *wow* factor?) Stacy, beaming right back at me, prepped the audience and swung open the curtain. Everyones reaction mirrored my own: speechless, then tears!
I watched as 3 Lou’s were held high in the air; my mom, MIL & sister all freaking out and snapping pics as I twirled around. It was comfortable, incredible, easy to move in, everything I could want in a gown, it felt like me.
and here it is:
This is the Lorelai gown – stunning in every aspect, a top contender, but not my gown. While every HP dress was incredible in it’s own way, nothing could compete with the one I chose. I felt fireworks and heard Beyoncé’s “Halo” in my ears and I could just totally picture walking down the aisle towards G. I knew that first dress was the dress.
It was the second best day of my life (following that fateful day in the mountains of Chatanooga, TN) being with my family and experiencing something I had dreamt of for so long – every part of the appointment was amazing.
I can’t compliment Stacy & The Gown Shop – Perrysburg enough for so much assistance, care & perfecting my bridal appointment. It was the first time I tried on wedding dresses and with years of watching Say Yes to the Dress, my expectations were high. Hayley Paige’s dresses are even more stunning in real life than they are from your Pinterest boards. Thank you to Mom, Kaitlin & Suz for making the drive and helping me with such an exciting, essential part of the wedding planning process! Mom & Dad – how I’ll ever repay you for gifting me my beloved gown, I’m not sure, but I am forever grateful.
I’ve said “yes” twice & I can’t wait to say “I do” in my dream dress!