serenaajoyce

A fashion and lifestyle blog by Serena Tomalis

Wedding Wednesday: Saying Yes To The Dress!

*Thanks to Jennifer's Bridal for collaborating with me on today's post! All opinions are my own*


Happy Wedding Wednesday! About a week and a half ago I had the privilege of saying YES! to the dress at Jennifer's Bridal located in Hockessin, Delaware. YAY!! Jennifer's Bridal is also has been declared The Best of Weddings from The Knot multiple times. I truly was ecstatic to want to share everything with y'all and could barely wait until a Wednesday.

My wedding dress shopping experience was an easy journey for me and I feel like it had to do with the fact of having a very strict idea of what I wanted, and my girls being honest and supportive with me. Turns out, I ended up saying yes to almost the opposite of what I wanted. 


For as long as I can remember, I've had my wedding Pinterest board set up with tons of dress ideas, so that one day I could show my future bridal consultant ideas of what I was looking for. About 2 years or so ago I was watching Say Yes To The Dress, and came across a bride trying on dresses from a designer named Hayley Paige. Randy, the host, made the point that Hayley was an up and coming new designer. I searched across Pinterest for Hayley Paige dresses until I stumbled upon Hayley's gown, West. I just knew I wanted this to be my wedding dress some day. Long story short, an image of West had linked me to Jennifer's Bridal Instagram that carried the dress, and the location just happened to be a perfect 1 hour distance from me. It was fate!



I have been following Jennifer's Bridal now on Instagram for over 2 years, and always made it a point to tell my mother that this was the place I wanted to go wedding dress shopping at whenever the time came. (plus, no tax in DE!) 

I wanted to wait until February to book my appointment even thought our wedding isn’t until Friday, June 11, 2021. All I did was made an appointment via Jennifer's website, and it was very easy! The calendar let me know what days were full, and what days/slots were still available. I made sure to book on a Saturday since this was the day that worked best for all my girls. They do take walk-ins, but highly recommend making an appointment so you are guaranteed 90 minutes to spend time with a consultant. Dress prices range between $1,500-$7,000.

*Above photo taken from The Knot*
 

As soon as I entered the boutique I was immediately taken back by the rustic finishes, the open loft space, and the amazing grand staircase that greets you the second you open the door. I was overwhelmed with joy because I couldn't believe I was in the boutique I've always dreamed of going to. The girls at the front desk to the right were so open, friendly, welcoming and greeted me with a happy hello and smile. To the left inside of the front door, they have a beautiful open space with floor to ceiling windows just full of bright, natural light and stunning gowns on perfectly placed mannequins.

 

Around the bend and past the mannequins, the downstairs of the boutique contains all dresses under $2,500. There was also a small room under the staircase dedicated for flower girl dresses, and the very back of the boutique was an entire room full of bridesmaids dresses. 

 
 
*Photo from The Knot*
After we had looked around downstairs for awhile, we decided to make our way up the stairs. Please also keep in mind all dresses on the second level are $2,500+. Once I got to the top is when I had completely lost myself because I walked straight into the loft space and saw the sparkle of the Hayley Paige dresses. I was truly overwhelmed with how beautiful they looked in person, I immediately started crying and couldn't believe I was staring at my dream gown, West, in person for the first time ever. 


There were just tons of beautiful dresses to the left packed all around the perimeters of this side of the space and the vaulted ceilings made everything feel large. Jennifer, the owner, was my consultant and of course we pulled out my favorite Hayley gowns first, but I knew I needed to keep an open mind, and we continued to look around more. She was very helpful and gave me a lot of great recommendations the entire time.


To the right at the top of the stairs are the beautifully, natural lit dressing rooms, and a large area where family and friends can sit and wait for you to come out to the pedestals. Unfortunately I was unable to get a photo of the large entourage sitting area because there were other brides in the building as well with their families. However, the dressing rooms were generously large and spacious and each contained a sliding barn door. My room had a gorgeous skylight window, and there was an adorable sparkly robe hanging inside for the bride as well to change in to!

 

As all the dresses were lined up in the fitting room, we began to try on all 10 one by one. I first tried on this gorgeous ballgown, Pepper, by Haley Paige first. This was another one that I always dreamed of as well. As fun as it was, I just knew a ballgown isn't really what I was looking for. Then the moment of truth came. The second dress I tried on was going to West. After putting the dress on walking out, and looking in the mirror, unfortunately on me it just didn't get the attention it deserved from everyone. We all thought it was a stunning dress, but it just wasn't for me. It's quite possible it had something to do with the champagne coloring. 

So then, the wonderful Jennifer had a great idea! She knew how much I loved this style of dress that she went and grabbed an almost identical version of the dress in white. The cut was a little bit different towards the knees, as well as the neckline, but other than that, they were almost identical. This one below is called Safyr.


As soon as I tried on this dress, we were just all in shock. I wasn't one of those crying brides, but I was just more of the girl who felt beautiful in it, and knew it was everything I had wanted. It was crazy by just how much a color of a dress can make such a huge difference! Was this going to be my dress? I felt so giddy in it, so beautiful, and 100% bridal. This was the dress I could picture myself walking down the aisle in on my wedding day! We all really loved this one. At this point I knew this dress was everything I had envisioned. I almost felt like none of the other dresses in the fitting room were going to top it when I went back and just took another quick gander at them all.

We decided it was best for me to continue trying on the other 7-8 dresses You just you never know. I'm so glad that was the case because as soon as I put on one of my other picks, I was just in shock. I took a good look in the mirror and just couldn't stop. I had the biggest smile, and remember walking out to my friends and family holding my arms up by my face and "EEKING" haha.

At this point all of us were stuck between Safyr and the dress I actually chose. We tried both on again a few more times until we all decided the other pick would be the dress I wear on my wedding day.

 

So... I SAID YES!

Jennifer's Bridal celebrates the occasion by popping open a bottle of champagne, and toasting! I can remember this was truly one of the happiest moments of my life. It's crazy because I truly ended up getting a dress I never imagined me wearing. The complete opposite neckline and fit of what I wanted. If I have to give one piece of advice through this, it's to just completely keep your options open, and try on tons of different styles even if it's something you don't even think you would like. I truly remember pulling this dress off the rack when we were browsing and thinking "eh, I'll try it". 

Each and everyday I feel the need to look at myself in this dress. I get upset if I realize I had forgotten to. And that's how I know I made the right decision.

If you are local to Eastern/Central PA, New Jersey, DE, or Maryland, I highly recommend visiting Jennifer's Bridal on your search because of it's 5 minute proximity to the PA/DE border line. Even if you're not, I still recommend. All hours, information, and brands carried are located on their website. 

PS. Make sure to give Jennifer's Bridal a follow on insta HERE. They always post the prettiest pics and you'll see Hayley Paige and Lazaro are there quite often. <3

Thank you so much for reading about one of the best days of my life! I can't wait for the dress to come in this August. What more Wedding Wednesday posts do you want to see? Let me know in the comment below!

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