Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oh Nadine!

Alright, so I left the last shop feeling confident that the Maggie Sottero Nadine dress was the one. Despite seeing some lovely dresses during my las shopping trip, I just kept comparing them to the Maggie, and none of them were comparing.

Maggie Sottero Nadine

I decided to come back to try on the Maggie. I called the shop, talked to an extremely rude lady on the phone and asked if it was at all possible to have the dress steamed or pressed as it was extremely wrinkled. The rude girl gave me a ten minute lecture about how long it would take to steam the gown and how much work it would take. I wasn't expecting the lecture, so I squeaked out an "ok, just asking" as she caught her breath. Later, Mina called me. She told me she did not want to clean and press the gown because every time you do that to a gown it loses a little of it's luster and she would want to make sure this was my dress before she put my gown through the process. Wait? What? My gown? I have to order this particular gown? As in the sample? She then told me that Nadine was discontinued as of April 15th and I would be purchasing the sample (at a discount of course). This dress is a size too big which is better than a size to small. But there are some issues. Enter that sinking feeling. Are you kidding me?

Let me back up and say that I have now been to six dress stores and they all treated their samples a bit differently, but this particular shop was the absolute worst. Gowns on the ground, thrown into their plastic bags etc, etc. This particular sample was very wrinkled with about four noticeable marks and stains. Why? Oh why?
Mina suggested this satin bolero that mimicked the rouching of the dress. This one was too small, but you get the idea. Thoughts?

I came in to try her on and to really look it over knowing that this was the actual dress. I still loved it, but I just felt so frustrated. The gown was offered to me at 30% off. Decent, but not what I was hoping for. I was assured the stains would come out and was told the gown would look just like new and would be altered perfectly. I left feeling so confused. Was this a sign that this is not my dress?

That afternoon I ventured into a nearby shop, Miosa Couture. I had called the store, talked to the owner who was exceptional and invited me to stop by. I had time, found a parking spot and was there within five minutes. Wow! What a gorgeous boutique. I was told that each gown is custom made to fit the bride and that they use a special "built in" corset that aids in creating a beautiful shape. 2009_05_14-1

People-this place was amazing. I felt completely out of my league. The fabrics were amazing, the dresses felt great. I had two favorites and was told it would be no problem to combine the two to create my "dream gown" for the bargain price of $2900, including all alterations and my undergarments.

I'm not sure if I've talked about my dress budget before. A year ago, it was $500. That quickly jumped to $1000 once I saw what $500 would get me. I decided I wanted $1000 to include all alterations and hopefully a veil and shoes (realistic?). With my discount, the Maggie Nadine dress would be within budget. The Miosa custom dress-not so much. Fortunately, once I came home and uploaded my pics, I still loved the Maggie dress the most. Whew! I have to admit that the Miosa dress did feel better on, but since none of them really fit, none of them really spoke to me.

So I had a decision to make. I decided to make one more stop that day. House of Fashion is a well known bridal shop in Sacramento. They also have an outlet, HOF II about ten blocks away. Gowns are purchased off the rack. Once I walked in I was told they only had one (ugly) dress in my size. The lady was very nice and suggested their main store. I explained the situation and she sympathized with me, telling me it was only a matter of time before Nadine ended up at the outlet. She asked if I was a gambler. Ha. I know the price will be lower once it gets to the outlet. But who knows when that will be. I think I'd feel comfortable if they took another $100 off.

Should I work my mad negotiating skills? Do I go back to Alfred Angelo and get the sequined bust dress? Can I please where jeans and a black top to my wedding?


  1. have you tried looking for the Nadine online yet? Some people are iffy about getting dresses that aren't brand new but there's also a lot to be said about a dress that has already blessed one couple. Or sometimes, a girl buys it and changes her mind about the dress later. You would be able to get them cleaned and altered easily, plus you could get them a lot cheaper pre-owned. There are always the usual places like eBay or you can try something like Since you still have 13 months, I would suggest, looking for trunk shows in your local wedding magazine or wait for something like the Brides Against Breast Cancer tour to come to your area.

    Most brides don't get their dresses till 6 months before the wedding and they still make good time so you're fine!

  2. I agree with Shanna, I would look for Nadine online. I would also call around to nearby dress shops and ask if they have a sample of her on hand (theirs may be in better condition). Good luck!!

  3. have you tried looking for other distributors of Maggie Sottero in your area? That's what I used when I was looking for my specific Maggie Dress.....GOOD LUCK with whatever you choose!

  4. I loved how the lace bolero looked...the satin, not so much. The first one just looked SO great on you. As for the dress, look online, but if you know it's "The One" then they'll make it look beauttiful..but I'd try for another $100 off. If they really want to make a sale, then they'll make it work out.

  5. Okay, as much as I love me some sparklies - I really feel like the Nadine is your dress. I think it fits your venue and theme best - and works REALLY well with the lace bolero look.

    As everyone above has said, you should be able to find another Nadine online (esp. now since you know what size you wear) - possibly for an even better price.

    I would call here first:

    Good luck love - let me know if you need any help!

  6. Don't get the 30% of sample with stains. To me, that's just not a good deal.

    I second looking for your dress online and definitely consider buying a used one. They're typically 50% off and the one I bought (Casablanca 1831 through looked brand new with the exception of a few loose buttons.

    I think the Nadine looks awesome on you and you should definitely look around online and call other shops.

    To be honest, I'm not loving the satin bolero. I think the material matches well but I don't like that particular one. Maybe if the sleeves were shorter...

    Good luck with your hunt!

  7. crazy ways to save dress was 600 on sale i bought the sample but it loooked perfect def not how you are describing the nadine so i got a great deal on a beautiful dream dress but it was still 200 to alter! sucked! so i saved lots of money on a veil! i went on ebay and found veils from 10-100 dolllars...i bought 3 for a total of 60 bucks...i LOVED one a gorgeous cathedral length veil perfect in every way...18 bucks...then i resold the other 2 i didnt like back on ebay made my money back and walked down the aisle with my gorgeous absolutely perfect 18$ veil!

  8. I am a similar size to you and have found Maggie Dresses are best due to the corsets.
    I would visit the other Maggie stockists in your area and try on the Nadine in on of those and also keep looking. As you have plenty of time you may find a dress you love even more.

  9. Out of principle I would avoid the store with the rude sales lady. Places with poor customer service don't deserve your money!

  10. Love the maggie one on you - what a perfect fit! The lace bolero compliments it really well too!

  11. tough call! The alfred angelo looks great on you with the glitzy bust (I think I tried that on and was surprised how much I liked it!) But if you don't like the sequins, the Nadine looks there anyway you could find it elsewhere without stains...Dress shopping is definitely not a piece of cake!! will the store take care of cleaning costs? And if the marks don't come out can you be gauranteed a refund? That might be an interesting option...because if it does look new and you got a deal and aren't out anything for cleaning, it might be worth it :) Good luck, I can't wait to hear what you decided :)

  12. Such a tale! I was reading some other funny wedding stories here:

  13. i love that you found your dress as a sample - no it may not be perfect, but dresses can be cleaned. if only the dress i had originally wanted had been available as a sample - i'd be all over it. (a $3200 vineyard collection beauty.) my dress is beautiful, but i would trade it today, tomorrow, and a year from now for the in-my-budget dress that i loved. work those negotiating skills - tell them how much you love it and see what they can do for you!! (you look GOOD in that dress!)

    p.s. so happy i stumbled upon your blog! :)

  14. Dress shopping was no fun for me.

    You look amazing in this dress - I say ask for 50% off and get it cleaned! Or see what you can find online - if you found one you love, just do it.