My Wedding Dress

A simple wedding spotlight on THE DRESS.

I purchased my wedding dress on Valentine’s Day 2012. This dress spoke to me a few weeks earlier when I tried it on with my mom and sister in-store at Posh in Wayzata, MN. I remember trying on about 3 others at the store, but when I came out in that one I literally danced around in it. It is designed by Novia D’art, a Spanish designer. Marie actually no longer carried this designer in her store due to some of the Midwest bridal styles that were much more popular.

In the wedding process this is actually BEFORE Steve and I actually had narrowed our wedding down to Cabo, Mexico. It just felt so right though! I was slightly in denial after leaving there and Mom even suggested we go back to the store that same day and try it on again. We didn’t go back that day, I just needed to think.

Marie, the fabulous store owner, stayed in touch with me over Twitter and DM’d me a week after being in store with my mom and sister asking about my dress search. She then spilled to me the sample sale that was coming up on February 14, just a week away.

Trina and I made our way to Posh that romantic Holiday, I didn’t tell anyone, not even Trina that we were going back to Posh to try on the mysterious dress again. When I got into it and the sample size 16 got pulled tight, it felt so right. Knowing the sale was just today too, we popped the champagne and within 30 minutes I had said, “Yes to the Dress.”

Yes to the dressIMG_0878


Knowing the dress would be a working progress and it was a sample I negotiated my alternations to be included in my dress price. This insured me that I would be happy with not only the fit but the results of taking this designer gown down from a size 16.

The next step is just to wait. Posh let me keep the dress in-store with their team until my first fitting which was in June. Then after a few months I went in-store for alterations at Amazing Alterations in Anoka, MN.

I met Brenda, the owner of the shop and was very excited to continue the alterations with her. She was very passionate about her job, clients and best fit. I would highly recommend her shop. My alterations were to add a simple heart neckline and get that dress to fit me like a glove.

The final fitting came around and I got to include my 2 cousins Kate and Beth to be part of the excitement. My auntie Kara, Mom and Trina joined again too.

bethkate_me_indress weddingdresswKaragirlsmomtrina


This style has been trend over the last year and it has been making it’s way from Europe to the states. Monqiue Lhuillier has featured designs on her website and print ads this year to keep the trend going. Also some supermodels sported the dress on their big days. It’s referenced as a “mullet dress” in one article, which is actually pretty entertaining to me to even think about!

I have taken a chance on destination wedding appropriate high to low and won’t regret this unique and fabulous trend… yet.

High to low 1Monique L homepagehigh to low around the worldSuper model trendmullet? maybesupermodel high low


Moving forward with the wedding day, it was 80 degrees and we were in San Juan Los Cabos at the Hyatt Ziva Resort.

My mom helped me put my wedding dress on while Trina took pictures of the moment and my bridesmaids were close in toe.

All photos below are taken by: 507 STUDIO Photography

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Hair shot by 507 STUDIOTricia_Steve_1stLook_507STUDIO_7x10IMG_6534-42dip on wedding dayThanks Team Tricia Bridal Gown for making my dreams come true! 

Tips on shopping for bridal gown from this MN bride’s perspective:

1. Go with your closest sister or friend and MOM if she is also a best friend the VERY first time you try on dresses. It will make a lot of sense to do this with them and make for incredible memories.

2. Try expensive bridal stores and try on dresses way over your budget. They may have samples or sales on one kind in-store that they don’t advertise or tell others about, you won’t know and then you can narrow down your styles.

3. Don’t feel bad that all the bridesmaids can’t come or are not invited to the shopping trips. This one was hard for me but in the end, only my sister and Mom knew my dress style in Cabo and it was an incredibly fun and great surprise for all!

4. Stick to your budget (within $500). In my case, my veil was only $20 (YES that is correct, I had shopped a sample sale after wedding season) so that balanced out my budget for $100-$200 for that and I added it to my dress expenses.

5. Small shops will allow for negotiation, but ONLY with the owner. Remember the women that help with the dresses are nice but they don’t make $$$ decisions so look up the owner before going to the store and look for her to deal with when it comes to the price.

6. Ivory and White are different in every dress. I went in with my dress shopping knowing white would be too harsh with my light skin. It didn’t matter if that high to low dress was gray, purple or black, I was in love with it! (Ok maybe not purple)

7. Don’t regret anything.

8. Do buy your dress within 9 months, but not 2 years. Too many friends get engaged and buy the dress that same week. Research, think and ENJOY the experience with your mom and closest friends.

9. Size doesn’t matter. Seriously size doesn’t matter. It’s your alterations studio that will be your best friend and make it fit perfectly if off the rack or bought too big or even (don’t do it) too small.

10. Alterations are expensive so plan for it– or negotiate them part of your dress cost.

Happy dress shopping!

your MN design Bride …. Oh MY I’m a Wife now!


This Gal Said Yes to the Dress

say-yes-to-the-dressEveryone has heard the saying and the show is known for it, but it’s true, I said “Yes to the Dress”.

Having never tried on a dress other than my mother’s when I was about 15, I didn’t know where to start. I gravitated to some things due to pins on my pinterest board. But when I started my journey I didn’t know what to expect other than have that feeling I would be the “50+ dress bride”.

I tried on over 30 dresses before finding that dress I did say yes to. Before find it though I have to share a few places that I stopped along my finding my dress story…

Diamond Bridal was a rare find. Driving past it off of HWY 55 in Plymouth I would have never I mean NEVER would have stopped. It sits in a strip mall and the name really would make you think it could be a Diamond in the Rough.


Fit to Flare style shown here.

Joey who has been in the business for over 30+ years was at a wedding show and grabbed my attention with her genuine personality and passion for dresses. She is also a designer and reminded me of my hip grandma with a forward personality that was still warming. Starting there was a great fit because all her gowns are not in plastic body bags and you walk through a little path and see her designs while her one-on-one service was nice. I found my shape, fit to flare, at her store was lovely. It wasn’t glamorous, and the fitting rooms reminded you of a Herberger’s changing room but that didn’t matter because you always remember your first time.

Next on the list was a total different experience off of Grand Avenue in St Paul, Che Bella. Knowing this place had been nominated for multiple awards, and that this boutique was owned by gals were young and friendly. The styles of dresses were slightly more vintage with a total runway feel. The ladies that own it are around my age and the gal that helped me barely could lift the dresses up she was about 18 years old. This tiny place only lets you bring 2 people because of the 1 mirror area. Even though my sister and mom loved two very classy numbers on me, the 4,000 price tag left me feeling a bit numb. Go there after a few drinks off of Grand with a best friend and be one of their last appointments in the day. I spotted a bottle of champagne but ti was empty and I was offered any, bummer! 

Downtown Minneapolis, just a few blocks from sex world is a fabulous large warehouse and the for l’atelier couture bridal. Valet park at Monte Carlo and tell them your headed to l’atelier and it will be complementary. I had booked this one about a month ahead and took a best friend that is also a bride-to-be! This experience was like the movies. Champagne in glass flutes and fancy paper straws we walked and picked Vera Wang and felt at home with Christina Herrmann, to later find out who is the Store Manager.

At L'atelier Bridal trying on dresses.

At L’atelier Bridal trying on dresses.

l'atelier racks

I had asked before coming in if could bring wine or champagne and the lady had encouraged it! Needless to say the experience will be one both Kate and I won’t forget. Christina followed with personal emails to us and I continue to follow her and encourage other brides to try their store. Even though you must be in that price bracket of $2,000+ to think about buying, it’s a great spot to find something you love and take out a loan. l'atelier instagram

After coming back down to reality and going to a few other shops, my mom and sister ended up stopping at a small place downtown Wayzata Posh. It was a Saturday and we didn’t have an appointment (RED FLAG Brides! Always have Saturday appointments). In this case we had the time so it was a walk-thru. We met the owner Marie and instantly we all loved her stylish vibe, sister-like influence and appreciated her candid-ness. She put me in fitting room for a rare 30 minute opening where I quickly fell in love with two dresses. Total opposites but both something I wasn’t expecting to gravitate to… strapless. The last-minute try-on was the off the rack by a Spanish designer. Marie told me she has had to discontinue that line because of the unique style it had for the local midwest traditional market.

Well – I ain’t your Mid-west typical gal am I?

I did end up leaving Posh with no dress and moved on to a few other appointments that we had scheduled for that day. A week later, I still had the Spanish designer dress on my mind. Timing is everything and Marie direct messaged me over Twitter to tell me about her once a year Valentine’s Day private sample sale. Needless to say, I knew I would regret if didn’t make my way back to the store to see both dresses there.

I asked my sister Trina to be my maid-of-honor on the way to our mystery Valentine’s Day stop and we made our way back to Posh.

I couldn’t leave the original sample Spanish design behind this time. The price got closer to my budget, and to seal the deal I had my alterations part of the ticket price of the dress. (Alterations can be up to $300 dollars extra!)

Yes to the dress

I did say “Yes to the Dress” on Valentine’s Day, Thursday February 14, 2013. The dress before the date is the way this bride-to-be rolls…

your future bride gal