CP TIES THE KNOT: The Dress Hunt

January 08, 2014 by Monika Reynolds

It is official – I "said YES to the dress," but in order to get there, I had to say NO to a bunch of others. We made one appointment to try on gowns at the adorable Garnish Boutique. We also made an appointment at Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection – both places local to the Baltimore area. When we arrived at Garnish, I was really nervous. Trying on prom dresses never went well for me and I normally ended up crying at some point during the day. Garnish has all of their dresses exposed (not in bags), hanging in a small shop with the most beautiful natural light. Only one bride has an appointment in the boutique at a time, so looking around for YOUR dress feels special and tailored just for you. We tried on a bunch of dresses with different silhouettes and styles to get a feel for what looked best on me and what I felt best in. Garnish has a private dressing room so trying on a new dress each time was exciting to come out and reveal to my mom, sister, and friend Lauren Niles (of A Joyful Melody).


After trying on and loving a few particular gowns at Garnish, we went to Betsy's to see what their selection was like. I instantly didn't get the feel that I did when I was at Garnish. All of the dresses were hanging in bags and ordered by price – so we knew which rooms we "couldn't afford." Also, there were multiple brides milling about picking out their dresses at the same time. We weren't allowed to take any photos of the dresses so I could remember what each one looked like (we snuck a few anyway). It just did not feel as special to me as the atmosphere did at Garnish. Regardless, we tried on some beautiful gowns and had a fun time. I actually thought one of the dresses was going to be "the one" but after revisiting photos and continuing to look, I decided against it.

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Needless to say, we went back to Garnish a few weeks later. I wasn't sure I was going to find the dress, since I hadn't gotten "the feeling" that you are supposed to get when you find the one the last time we visited. We looked around again and pulled some new dresses and some of the ones that I had already tried on. Garnish was also hosting a Theia Couture trunk show the day that we arrived. We browsed through a few of their gowns and saw one that I wanted to try on "just for fun." I never in a million years thought that was going to end up being my dress – but it was! I came out and I instantly knew that I had to have it. It is so cliché but it really was a "when you know, you know" moment. The dress is really perfect for me and I am so excited to wear it on my wedding day. It was the moment I actually got excited for the wedding (the stress of planning can take away from looking forward to the actual day).

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Honestly, the best part about trying on the dresses had to do with atmosphere that we were in when trying them on. I obviously described the differences between the two places that we chose, but I think it is really important to do research on the places before visiting. Mia, the owner of Garnish, made my experience so fabulous that I WANTED to buy my dress from her. We are doing a bit of custom work on the gown that I chose, and she has been super accommodating. She is working directly with the designer and her personal tailor to make my dress perfect for our wedding day. I am really grateful that we decided to go back and visit her boutique again. The experience working with Garnish has been ahmazing and I highly recommend to any Baltimore Brides! - Monika Reynolds

P.S. – these are all of the dresses I said "no" to – I am obv waiting to reveal my dress on the big day!

Monika is a fashion and lifestyle blogger at champagne-picnic.com. You can follow her while she builds a fabulous lifestyle on Twitter and Facebook.


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