About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

Follow Me!



Entries in Wedding Gowns (45)



Jessica Ciarla, designer of CIARLAbride, began her foray into the bridesmaid dress world after creating five couture dresses for a friend’s wedding. Her creations are intended to last longer than the affair, which we know all maids appreciate! The concept is to incorporate the wedding color palette and allow each maid to choose a silhouette to flatter their figure. Jessica’s premiere collection includes mix and match modern classics that reflect the each bride’s unique style.

Soon, Jessica will be debuting an eco-conscious, luxury couture collection – "Ciarla Heirloom” – which will focus on reworking vintage wedding gowns into one-of-a-kind couture pieces! LOVE it!


The Dress - Round Four and TKO!

The following day I made an after-work appointment at Arzelle's in downtown Nashville. I had previously avoided the shop as I was fairly certain they would be out of my price range. I spoke to Leslie and she assured me I could find something under $1000. I arrived on time and Leslie had already pulled a few dresses in my price range. I added to the bunch and got to the task of trying on, rejection, trying on, rejection. I was so frustrated and upset, I just didn't think I would be able to find the elusive "one" I'd heard so many other brides rave about. Leslie suggested I pick dresses that were the exact opposite of what I had been trying on. Couldn't hurt, right? So, off I went picking up big poufy ball skirts, skirts with pick-ups, ruched bodices, trumpet and mermaid skirts and asymmetrical designs all while avoiding lace overlays, A-lines and vintage inspired styles. I did this with complete abandonment with absolutely no attention paid to the price of the dress. The first few were a bust. However, I slipped into a slightly asymmetrical, slightly ruched bodice with a single-side pick-up Mikaella in a gorgeous, soft taffeta . No pleating on the train, no lace, no bling. The dress was a size 14 and I wear a street size 4, so I had to be bundled up to get the dress to look remotely like it fit. I kept turning and admiring and turning and admiring. Leslie hooked me up with a stunningly simple veil and stick a fork in me, I was DONE! Hesitantly, I asked the price. Leslie dug into my armpit and pulled out the tag and delivered the news. While not in my budget, it wasn't hideously over-priced either. I went home that night and thought about nothing but the dress. I got up the next morning and thought about the dress. The dress! The dress! The dress! Was this "the one?" I enlisted my co-worker and friend Jan (she's close to my mom's age) and headed back to Arzelle's the following weekend. Jan was shocked. I had been keeping her in the lace-overlay loop regarding the dress-shopping-status and this was so far from anything else I had liked. She loved it. She loved the simplicity. With a stamp of approval from a trusted source, I was done! Finally, "the one!" All told, I tried on about 75 dresses. Jan snapped this photo of me right before I signed on the dotted line!

Mikaella style #1367, photo courtesy of my friend, Jan!


The Dress - Round Three

The Monday after my visit to The White Room, I started hitting the Internet hard. I found Faccio Bridal was near my office so visited them up one afternoon. While they have a beautiful store filled with gorgeous dresses, they were mostly $2000 and up. I didn't even try a dress on. Boo. Hiss.

A week or so before, I had gone to another, smaller Bridal Show at The Frist Museum where I met A Bride's Storey shop owner, Melissa. I called her up and made an appointment at her uber-cute shop in Murfreesboro, TN. My appointment ran late, but Melissa didn't even bat an eyelash. She was incredibly patient as I tried on dress after dress. I loved these two gowns from Essense of Australia:

Essence of Australia style #CJ155, photo courtesy of essensedesigns.com

Essence of Australia style #D841, photo courtesy of essensedesigns.com
I left the store empty handed with a heavy heart.


The Dress - Round Two

The following weekend, I was all set for round two. I hauled my cookies out to The Bridal Warehouse, somewhere on the outskirts of Nashville. Please note to brides over 30 - make sure you DO NOT visit this shop (or any other, for that matter) during PROM season. I felt like a wrinkled up prune in a bowl full of grapes.
This Allure gown was all bling and lace and I was loving it. The price was right too!

Allure style #8488, photo courtesy bestbridalprices.com
I also loved these Casablanca gowns. These too were in this Thirty-Something Bride's price range!
Casablanca style #1785, photo courtesy bestbridalprices.com
Casablanca style #1859, photo courtesy bestbridalprices.com

However, none of these came to fruition. The more I thought about them, the less I liked them. Onward, ho.

Three weeks in and nothing to show but a frustrated bride. I needed reinforcements. Since I am not from Nashville originally, my family is not here to go shopping with me. The girlfriends I trust the most to give me sound fashion advice are also scattered far and wide. It was a tough call, but my young-ish, hip, excitable and fun-loving friend Alecia was up to the task. We headed out to The White Room in Lebanon, TN. Kirsten-Michelle, our northern-but-taking-a-southern-break-saleswoman was just who I needed: a tad brash, no-nonsense and smart as a whip. I choose something like 25 dresses to try on. She looked at me hopelessly and informed me she had only scheduled an hour for our appointment. I told her to stand close with clips ready, that I wasn't messing around. I think she enjoyed the process as much as I did. I tried on the most gorgeous St. Pucchi gown! Sadly, it too was out of my price range.

Sposa by St. Puchhi style #Z195, photo courtesy of brides. com

These were the final contenders when I left that day:

Maggie Sottero Jasmina, photo courtesy jaysbridal.net
Maggie Sottero Harlow, photo courtesy brides.com
Mori Lee style #2215, photo courtesy brides.com
Do you see any relationship whatsoever between any of these dresses? Other than a lace overlay theme, I didn't either. I was loving the tulle pleats at the bottom of the Mori Lee. I loved the slightly vintage look the lace gave the dress. Alecia loved the Mori Lee too, but nothing was just fabulous about any of them. Desperation was settling in for a long winter's nap.....


The Dress - Round One

So, my original dress budget was $850. Go ahead, laugh. I know. For those of you thumbing through all the bridal magazines, dreaming of your gown in all it's glory....don't get too worked up. ALL those gowns are mind-boggling expensive. I know because I've tried them ALL on. I swear, every single last one of them. At least it feels that way. Now, I have to give props to some incredibly patient and thorough saleswomen who did their best to find "the one." First, The Bride Room in Green Hills was my first foray into gown selection. I fell in love with this Reem Acra gown.
Photo courtesy props: Dan Lecca, Brides.com

I did not fall in love with the $$$$ price tag. I tried on about 15 dresses and none truly suited me or had me gasping at my bustled image. One the way out, they offered me a wonderful cupcake from B. Jackson's Bakery. I swear, it was one of the best cupcakes I've ever had. Since we are still in search of a wedding cake, this is still an option. Stay tuned....

Page 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9