Monday, March 1, 2010

Boston Bridesmaid Extravaganza

Coincidentally enough, the further I get immersed in wedding planning/cleaning/packing, the less energy I have for blogging each night. My long absence last week was due to some crazy days at work (where I was working longer hours and even on Saturday morning listening to conference calls at 8 a.m.), cleaning at night in preparation for house guests and hanging out with said house guests between two different 30th birthday parties (yup, it's the year of the big 3-0 for me and my friends. Sigh.)

We had four people staying with us this weekend because it was "Bridesmaid Extravaganza" weekend, aka time to shop for bridesmaid dresses. Andrew's sister Amanda, my cousin Andrea, my friend Camie (aka Brooklyn Blogette), her husband James, plus their dog Fred. As Amy and my frequent dining companion Jen were local, they just met us at the house on Saturday morning.

First stop in the day was an appointment at the illustrious Priscilla of Boston (full disclosure: I forgot to take a picture of the exterior when we were there in the morning and ended up taking a picture later that night as we were walking by):

I have to admit that I've loved all the dresses (wedding and bridesmaid) that I've seen in their ads. I didn't even try going there for my wedding dress, because I didn't want to fall in love with a dress that was way out of my budget. But their bridesmaid dresses were surprisingly affordable. They offer three lines, the most expensive being their Priscilla of Boston line, followed by Melissa Sweet and the most affordable, Vineyard Weddings.

I have to admit, we were running a little late for our appointment. I felt very apologetic but I was still shocked by how many times our bridal consultant mentioned the fact that we were late, especially since she herself didn't show up right away. I now understand why PoB gets mixed reviews on Yelp (they seem to be nicer to brides buying 4 - 5K dresses, hmmm).  Anyway, I think we surprised her with how many dresses the girls pulled, as she didn't realize that I was letting each bridesmaid pick their own dress (only restrictions being that it had to be knee length, the same deep gray color and the same fabric). Here is a quick look at all the sample dresses waiting to be tried on:

I promised everyone I wouldn't post any pictures of them trying on dresses, mostly out of modesty but also, so the bridesmaid dress is under wraps for the grand reveal. Amazingly enough, the girls ended up liking the same two dresses and picked one as their favorite. I kept reminding them that they didn't have to wear the same dress, but again, in some magical way, the same dress looked fabulous on each of them.  Keeping in mind that we had a second appointment in the afternoon, we didn't buy the dress right away.

Next came brunch on Newbury Street, literally a block away and within view of the Prudential Center:
Two good reasons to have Brunch at Charley's (also famous for its burgers) - the bread basket (with their signature warm loaf of bread and delicious corn and raisin muffins) and the free drink (such as a mimosa or a bloody mary) that comes with brunch:
Here's a shot of my bridal party plus James (poor Andrew was busy feeding quarters into the parking meter):

Amy enjoying her bloody mary and showing off the glass of olives that she and Amanda requested for their drinks:
Andrea ordered some sort of frozen concoction that had "Peanut butter cup" in the title. I was surprised to see her pulling out her ID for it, but yes, apparently it does have some booze hidden somewhere in there!
Next, we headed into Watertown to check out a shop that was run out of a woman's home. It sounds a bit sketchy but she had gotten rave reviews on Yelp for the large number of dresses she carried and her competitive pricing. I have to say when we pulled up to the house and saw the dentist's sign in front, along with the crumbling steps, we were all wondering if we were in the right place. Luckily, the door was open and we could see another group trying on dresses upstairs.  We spent another hour trying on dresses (by we, I mean everyone but me did, I got to sit on my butt and give reviews), including a bright pink dress that matched Amy's socks:

My assessment of Bridal Reflections? The owner Anita was very friendly and patient. Her prices are indeed good, so good that I'd like to buy dresses for future formal occasions from her! However, while she carries a wide selection of dresses, they're all crammed into one room that is stifling hot.  I don't think it was a wasted trip to check her out, and it actually helped confirm the fact that everyone in the bridal party was still loving one of the dresses that they had picked out at PoB.

Testing the patience of the guys (who were kind enough to give half the party a ride into Boston and to Watertown, and who were willing to come pick us up whenever needed), we added a quick trip to JCrew at the Atrium mall right after just to see if we could find any dresses that resembled the first dress from PoB in a better fabric and for a cheaper price.  All I can say is that I was truly exhausted by the time we were finished, shopping surprisingly took a lot out of me although we had a blast hanging out together.


ats150 said...

Sisterhood of the Traveling Bridesmaid Dress!!!

bcallegra said...

Very clever, that's what I get for making you watch the movie with me! :) The very same thought crossed my mind on Saturday.

spongeamy said...

andrew, you just lost about a million man points with that reference..

ats150 said...

a million man some lesser man, that may be an issue. but for me, that's like telling tom brady one of his career completions isn't going to count. (note my ability to casually reference sports.) and besides, you know you laughed when you read it. i'm just catering to my audience.