I was in search of a Lazaro dress (LZ3108) that was on "Say Yes to the Dress" back in 2012 (I've basically planned to wear that dress since long before my husband proposed on 1/1/14)... Since it was an "old" style, most retailers didn't carry it, and since I'm a plus sized girl in BRIDAL, there was no way I'd ever be able to wear it off the rack even if it was in stock, so I was in a bit of a pickle...
I called Exquisite Bridal (previously in Millburn, NJ - recently moved to Westfield, NJ, though I've never been to the Westfield location) and spoke with a woman named Sophia. She informed me that my best bet (with a wedding planned for 6/28/14) was to get a dress straight off the rack.
When she realized I was a "real sized woman" not a 0, Sophia said it'd be possible to find a dress and order it, but that there'd be a rush charge. Basically I wasn't going to be able to get my Lazaro dress unless I went to Kleinfield's in NYC.
I kept Sophia's advice in mind as I made my appointment for Kleinfeld's. I was excited to go there, but my mom was not thrilled about the train ride and doesn't like going into NYC without my dad, so I was going to have to go with my Matron of Honor/Sister-in-Law instead. I was okay with all of this, knowing I'd be able to get my dress.
Well, my niece got sick the night before our trip into the city, and we had to change the reservation. On a whim, to cheer me up, my mom suggested going with me to a place in NJ to check out some other dresses. She even made the reservations for me at another local bridal shop.
Unfortunately, this alternate was filled with idiots, they completely screwed up our time slot and tried to push us into another appointment an hour after we'd walked in the door. We walked out.
I remembered Sophia being so kind, giving me recommendations about my dress, and decided to call up Exquisite Bridal last minute to see if we could head to the shop (we were 15 minutes away at the time). She said she would certainly be able to find someone on such short notice, no worries.
When we got to the shop, I finally met the lovely Sophia in person. SHE ended up being the person to help me that day. She remembered me from the phone call, and my desire for the Lazaro dress.
Knowing that was the style I wanted, she helped me find similar styled gowns. She went around with me first, going from area to area of the shop, trying to give me ideas...a few I liked, one I REALLY liked, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get the dress (hefty price tag -- extremely generous aunt with no children was paying for my gown but I didn't want to be greedy!)
After trying on five different gowns, amid my mother, aunt, and sister (SiL was home with the sick baby) telling me that some other dress looked better on me, I went against their cries and decided on EUGENIE by Lea Ann Belter.
Best decision I ever made. The dress was quite similar to the original Lazaro gown I wanted, but not quite. When Sophia found a veil that matched my gown and put it on me, I started crying like a baby. My family isn't emotional, so it was nothing like TV -- in fact, they told me not to get upset (as if I wasn't crying HAPPY tears!) *sigh*
Anyway, Sophia was my Godsend that day, a true sweetheart. My mom liked her so much she wants me to name my first daughter Sophia after her (when the time for babies comes...hopefully within the next year or so if I can convince the hubby! :)
My seamstress was EQUALLY wonderful -- she customized an alternate version of a less expensive veil (the original one Sophia put on me was $900!) which looked beautiful on my big day!
I have had total strangers comment on friends and family members' Facebook posts of my dress about how gorgeous it was -- the veil too! I KNEW I'd made the right choice. Even my mom and aunt and sister agreed that the dress was just perfection once it was tailored to fit me.
I could not have asked for a better experience!
Thank you Sophia and Exquisite Bridal!