Back again with more wedding dress shopping-ness. My next stop was Helene's. I had a ton (I mean a ton) of people telling me I should go there and saw tons of great reviews. My friend Ali had bought her dress from Helene's and it looked incredible on her on her wedding day. She said the service was spectacular.
My mom and I made an appointment for one night after work. I was the only customer in the shop, and though there is just two changing rooms they are huge. I like that the changing room was divided up. My mom sat on one side of the changing room door--and then we could close an accordion door so that I could get dressed on the other side. It made the anticipation fun because then we'd open the door and I would have on a dress- ta da!
I also went to Helene's because they carried one of my favorite wedding dress designers: Tara Keely.
Tara dresses are designed by Lazaro so they have the same incredible craftsmanship but do not have any of the beading or intricate designs of the Lazaro dresses so the price tags are not as hefty. The dresses are beautifully made, with lots of lace and really flowy ethereal look. From what I have seen Tara dresses ran from $1200- $2200. I tried on this Tara dress in ivory:
I did try on quite a few other choices. Including gasp a Maggie Sottero that I liked. There were a lot of dresses, kind of divided up by section. I did think the large closet that held a ton in the changing room was dark and hard to see the details- and also PACKED with dresses. But the consultant was great about pulling them out.
One of the issues that i had when trying to find a dress was that I did not, no way, no how, want a satin dress. I am getting married in August, in a church with no AC. I was not going to put a heavy satin dress on. I also do not like the sheen of satin on myself so I preferred a more matte fabric.
Ashlie the consultant at Helene's was nothing short of phenomenal. She was the same consultant that had helped my friend. I did not know this until I mentioned my friends name and she knew everything about her, from the colors of her wedding to her fiance's name. I knew that to remember that from month's earlier meant that she took a real interest in her clients.
After about an hour I wasn't really finding anything I loved. That Tara Keely above I tried on- the material was just plain weird. Ashlie told me while the dress looked cute on the mannequin she actually had not sold one of those dresses, ever. Sometimes she said "pieces are just a showpiece".
At the end she was just plain honest, I might not find what I am looking for at her shop. They carried a certain type of dress and a limited amount of stock and if it wasn't what I was interested in those choices then she wasn't sure she could help. She took my name down and took photos of what I did like, then told me whenever she got in the shipments she would look through to see if there is anything I might be interested in. If there was, then she would send me a pic to my cell so I could see it and possibly come in if I liked it. I liked that she was no-nonsense and wasn't going to waste my time making me come in for a dress I was not interested in. She also was the first one that spoke up to say "we might not have what you want here, but that's ok". The entire appointment she stressed that she wanted ME to be happy as a bride and if it meant not finding something at their shop that was ok.
This made me like Ashlie a lot. On top of that, it made me want to go back to see her. So we may end up back at Helene's looking for a dress for my mom. Or a veil for myself or accessories.
If I had to suggest one place that all brides should try first in RI, I would hands down suggest Helene's and suggest that you request Ashlie.
I would give Helene's and A for the visit. I would have given them an A+ but I didn't find a dress there :(
Next Stop: Ana's Bridal- East Providence