Wedding Dresses & Style

Jennifer B. Interview

posted: 01/17/11
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Jennifer B. from Say Yes to the Dress. See more pictures from Say Yes to the Dress.

Q: When and where is your wedding?

A: The wedding will be on Aug. 2, 2008, in Bluff Point, N.Y., near Penn Yan, in the Finger Lakes region. The ceremony will take place in a nondenominational chapel, and the reception will be held at the historical Esperanza Mansion overlooking Keuka Lake.

Q: How did you meet your fiance?

A:I met Jeremy while we were both graduate students at Cornell University in June 2005. After attending the local Ithaca Festival, I was invited by my friends Sarah and Veng to their friend's backyard barbecue.

Meanwhile, after separately attending the Ithaca Festival, Jeremy was invited by his friend Felix to the same barbecue. Once there, Jeremy impressed me with his volleyball skills, and I impressed him with my affinity for babies. We exchanged numbers and met at Olivia's, a local restaurant, a few days later for drinks and, to Jeremy's surprise, salsa dancing! The next week, I attended Jeremy's dragonboat practice, and the rest is history.

Q: How did he propose?

A:I arrived home in Ithaca after driving six hours from a conference in Boston on a Saturday afternoon, shortly before Jeremy was scheduled to arrive for his weekend visit. When he got there, I was taking a nap and was quite out of it. I was about to return to my restful sleep when Jeremy insisted on giving me a present, to which I responded, "Why? It's not my birthday."

The present was a photo album of many of the places and activities we had enjoyed together. I loved the album and suspected nothing until I got to the second-to-last page: "I love you so much that there is only one last thing to say ... " Turning the page, I saw a picture of a beautiful ring with a diamond and two bright blue sapphires on either side and the words "Will you marry me?" As I shook with excitement, Jeremy presented me with the actual ring. I of course said, "Yes!"

Afterwards, we went to the park where the Ithaca Festival is annually held and walked by the lake while calling our friends and family to tell them the good news. We then had a romantic dinner at Olivia's, where we had our first date. The wonderful day was capped off by celebrating with friends at Simeon's, a local bar/restaurant.

Q: Did you know anything about gowns before you had to shop for one?

A:I'd looked at a lot of pictures in magazines and online before I went shopping, so I was familiar with the styles that I liked. I had a good idea of what I thought I wanted, but my trip to Kleinfeld was my first time actually walking into a bridal salon. Before we left, I showed my brother, Andrew, pictures of dresses that I liked, and I pointed out the features that were most important to me so he would know what to look for while we were shopping.

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Jennifer B. from Say Yes to the Dress.

Q: Why did you pick your gown?

A:I am absolutely not an impulse shopper, so I was in a state of shock after actually buying the dress. I think I went with my gut; I was really afraid that if I didn't get that dress, I would never be able to find anything like it and priced within my budget again. I knew that the material I wanted would be expensive, and I imagined myself comparing every dress I saw afterward to the one I had passed up at Kleinfeld's. I have seen a few dresses since my Kleinfeld's purchase, and so far, I was right. I am still attracted to dresses that are very similar to the one I bought, all of which have been well over my budget.

Q: Did you stay within your budget?

A:I am very happy to say that I stayed within my budget. The tax put me a little over the top, but not enough to worry about. I am a bit concerned that the alterations may cost more than I had anticipated, though.

My mom had really wanted me to look at Kleinfeld for a dress. She grew up in Brooklyn and remembered the store from her childhood. I told her that almost everything the store carried would be over my budget, and I didn't want to look at dresses that I couldn't afford. As luck would have it, I received an e-mail promotion from about the sample sale at Kleinfeld, as well as a coupon to be used the day of the sale. I figured that if I was ever going to have a chance of getting a Kleinfeld gown, this was it. Fortunately, I was right.

Q: What was the hardest part about shopping for a dress?

A:I think the hardest part was not having my mom and my maid of honor, Liz, there with me, because it would have been nice to share the experience with them. Andrew was fantastic, though, and now we have a great story to tell everyone. It's funny, because no one is surprised that Andrew was the person I asked to go wedding-gown shopping with me. He is eight years younger than me, so he grew up around me and all my girlfriends. Needless to say, he learned a few things about fashion and shopping. He has a great eye for detail, and he's a great listener. Andrew knew exactly what I was looking for, and made what could have been a really stressful day a lot of fun.

Q: Did you have any meltdowns?

A:No meltdowns.

Q: What tips would you give to other brides-to-be?

A:My advice for gown shopping would be to have an idea of what you want before you go to the store. Look at a lot of pictures and try to notice if there are certain features to which you are consistently drawn. Have a budget before you go shopping, and ask the salesperson to show you only dresses that are within your budget. Otherwise, you are bound to fall in love with something you cannot afford, and who needs the disappointment?

As for everything else, I still have a lot of planning ahead, so I would appreciate advice from other brides-to-be!

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