Wedding Dresses & Style

Jennifer G. Interview

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

Q: When and where is your wedding?

A:We're having a weekend wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Members Beach Club in Sarasota, Fla.

Here is our weekend festivities itinerary:

Friday, April 25, 2008 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.: Wedding Rehearsal for Bridal Party 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.: Bonfire Barbecue Welcome Party for All Guests

Saturday, April 26, 2008 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Ceremony 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.: Cocktail Hour 6 p.m. -10 p.m.: Wedding Reception 10 p.m.- midnight: After Party

Sunday, April 27, 2008: 10 a.m. - noon: Farewell Brunch Noon - ... : Sunday Fun-Day Poolside

Q: How did you meet your fiance?

A: Scott and I met (I hope you're sitting down) in Las Vegas! I know, what are the chances, right? I was there on a bachelorette party, while Scott was there just doing what he does best ... being "Scott"! Considering I was in a committed relationship, my Vegas intentions were to simply have a goof with my friends. I sure didn't know what I was in for! I called Scott to thank him for showing me a wonderful time in Vegas. I then proceeded to ask him (yes, you read correctly ... I asked him) out on a date! He said yes, and the rest is history. I guess we can sum this up as love at first sight!

Q: How did he propose?

A: We got engaged on Feb. 14, 2007. Here's how it happened.

My mother called and asked me to pick her up to see the "twins" (my gorgeous niece and nephew), who live next door to me. As we were walking into my house, my father was waiting at the door. He said that UPS had delivered a package for me. Yay! Scott sent flowers. As I headed upstairs to my apartment, my mother and father followed. I told them to stop being nosy. They insisted on seeing what it was.

On my bedroom door, I noticed a sign that read, "STOP! Before entering there are three steps you must follow: 1. Pop all the balloons; 2. Find the key; 3. Use the key to open the gift." I was so excited. Scott had just pulled a Jenn! (I'm known for doing corny and romantic things like this.)

As I entered my room, it was filled with balloons and a 5-foot-tall box (yes, it was my height) wrapped in Valentine's Day paper, a white bow and a red rose. I thought, What could it be? I was scared and reluctant to open it. As I popped the balloons, a key fell out! I inserted the key and opened the top. As I began to lift up the top, Scott came popping out dressed in a suit and tie, holding a single red rose with a ring box! He simply said, "Happy Valentine's Day, sweetheart!" I began to cry hysterically. As I approached him, he said, "Let me do this the right way!" He emerged from the box, dropped to one knee, and said, "Will you be my wife?" Now I was really in shock! I literally could not stop crying!

Now I was thinking, "I smell like burnt skin (from the tanning salon), my hair's a mess, my nails are not done, and I'm a disaster! I'm usually prepared for things like this. He got me! He's really got me!"

After I pulled myself together, we realized I never said yes or looked at the ring. So, I said yes, jumped in his arms, held him tight and swore I'd make the best wife. Then I checked out the ring!

Q: What were you looking for in a gown?

A:I was looking for something sexy, form-fitting, classy, romantic and timeless all in one! I was totally going for the mermaid-style dress. I am very petite (5 feet tall, 98 pounds), so anything poofy and full would have made me look like I was receiving my first communion, not getting married. I would be lost in a big gown, hence the decision to stick with something sleek and sexy.

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

A:Not really. I figured I would learn based on the experience of trying on dresses for the first time. I knew the style I was going for, and I did a little research to find dresses similar to the look I was trying to achieve. There certainly was a lot of terminology used during my first trial that needed to be explained. But the staff at Kleinfeld did a great job in doing so. For instance, what the heck does "hollow-to-hem" mean? I learned that one real quick!

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Jennifer G. from Say Yes to the Dress.

Q: Why did you pick your gown?

A: I know this sounds super-cliche, but it was the first one I tried on and was the only dress that brought tears to not only my face, but my family's faces, as well (my grandmother from Europe was hysterical). We all agreed, "This is the one!" A few nips and tucks need to be done in order to sex it up a bit, but other than that ... it was pretty close to perfect!

Q: Did you stay within your budget?

A: I totally did, which was a shocker, because usually I tend to be a bit extravagant. For kicks, I asked my rep at Kleinfeld to put me in a really expensive dress, just so I could see how it looks and feels. I've got to tell you, it did nothing for me. Not one person was really impressed with it. Whew, thank goodness! Can you imagine if I would have fallen in love with an extravagantly expensive gown? There would be no wedding, just gown!

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

A: It was such a pleasurable experience that it wasn't hard at all. If I had to choose something, it would be trying to make the dress fit exactly how I envision it will fit. I have a little ways to go before my fitting, so we'll see how that cookie crumbles! With Kleinfeld's amazing reputation, I'm sure my dress will be everything I imagined it to be.

Q: Did you have any meltdowns?

A: Shopping for the gown ... no! That was one of the best experiences I've ever had. My family was there, the service was amazing, the price was right; it was unbelievable!

Planning the wedding ... yes! I am from New York and very used to a New York-style wedding and most of all wheeling, dealing and negotiating. My wedding is taking place in Sarasota, Fla., so the service is a bit slower, the style is totally different, and negotiating has been almost impossible. I am a control freak and tend to take the bull by the horns. I am very hands-on, which can be good and bad all at the same time.

With all my vendors in Florida, it is difficult for me to be as hands-on as I anticipated (which makes me crazy). I have to learn to trust that the vendors I'm doing business with will emulate my vision for the wedding. I guess the comfort level just isn't there ... yet. I'm heading down to Sarasota in October to meet with various vendors, go for hair and makeup trials, go for the menu tasting, pick out the linens, etc. I am a nervous wreck and really hope that it all comes together.

I guess I have such a bad taste left in my mouth because the first time my fiance and I visited our wedding location and met with a few people, we were promised the sun, the moon and the stars and came home with no doubts that a destination wedding was the route we were going to take. We felt like we were in good hands. Upon receipt of the contracts, it was a different story. They over-promised, under-delivered and over-charged (in our eyes). Even to this day, everything we request seems to be a battle. I've never received a response of "Sure, no problem. You're throwing three significant, expensive events with us, so we'll be more than happy to throw that in for you!" It's almost been like, "Let me check with "xyz," and we'll get back to you." And the end result is never what we requested it be. I almost feel like a burden and pain-in-the-neck because I've questioned probably everything that was in the contracts.

I've read all the bridal magazines (and will continue to until the day of my wedding), and they all say not to feel bad for asking a million questions or requesting what you want. They actually advise you to do so. At the end of the day, it's your money being spent and your dream coming to life.

We as brides have a right to want to make our wedding perfect (or close to it). I haven't had a bridezilla moment yet, but there's still a lot of planning left to do!

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

A: 1. Educate yourself. Don't settle for anything less than what you want and envision.

2. Don't be afraid to speak up. Your voice is a gift that was meant to be used and heard.

3. Don't assume that people know what you want, because they never do! Always provide pictures and samples of the look I'm trying to achieve. This goes for every aspect of wedding planning, from the dress to the food to decor to lighting to napkin folds, etc. Others may not notice the "little" details, but you will, and this is all about you (and your fiance of course!).

4. Have the most fun you can during this process. It may be frustrating at times, but the light at the end of the long planning tunnel is your eyes meeting with your fiance's as you walk down the aisle. In the end, it will be worth all the hard work (and fun)!

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