Wedding Dresses & Style

Stephanie S. Interview

posted: 01/17/11
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Find out when Stephanie S. of Say Yes to the Dress got married. See more pictures from Say Yes to the Dress.

Q: When and where is your wedding?

A: Our wedding is going to be on Friday, July 4, 2008, at 4:30 p.m. at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Fitchburg, Mass.

Fitchburg is my hometown, and getting married in this church means so much to my family, my fiance and me, because every wedding, christening and religious event in my family happens at this very church.

The cocktail hour and reception will immediately follow at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Mass., under a tent with a jazz band, signature cocktails, lots of food, dancing and, of course, fireworks!

Q: How did you meet your fiance?

A: I saw my fiance my very first day of college, at Lasell College in Newton, Mass., during a freshman orientation. (He was a junior at the time.) It was totally love at first sight!

He was a soccer player at our school, and though I had no interest in the sport, I somehow made it to almost every game. We, however, did not formally meet until my sophomore year in the school gym, where he was working at the time, and I would go to take a yoga class. We talked a lot in the gym, and then finally hit it off when he one day found out from a roommate of mine that I was not feeling well and called me to see if I needed him to pick up anything.

We never spent more than two days apart after that. After we had been dating for a little while, he finally revealed that he had felt the same way I did when he saw me on that first day of my freshman year. So, I truly believe in love at first sight!

Q: How did he propose?

A: Oh, he is so sneaky! After I graduated from college in 2005, we decided to move to our dream town, Celebration, Fla. He asked if I wanted to go out for dinner on a Monday night (April 10, 2006), for my birthday (which was March 23). We had already gone out for my birthday, so I was confused and thought it was completely random to go out on a Monday night, but I would of course go. He said that all I had to do was dress up and the rest was a surprise.

He took me to the Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Studios for dinner. He arranged for two Italian singers to come to our table and sing us a love song in Italian. After we had finished eating, the manager brought us over dessert and Italian wines and then the owner, a cute little Italian lady, came over and wished us a happy life together. I was confused, but didn't think much of it.

We were on our way home, and he took a wrong turn toward Walt Disney World. He acted like he was going to turn around in the Grand Floridian Resort parking lot, but instead he asked if, since we were already there, I wanted to take a walk with him. We took a walk to the back marina of the resort, with Cinderella Castle lit up across the lagoon. He knows I love princesses, especially Cinderella, so after he pointed out the castle, he then started talking about how much he loved me. I then saw him reach into the pocket of the sports coat he was wearing, and I knew what was coming.

I just started shaking and crying, but also laughing (such a funny reaction)! He got down on one knee, and I still have no idea what he said. I totally blanked out. I just remember being so happy, but embarrassed because people were taking pictures and my makeup was running down my face! He had the box open in his hand, and I pulled him up and just hugged him and dug my face in his chest to not be in any more pictures with my face looking that way.

Then he said, "Who is taking all those pictures?" I had no idea, and couldn't see anything because of my tears. But as the photographers came closer, I saw it was both of our families! He flew his parents down from Massachusetts, along with my parents and my younger sister. The night was not over, though; he also arranged for all of us to then take a fireworks cruise around the Magic Kingdom with drinks and hors d'oeuvres to celebrate! At this point, the tears had finally cleared, and I could see what the ring looked like!

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Stephanie S.

Q: What were you looking for in a gown?

A: I was looking for a lot of stuff. There were so many factors, it almost seemed impossible. I wanted the perfect mix of classic style and modern trends.

I studied fashion design and merchandising in college, so I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted: a gown with enough trends to be modern, unique and couture, but not so much that I would regret showing my wedding album in the years to come to our children and grandchildren. However, an ultra-classic gown just would not fit me either.

I thought I would be in such a bind and just end up designing my own gown, which I was dreading! But it ended up that there was that perfect gown out there for me!

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

A: I knew too much about gowns before shopping! When studying fashion design, my focus was wedding gowns. I have worked in bridal boutiques and at the world's top wedding magazine, and have spent my entire life fascinated with every detail on wedding gowns. Truly, I have been sketching wedding gowns and planning this day since I was 4 years old.

Q: Why did you pick your gown?

A: I thought this gown was just the cutest thing ever! The detail is amazing, the cut is perfect (modern, yet classic), the weight of the gown is just right, and I can wear the most wonderful accessories with it. The designer was a name that I knew and completely idolized. I also knew it was the gown when I had to skip (not just walk) out of the fitting room with it on and my family all looked satisfied. After having the dress on, I did not want to take it off, and I could not stop giggling in it! I had to pick this gown, because everyone that knows me best - besides Bryan, of course - said that it was just "so Stephanie"!

Q: Did you stay within your budget?

A: Budget ... well, one was never really set. I think I just knew my boundaries with my parents - no ridiculous numbers on that price tag! We didn't look at any prices until the dress, and it was less than anyone thought my wedding dress would be. When my father said, "We could buy two dresses if they are all this price," I was surprised, but I think that meant I stayed within budget!

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

A: I think I didn't expect to ever find the perfect dress - one that would meet all my high standards and years of dreaming up the most incredible gown. Not that I had a negative attitude toward gown shopping, I had just prepared myself to be disappointed. I wish I could have gone into Kleinfeld with a blank canvas and no knowledge of wedding gowns or designers. Most brides will try on every style, color, shape and design of wedding gown to narrow the choices down to what works best. I just got right to the point!

Q: Did you have any meltdowns?

A: No meltdowns! I could have possibly had a meltdown while shopping for a gown, but thanks to my mom, dad and sister constantly keeping me focused on what my personal style is, and what I had always wanted in a gown, it did not have to get to that point. Every time I walked out of the fitting room, they said, "Nice gown, but no!" It is easy to let your emotions allow you to like a pretty gown while trying it on, but you could end up having a meltdown in the future if you are not totally in love with it.

Also, I have amazing wedding vendors that have worked with me wonderfully, so no meltdowns so far. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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

A: When going gown shopping, do not study too hard! This will take away from the entire experience. Try to narrow down preferences according to your body type, coloring and the overall atmosphere of your wedding. Bring the people who know you the absolute best, so they can judge according to your personality. Most importantly, do not lose your personal style when picking out a gown; it has to be your style. You want to be able to look at your wedding gown for the rest of your life and still smile!

When planning your wedding, be sure to be unique. You can still have a classic wedding, but add some unique touches to it so no one confuses your wedding with another they have attended. At the end of the night, you want your guests to have had a wonderful time, and always remember how much your wedding fit your personalities as a couple.

Lastly, do not let anyone or anything stray you from your visions. Every girl has been planning her wedding forever (I know I have), and we know what we want. I have some unique ideas to add to my somewhat traditional wedding, and I have learned that if one vendor is not able to accommodate your needs, I promise you, another one will!

So, relax, smile through it and enjoy every moment. This is your one and only wedding day!

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