Our bridal stylist Kelsey is engaged! It's so much fun when we get to a wedding plan with one of our own. We asked Kelsey about her bridal gown shopping experience from her point of view as a bride! We asked Kelsey a series of questions after she shopped and found her dream dress to wear down the aisle.
What feeling did you want out of your wedding dress?
I never fully envisioned what I would wear as my dress growing up, because I wanted the dress to be reflective of who my future husband and I were like together as a team..similar to my engagement ring, I knew what I liked, but again, I wanted it to be reflective of us as a pair. I did know I wanted to feel elegant, simple, yet unique, with a modern tone, nothing too stuffy - we need some fun in our lives +something I can move around in. Moving my arms is a MUST..I can get quite expressive in my speech - knowing me, I'd break a strap or sleeve if I can't move!
What was the most helpful tip you learned shopping for your own dress?
"Don't be afraid to fall in love with your dress." I say it to brides allllll the time and it's so true! I went in thinking I was going to say "yes!" to a dress and walked out with a completely different dress. It still checked all the boxes I was looking for in my gown, but I surprised myself a little! Once I put my dress back on..I KNEW it was the one.
How did you know you were ready to say yes to the dress?
I was excited to put my dress back on. I asked Rileigh if we could stop trying on gowns and put her back on! It was one I could picture wearing on our day, in our venue, and I knew Justin would love it. It still gets me excited just thinking about wearing it in October!
A little about you two! How did you meet, was the engagement a surprise?
Justin and I became friends back in 2014 through my sister and her husband! At the time I was living in California, so never did I think of us ever dating until a worldwide pandemic somehow allowed me to move to Nashville and brought us together in 2020. Timing was wild!
We planned to go to Myrtle Beach for Justin's 30th birthday in April with a group of our friends. Never in my mind did I expect that he was going to propose because I knew (or so I thought) we planned a trip to go in May for Justin to ask my parents for permission to get married. So, immediately I threw every expectation and thought out the door. We were here to celebrate his birthday with all of his people! All I knew about our trip, besides what we had planned for him, was that his parents wanted to treat us all to a fancy dinner Saturday night, sooo I was told to bring something nice. Perfect timing, a few weeks prior Edie in Pistachio arrived at LVD Bridal and I immediately fell in love with that gal the moment I put her on to take photos for our inventory. My sisters begged me to buy it for our Myrtle trip and I was in the market for a new dress. ;) So I bought my first Sarah Seven dress and packed her up to wear to dinner.
We all travelled separately to get to Myrtle and Justin and I were the last to get into town. To me, it seemed perfect, because I had my sister and brother in law helping decorate the hotel as a surprise for when Justin arrived! Little did I know, they were on double duty making surprises for the both of us! When we arrived at the place, no one was there. I was so confused and a little upset, because I thought it was anticlimactic to walk into a decorated room with no friends there to cheer, but Justin didn't seem phased (he was too occupied thinking about other things). Immediately he said we were going to meet up with the crew because they were already at dinner.
Justin and I pulled up to the clubhouse and were sent on a search to find the group. We walked around the back of the spot and found ourselves wandering across a bridge. The sun was setting over the water and I audibly said to Justin, "Wow! This would be such a beautiful spot for someone to get engaged." At that moment I felt him step back behind me and said, "Kelsey, I've been lying to you about something." I had no idea what he could have been lying about. Turning around to look at him, he was standing there with a ring and said, "I already talked to your parents." Then and there, I blacked out. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was absolutely in shock that this was happening. I didn't think this proposal was going to be kept a secret and oh my word, did he surprise me. We stood out on the bridge for a minute..me, still in shock. Then after we walked inside only to be greeted by his family, my entire family and our best friends from New Jersey and California! At that moment, I lost it. I saw all of my favorite people in one spot, his family from New Jersey, mine from California, all in one room and the thought that this was all orchestrated beautifully together as a total surprise is something I will forever treasure. We spent the rest of the evening (and weekend) over dinner, playing games and celebrating! It was the best engagement/birthday weekend we could ever ask for!!