The very first time we went shopping, my friend Nicole and I wandered in (sans appointment) to a Berkeley shop called Kate's Kouture. My boss had recently purchased her dress from there and had given me great reviews. Kate was wonderful, and welcomed us in for a few minutes before her next appointment came. She even apologized to us that she was so booked that day even though we were the ones who had not thought ahead to make an appointment. We only tried on about two dresses each, but we loved the experience so much that we quickly made a real appointment to come back with a third close-to-wedding friend.
Even though Kate encouraged us to take pictures (yes, really! She's awesome), we unfortunately had no camera. While there, though I fell vicim to the "fall in love with the first dress you try on" curse (I swear that's a real thing), and seriously considered buying a dress on the spot. Really, the only things keeping me from getting it were the facts that I did not yet have a ring and that I didn't want to miss out on more opportunities to go dress shopping.
She's called Sierra, by Maggie Sottero and I loved her. I'm thinking a big part of my love was from the initial "Oh my, I'm wearing a wedding dress!" feeling, so I'm glad I didn't go overboard and buy this dress, but I am sad I didn't purchase a dress from Kate since she was so great.
There were many more shops to visit, dresses to try on, and "THIS IS IT!" moments to come. Stay tuned as my dress journey continues!