how much, exactly?

Kleinfeld’s. What can I say?

First off we had a bit of a trying morning actually getting to the place. Me, in my generosity to buy gifts for my family, didn’t exactly have room in my bag to carry everything I had bought people from New York. I had also bought my mo delicious popcorn and I wanted her to have it BEFORE it went bad, and I wasn’t coming home for another week. So I decided to mail everything back to them. Well, apparently that can be a very hectic thing to do in NYC, and the box was too big for the self-send machine, and apparently the tape is wrong for the box. In the end, it took too long so we carried the large two boxes to Kleinfeld’s. Our looking like we can afford things was pretty much out the window at that point, since we arrived 15 minutes late, sweating, and carrying two large boxes being shipped back to Omaha. It was quite amusing I’m sure as we run in the door and try to look like we belong in this upscale and designer store. After we stowed our boxes behind the receptionist and tried to look like we belonged, we were taken back by a girl who pretty much fit the description of the girls you see on the TV show. She had the demeanor about her that told me she loved weddings at one time. She was one of those girls who was in love with the idea of helping that eager bride find that gown of her dreams, but she had since been hardened by bridezillas and mothers demanding the best and being so picky and turning their wedding into the hottest event of the year instead of merely a celebration of love. Basically, she was nice. But she was also a bit fake, and had the expression that she did this a thousand times a day and told all brides they looked beautiful even when they didn’t.

In any case, we were shuffled through the maze of beautiful dresses into an astonishingly small dressing room. For all of the glamour and hype this place brings, I fully expected their dressing rooms to be bigger and more grandeur than those in Omaha. Or those in the local JC Penny, in any case. But we went in, and she asked us why we came to Kleinfeld’s, which is the question that I knew, from reading various online posts about it, was the deciding question on whether or not you would have this salesperson’s undivided attention. We casually diverted the question, saying that we came to NYC specifically to shop for a wedding gown, since the selection in Omaha was to small. We said we had been to Chicago (lie number 1) and found nothing and came here, to the wonderful big Apple, after seeing the dress in a bridal magazine. We told her we were there for this ONE specific dress, and we made it sound like we saw the dress, knew it was the one, and booked our flights for New York. Simple as that, because, obviously, we had money.

She then went on to tell us about how that designer was magnificent, and how her dresses take a full year to create, because they are custom, and she personally takes 26 different measurements of your body in order to ensure the perfect fit. Other designers apparently take only 3, and this is what makes her dresses to unique and amazing. She hand creates each one, and the lady proceeded to tell me how if I had one of her gowns, I would knock the pants off of everyone in Omaha, because no one there will ever have come close to seeing a dress of such beauty.

Then she told us this designer’s price range.

Before I get to the price of this dress, I have to state that before coming in here I knew the dress was going to be alot. I knew it was going to be way out of my league and there would be no way I could afford it. Coming to that gallery was merely for fun and to see how the rich and famous shop for their wedding gown. But I have to tell you also that I am shocked I was able to keep a straight face when I learned of the price. On the outside, my expression was calm, collected, a “That’s all? Of course that’s in my price range” expression. But on the inside, I did a double take, and laughed. The website said this dress was in the $5,000 + range. Keep that in mind.

“So you are familiar with this designer’s pricing, I imagine?”

“Oh yes, somewhat”

“So you do know that *she smiles, kind of whispers in that “it’s alot but obviously not for you” type voice* her dresses go up to around $20,000″

*um, come again?* “Yes”

“So that isn’t an issue then for you?”

“Nope, not at all *big smile*

If you aren’t catching the lie that is forming here, you have to know by now that there is no way on this insane earth that I would ever be able to afford a $20,000 dollar dress. Heck, I can’t even afford a $1,000 dress. But it was fun to lie.

We went out into the store to find said dress, and we got to this designer’s area and I loved many of them. I wanted to get the full use out of my hour and 30 min time slot, so I picked out a few. Then I saw it. On the end of the rack, hanging there in all of it’s glory. Time stopped, the earth stood still, and the dress was actually in my possession.

Let me start off by saying that it was HUGE. It had a series of hoops underneath it, causing anyone who wanted to stand near me to have to me at least 5 feet to either side. Amelia and I determined later that Adam would have to not be near me on the alter if I was in that dress, and we would be unable to have a first dance, because we would be unable to touch.

In any case, we got the dress back to the room, and the sales girl is determined not to leave it alone with us. we had our camera phone at the ready, poised for that instant when we would be able to send a picture to my awaiting mother back home. It didn’t seem that time would come, until she asked if I needed a bra. I jumped at this, said yes (even though I was already in a strapless). She walked out of the room, and in a matter of seconds, we had snapped a quick picture of the dress hanging on the rack. It was less than a split second after the camera snapped its picture that the lady returned. But we were victorious. Granted, it wasn’t on my body yet, but it’s still the dress.

To show you just how crazy they are about no pictures, I was forced to strip in front of the sales lady. It was a tad uncomfortable, and I would have preferred to be with Amelia and not some unknown stranger who I know was establishing my every flaw, including my American Eagle polka dot underwear. But then I stepped into the dress, and although I had steered myself so I would not get that “Holy shit that is the dress” feeling and start to cry, I did do a double take on just how gorgeous it really was. The detailing was incredible. It was a perfect dress.

And the final price? A mere $24,500.

Yes, you read that right.

The lady proceeded to corset me into the dress, I don’t think I have ever been pulled into a dress that tightly in my life. Since the designer is Israeli, apparently they have to put the modesty piece in the back behind the corset, so your back is not seen. Well, we almost had our chance to get a picture here, because as she was riffling through her drawer to find one, she mentioned she might have to go and get one. I eyed Amelia in the mirror, and we glanced at my phone sitting on the chair. We were ready. But alas, she found a piece in the bottom of her drawer, and our one chance was foiled.

We then went out to the mirror. I couldn’t fit through the door, you actually have to pick up the hoop, turn it sideways, and still walk sideways in order to squish yourself through the door, that is how large this dress is. We went out into the main gallery, and apparently because I have a $24,500 dress on my body I command some sort of attention from the other employees, because within seconds I had multiple people telling me how astonishing this dress looks, and how wonderful it fits, and how great it is. The manager of the store (yes, the one on the TV series herself) even came up and gushed about how gorgeous it is. They brought me the custom, hand designed veil to match, and it did look amazing. And guess what, the veil was only a mere $6,200.

Yeah. A see through sheer piece of veil was $6,200.

I admired the dress, we told everyone how it was the one, how it was exactly what I had imagined (truth here). She asked if it was the one I’d take home that day, we talked about how it was my mom’s dream to get to see the dress, and how I was sent out to pick it out, and then the two of us would return at the end of the month to place the order. The lady faltered, then recouped, and told us about their webcam service, which is what parents who are unable to be there use to see their daughter in the dress so they can make the purchase that day by phone.

A snag in our plan.

Luckily, Amelia to the rescue, saying how she is at work, and how she doesn’t have access to a webcam at the moment. Being in the military and all (no, my mom is not in the military. Not even close.).

The sales lady returned to smiling then, apparently the military is a valid excuse, and because she was getting vacation in only a couple weeks, things were again great with the world. She asked us multiple times if we were sure she would be able to come back, and if we were 100% positive that she would come in to order the dress in a couple weeks. Yes, of course. It was the dress after all.

She wrote down the style and the dates that the designer herself would be in the store. Apparently she would be there the exact time we would be coming back, and I could get measured by the designer herself. Wow, how wonderful, we exclaimed. All was well with the world, and I was getting a $24,500 dress and $6,200 veil. And, gasp, because I’m from out of state they might be able to work with me on the price.

Right. Ok.

We grabbed our packages with the promise of a phone call when my mom got done with her work, and left the store.

The doors closed behind us, and we started laughing.

And pretty much crying.

And wondering why in God’s good name were we in that store.

And laughing about our ridiculous story that we had concocted.

And me slightly upset that only 30 min of my time slot had passed and I only tried on 2 dresses (the other was a no, which is why it didn’t get mentioned).

My mom was throughally entertained by the story. And said when she got her military leave at the end of the month and came up to buy me my $24,500 dress that I might need to buy a second for pictures. And maybe another style for the reception, seeing as this one is so huge and all.

I love my mom.

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~ by kazzamwedding on July 10, 2008.

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