Wedding dress shopping in New York City

Today I’m taking it back to this time last year for a little throwback post! Time really does fly and it’s hard to believe that last American Thanksgiving weekend my mom and I were in New York City. I didn’t mention it in my NYC post on here (the reason being that I didn’t want to give away any hints to Tim) but the whole POINT of that trip was to look for (and buy!) a wedding dress!

Yes, sometimes in life fairytales do happen. Finding a wedding dress was a task I was not particularly excited about. I had been daydreaming on BHLDN‘s website and had found the perfect gown (the Penelope). Can I just say the increase in the Canadian dollar is cray cray since this time last year? Anyways, knowing it’s not in my personality type to ever just order a wedding dress on a whim without trying it on (because who would ever do that…?), I knew I would never own this dress. Even though it was the only one at BHLDN in my price range. And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Ever. Sigh. However, the daydreaming continued and I found myself on their ‘make a try-on appointment’ page for their NYC location (my favourite city), only to see that nothing was open. I vented all this to my mom, to which her reply was to just keep checking back. This was in the middle of October but check back I did. Until one day, RANDOMLY, the one time spot on the one ideal day for us to visit NYC for this dress appointment opened up and I booked the time slot, just in case. Seriously, it was the only opening from then until the beginning of February. So, with my mom working for WestJet and everything, I casually told her about the booking and, being the incredible person she is, she decided to use two flight vouchers she had been saving for us to go to NYC for a few days at the end of November. All for this dress. I was flabbergasted and SO happy. So, so happy.

So yes, we ventured all the way to NYC to try on the Penelope gown at BHLDN. Let me tell you, hailing a cab on Fifth Ave on a Saturday night on American Thanksgiving weekend is no easy task. I was nervous, asking the fuzz how to best hitch a taxi (desperate Canadian alert) but, eventually, we got a ride to BHLDN and all was well. When first entering the boutique I was awe-struck. As you can see from these photos, NYC’s BHLDN is a vintage-inspired, classy dream. The stylist I worked with was named Amy, and she was quirky and calming and lovely. It was a bit stressful, having ventured all this way for one dress — if it didn’t go as I envisioned then I felt bad everything would be all for not. But I tried on a couple dresses way out of my price range (as one does in this situation) and eventually slipped on my beloved Penelope gown. And, you guys, it was amazing. Better than I ever anticipated. My mom and I are pretty practical so no tears ala Say Yes to the Dress were shed, but all the feels were going on. All of them. And I was officially in love. THEN Amy slipped the most beautiful headband ever on me, and I was hooked. As cheesy as it is, I believe it was all meant to be. We purchased the gown (which arrived to our house in Calgary nine days after ordering it?!) and headed over to Shake Shack in Grand Central Station for dinner. Dreams happening everywhere, seriously.

The entire experience was so fairytale-like I can’t even explain. NYC as a whole and the BHLDN appointment alone… Words really don’t do it justice. I’m so thankful for my mom being the person she is and wanting to take me all the way to my favourite city to try on the dress of my dreams. It was the only dress I ever considered purchasing and it just worked out so perfectly, it’s hard to believe. This trip will always be special to me because it was to prepare for my wedding while being a girls’ trip with my mom. I get emotional thinking about it one year later, but that’s how you know we did it right:)

Be free in New York City

New York City — oh, how I love thee. This city’s one of the most favourite places I’ll ever visit because there’s nowhere else quite like it (as far as I know). The feeling that you’ve visited five different cities in one day, the fun of discovering something new-to-you while being a tourist at the same time, the grandiose architecture, the buzz, Central Park being smack-dab in the middle of it all… There’s something for everyone and the chance of being bored is as slim as they come. I’ve always thought that if I were to pack up and move anywhere it would be to NYC. It’s been a long-time daydream so I was in heaven when my mom and I visited this gem of a town for a weekend at the end of November.

I’ve been to NYC a couple times before, which I’m beyond fortunate for, but this time it was on a whole other level because CHRISTMAS. Seriously, if you do one thing in your life, go to NYC at Christmastime. It was magical to say the least.

We only had a total of three-ish days to wander around but that was actually a good thing. By knowing we couldn’t fit the entirety of NYC into our itinerary we were able to tackle the things we wanted to do the most, while not wandering into too much unknown territory.

From walking down Fifth Avenue and admiring the Christmas window displays (hello Saks and Bergdorf Goodman), to eating what heaven must take like via lobster rolls in The Plaza Food Hall… The afternoon of day one was a dream. (The whole thing was, actually.)

Meandering through Central Park was autumnal — warm, orange and perfect. We just wandered around taking photos and admiring everything in sight and I felt like I was in a Nora Ephron movie.

^ The architecture and literature windows at Bergdorf Goodman. ^

^ Mr. Snowman and his texting were hilarious. ^

^ To the left of our hotel was St. Patrick’s Cathedral. To the right was Radio City Music Hall. Prime locale. ^

^ Could. Not. Believe how huge the Empire State Building was. This photo was taken two blocks away from the base of it with my camera pointed straight up in the air. But maybe I’m just really short. ^

^ A dog park right in Madison Square Park! The view of the Flatiron Building was lovely, too. If I lived in this city and had a dog this would be my hangout. But right now my life has neither of those things. ^

The Union Square Holiday Market was a must — a free Christmas activity. I feel it would’ve been even better if I went with the intention of spending money.

SoHo! I didn’t even expect us to make it this far south. But hey, taxis are everywhere. We had no idea where we were going and eventually wandered into the beginning of what I assumed to be Greenwich Village. It was stunning but we were a bit lost and couldn’t use the Internet so we went back to the hotel and took a much-needed nap. Happiness. Walking and eating and shopping can be hard.

Aaand the highlight of the trip… Seeing the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I said it. It happened. And all was right in the world. Watching this show took me back to the precision and kicklines of my days in the Young Canadians. Tough stuff, and they do it several times a day for several weeks… What a life! I can’t even imagine being a Rockette as my job. I have the utmost appreciation for those dancers.

^ Breakfast. ^

^ I imagined this being a lot bigger. ^

On our last afternoon we decided to explore the west side of Central Park. I could walk through there all day, every day! We went down some beautiful streets, into the lobby of the American Museum of Natural History and — most importantly — ate lunch at Shake Shack. I don’t know how I’ll survive without all this stuff. Especially the Shake Shack.

^ She’s great. ^

I truly miss NYC. I felt like my real self there. It’s nice to know it’s always there waiting for me to go back to with something new to experience. I’m thankful for the beauty of this city and will remember the time I had there with my Ma for ever and always.