Review: RK Bridal: New York, NY

Where: RK Bridal, 319 W.39th Street NY, NY 10018
My Visit: Friday & Saturday Aug.31, Sep.1

Over Labor Day weekend I visited RK Bridal Boutique, located in an unassuming building on a side street near Times Square in New York City. It by FAR had the largest selection of wedding gowns I’ve seen under one roof in my search so far. In fact, it had more gowns than all of the places I’d visited in the DC/MD area, where I wasn’t having have much luck.

First, I made the mistake of going on a Friday afternoon when it was super busy. So after choosing some gowns to try on and realizing I’d have to wait for an hour or so to get a fitting room, the fiance and baby and I decided to return the following morning exactly when the store opened.

Fast forward to Saturday. RK opened at 9:30 a.m., but due to typical NYC traffic/congestion/hell fiance didn’t get me there until about 9:45. But even as about a half-dozen brides-to-be and bridesmaids had beaten me there, I was immediately assigned an assistant and given a dressing room.

My assistant was very helpful and laid back–not at all pushy. I told her the look I was going for and she immediately suggested some gowns for me to try. Meanwhile, I stormed the rack of mermaid/straight gowns– (it’s in the back on the left)a secret I’d learned the day before.

Then she asked the magic question: “Are there any gowns you’ve been wanting to try specifically?”

Me: “Yes!” (Then blurting out the four-digit number of the Allure gown I love but that I couldn’t find anywhere to try on. “Pleasssse tell me you have it…”

And they did!! They had THE gown!!

So I got to try on about six or seven gowns in the styles I’m interested in. And now I really do have a better idea of what I do and don’t want.

By the end of my “try-on” only two gowns had made my heart skip a beat: The one I’d been pining over (the sample fit me almost perfectly…and it was stunning) and one other gown that was never one that “jumped out at me” but that on looked really fabulous.

SO–at this point, I don’t imagine trying on too many more gowns, mainly because of the selection at area shops…
I may visit a bridal when I am home in Cleveland in October.
One popular one, Catan’s, promises to have a pretty good selection. In the meantime,I have to first decide on a gown, then figure out through which bridal shop or vendor I’m going to order!!

Overall Score, RK Bridal: A- for the sheer volume of gowns they have in store. I think they may very well be one of the largest bridals, period.


September 4, 2007. gowns, reviews, vendors. 1 comment.

Black is the new…BLACK!!

Word on the street is that chocolate is the new black–and from the weddings I’ve been to this year, chocolate as THE accent color for weddings is EVERYWHERE. It looks good. But its omnipresence is exactly why I will not use it in my wedding.
Now, black…I love.
I know, I know. Why in the world would I want the color *black* to make an appearance at our wedding??
After all, black is synonomous with things like:
Well, not for me. Black is, indeed my favorite color. And for good reason. Black is:
Think “the little black dress,” or “black tie formal.” Point is, you cannot go wrong with black.
That is why my bridesmaids are going to wear black dresses!
Now, don’t be concerned. Black is not in our “color scheme,” if you will. Rigid color schemes, where everything is matchy-matchy, are PLAYED OUT to me. So we just have what I call “color inspiration.”
We’ve chosen 4 or 5 colors that complemt each other to feature throughout our wedding ceremony and reception.
In fact, the ONLY thing that may be black are the ladies’ dresses and guys’ suits.
To me, black will act as an accent color that kind of “finishes” and “pulls together” the other colors and makes them “pop.”
Seeing as though the wedding begins in the evening, it will be even more fitting.
So if any of my BM’s are reading this and *hate* that little dress above, please, “speak now, or forever hold your peace,” cuz I’m feeling it!!
Cheers to black!

August 28, 2007. bridal party, gowns. Leave a comment.

Oh, Mermaid… my Mermaid…Where Art Thou, my Mermaid!?

OK— Bridal Boutique Rule #1:
Do have a VARIETY of gowns for brides-to-be to try on when they drive 25 miles on a Saturday to visit your shop!!
Arggh! I’m so frustrated. In the past few weeks I’ve visited at least five bridal salons and NOT ONE has had more than 3 mermaid/trumpet-style gowns for me to try on.
They “claim” that the mermaid–a fit-and-flare, sophisticated silhouette gown– is not in high demand…however, several other young brides in these shops were looking for this style and shared my frustration and many runway styles for Fall 2007 are in this mermaid shape.
This from Wedding Channel:

“One of the season’s hottest looks, mermaid gowns are showing up in the collections of top designers such as Reem Acra, Monique Lhuillier and Mika Inatome.”

And this from Bridal Discounters:

“Wedding gown styles for 2007 are swiftly shifting to a high fashion focus….Mermaid gowns are abound, modified mermaids are the most popular, showing fitted bodice that stretch to below the hip, with exaggerated, full, low skirts, a definite retake on the 1950s Barbie.”

Not in high demand…?
I am sure i want to be a “mermaid” bride. I have a list of gowns I’m interested in…but none of the shops in my area have any of them on the racks…and not even anything close! This is why I am super giddy about going to New York City this Friday to storm some of their infamous bridal outlets to at least get a sense of how the mermaid looks on me before I order one.
Here are some gowns that inspire me. Thanks, Ariel!

And two more of my favorite gowns that I CANNOT afford, by Jim Hjelm and Alvina Valentabut do keep in mind— I am one ENTERPRISING sista!:

August 27, 2007. gowns. Leave a comment.

Gowns: "Inspired By…"

Yea…so for the past day or so I had been getting
really excited
about what I admittedly thought was a goldmine of knockoff gowns from Ebay sellers based in China.
of these sellers–many whom even have good ratings–are offering all
kinds of knock-off designer gowns for super-cheapo prices…like $100
for the gown and $80 for shipping. They claim the gowns are
custom-made to your measurements and are dead-on replicas of the

Well, long story short, after due research it seems like, as with anything else, usually you get what ya pay for.
many traditional bridal boutiques are having to actively combat online
retailers to protect their businesses from being swallowed by web
bridals. They especially have to watch out
for sellers peddling shabby, bad quality fakes.

To discredit Ebay and other knockoff sellers, one online discount bridal shop actually bought a few of the China-made
knockoffs and put them right up against the designer photos they were
claiming to produce.

to see the real gowns VS. the knockoffs.
It’s pre-tty bad.

I hope this “un-inspires” anyone else who is tempted about going the “alternative route.”

I’m not saying that ALL Ebay or other online sellers who custom-make designer “inspired” gowns are
of horrible quality like these. I AM saying to be VERY careful and to
do your homework before buying from such a seller.

Several web sites for brides–weddingchannel and indiebride,
to name a few— are a treasure trove of info and host thriving message
boards where past brides and brides-to-be are sounding off on any and
every vendor you
can think of. I suggest taking a few days to do as much info-gathering
as possible on these “alternative” vendors before taking a chance.
Especially helpful
are message threads where members post photos of these gowns they have
received from little-known vendors. That’s hands down the BEST way to
get a feel for what YOU would get if you ordered.
For instance, many former/future brides seem to swear by Queens, New York dress-maker Julius Bridal Inc. There is lots of info on Julius’ gowns on indiebride and even more on weddingchannel, where dozens of ladies have posted photos of themselves in their discount/custom-made Julians…and theydo look good:)

August 23, 2007. gowns. 1 comment.

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