How I Got My Gown: New Jersey
Real brides tell us how they scored their dream dresses
The Bride: Cheryl Darpino, a 25-year-old human resources associate
Her Gown: Stephen Yearick
Her Story: "I started looking for a dress more than a year before my wedding. I didn't expect to buy anything right away, but I wanted to get an idea of what I liked. I soon learned that I wanted a white strapless A-line gown with a sweetheart neckline and a beaded bodice. Out of the first 15 gowns I tried on, I only liked two of them, but I definitely didn't love either of them.
As my wedding date approached, I made an appointment at Kleinfeld. My hour-and-a-half-long appointment made me nervous because I figured that I would need much more time, and I didn't want to rush. The bridal consultant began by asking me questions like, 'What time of day is your wedding? What is your venue like? What have you liked and not liked in gowns so far?' Then she showed me a handful of dresses. I tried them on and didn't like any. She fetched some more, which were more to my liking than the first bunch, but there still wasn't anything that was perfect. My hour and a half was up, and I was extremely frustrated. I was ready to give up and leave.
My consultant then took me to a back storage room where there were racks upon racks of dresses. She pointed me to two racks that fit my criteria and told me to pick out anything I liked. I found two dresses that could work. When I tried on the second one, a Stephen Yearick gown, and walked outside to see myself in the big mirror, I knew it was 'the one.' I'm typically drawn to plainer styles, but this dress was completely beaded. It was nearly the opposite of what I had pictured myself wearing on my wedding day, but I felt amazing in it! My mom, who had accompanied me to the appointment, was thrilled because she loved it too, and we have totally different tastes. The only issue was that the neckline went straight across and I was set on a sweetheart. The store called the designer and confirmed that the neckline could be changed for me. Fifteen minutes later, I left Kleinfeld having bought my dress, veil, tiara and earrings!" —Meredith Bodgas