If you have been following Turquoise Compass for a while now then you know that I like things that are one of a kind. I like being able to find places and things that have a unique charm about them that cannot be found anywhere else. I like different. San Lillies Bridal & Ladies Wear in Amherst, Nova Scotia is one of those places that I unintentionally stumbled upon and was pleasantly surprised. My friend mentioned that I should check out San Lilies while dress shopping because she had found a formal dress there before and was happy with the service and quality of dresses. After looking at their website, I knew I wanted to go wedding dress shopping there as they carry a variety of wedding dress designers at the small boutique style bridal shop. Prior to looking at San Lilies, I hadn’t found my dream dress so I knew I would keep hunting until I found it. What I didn’t expect was that I would find my dress at San Lilies.
After looking at four different bridal boutiques with family and friends prior to going to San Lilies I started to think that I might have already found my dream dress and that I wasn’t yet ready to admit it. I had found a dress that kept coming back to my mind, but for some reason I felt the need to keep searching. I liked the dress a lot but I wasn’t sure if it was the one. Did I love it enough to buy it? Was it because I wasn’t ready to choose a dress? Did I enjoy trying on dresses so much that I wasn’t ready to select a dress? Or was it because I hadn’t found the one yet? I didn’t know. In any case, I kept looking because it couldn’t hurt. I knew that if I didn’t find a dress that blew me away then I would buy that dress I previously tried on twice and kept thinking about. I had planned to go to two more bridal stores and if I didn’t get a clear sign I would buy the dress I thought would work. Going to San Lilies with my friend started out as just another wedding dress shopping appointment. I went to the appointment thinking that it would be like the others and that I wouldn’t find anything I would be ready to buy that day. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Upon arriving to San Lilies on that cold winter day, I immediately fell in love with the antique house turned bridal boutique. Just my style, I thought to myself. The house was painted bright yellow with crisp white trim, with a welcoming purple sign outside of the boutique, which was barely visible above the snow bank. When I entered the house, we were warmly welcomed by the owner and boutique staff. The old house was painted with bright colours, which popped against the original dark wood in the building. The modern touches and turquoise accents gave the boutique life and personality. Yet, the antique-vintage chandeliers and classic register added a unique flair to the building. I was immediately set up in a changing room and told to browse through the incredible selection of wedding dresses. I’ve never seen such a variety of beautiful wedding dresses. I was made to feel right at home. I was home.
With excitement and anticipation, I was ready to try on wedding dresses. The appointment felt different than the others. I felt hopeful, yet calm. I put all ideas of what I thought I should try on or what I thought I wanted aside and allowed myself to be open to the endless possibilities. San Lilies has every style possible. I wanted to have fun and decided to try on any style and to be open to looking at dresses that I hadn’t considered before, while doing my best to put the other dress out of my mind for the moment. San Lilies was the perfect place to play dress up. I felt like a princess in a Disney movie in the old house with my ferry godmothers (i.e. the bridal consultants). This was my fair tale. Maybe I’d like what I least expected and that was exactly what happened.
Every dress I tried on was spectacular in its own way, but it was easy for me to tell if it was “the one”. I would know within moments of having the dress on if it was the one for me or not. Then I came to a dress that was very different from other dresses I had tried on at previous stores, which made me realize that maybe what I would end up with would be exactly the opposite of what I thought I wanted. As much as that dress made me giddy like a school girl, I knew it was not the one. I was getting closer. Yet, it was that dress that made me blossom like a flower realizing that I would find the perfect dress for me and that I wouldn’t have to settle (or buy a dress just because I couldn’t find anything better). Then it happened. I tried on a dress that made me smile from ear to ear. Instead of tears, smiles came naturally. I couldn’t stop smiling. I visualized myself walking down the isle to my fiancé and his mouth dropping to the ground–exactly the reaction I am hoping for. A dress that simply put, I didn’t want to take off. A dress that I never would have originally wanted to try on; it was so different from all of the dresses I looked at in the beginning. Yet a dress that was made specifically for ME.
How ironic that a Nova Scotian born girl like me found her perfect dream dress in Nova Scotia. Everything happens for a reason and I was meant to find my dress at this one of a kind bridal boutique in my home province. There’s no place like home.
Stay tuned for next post…my dream wedding dress…