Planning Day #1: Andrea's Bridal and Day's Jewelers

Posted: April 21, 2015


By Christina Quach

It’s difficult to coordinate between eight girls’ schedules to make it to one place on time, but thankfully we were only a few minutes late to our appointment at Andrea’s Bridal in Portland. My mother and grandmother were able to join my four bridesmaids, my flower girl, and myself for dress shopping. We’ve all been talking about dress shopping from day one.

I’ve never been to Andrea’s Bridal & Formal Wear before, but I was planning to find my dress at Andrea’s Bridal even if we hadn’t won the wedding. When I walked in and saw all the beautiful dresses I was beyond thrilled. The space is intimate and everywhere you look there is gorgeousness. Julia, the owner, welcomed me with a huge smile.

I got to choose gowns from the lovely WToo collection by Watters. After picking out a few dresses I was in one of them in less than a minute, and Cindy from Cuppa Photography was there to take photos of it all. Nothing at all like “Say Yes to the Dress” (and I say that in a good way). It took maybe a minute, two at the most, for her to get each gown on me. She’d whip the dress up in the air, and I’d dive in.

Even though Luke and I have been engaged since last July, I hadn’t tried any dresses on in hopes that we would win this wedding. I had no idea what would look good on me, but I had my heart set on something with a sweetheart neckline and something that hugged my body and then flared out. Everyone had so much fun—we were laughing and loving something different about each dress.

Melanie, from Real Maine Weddings, and Amber, from Sweetest Thing Weddings, helped me appreciated the intricate details of each dress by pointing them out. It helped me decide what I wanted in my dress. RMW's Christine helped me keep track of everything that was going on and helped me tie that moment into all the moments to come. Julia brought me a ball gown to try on just for fun and to satisfy my mother. What mom doesn’t want their daughter to look like a princess on their wedding day? I stayed in it long enough to laugh and admire the absolutely gorgeous work in the corset top. I’ve never trying on wedding dresses again so I had to try on each style for fun.

After seeing the different styles on me I quickly I began eliminating dresses, and there were four I kept going back to. I tried to go out of my comfort zone, but I just kept falling in love with my original vision because that’s what made me feel like a bride.


Once I chose my three top gowns, the attention was turned to my bridesmaids. I’m sure everyone has noticed that the four most gorgeous girls in the world happen to be my bridesmaids. They will be wearing gowns from twobirds. These bridesmaids’ dresses are so versatile, and I love that they can wear them again and again.

We chose a floor length gown because it looked classy and fit the venue and season of the wedding. Three choices out of all the possible color options was hard to pick out, but the favorites we decided on were perfect for the nautical theme Amber designed. Julia helped wrap all the girls in different styles that were flattering to each of them individually. When I was younger I heard adults always complaining about the awful dresses they had to wear when they were part of a bridal party, but my bridesmaids and I are as excited about their dresses as we are about mine.


Luke picked me up in Portland, and we drove to Day’s Jewelers in Topsham where we received another warm welcome from Jim, owner and store manager. Neither of us has ever been in such a relaxing jewelry store. They had drinks and snacks for anyone who wanted something, and you will all learn quickly that Luke and I love, love, love food. Luke and I were tasked with choosing gifts for our mothers and gifts for my bridesmaids from their Honora pearl collection. There were so many color choices it was hard to pick only one color per person. I love that we are giving the most important people in our lives classic jewelry that they can wear all the time.

I had a hard time picking out my bridal jewelry from Crislu because I was trying to find something I wouldn’t normally wear, but I kept getting drawn to my favorite—pearls. Pearls over diamonds—except my stunning engagement ring—any day! I picked out all drop earrings and got to model them all before making my final choices. Morgan, Day’s Jewelers silver and gifts specialist, was very helpful with suggesting what would look great with my dress. With my dress favorites fresh in my mind I found three sets that worked with whatever dress the public picked.


My lesson learned for the day—stick with what you know you love. I’m sure I’ll say this after every single planning day, but these experiences have been very special to me. I know it’s going to just keep getting better, and we are both so excited to meet the rest of the people giving us this amazing dream wedding. Again, a huge thank you to all the wonderful people who were part of my day.  

Photos by Cuppa Photography

Contest Partners