Friday, June 10, 2011

My Wedding Dress At Last - Pronovias Francoli!

I wrote a few months ago that I bought the Tadashi Shoji dress from Bloomingdale's.  I actually bought it twice - first time in a size 6 which was a little loose, so returned that one and bought it in a size 4 which fit a lot better.  Since then I've been so busy studying and whatnot, that I didn't have time to think more about it.  Now that I'm done with studying, I had a change of heart because I just felt like that dress didn't look as good as it should on me for the price.  I wanted a dress that would give me more shape - i.e. more of an hour glass figure.

So this afternoon I went to a wedding salon in Glendale by the Americana called Karoza Design to try on more dresses.  It's a mom and pop shop, and it's not the type of place that one should expect a champagne upon arrival, but they have over 3000 dresses and they let you look through the racks yourself if you wish.  One of the main reasons I went there was because I have been looking online at Pronovias and La Sposa catelogs, and have been really wow'd by some dresses.  I think I just really love the romantic look of these Spanish designs - they are owned by the same people so many dresses are similar looking.  Karoza Design is one of a few bridal shops in LA that actually carries La Sposa as well as Pronovias.

I was really overwhelmed by the sheer amount of dresses they had!  I only went through the Pronovias La Sposa section, and that was about 1/10 of the store!  I picked out about 7-8 dresses to try on.  I must say, these dresses are really made to flatter the figure.  I picked out different styles - mermaid, A line, blah blah, and I could have gone with pretty much any of the dresses I tried on!  I loved all of them.  I guess this is why Pronovias is such a well-recognized brand, it really does you wonders.

One of my top choices when I browsed online was the Pronovias Francoli dress.  They actually had one in the store for me to try on!

Of course this model is gorgeous and any dress would look awesome on her.  The one they had at the store was a size 12, which was too big for me.  But when they clipped in the back, it looked really good!  I would have ordered it in my size, but they said I probably would not be able to get it until a week before my wedding since I'm cutting it so close, even with rush order.  That's a big chance to take!  So after thinking more about it (I actually left the store then went back in 15 minutes later), I decided to just buy the size 12 I tried.  It was a brand new dress that nobody had tried on before me, it looks to be in perfect condition, and they were willing to lower the price to only $1000.  I figured it was a good deal, and I even searched online for this dress and they were all coming back at about $1500!  Also, I think even if I had ordered my size, I would still have to get it altered.  Because 1. it is made for a 6 foot giant lady, not a 5'5 shortie like me, and 2. there's always stuff they can find to make you look better.

So yay!  This dress is it!  I am so happy because I definitely like it better than the Tadashi Shoji dress I have hanging in my closet.  It fits better and the quality is better.  The price is pretty much the same as the Tadashi dress give or take a couple hundred bucks, and I can still return that dress to Bloomingdale's.  I am glad I went with the Francoli dress eventually, since I was deciding between it and some other more dramatic styles that would look silly at a beach wedding.  For example, this La Sposa Lido dress looked amazing, but not really a "beach" look.  

Since the model is way taller than me, the dress proportion looks different / better on her.  On me the ruffle part ended too short and makes me look kind of bottom heavy.  Plus, it was about $1000 more than the Francoli so I decided it was definitely not worth it.  If I were having a church wedding or something, this would be more the type of dress to go for.

So anyway, I can't wait to take my dress to get altered in a couple months and see how much better it will look!  I want to wait till maybe about a month before the wedding so I can attempt to get more toned before then.  But still I feel better to have it here with me and I know I don't have to worry about it anymore.  I still got lots to do!  Next I'm going to attempt to create some DIY wedding invites.  Hehe, we'll see how that goes.  Arts and crafts is fun!


  1. Aw -- yay!!! The dress is STUNNING -- I am sure you will look amazing in it!! Congrats!

  2. Love the dress! you should take it to the place you plan on getting it altered a little earlier then that! a 12 to a 4 is a big job!
    you want to make sure the person who is doing it can do it well.

  3. Awesome! Glad to hear you are very happy with the dress you have chosen!

    Can't wait to see your invites, too :)

  4. Thanks guys! @Anon: I think wedding dress sizes are quite different from street size, and I'm definitely not a 4 in Pronovias dresses. I'm thinking more like an 8. So it's not as bad. Haha. One of the tailors I have gone to before is supposed to be really good at wedding dress alterations, but I'll do more research!

  5. beautiful dress! I am also dress shopping and plan to check out david's bridal, pebbles, and lily's. if those don't work out then I will check out karoza! happy planning! :)

  6. Great dress! As I was reading the post I remembered that I wore a pronovias dress (but that was 10 years ago!!!) and loved it! They are so flattering and comfy! Mine had a very similar flowing skirt, but the top was all beaded. You will look stunning. It is perfect.

  7. Wedding dress sizes are weird, I didn't get the sizing. I think my wedding dress was a size 10 even though my street clothing size is a 4ish.

    Congrats on finding THE dress! DIY invites are a great way to save some money (more money for the honeymoon!) We used ones that you can print yourself at home and they turned out great. A couple of my friends printed their own too.

  8. Yeah wedding dress sizes are weird! I've been doing Photoshop work all evening for the invite, so I can personalize it instead of using a template...

  9. Wow this is so random to me (never commented on a blog before) but I found your site trying to track down a Lulu bag, saw that you go to Equinox (Pine Street I assume?) and couldn't believe you drove out to Glendale to visit the wonderful ladies at Karoza!! I went there before my wedding to try on St. Pucchi dresses myself! In the end I went with a traditional, bead and crystal encrusted ball gown (: from Kenneth Pool via Marina Morrison. But yikes! we have way too much in common and I've really enjoyed your blog. So DIY as much as you can for your wedding. It's therapeutic and so fun to photograph! Love the Francoli dress. Excellent choice. Elegant and whimsical at once, but just the right amount of each quality. Congratulations!!! and have fun planning and making! It's the best... And don't forget to MILK IT! You only have one! (Hopefully...) BTW I'm a complete Lulu n00b and your blog is my Lulu-pedia!

  10. Hi Michelle, thanks! You are funny. It's always great to "meet" like minded people! Don't be a stranger... =)

  11. Hello,

    At the risk of sounding slightly stalkerish, you are one of the first brides I have found wearing my gown - the Pronovias Francoli!

    My wedding is not until next June, but I have a few questions for you. Did you have any problems with the train bunching up on the day? Did you wear a petticoat at all? I read that you chopped off some of the train -- how much?

    Thanks so much

  12. Hi Axx, I have to tell you that I absolutely LOVED this dress! I think it was the perfect decision and it was so flattering and looked so beautiful. It was also perfect for my lakeside location.

    I got the train shortened quite a bit, and I did not wear any petticoat during the ceremony. I think the dress is perfect the way it is. But I did get these faux fur shrugs from ebay for me and my bridesmaids. It was so lux and awesome and only $18! Matched the dress exactly like it was made for it. I wrote about the shrugs here (scroll down towards the bottom):

    Here are some pictures of how short I made the train and of the shrug!

    So exciting that you will have your wedding next year! Good luck with everything and don't hesitate to ask me any questions!! Congrats! =D

  13. Oh I forgot to say, I didn't have any problems whatsoever with any bunching. But then again my train was short enough that there would not be issues. I got the dresses altered to about 1/4 of an inch longer than the distance to the ground with my shoes on. So that it would drape nicely. I also got the strap shortened too, as well as moved towards the middle of the back so that it would not fall of or bother me. Honestly I had a lot of work done to this dress because it was at least 2 sizes too big so my tailor basically took it in a bunch on the sides all the way from top to bottom. But she's amazing so everything worked out so well and I was so happy with it!

  14. Thanks so much for the pics, I love the back of the Francoli so much! I am too thinking of trimming the dress... need to wait until a little closer to the wedding to do all the alterations though...


  15. Yep! Do the alterations like a month before, in case you plan to lose weight or whatever. That way it will fit perfectly!!! So excited for you!

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