We were not expecting to find the dress in the first place we looked. Hell, I didn’t even know what I wanted; I’m not one of those people who’s been planning her wedding day since she was 5. But my Mom was in town, and I thought it would be fun to try on wedding dresses at a boutique I assumed only stocked wedding dresses that cost a sizable chunk of my annual income, then go drink bubbly across the street at Queen’s Head. But after a brief consultation, Judy picked out five dresses for me to test out, most of which were well within my budget. The fifth one I tried on turned out to be the perfect dress for me — it was on clearance because the design, despite being absolutely lovely, had been discontinued. And it was cheap. Like, well south of a grand cheap (which is cheap for a wedding dress, I have found out). It was several sizes too big, but the shop connected me with an excellent (and reasonably priced!) tailor, Central Alterations in west St. Pete. Never be afraid to venture into those little boutiques, people. (2433 Central Ave. St. Pete 33713; 727/323-7666; thedroom.com) —Kate Bradshaw
Local business is good business.
Who would’ve known that we’d spend our mid-30s (and beyond) collecting buttons and pins for our lapels and guitar straps? Thanks to the comic book-inspired selection at Tampa’s Bronze Age Buttons and veteran local comics artist/musician Josh Sullivan’s wide variety of enamel pins both cute and snide, getting older (and throwing around our disposable income) never felt — or looked — so cool. —Ray Roa/Scott Harrell
Suncoast Credit Union Website. Convenient local branches, access to thousands of ATMs, exclusive member seminars and sponsored events throughout the community. www.suncoastcreditunion.com