Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shopping For my Wedding Dress

One of my favorite memories from the wedding planning period was going shopping for my wedding dress. My Mom took the day off from work, and her, myself, and my Maid of Honor Julie headed out to hit the shops. Of course, the day we planned on going dress shopping there had been a huge snowstorm the night before- and despite the eight inches of snow, we set off to find a dress! Fortunately for me, I had helped a friend find her dress a few months back, and so I knew a couple of dress shops to look at. With this, we had decided on going to Macy's Bridal Salon, Mary Kay Bridal (a small boutique that is now closed), and David's Bridal.

Now, I thought I knew what I wanted for a wedding dress. I wanted something simple, form-fitting, a corset back, and just a little bit of detailing. I absolutely did not want a princess dress, something lacy, or something that wasn't white. Of course, I had heard from people that you go into dress shopping and come out with something completely opposite of what you want- but didn't believe there was a single chance that would be me!

The first stop for us was Macy's Bridal Salon. I had made an appointment, and as we got there the woman inquired a few things. The first thing she asked was the date of the wedding- which at that point, was just over five months away. You can only imagine the slight heart attack I had when the saleswoman informed me that I should really order within the next two days to make sure the dress would be here in time for alterations and the wedding. Talk about pressure! After explaining to her what I wanted in a dress, we pulled 10 or so gowns and started trying them on. Finally, I found one I liked… but didn't love. I really didn't love when the saleswoman said we couldn't take a picture of it to remember as we continued shopping (so of course, as soon as she left the room, my Mom and MOH snapped pictures). You can tell by the look on my face that this was NOT the dress for me (even though I liked it!)

the only dress I "liked" at Macy's Bridal Salon
Our second stop was Mary Kay Bridal. Again, I found some dresses I liked- and even one I really liked! But, I didn't have "the moment". The one you hear about, where you put your dress on and can just tell that its the one. Where you cry, your Mom cries, your MOH cries. So, a few dresses later we headed out from Mary Kay to hit our last stop, David's Bridal.

Now, one of the things they don't tell you about wedding dress shopping is how the dresses will fit. At both of my first two stops, every dress I tried on was about a size 96 (just slightly exaggerating) and I had to be literally clamped into the dress. Makes it pretty hard to see what the dress actually looks like! In addition to this, they don't tell you before dress shopping that all of the other shops will look down on David's Bridal, and tell you not to go there because "everyone buys their dress there."

When we walked into David's Bridal, I have to admit I was a little worried. Because of what the previous women helping us had said, and because of the woman helping us. When I explained what I wanted- form-fitting, no lace, corset back, simple-- she instantly pulled about five lacy princess-style gowns from the rack. I was worried. Nonetheless, my helpful troop helped me pick a few dresses off the racks and we headed towards the fitting room. As I had been looking at dresses, I kept eyeing this one dress on the mannequin. It was princess-style, but had this gorgeous beading and detailing on it- I couldn't stop staring. When I mentioned to my Mom that I kept looking at it, she told me "well, you might as well try it on as long as you have all these other dresses too." Of course, they didn't have the dress in my size- except on the mannequin- so we took that right off her and brought it into my fitting room!

The first couple dresses I tried on were fine. Then, I put on the dress- yes, the dress I saw on the mannequin. Before I was even all the way into it, I could just feel it. I knew, and I had the moment. Once I was all the way in, I headed out into the fitting room hallway and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Again, I knew. But of course, I had to ask my helpers. I turned to my MOH first (because even though I knew it was the one, I wanted validation. If she said she hated it, it would hurt. But it would be easier to hear from her than my Mom). She said she loved it. Then, I turned to my Mom.

Well, she was standing there with her back turned towards me! I couldn't believe that here I was, standing in the dress, and she just had her back turned and wasn't even paying attention. So, I asked "well, what do you think Mom?" … and when she turned around stating "well, your making me cry" with tears in her eyes, I lost it and joined her in tears. I had found my dress.

After that, I hung out in that dress for about an hour. I tried it on with the custom veil made for that dress, and knew I needed the veil too. I cried. My Mom cried. My MOH cried. The saleslady cried. The Mom of a girl I used to play hockey with (that just happened to be at the store) started crying. Yep, this was definitely the dress.

shopping for a wedding dress
yep, this was the one!
shopping for a wedding dress at David's bridal
so happy I had found my dress!

shopping for a wedding dress at David's bridal
and I found my veil too! Perfect for the dress
I never wanted to get out of it… but eventually, it was time. We thought about ordering it from the catalog, but this dress has just gotten to the store that week and been on the mannequin for one afternoon. After a quick inspection, we bought the dress, veil, and walked right out of the store with my wedding dress! I could not WAIT for alterations to start, just because I knew I would get to wear the dress again. The only thing I wasn't looking forward to about my dress was keeping it a secret from Nick for the next 5.5 months- but I was successful in this (mainly by showing every other person in the world who asked pictures of it!) To my readers (if you've been married) how was your dress shopping experience? I'm looking forward to hearing more stories!

Yes, once I was out of my dress I took a picture of the "sad dress" without me in it on the ground. 

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