The story of me, my bridesmaids, my mother, and my wedding dress(es)..
|Thank you Cass, for your photography abilities--I LOVE this picture!!|
First, let me give you a little background. Admittedly, I AM the girl that has always dreamed about her wedding day. I remember my sister and I once using a cardboard box in the back yard when we were probably 6-7 years old as an altar to get married in front of. We used dandelions as bouquets and imagined that our raggedy sundresses were elegant gowns...yes, I'm THAT girl. I've always dreamed about how I would decorate, where it would be, who I would have standing beside me (and with me, for that matter), etc. What I've never been sure of though, is what kind of dress I wanted exactly..seems weird, right? Even up until walking in the door to find the dress for my special day, I didn't have ANY idea of what I wanted. In my opinion, the dress a woman chooses should be based on several factors and not just a childhood dream, which has always left me somewhat confused on what I would deem perfect.
A few months back, I had scheduled several appointments for the last Saturday of June to go wedding dress shopping. Of course this is a HUGE deal to any bride and I was literally excited for the appointment for a solid 6 weeks before. What made it even more exciting is that every.single.bridesmaid was going to be there for it, as was my mother; I could barely contain myself.
Once the day finally arrived, I gathered up my two bridesmaids that were in town with me and we set out to find "THE dress." When we arrived at our first appointment, my other bridesmaids were already waiting for us and my mother and sister were right behind us.
I didn't know what to expect, but we got straight to business picking out dresses and getting my measurements taken. Once I had several dresses ready to try on, my sister and I started the daunting task of finding the hole in each one to peek my head through, pulling layers and layers of tulle over my head, and deciding which of 300 buttons we actually wanted to do up to get the full effect. Sounds fun, right?
Wrong. Girls, let me tell you, this process is NOT as sweet as they make it look on television. Unless of course you think tight spaces, leg sweat and garment bags that are as long as a 5k are sweet, this is nowhere near as glamorous as TLC makes it look.
Ok, so what was the problem? First of all, the dressing rooms at some of the shops are literally like 4x4...not big enough for one person in a wedding dress, let alone two and multiple dresses lining the wall. And a fluffy dress? Forget it. Besides that, the dressing room at the first place we went to didn't even have mirrors in it! Granted, the store is lined with mirrors but how awkward?! I need a mirror when I buy a $5 tank top at Target, so why would I not need one when I'm trying on a wedding dress?! So literally, my reaction to every dress was first based on everyone else's reaction who was waiting to see me in it, because they saw me in the dress before I saw me in the dress...with me? SO strange.
But because I was so excited to be dress shopping, had everyone who I love with me, and got to be a princess for a day...we kind of laughed our way through the first appointment. I mean, things get pretty personal when one of your bridesmaids is sticking their hand down your underwear and the other is literally looking up your dress trying to find all the hidden tulle. How can you NOT laugh about that?
But after all the giggles and not being able to find one I really liked (This may sound silly but they all felt kind of "cheap" to me--even the dress I had literally had my eyes on for MONTHS just didn't live up to standards, as much as I wished it had) my mom suggested we all take a break and took us all to lunch. We all relaxed in a big open room, a/c, and got our bellies full before heading to the next stop.
At our next appointment, I think I fell in love when I walked in the door. This bridal shop was everything I had ever imaged a bridal shop to me. They had HUGE dressing rooms that were lined with wall-high mirrors, a pedestal in the center for me to stand on, fancy curtains that open and shut, and the cutest little sofa's for all the bridesmaids/family to sit on and wait. Besides all that, I got paired with THE sweetest consultant ever. She was SO kind to all of us, very attentive, patient, and just friendly in general.
She led to me where they had their dresses stored and, as if I could be any more impressed, I was. They had all of their dresses hung up perfectly under each designer's name in the cutest little "closet" looking setup. Basically, it was ANY girls dream come true...not just a bride's--who wouldn't want their closet organized by designer if given the choice?!
After picking out a few dresses I liked, we stocked my dressing room and I began the process of trying them on, getting them all tied up, and standing on the pedestal like a little barbie (only not at all) waiting for my big debut and the curtain to open.
I felt more comfortable here for some reason and was really into the process a lot more. I'm not sure if it was the atmosphere or the fact that I had caffeine in me, but either way, I was loving it. AND, I was really liking more of the dresses here than at the previous stop and though I hadn't LOVED one at this point, I was definitely liking the designers they carried here more as well.
**Also, I learned that if you used the same designer, you could mix and match tops from one dress to the bottom of another. Or backs from one, to the back of another..if that makes sense. Basically, you could build your own if you chose.
Finally, I tried on the second dress I had picked out (leaving just one more left to try on--this is a key part of this story!) and fell in love. I loved the way it fit--it flattered all the right areas, I loved it's long train, and I loved the all over rhinestone/embroidery design. It was perfect. And, everyone else seemed to like it too...double plus! I kept it on for awhile, walked around with it, tried on different veils, and then finally decided it was THE one...after hours of dress shopping, "I said YES to the dress!"
Realizing I still had one dress left to try on but knowing I had the one I wanted, I quickly brushed away the last dress and cancelled the other appointment of the day...I had found THE ONE.
My mom went up front to order and pay for it (which you don't have to do at this particular place until you take the dress home, but I was SO sure I wanted it, that we just did it right away) and the girls and I celebrated me finding the one and how easy it was and how short the day actually ended up being! We waltzed around the store a bit looking at other items and then called it a day. I felt like I was glowing...I had found my dress with the help of my very best friends; it was such a great feeling!
After saying goodbye to everyone, the three of us who rode together got in the car and that was ALL I could think about--how happy I was to have my dress and how beautiful I felt in it! Rachel even asked me "how I knew it was the one" and I couldn't give her a real description because I wasn't sure. I just said it felt right, when the others didn't, and immediately went into telling her about my engagement ring and how I just knew this was the ring I was supposed to wear for the rest of my life--cheesy, right? :)
After the wedding talk quieted down a bit, we decided we needed to go have some celebratory drinks so we took Cass home to get changed and dolled up and then headed out for the evening. One drink turned into two, and before we knew it, we were lining up shots on the bar and taking them all in honor of me finding the dress--perfect excuse.
And then the next day happened...
To be continued...
**To see more of my wedding/engagement things, click here**