One of my favorite experiences so far has been shopping for a wedding dress. Yes, it was stressful at times, but it all worked out in the end. The search started on Saturday March 5th with Mom and an idea of doing a retro 50s look in mind. The plan at that time was for Mom to make the wedding dress and looking at dress shops was just to get an idea and feel for what was going to be made.
I tired on many tea length dresses and birdcage veils and did find the look I thought I was looking for. After this we went to the fabric store to look at patterns and materials. This is where the stress set in. It's one thing to look through a bunch of wedding dresses and decide from what's there. It's a whole other thing to decide on a dress, fabric, and all the details. It's not just about picking a dress, it's also about picking from 100s of different fabrics in all different colors. I felt so overwhelmed, we left the store without picking out anything. In the end, this ended up being a really good thing.
After a few days I started thinking I wanted to try on other wedding dresses. Ones that felt like they were more bride like and didn't have as much of a prom feel to them. Don't get me wrong, I love the 50's retro look and tea length dresses. I rock this look all of the time. The dress I was originally thinking of is pretty safe for me because I know it looks cute on me. Cute wasn't what I wanted for my wedding day. I was looking at other brides in their dresses on some of the wedding boards I go on and realized I wanted to try on a full length long wedding dress. I'm only planning on getting married once and want it to be really special.
|Cute, but not wedding enough.|
I went back to the original bridal shop I had gone to when they were doing a bridal gala event with my girlfriends, Lise and Heather, just to see what they had in longer dresses. I knew I wanted something with a vintage feel, that was simple and didn't have a lot of extra embellishments. We looked through that whole store and I just couldn't find what I had pictured in my head. I didn't even try anything on because nothing really excited me.
I then made plans with my girlfriend, Nicki, to try on more dresses on Saturday April 2nd. I had two appointments set up at nicer bridal shops then the one I had been to before and couldn't wait for that Saturday to arrive. I swear, the week went by extremely slow! I was so excited when it was finally the day! Shot, I was super excited the day before!
The first appointment was at Bridal Exclusives in Clackamas. Jennifer was my bridal coordinator for the appointment and she was great. I'd highly recommend to any other brides to ask for her when you make your appointment. We had champagne and cupcakes from Cupcake Jones during the fitting and it helped make me feel more at ease and comfortable. First, Jennifer talked to me about what I was looking for and had me look through dresses with her to get a good idea on what I was wanting. We picked out a bunch of dresses and then the trying on began!
Trying on wedding dresses is pretty surreal. You cannot get into wedding dresses by yourself. You have to have someone there to help you. And by help you, I mean, put you in the dress. You get down to your undergarments, face the person, put your arms over you head and dive into the dress as she lifts it up and over your head. You then turn in it while she twists, pulls it down and hooks it up. Finally, you have the dress on. You have to do this for every singe dress so by the end you and your bridal coordinator are pretty close and have a whole routine going.
After getting the dress on you step up in front of a mirror to see how it looks and find out if it's "the dress" or not. I tried on a lot of really pretty dresses. Some of them where Nos right away. Others were held on to as Maybes. Then I tried on my first Maggie Sottero dress. It felt amazing! It was light, but gave me all the support I needed. I couldn't believe how great this dress felt.
I tired on another dress that wasn't Maggie Sottero and then another Maggie dress. From there on out I only wanted to try on Maggie Sottero dresses. They just felt incredible and I knew it was a dress I could wear all day without being in pain and being able to enjoy myself in. I also realized I didn't want Mom to make my wedding dress and instead wanted to purchase one.
By this time I had it narrowed down to three different dresses that I really loved and thought they all looked so pretty on me. Two of them being the Gatsby and Ellen dresses. The Gatsby was in the lead and I loved the look and feel of it. The only thing I wasn't sold on was that it just didn't seem like the kind of dress to get married in on the beach. The lace, bead work and train were amazing. So amazing I was worried that they would get to messed up on the beach. The Ellen was beautiful, too but I didn't really like all of the embellishments on the neckline and hip. Yes, I could have removed them, but why pay for something that I am just going to remove?
I was also so happy that Nicki was there with me for all of it. She was just a great help, gave good feedback and kept my champagne glass full through the whole thing. I certainly was a bit tipsy by that time so between her being there and finding my dress, the tears were bound to fall.
I happily went up to the counter to order my dress and that's where the whole experience took a turn. The manager kept trying to get me to order a bigger size than I needed. I was so frustrated with this and wanted to tell her a thing or two, but wasn't about to let her ruin my moment. I stayed strong with the dress and size that I wanted to order and didn't budge regardless of the mean things she said. Honestly, I couldn't believe she was the manager. I did think about leaving without getting the dress there and ordering it through another shop, but didn't because Jennifer was such a great help and without her I may have never found that dress. I ordered the dress I wanted in the size I wanted, as well as the undergarments needed to go under the dress.
We never did make it to my other bridal appointment. Instead, we went to sushi for lunch and then got manis and pedis. It was such a great day! I am so happy to have found my dress and to have had Nicki there with me for the whole thing. Now, I just have to wait for my dress to be made and to get here already! Only the hardest part!
Mom was very understanding about me ordering the dress and agreed that it could have caused a lot of stress and tension between us if she had made it. She also really loves the dress I ended up getting and thought it looked like something Greta Garbo would wear. Besides, she still gets to make my veil, garter and other bridal extras.
Oh, what dress did I end up getting? You will just have to wait until I walk down the aisle to find out!