I went home to TX last week to start what I thought was going to be a long and drawn out process of trying on wedding dresses. Luckily, I surprised myself and the process was actually not only easy but extremely fun. I was telling anyone and everyone how dress shopping was the part of wedding planning that I was least looking forward to. I went into it as open minded as I could and ended up having a blast!
Our day started at a smaller boutique. I wasn't overly impressed with their selection, but ironically, my favorite dress there was by the designer of the dress that I ultimately chose, Maggie Sottero. We laughed a lot because all of the dresses at this particular shop were just plain too big for me. They weren't big enough to grab and pin yards of fabric or anything but they just kind of sat weird on me and made me feel (and look) like a beached whale. I was a little frustrated and freaked out because it is so hard to imagine yourself in an altered version of what you are trying on. I had my mom and my friend Brooke with me all day but Meredith and Sara (two of my bridesmaids) were there for this appointment. We laughed a lot becuase it's pretty hysterical to come out of the dressing room in an already HUGE garment that you are just swimming in. Like I said before, their selection was smaller so we ended up picking a couple of "possibilities" and moving on.
I had scheduled my next appointment for a couple of hours later so we ended up going to a large bridal chain across the highway unannounced. I had originally seen this dress in their catalog that I loved and one of the girls on the San Antonio board of theknot.com had recently worn it in her wedding. We share the same photographer so I saw lots of her pictures and she looked gorgeous in it. I reaffirmed my belief by going to the large bridal chain just how much I really valued the service and fun that a smaller salon can offer. I kept saying under my breath to Mom and Brooke that I didn't want to buy a dress there. We did get to see a new bridal phenomenon, "Sisterzilla", in action when these people started getting all bitchy with the staff when they didn't even have an appointment!! I tried on four dresses there, including the one that I thought I wanted. When I came out in that one, my mother was making faces like it was literally causing her pain to see me in the dress. OK... that one's out! I checked out a couple of other ones and we ultimately decided that we'd move on and have some lunch.
At this point, I was semi-frustrated because I hadn't had that "moment". You know, the one that everyone talks about when you put on "the one" and really feel like a bride. So far, I had just gotten sick of seeing myself in the mirror and assessing what I believe to be my problem areas to work on in the gym over this year.
After lunch, we went to a shop that I'm already familiar with because it's where my good friend Sally got her dress and all of the bridesmaids dresses. Which is a hilarious story because without going into dramatic detail, I had a minor (major) surgical procedure after being measured for and ordering my dress that caused them to have to basically cut it in half. Haha. When having our dresses altered there, they refer to the tatas as "bubbies". All of Sally's bridesmaids had a blast joking about all of our bubbies and how they fit into our dresses. Point being, I was familiar with this place and felt comfortable walking in. It's a tiny place and they told us to start by picking eight dresses. Brooke and I literally jumped into piles of dresses and started grabbing the ones we thought were pretty. It took us about one rack and five seconds to come up with eight. Into the fitting room I went! I think I felt instantly more comfortable at this shop because the dresses were all much closer to my size or even a little bit too small. It's so much easier to feel normal if you are wearing something that more closely fits your body.
Each dress I tried on was better than the last, but when I put on the third dress, I just felt like a princess. At first, I don't know if I had that moment but I knew that it was going into the "in consideration" pile. I tried on TONS of dresses but kept going back to that one. The second time I put it on, the consultant put a veil on me and I almost started to cry. There was just something about it.
Without giving it all away, it's completely different than what I started out thinking I wanted. It's very unique and looks nothing like what you'd expect me in. I love it and I wish I didn't have to wait an entire year to wear it!