Today... I BOUGHT MY WEDDING DRESS. It is hanging in the clost not more than 10 ft. away from me as I type this post.
So here's the story. I started shopping for dresses yesterday with my mom and three of my four bridesmaids, Dana, Lena, and Amanda. We had breakfast at Le Peep and then headed to our 11:00am appointment at Bridal Galleria. I had seen a Pronovias dress there that I liked and wanted to check it out, along with the bridesmaid dresses they carried. We arrived right on time at this swanky new location (they just moved) and were taken back into a back room behind closed doors with maybe 50-75 designer dresses to look through. We were the only group there and had the place all to ourselves. We looked through the dresses and ended up with about 6 gowns for me to try on. We were subtly reminded that I was only allowed one hour since Saturday is a busy day so we got started. The Pronovias dress I came for was my favorite of the bunch so I tried it on first, and it was a huge hit. Every dress after was compared to this dress because it was everyone's favorite. The only downside was the price : $1,395.00. Our budget only allows for $1,000.00 including alterations (which are typically about $200 from what I understand)... so that posed a problem. I had to think about whether a dress I'll wear for one night is worth it. I also tried on another dress there that I loved, by Essence. The Essense dress was $999.00 and I thought Phil would like this one much more since it was more simple, but still above our price range once you factor in alterations. Now I absolutely LOVE trying on bridal dresses (soooo fun!) so this was a great start, finding two dresses I loved!
Then Dana & Lena tried on a bunch of bridesmaid dresses. We ended up only really liking one Bill Levkoff dress on everyone. The one shown in that photo is not the right length or color but gives an idea of style. The dress I would choose would be tea length and pink. I am looking at light pink dresses with a darker pink flower maybe, to match a darker pink ribbon on the dress.
When we left there, we went to Bridal Connection, across town, to see a dress I would not be able to try on but could take a look at. I had called looking for a specific dress and they told me another bride had purchased it but I could come take a look, just not try it on. But the bride picked it up that morning before I arrived so that was the end of that!
From there we killed some time shopping at DSW Shoe Warehouse before our 2:00pm appointment at Brides Mart. I had seen an Alfred Angelo dress there that I wanted to try on but did not bring my paperwork so just decided to look through the racks for what looked good. Since they are cutting down to only carrying Alfred Angelo dresses, they are having great sales on all other lines, plus some discontinued dresses. I picked out about 4 dresses to try on and they brought one from back as well that was my size and what I was looking for. I tried on a Maggie Sotterro dress first that was really nice with a corset-lace up back, gathered front, and very nice beadwork. It fit well and looked great. Then I tried on a second dress very simple and elegant with a very unique aspect that made it extremely classy/sophisticated (the dress I bought, sorry for lack of detail here). This dress was originally $699 on sale for $399 if bought off the rack. Fit me perfectly in the top and just needed to be hemmed for length. I liked it but was not sure it was "the one" at this point. The next dress was very "princess"-y and quite beautiful, and I really was taken by it. This dress was originally $999 and was 50% off. The other dresses I tried were not really "me" so I was deciding between two dresses (eliminated the Maggie dress after seeing the other two).
I was stressed that I had to make this decision quickly but our lovely sales rep was nice enough to hold the dresses while I deliberated over a now much-needed lunch. We went to Jason's Deli and discussed all the pros and cons of buying a dress on the first day I looked, a year before the wedding. Would I still love the dress a year from now? Where would I store it? Did I fell I had a good idea of all that was out there? Could I find just as nice of a dress at just as good of a price if I keep looking? Was I buying just because of price?
We went back to Brides Mart after lunch and I was sure I liked the "princess" dress more, so I wanted to try the other dress on first so that the "princess" dress would be the last I ever tried on. But when I put this other dress on, I completely changed my mind. So did my mom and bridesmaids. They checked the dress out carefully to be sure everything would hang properly when I walk down the aisle, stand with my back to the guests, and throughout the reception. I then tried on the "princess" dress and just knew the other one was "the one" for me. I put back on "the one" and everyone said how they loved the dress more and more each time I put it on. I met with a seamstress to discuss all my ideas and she reassured me that everything I wanted could be easily done, and that if the price of doing alterations through Brides Mart was too high, I could go to her house and have her do it cheaper.
By this time it was almost 6:00 and Brides Mart was closing, so I decided to come back first thing when they opened the next day (12:00) so I could sleep on it and look at the digital photos we had taken.
I thought about it all through a lovely dinner at Piatti with my family and friends, and was dead set on getting this dress. Then I came home and looked at the photos of the dress. I then became concerned that the dress would not photograph well because the veil covered some of the dress' detail. I slept on it and decided I would make my decision today no matter what.
Dana and I met Lena at BridesMart at 12:30ish and I put on both dresses. We were able to determine that the veil would not be getting in the way since it would be behind me at the wedding and reception, and I just had been wearing it weird the day before. By this point, I was trying to find reasons to get the dress, and reasons not to like the other. At this point I knew I would regret if I didn't get the dress, but I wanted my other bridesmaid's opinion before making my purchase. Jennelle was driving back from Houston and would not arrive until 4:00 so I had them hold the dress one more time. We shopped and had lunch then returned with Jennelle a bit before 4:00 to try on the dresses again. I did not tell her which one I loved and tried on both for her. Maybe she could tell by the way I spoke and looked in the dress, or maybe she just liked it better, but she chose the dress as well. Great minds think alike, I think. :)
So I decided to buy this dress! Since it was a buy-off-the-rack dress, I had to bring it home with me, unless I decide to pay to have it stored or ask someone to store it for me. I decided I'd just bring it home where I could keep an eye on it... I had them place it in a white garment bag and made Phil swear that he will not peek. He assured me he won't and he really doesn't feel tempted, so I believe him. It will be his loss if he does; he won't get the "gasp" feeling seeing me in it the first time on my wedding day!
I will update more later-- that was a pretty detailed entry and it's late! But I had to share the news with you all; this was a huge step for me! I am really excited about the dress and my only regret is not being able to play dress-up any more, trying on more dresses. But I get to watch my bridesmaids do it so that will be something fun to look forward to... as if there isn't SO much fun ahead!