Friday, September 25, 2009

The all-important dress!

(Before I start this, I just have to say that I've gotten a lot of comments on the '50s retro dinner party I mentioned on my Thursday's I think that as soon as P and I have moved into our apartment and are satisifactorily settled...there shall be a retro dinner party! But I digress...)

I just realized that I've had my wedding dress for almost a month, and I've yet to blog about it! But first, before I proceed...


And now that he's taken care of...

I knew that once I got home from Disney, I needed to find a dress rather quickly, so I could have enough time to get it in and get it altered. My original plan was to take Kat and Emma and go to Jacqueline's Bridal out by Opry Mills, because they were having massive sales. I emailed and called the shop, but they never got back to me. Through a long series of circumstances, we weren't able to go there.

(Seriously. I don't feel like telling the whole story, but I don't recommend going to Jacqueline's Bridal.)

So we went with another shop on my list, Bridal Warehouse. I wasn't completely pumped about going there- after all, it sounds like the Walmart of the wedding world- but I knew they carried Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dresses, and they sounded more inexpensive than other shops. I called them, fingers crossed that they would have an opening for that afternoon, and they did!

We got to the shop in the late afternoon and were greeted by several very nice ladies. They assigned Leslie to help me. She asked me a few questions about the kinds of dresses that I liked and some details about the wedding, told us how the shop worked, and then let us descend upon the dresses!

Kat and Emma leaped right into perusing the racks. Before I knew what was going on, we had about ten dresses picked out! Leslie helped too, offering suggestions and picking a couple that she recommended. And then we descended upon the dressing room.

We all liked the first dress I tried on. It was poofy and princessy, which I always dreamed about wearing for my wedding but I didn't think I could pull off because I'm short. But it was surprisingly flattering!

I also tried on two dresses in the style that I figured out I would wear- A-line, no poof, lace overlay, empire waist. But when I tried them on, we all had the same reaction. They were nice dresses, but they just weren't the "OMG I'm a bride!" excitement that I was looking for. So we continued!

The next dress was very structured, with a little poof. And it had a corset back, which we all lurrrrved.

The bodice was very pretty and slimming, but the skirt was a little too...I don't know. Too much like a deflated pillow top for my taste. I also didn't really like the line of beading so low on my waist. It made my torso look long and blocky.

So on to the next one!

As you can probably tell from my face, I loved this one. I tried it on as a total whim. I thought it looked like a Victorian-princess-circus-performer-ballerina. The bodice looked like a corset, and the skirt was all tulle and striped with lace.

Love love love!!...but....

This made me not love it quite as much.

It had straps. Big lace straps. It made a beautiful criss-cross pattern that blended into a low back, but the front...well, Emma summed it up best:

"This would look so much better if you were thirty-five!"

At first Kat and I were like "huh?", but then I caught on. It is a very princess-like, romantic dress, but the straps made it too modest and demure. And there was actually another woman in her mid-thirties who tried on the dress, and it suited her much better!

Leslie, seeing me caught in such a quandry, actually went out and got one of the alterations ladies out to help me. She asked me how I would want the dress, and she explained that because of the details of the bodice, it would be impossible to convert it to a strapless neckline because of the low back. She also explained that because of the lace detailing on the hem, the skirt would have to be hemmed from the top. So she held it up to demonstrate how much it would have to be hemmed...and instantly my love for the dress drooped. The lovely lace looked far too busy the closer it got to the lace-bedecked bodice, and I started to look more like an overembroidered doily than a princess bride.

So that dress, sadly, was eliminated. Sensing my dismay, my loyal team suggested that I try on the first dress. And the second I put it back on I knew it was the one. First of all, it zipped. The first time I tried it on, it didn't quite zip all the way, but this time it did. Leslie joked that I must've lost weight in the hour I'd been there! I walked back out so Kat and Emma could see me, and we all knew it was the one. Leslie pulled shoes, a veil, and a tiara so I could try the whole look, and it was perfect.

The big thing is that this dress is discontinued, and so I would have to buy the sample. So I'm quite glad it fits! Leslie also said that either I could get the zipper replaced for free (because it's a sample) or they can put in lacing in the back. She also said I could get the neckline altered to a sweetheart (which flatters me more than the straight line) and the sheer beaded cap sleeves can be made off the shoulder. And best of all, it requires very little hemming!

The dress is ivory, which I wasn't 100% sure about at first, but it turns out that it flatters my skin tone very well. Which is fantastic, because I really don't have a choice.

I bought my dress that day...well, put it on layaway that day. It was only...get this...$689! That's half the price than the Mikaella dresses I tried on at Arzelle's, and 1/6 of the price of the Snow White dress I loved! And I adore this dress. It's not what I imagined, but I love it. Also, because of a promotion at the store that day, I bought the perfect veil for 50% off. It has all this lovely beading on the edges that matches the dress.

Oh, wanted to see a picture of the dress? Well, here it is!

As you can see, I love it.

It has beading. Beading. I swore up one street and down the other that I wouldn't have beading. But what am I rocking out? Beading. But it's just so lovely and subtle that I don't care!

A lot of the elements that I love didn't make it on this dress: buttons on the back, a blue sash, soft lace. But that's okay...I have plans for that...maniacal plans...

(Don't worry. I'm not adding any aforementioned notions on the current dress. But you know how I swore I would never have beading? I also swore I would never be a two-dress bride. But that's another story...)
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