10 March 2009

Decision #3: THE dress

I love to shop. I prefer to shop by myself. That way I can go at my own speed, linger over the items I like, and try on as many shirts as I'd like, without holding anyone up. This wasn't really an option when wedding dress shopping, but I did keep my shopping entourage pretty small. My mom accompanied my indecisive self to about six stores around Columbus in the course of a month. We saw many pretty styles and a bunch that flattered my shape, but since it seems like 90% of the options out there are strapless (not the most flattering on my long torso), it took me awhile to find "the one".

I had been stalking a gorgeous mermaid dress with a v-neck on Pricilla of Boston's website, but I knew it would be out of my budget. My mom offered to buy my dress as a gift, which is so amazingly generous, but I knew I could not abuse her generosity. I preferred the streamlined look while my mom gravitated to rouching, and I'm so lucky that she never once made me feel like I had to buy the dress that she liked just because she was buying (but I did have to try on a few that I otherwise would not have given a second glance to!). My most promising trip was to Saks, where I gravitated toward styles from Amsale and Monique Lhuillier, and I left that particular trip really liking a unique strapless with a crumb catcher and a sleek gown with a plunging neckline. Ultimately, I decided that while the dresses were beautiful, they weren't what I wanted for my one and only...and the Pricilla dress was in the back of my head the whole time. Many dresses had components I liked (buttons down the back!), but none had them all.

On a Saturday in October, just seven months before the wedding, we, along with my sister, headed to Bridal and Formal in Cincinnati, and the first one I tried that trip was an Alvina Valenta with a subtle mermaid shape, v-neck, and even my beloved buttons all the way down the back. I compared it to the other 12 dresses I tried on the rest of the time I was there, but I realized quickly that that one felt most me. Looking back, I think Monica Geller's dress was a long forgotten point of inspiration.


Once they placed a long veil on with it and a whimsical hair piece, I had my complete look. I was a bride that thought I'd never wear a veil, but I couldn't believe how much different (and more bride-like) I felt with such accessories. We took all of it, hit up Quiznos, and headed home to watch the Buckeye game. I was so relieved to have found my gown after rejecting hundreds, and I really hoped it wouldn't take more than four to six months to arrive. (It ended up arriving in Columbus in January.) Since then, I've had to refrain from peeking at the new 2009 collections that have appeared online! I just love eye candy.

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