Since my last post, I have been a planning monster, and today I'd like to announce that I have purchased my wedding dress! Yaaayy!!! Actually, I purchased TWO wedding dresses. Let me explain...
I started out where I think every bride should start her search: David's Bridal. Some brides get this look on their face when they hear the words "David's Bridal." They get all scrunchy-nosed like you just put plate of liver and kidneys in front of them. Listen up ladies! David's Bridal is a GREAT resource. They were so very helpful. I went in not knowing the first thing about wedding dress styles, sizes, colors, etc and now I feel like a pro. They help you find styles that you feel great and look great in and they will bring you as many dresses to try as you can fit into your time schedule. Find your perfect style here and then shop online if you don't find The One in the store.
There she is! David's Bridal dress style WG9859 (if you want to see better pics). I felt like a princess bride. You can't tell from the photo, but it has little sparkley things all over it - not sequence, mind you. Heaven forbid. And it fit me so well too! I was absolutely glowing when I had this dress on.
I tried on a ton. After 2 visits, I realized that strapless was the way to go for me and on my 3rd visit I purchased one!
Note: I will not be posting pics of myself in the dresses as my fiance will not be pleased. He is determined to not see me in white until May 7, 2011 as I walk down the isle. I am obliged.Dress #1: David's Bridal
So you're wondering, "Sounds great! What went wrong?" Nothing really, but the whole time I had this tiny little voice in the back of my head saying, "Isn't this a little much?" The whole theme with my wedding is laid-back and not showy. Just a celebration of love and commitment. This dress says (a little too loudly) "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!" It has the train that I would have to bustle and the appliques all down the front and the sparkles and the ruching.... plus it was about $624 on sale... $124 over my ideal budget for a dress. Finally, after about 2 or 3 days, I decided that it wasn't the one. Yeah, I felt great in it...but it just wasn't me and I didn't want to start going over budget on things. Fortunately, David's Bridal has an AWESOME return policy. I had 10 days to cancel my order without paying a dime. They refunded me 100% of my down payment (half of the total) and that was that.
On to other dresses!
My sister, knowing that the first dress wasn't right even before I realized it, made me appointments at two bridal consignment shops on the Saturday after I canceled my DB order. She knows me better than almost anyone, I'd say, and I was very excited to have her there with me to choose the perfect dress. She's very honest with me too and that is extremely helpful for this very important decision....perhaps a little too honest at times. ;)
The first place I tried - I Do, Inc. Designer Bridal Consignment - was terrific! It is a very small, family-owned boutique on the far west side of Chicago. They have gowns in all shapes, sizes, and colors and from all eras. They let you go into their storage room and forage through the tight isles of puffy dresses. It's worth noting that this is a task for only the most serious thrifter. Luckily, that is exactly what my sister and I are. I actually prefer to look through things myself than to have people wait on me and bring me stuff. (I'm sure this boutique will cater to any bride, though. If you want to be waited on...still give them a try!) This boutique is also very budget-bride friendly. They ask you outright what your budget is and tell you frankly what to not even look at. I really appreciated that they didn't make me feel shy about my modest budget and really helped me get the most of it.
I found some really great vintage pieces in that storage room. But the one I loved the most was a fairly new piece from....wait for it.... DAVID'S BRIDAL. Yes, I ended up with a David's Bridal dress anyways. It has my favorite elements from Dress #1, but none of the over-the-top glitter and appliques. Best part: it was only $250! That is half of my budget for gown and accessories!
Note: The following were taken from http://reviews.davidsbridal.com.
No train = lots of dancing
So, there you have it. We canceled my second appointment that day and I paid for half of the dress right there. They are holding it in a temperature-controlled room for me since I don't have central a/c in my apartment and I will go in early next year to start my alterations. However, it almost fits me like a glove. Just a couple tiny adjustments, a small sweetheart dip in the neckline and it's good to go! Even the length is perfect for a nice pair of cute, comfy flats or kitten heals.