Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wedding dress shopping!

Is it weird if I don't blog consistently anymore and just pop in when I have something to talk about? Because it's looking like that's what it's going to be.

A couple weekends ago, I picked up my wedding dress. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) It's now hanging in my closet in an opaque bag so Pat won't see it when he's in Colorado. I stare at it -- even though it's all zipped up and I can't even see it -- I sit on my bed and stare at it.

Sheep's gettin real, you guys. We are getting maaaaaaaaaaarried.

So anyway. I wanted to tell you about my experience shopping for a wedding dress! Broken into thoughts. Because.

(This post turned into a much longer post than I expected. Oops! There's your warning.)

I was open to the idea of a non-traditional wedding dress -- meaning either a tea-length dress or a dress off the rack in a department store. I ran into trouble though and ended up getting a traditional Wedding Dress.

When I tried just going to stores like Macy's to look, it turned out they didn't really have white dresses in the middle of winter. Imagine that. And I did want my dress to be white or white-ish -- ivory or champagne or something. I wanted to find the dress sooner rather than later because I knew if I ended up with a traditional wedding gown, it takes time to find and order and alter and all that. So I abandoned the department-store idea pretty quickly.

For the tea-length dress idea, the trouble was that stores don't tend to actually have them on hand -- they are online or in the catalogs, but of the three places we went shopping, I think I found one or two tea-length dresses -- that was it. So since they didn't work for me, that was it for that idea. I didn't want to order a dress without trying it on, so that meant no online orders.

Moral of the story: if you have more patience than I do or more faith in ordering dresses without trying them on, this might work for you. Otherwise...

I went to three places -- two boutiques and then finally David's Bridal. My experience at each place varied, but the boutiques were definitely similar to each other. Still, I ended up getting my dress from David's Bridal. The boutiques were better experiences, but I don't know if that's just because I didn't like my salesperson at David's Bridal. Has anyone else gotten theirs at David's Bridal? My lady was VERY sales-y and kind of fake. But I didn't have that experience buying my bridesmaid dress for Simone's wedding at a different location, so maybe it was just her.

Even if you go with bridesmaids and/or your mom, be prepared to get VERY friendly with a stranger. At the first boutique, the girl helping me said I could have my sisters do it instead, but it was easier to work with her since she knew how the dresses worked. At the second place, I wasn't allowed to put the dresses on myself -- the girl had to be the one to get me in and out of the dress (which for most dresses I needed help anyway). And at David's Bridal, I was by myself, so I never had the option of someone else helping me.

So be prepared to be pretty nakedy with a lot of people when you go dress shopping.

All of them offered me a strapless bra to try on with the dresses, which I didn't need, but I guess it's cool they had the option? The second boutique offered me a slip so I wouldn't be quite so naked with a stranger. David's Bridal was actually pretty pushy (again, might have just been my lady) and I ended up wearing one of their bras -- I think because they're hoping I'll buy it.

It's maybe smart to go by yourself to at least one appointment. I went to the first boutique when my family visited me in Colorado, the second when I was home for Thanksgiving, so I had my family/friends/bridesmaids/someone with me at both the boutiques. I wanted them to be there when I found my dress. But I'm a very empathetic person, so if they got excited about a dress, I think I got more excited about it than I would have otherwise. So when I went to David's Bridal by myself, I was a little sad that I was by myself, but I knew when I loved my dress that I loved it.

For the love of Jim, have someone take pictures of every dress you like. The very first boutique we were thisclose to buying a dress, but we left without buying it so I could think about it. The more I looked at the pictures of it, the more I knew I didn't want it to be my dress. (It was like, half a size too small. I would have had to buy all kinds of spanx and hope that it smoothed me out and made it look like my size.) Without the pictures, I probably would have bought the dress -- the issues revealed by the pictures were harder to see in real life. But this is probably going to be the single most photographed moment of my life, so I want a dress that's flattering in person and in photos.


Kate said...

I cannnnnn't waaaaait to see it. :) I already know I'll struggle with not showing mine to Michael when the time comes. :P

Genna said...

This whole post is just one big tease cuz I WANNA SEE NOW. I only went to one shop, a small boutique in Middle-of-Nowhere, Ohio. My experience was meh, but I knew my dress the second I saw it. Wedding dress shopping can be such a bitch, but I'm glad you found one you love!

Genna said...

Also, I totally showed Cameron my dress. Not when I got it, just a picture. Super lame, I know. I just couldn't keep it a secret, especially since he knew I'd gotten it!

Cassy said...

So fun!! I was also open to a lot of different types of dresses but wound up with David's Bridal, and to this day, I love my dress. It was just perfect. And yeah, wedding dresses are kind of a production to get on. Make sure you have your bathroom team for the big day! :-) So happy for you.

Oh, and I wish there was such things as selfie sticks back in the dark ages of 2006 when I got married!

The Lady Okie said...

Fun! I'm glad you found The Dress :) I had an appt at David's Bridal but ended up canceling it because I found my dress at a boutique and knew it was the one. I didn't need a bra because the chest was rigid kind of and held everything up and in, which was PERFECT because who wants to mess with a bra in your wedding dress? Not I. So exciting! I remember when I told Jordan I'd bought my dress. He was like, "I don't know how to feel about that." Because it just makes everything seem so real it's insane!

Amy said...

it's getting real!
so excited for you!!!
and i loved how you wrote out your suggestions - i think taking pictures is KEY to help you process after leaving the store!

Tamara said...

Yay for the dress! I ended up buying mine at David's Bridal for like $300 - and I also bought the bra they suggested with it, which made a huge difference in how the dress fit. I didn't make an appointment though, we were just walk-ins, so there wasn't a lot of pressure by any of the sales attendants. Actually, come to think of it, I was just there with my sister-in-law who had just gotten engaged and seh was the one trying on dresses but since I had been engaged longer she convinced me to try on a couple. It was the 2nd one.

Shauna said...

I check your blog all the time and I know I've checked it within the last ten days, so why didn't I see this post sooner?

I didn't like David's Bridal either. I got asked if I was pregnant everywhere I went (I guess child brides usually mean pregnancies!) but they were really rude to us at David's Bridal.

I was going for a short dress, and yes I had the hardest time finding any to try on too. I originally bought some random dress because it was all I could really find and time was running out, and then six weeks before my wedding I saw my dream dress online and I practically went running to the store, and it got here just before the wedding (thankfully I didn't need alterations)!.

Anyways, I agree with the above comments, I want to see it now!!! Can not WAIT to see all your wedding pics, sounds like it will be so pretty!!

Oh, and didn't you say your bridesmaid dresses are blush? I just got mine for my best friend's wedding and it's blush too :)!!

Ok, I just barely responded to the email you sent me last week but I'm writing a novel here...

Holly said...

My goodness, I can't wait to see it!!! I think it would be fun to go to a Boutique and try things on there, but I've been to David's Bridal several times for bridesmaid dress shopping and I can understand the "pushy" feel you got. I think maybe because it's so corporate that it just seems less personalized sometimes. And also, maybe because you were there alone the girl didn't think you'd buy something if she pampered you? Who knows. But I'm glad you found the dress!!!

Katie said...

I had a TERRIBLE experience at David's bridal. She only let me try on 3 dresses and would't let me try on a dress in my actual size (only bringing dresses 1 or 2 sizes too big, which I assume is their way of getting more money in alterations) and after the last one (the most ill-fitting, and not flattering of all of them) she asked if this was the dress. I had an appointment, and only brought my Mom, and her whole demeanor was as if I was bothering her.I left and went to a boutique and had an amazing experience!


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