Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In search of my dress-tiny: going from too few to too many

Maybe my appointment at Celestial Brides didn't go according to plan.  And maybe I was a little rattled about how hard this whole wedding dress thing was turning out to be.  Never a quitter, though, I figured the first trip was a fluke and I would surely get my dress mojo back if I just tried again.  A few days after the first appointment, Mom Snow Cone, MOH H, and I headed a few miles west, to Greensburg, PA, home of MB Bride, one of the biggest salons in the entire state.  Surely a big selection in a big store would help me with this entire process... right?

This appointment definitely started out differently than the other one.  Most importantly, the dresses weren't in plastic bags, making it easier to get a handle on what caught my eye and what had me running in the opposite direction.  We were instructed to pull the dresses I intended to try on, and between the three of us, we had about 20 dresses in no time.  At this point, I had loosely abandoned my plan of a lacy mermaid silhouette, meaning I was open to trying on some other styles of dress, hoping they would be an automatic "yes" or "no" and help steer me in a more focused direction.
The first few dresses were... OK.  And that's about it.  Nothing too spectacular, nothing too special.  I found that I was having the absolute hardest time verbalizing what I didn't like about any given gown.  My frustration was also increased by the fact that I was trying on one-shoulder, strapless, spaghetti-strap, ballgowns, sheaths, mermaids, trumpets, applique, lace, simple, fancy... pretty much the entire kit and kaboodle.  And my most helpful feedback was something to the effect of "this fabric is sort of itchy" or "I think the beading is a teensy bit too big."  Nothing was instantaneously ruled out as I had hoped.  NOTHING.  I had started my first appointment with a severe case of tunnel vision, and by about 20 minutes into my second appointment, I had the opposite problem.  Every dress was automatically a realistic contender, and we had no front-runners.  I just wanted to throw a giant temper tantrum right there in the middle of the store.

Image via Mother Jones / Cartoon by Bill Watterson

(Un)fortunately, temper tantrums weren't really allowed, so I headed back to the dressing room to try on what felt like the 10,000th dress of the trip.  The consultant pulled a big, fluffy ballgown, which I pretty much assumed would be another so-so dress that turned into a thumbs-downer.  Here's the dress:

Image via Allure Bridals (style 8769)

I was still hesitant to admit that I liked a ballgown, since I was looking for something a bit more manageable, but it was pretty clear that this dress was now the clear leader in the dress competition.  I loved the ruching along the bodice and the way the beading followed along the sweetheart neckline, winding down the center and into the skirt. This dress made me look and feel amazing, which is what a wedding gown is supposed to do!  I didn't want to take the dress off, and my confidence was only further boosted when an aggressive family of shoppers accosted me and told me how beautiful I looked and how I should never take that dress off.  While it was a bit overwhelming to be surrounded by 10-15 strangers fawning over you, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a little confidence surge!  

With my newly-rediscovered enjoyment with the whole shopping process, I slipped into another dress that I loved.  
Image via Brides / Dress by Maggie Sottero (Leoni)

This dress had the same ruching effect in the bodice which helped give me and my Gumby figure a wee bit of curviness, and it had a nice sprinkling of beadwork without it being too much.  I also loved the luster of the fabric, since it wasn't a look I had seen on many other dresses.  Probably my favorite part of the dress was that it balanced modern, young, classic, and traditional.  So, for all you keeping score at home, I now have two dresses that have plastered a big grin across my face.  I need one (AKA less than two AKA I now need to make a decision).  Mom Snow Cone voted dress 1, MOH H voted dress 2, and I voted for someone else to make the decision for me.  Thankfully, we decided these two were the finalists about 5 minutes before the store closed, meaning I had no time to really think and make a decision... so I decided not to decide... I was saved by the bell, if you will.  

Image via Chance Seales
Did you have a dress shopping experience where having too many options just complicated the entire thing??

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