Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bridal Gown Shopping - Part 1

Friends, family, and anyone who's just plain curious as to how my first bridal appointment went, this post is for you! But first, please allow me to provide full disclosure: to say that this is my first time trying on a wedding dress would be a lie, because my mom totally got me in hers the second she found out that Brad was going to propose, without me actually picking up on the fact. I guess moms are just good like that.

Anyway, this appointment was super-fun because I got to enjoy it with my mom, my future mother-in-law, my grandma, and my awesome maid-of-honor. They all had really wonderful ideas and suggestions, and did a great job of making this decision way more difficult than my fickle self already had.

We went to David's Bridal in Wilkes-Barre, and I just so happened to schedule the appointment for exactly one year before my wedding date! I was looking for dresses that were shorter than floor-length (for an outdoor summer wedding), and particularly those that had a classy vintage vibe.

This first dress ended up being one of my favorites! We nicknamed it "the Audrey dress", and it was an absolutely perfect fit for my fifties theme. I loved the buttons all the way down the back, and the lacy sleeves and neckline, however it was a bit too long for my taste, and the sleeves don't really allow me to lift my arms up very far. It's so beautiful and elegant, I even received compliments from some ladies that were just in there shopping around for a flower girl dress.

Once I got out of the Audrey dress, it was time to try on some of my shorter options. I love the all-over lace on this dress and the tulle that peeks out from the bottom of the skirt, but once I had the dress on, I wasn't sure how I felt. Excuse me for looking like a deer in the headlights in most of these photos - it was really a lot to take in.

Ultimately, I decided that I liked this dress more on the hanger than on myself.

Another dress with interesting lace details, I loved this one as soon as I saw it! But once again, I didn't like the shape of the dress when I saw it on myself. The lacy neckline was uncomfortable, and I didn't like the way the fabric draped so loosely around me in the front.

The back was a whole other story. Once my mom started talking about butt-pads, this dress came right off.

While I was in the dressing room, my family did some shopping around for me and managed to find this pretty thing. This dress is so much like the iconic white Marilyn Monroe dress that I just had to try it on.

As much as I loved the dress, it was missing something. I asked to try it on with a petticoat for a little more 'oomph'. As amazing as it was with the petticoat underneath, it was still missing that special feeling...

Although I was on the lookout for shorter dresses, I was willing to keep an open mind. This bi-length beauty was so simple and graceful, but I really fell in love with it when my bridal assistant tied the black belt onto it. It had a wonderfully ethereal feeling to it, but also felt like it was missing something. I wasn't happy with the large tulle bow on the front; although you can't tell from the pictures, the bow was tacked on asymmetrically. 

While it looks like I could easily remove or re-situate the bow myself, I opted to not bother with a floor-length dress, after all.

Once finished, I was able to narrow it down to the two dresses that we nicknamed - Marilyn & Audrey. While 'Audrey' was so elegant and beautiful, she wasn't comfortable, and I couldn't see myself getting down at a dance reception while in something so precious. 'Marilyn', on the other hand, was much more simple, and just didn't have the same magical wedding gown appeal. 

In the end, I wasn't able to make a decision. While trying on dresses, my assistant, Allie, gave me some great advice. She told me that a lot of women will watch those shows about choosing the right gown, and expect to have this big, magical, tears-pouring-everywhere 'wow moment' when they see themselves in the right one. "And some of them do," she said, "but it's not like that for most people. A lot of the time, you'll try on a few dresses, go home, sleep on it, and then maybe a day or two later you'll think, Yeah, that one was perfect! That's the one! But it doesn't come to everyone immediately."

Honestly, I didn't have any 'moment' with any dress. I tried on quite a few that I liked many aspects of, and heard many conflicting opinions from my family, such as 'this dress is more Brittany' and 'that dress frames your tattoo perfectly' and 'this dress makes your butt look flat', but I chose to select none of the dresses that I tried on, and I'm happy with that. 

The day after the appointment, Brad and I made a trip to take my grandma back home to Michigan, where we found her fifty-year-old wedding dress buried in her closet and had a look. She's been washing it for days and days, and it should be on its way here as I type this! In the meantime, I'm going to wait to make any more bridal appointments until I know how her dress turned out, but I'm sure you'll be hearing about it soon!

I'd love to hear any feedback or dress suggestions you may have, so be sure to leave a comment! Thanks for reading!

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  1. You look adorable, you'll be a gorgeous bride no matter what dress you go with. Good luck with your wedding and try to enjoy it without too much stress :)