Dress Shopping Part II: Let’s Get Down To Business

We all piled into our vehicles and drove caravan-style to our first stop of the day: David’s Bridal. Being a frugal person, I knew I wanted to stick with “budget” dresses, so most designer boutiques were out. David’s Bridal seemed like the logical choice, and so that’s where we went first.

When we arrived I met my consultant, Elayne, and she had me mark each dress I wanted to try on in their catalog. I found the dresses from our online pre-shopping, and added a smattering of other dresses I liked upon first glance. A few minutes later, Elayne went to fetch the first round of dresses, and it was time to get bridal.


Screencap of Lord of the Rings / Credit: New Line Cinema

My heart skipped a beat—this was really it. In a few seconds’ time I would be wearing a wedding dress for the first time ever in my life. Elayne held up the first dress like a hoop and I dove into it, and then it was time to make my bridal debut.


Oleg Cassini CWG365 / Photo by cousin T

I think my face in the photo says it all. “Holy cow. I’m really getting married. I’m really standing here in a wedding dress right now. This is really happening.” My entourage were all poised, leaning forward in their seats, grins on their faces, eyebrows raised as if to ask, “So do we love it or do we hate it?” But I was speechless. I could only stare from myself to my family and back to myself, excited, giddy, nervous, ready to laugh and cry at the same time. No one really said anything, until Elayne finally broke the silence by asking, “So…what do you think?”

“Um,” was my ever-so-eloquent answer. “It’s a little heavy.”

And suddenly Elayne was in her zone. She launched right in and explained that it was heavy because it was so big on me, and that when the dress fit me it wouldn’t have any extra fabric to weigh me down. She literally lay down on the floor next to me and tried to “lift” the skirt a little bit, supporting it from the bottom, to show how it would feel without the extra fabric.


Photographic evidence of Elayne on the floor / Photo by cousin T

I finally told her I didn’t think this one was it, and we headed back into the dressing room for dress #2. Dress #2 was one that Elayne had pulled for me to try after seeing how many chiffon dresses I had bookmarked in the catalog. It, however, was strapless. No one had gotten a chance to mention to her that I didn’t want strapless, but in the moment I figured it was worth it to try it on anyway.


David’s Bridal V9743 / Photo by cousin T

Admittedly, I liked this dress. It wasn’t terrible. It fit my breezy, simple, summery vision perfectly. But that flowy chiffon feel that I thought I wanted? So did not live up to my expectations. I felt like I was wearing a freaking nightgown. I felt that a wedding gown should have presence, both visually and the way it physically feels on me. I mentioned this to Elayne and she shuffled me back into the dressing room while she went and pulled some different dresses.


Awkward…and not just my face / Photo by FMIL Wizard


Pooping out my train from a butt decal…what? Who decided it was a good idea to put that there? / Photo by FMIL Wizard


What is this? / Photo by FMIL Wizard


MOH Lefty pointing out the “apron” effect. This dress also gave me a rash from all the beading. Fun! / Photo by FMIL Wizard

Hive, I tried on so many dresses that I lost count, and they were all starting to blend together in my head. I was getting frustrated. My entourage were all bored. I felt that all the beading, all the lace, all the ruching, buttons, flowers, bows—it was too much. I wanted something simple. I voiced my concerns to Elayne, and what do you know? A miracle happened.


David’s Bridal V3189 / Photo by cousin T

I knew from the second I saw myself in it: I had found my dress. It was simple, understated, elegant, feminine, perfect. Most importantly, I felt like myself, which was a first out of all the dresses I’d tried on that day. Elayne popped a veil on my head and that sealed the deal.


I make such wonderful faces. / Photo by cousin T


Photo by cousin T

I was about 99% positive this was my dress. But I held off on purchasing it, because I knew we had one more stop to go that day. So with a heavy heart I changed back into my normal clothes, said goodbye to my dress, and headed down the road with my entourage to our next stop.

How was your first dress-shopping experience? Were you surprised by what you liked once you actually started trying dresses on?


Mrs. Wizard

Wedding Date:
June 2012
Walking on Sunshine: Cocktail Hour
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Ms Panda, Guest @ 9:22 am

    The first one looks like it was made for you!

  2. Member
    Miss_Manda 301 posts, Helper bee @ 9:24 am

    That is a beautiful choice. The halter top looks lovely on you. And it has a flowy look kind of like chiffon but with more substance. I can see why you loved it!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    sparklequeen, Guest @ 9:26 am

    I seriously think that first dress is the bomb on you.

  4. msdragon Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 9:28 am

    Your keep out graphic is freaking hilarious! Love it!

    The hip applique on that dress is gorgeous.

  5. Member
    couawilou 7598 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 9:38 am

    Love it! It looks so beautiful on you. I ended up buying my dress on my first dress trying visit. I’m so glad I did hehe

  6. Member
    BRbee 246 posts, Helper bee @ 10:03 am

    I love your dress, you look beautiful!

    I actually bought the first dress I ever put on, though I didn’t buy it until after trying on many dresses from many stores. :)

  7. mswizard Member
    mswizard 554 posts, Busy bee @ 10:28 am

    @Ms Panda & @sparklequeen: I knowwww, I LOVED the first dress, but it weighed about a million pounds. My shoulders were hurting just from standing there for about 10 minutes in it…I couldn’t imagine having worn it all day and night at my wedding :( If it wasn’t heavy though I think it would have been my dress!

  8. Member
    ergirl315 18 posts, Newbee @ 10:33 am

    While you look beautiful in the gown you said you loved, I actually bought the one that you said looked like “a freaking nightgown”. I knew it was the dress for me the minute I put it on.

  9. mswizard Member
    mswizard 554 posts, Busy bee @ 10:37 am

    @ergirl315: I’ve seen a lot of people look really beautiful in it! Mrs. Hermit Crab and Mrs. Earrings both wore it (or very similar ones) and they looked fabulous. I didn’t mean that it’s a bad dress, I just didn’t like how it felt on me, that’s all :) All of these dresses are beautiful and perfect for someone, just…not me!

  10. castle Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:40 am

    I am totally with you on the, “I want something simple.” I think the dress you loved is beautiful and when it’s in the right size it would be perfect! Can’t wait to see how your Alfred Angelo appointment went!

  11. Member
    mrs.PHAN-tastic 129 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:23 am

    I don’t want to confuse you but the first dress looks AMAZING on you!!! however, if you are not comfortable I understand why you wouldn’t like it. The last one looks beautiful too, first and last are my favs!

  12. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 12:00 pm

    Love the last dress on you! One of my friends wore it; it is so classy and pretty!

  13. petitfour Member
    petitfour 695 posts, Busy bee @ 1:10 pm

    The last dress is perfect! I love it!!!
    I love all your facial expressions too. Thats pretty much how all of my ‘trying on dress’ pictures came out. lol

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Kimbeeq, Guest @ 6:00 pm

    I thought the SAME thing about the poop/but applique. Such weird placement. You look great in the last one! I was also surprised at what I liked and how easy it was to decide one I tried on “the one”

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    sweet_melissa81 from%25252BTK, Guest @ 7:57 pm

    I am excited to hear part 3. Whether or not that is your real dress or not!

  16. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:16 pm

    So I’m going to creep. My family still lives in the greater PGH area. Did you happen to go the David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo stores in Monroeville? I bought my dress at that David’s.

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenny, Guest @ 11:16 pm

    The “what is this?” dress is very similar to the last. I like the shoulder sleeves on you. Did you see anything you like better at that last store you were going to?

  18. Member
    sweetbee29 525 posts, Busy bee @ 11:24 pm

    omg I have to respond because I tried on my very first wedding dress yesterday! I tried on some amazing and beautiful dresses! I didn’t expect to be so exposed. I didn’t really even think about the undressing part, so I was wearing a thong, and then the girl told me that I needed to take off my bra, because the dresses were too tight in the chest. Soo… basically I’m standing there in a thong with mirrors all around me…. great!! Cellulite in all its glory.

    Anyway, I had a similar experience. I was 99% sure I found the dress, but didn’t want to commit. I went to my next dress appointment and I just kept going back to that other dress. We cancelled our last appointment and went to the store and ordered “the one.” Going and trying on dresses after “the one” kind of sealed the deal for me, and confirmed that the other dress had stolen my heart! How did you feel trying on other dresses after you tried on the one that you’re 99% sure about?

    I did have a total of 7 (1.5-2 hour) appointments between yesterday & today…. so I tried on lots of dresses. I didn’t want to leave “my” dress at the store when I left. I think you will know in your heart when it’s the perfect dress for you!!

  19. mswizard Member
    mswizard 554 posts, Busy bee @ 8:09 am

    @Miss Petit Four: Hahah and these weren’t even the worst ones! I had never seen my face make such weird contortions until I saw the dress shopping pictures.

    @Kimbeeq: I think that dress would look beautiful on someone with the right proportions, but on short people, the decal comes right out the butt. Awkward!

    @Jenny: That dress was probably my least favorite out of all the ones I tried on, actually! It doesn’t look too bad in the picture, I guess, but in person it hit me in all the wrong places and was just matronly and awkward. Beautiful dress for someone else, just not me.

    @Jamieg: Oh wow 7 appointments in two days!! You are a trooper. I was exhausted after just one, haha. And that’s super weird that they didn’t give you a bra of their own to put on with their dresses…I would have felt really weird being naked like that in front of my consultant too. Congrats on finding your dress!!

  20. coyote Member
    coyote 1960 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:40 am

    Hehehe I *almost* bought the “apron” dress!! I actually loved dress #1 too, but it was SO heavy (and I tried it on in my size so I think your consultant was just trying to make a sale. 😉 )

  21. mswizard Member
    mswizard 554 posts, Busy bee @ 11:16 am

    @Miss Coyote: I loved the apron dress too honestly but my crew were all HATEFUL of the “apron” (I didn’t think it was that bad…). And it seriously gave me a bad rash from the beading at the neckline /:

    Oh yeah, I knew she was just trying to make a sale haha. I was like, “No way is 3″ less fabric going to make THAT much of a difference in weight.” I always take the things they say with a grain of salt.

  22. Member
    Miss Fish 1786 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:30 pm

    Oh my gosh, the first ever wedding dress I tried on was that first halter that you posted, too! You’re right, it was CRAZY heavy.

    And I am SO GLAD that you used the “You SHALL NOT PASS” image. Thank you. So much. My life is made.

  23. mswizard Member
    mswizard 554 posts, Busy bee @ 8:16 am

    @Miss Fish: Hahaha, all thanks to you. :)

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