Dress shopping. The part that I’m pretty sure most little girls look forward to for basically their entire life…OK, maybe just me. But regardless, I couldn’t wait to go dress shopping! I (and I’m pretty sure everyone else) came out of it EXHAUSTED, but it was well worth it since I said yes to the dress!
The day started off with Friend J and me driving a couple hours toward my hometown, where we had appointments at both David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo. We met up with my momma, grandma (AKA: mammy), my FMIL, and FSIL/BM T at the first store and anxiously waited on them to open their doors…
See, my mom is generally late. So I told everybody to arrive by 11:45 and guess what—SHE ACTUALLY BEAT ME THERE! So crazy, because that NEVER HAPPENS. At that point, I called BM Lails only to see her walking up to me, which was so exciting! I can’t believe how long we’ve been friends (now 12-plus years) and how much has gone on between us, but here we are, shopping for my wedding dress. Such a special moment.
Personal photo / MOH Lails on the left, me in the center, and Friend J on the right
Personal photo / The wedding party! FSIL/BM T, BM Lails, me, and Friend J
I was most anxious to get into David’s Bridal, our first stop, because the dream dress was there. There was a dress I’d had my eye on since before we were even engaged, and I know that dresses at David’s Bridal can be discontinued at any time. In fear of that happening, I decreed that we would go shopping as close as possible to the actual wedding date…just a year in advance. I would tan and do my hair the same as I plan to do for the wedding (except my hair will be softly curled, which I cannot do, and I’ll be wearing makeup, which, again, I can’t do…), so we made sure whatever dress I chose we ordered in the right color.
Personal photo / A friend of mine had her eye on the White by Vera Wang Style VW351011 for herself, so I wanted to try it on and send her a photo! As you can probably guess from my expression, I really, really did not find this dress flattering on my body.
Personal photo / This is it! The dream dress. This is White by Vera Style VW351065. As you can tell from my expression, I obviously thought this was the dress and much preferred it to other options that we tried on.
The dream dress still won, after trying on a variety of other dresses, most of which were NOT photo-worthy. I was prepared to purchase it, but everybody (except me…) agreed that we should wait until after lunch and our next appointment at Alfred Angelo before we purchased the dress.
For lunch we got to go to one of my (and my FMIL’s) favorites: Olive Garden! We were all super pumped about lunch because trying on/looking at wedding dresses is way more work than you think it’s going to be, especially at David’s Bridal on a Sunday.
Personal photo / Of course we needed drinks with lunch!
After that, BM Lails had to head back to school (she was missed!), and we were off to our next appointment at Alfred Angelo. Now, I’ll be honest. We went there for one reason and one reason only—Disney. Collection. I think of the 15 or so dresses I tried on here, most were from the Disney Collection. I’m not ashamed in the least to say I also wanted to try on the replica of Bella’s wedding dress (yes, as in the Twilight series). I knew it wouldn’t be The Dress because I just don’t have the body for it, but I still wanted to try it on. After trying on all those dresses, a clear (and unexpected) favorite emerged.
So which dress did I go with? Well…I hate to be that girl but I’m not showing it! I made a blanket rule at the appointment that if you weren’t there, you couldn’t see it, and if you were there, you had to delete all photos from your phone. I got a little crazy about it! I don’t want Mr. Otter to get a peek OR hear a peep until April!
Now, to talk a little about my experience. We went to these appointments on a Sunday, so I expected that both stores would be packed. I knew going in to my appointment at David’s Bridal that my consultant would probably be working with one, two, or as many as three other parties and that I would have to try to be patient and keep that in mind. WELL, let me tell you something—the experience there wasn’t great and it had nothing to do with the consultant being busy. Instead, I found that my questions couldn’t even be answered. See, with the dream dress (pictured above) I kept asking if she was SURE this was the “ivory” color. It just looks so much MORE IVORY, almost champagne actually, when I looked at it online, and it really, really didn’t look like that in person. She said she wasn’t sure, and brought over a manager, who also wasn’t sure and said they would check in the computer. No one ever answered the question. We left the appointment still wondering if the dress was actually ivory or not.
My appointment at Alfred Angelo, on the other hand, was a totally different experience. Contrary to my belief, we were the only party in the store with the exception of a small party that came in toward the conclusion of my appointment. My consultant was amazing—she allowed me to go through the Disney Collection book and choose every dress I wanted to try on, and then allowed me to walk the store with my little entourage to pull things to try on. She actually even got a dress out of the front window for us, which was so sweet of her! In the end, I genuinely believe that her service was part of the reason that I fell so in love with my dress.
OK, so to give a small hint—I purchased my dress from Alfred Angelo…does anyone want to guess what I went with!?