The Dress

As soon as Mr. Wallaby and I got engaged, I started spending a lot of time on Pinterest. You could call it an obsession. I hadn’t discovered wedding blogs yet, so I was just browsing around the wedding boards on Pinterest, happily pinning anything that caught my eye.

I didn’t pay too much attention to dresses on Pinterest at first. I was more interested in colors, themes—more general wedding concepts. But then one day I saw a pin of the most beautiful lace dress I had ever seen (and still, I don’t think I’ve seen anything prettier): Claire Pettibone’s Chantilly lace dress.

Chantil

Photo by Anne Adams Photography via Wedding Chicks

After some Google sleuthing, I identified the dress…and the price. Wowza. That dress is beautiful, but I definitely couldn’t afford to buy it new. I began to troll used wedding dress websites in search of a Chantilly dress in my size. I never found it in my size, although I did find one on preownedweddingdresses.com that was one size too big that could probably have been altered to my size.

The story doesn’t end that quickly. I didn’t end up with a Claire Pettibone wedding gown. But I did become determined to find a lace sheath dress. As my online search continued, I stumbled across pictures of Monique Lhuillier’s Scarlet gown, a gorgeous lace dress with a keyhole back:

Scarlet

Monique Lhuillier’s “Scarlet” dress…sigh / Photo by Joielala Photographie via Green Wedding Shoes

Again, this dress turned out to be well above my budget. I searched far and wide for this dress on preowned dress websites but, again, nothing in exactly my size—I am a tall girl, and it’s hard to find preowned dresses that are long enough!

Mr. Wallaby’s parents threw an engagement party for us a month after we got engaged, and my parents flew down to Houston to celebrate with us. While my mom was in town, she and I went dress shopping. I wasn’t sure about buying a new dress—I am a big proponent of reusing anything that can be reused, and there are thousands of beautiful used wedding dresses out there. However, my mom and I don’t get to spend much time together now that I live down in Texas, so I obliged her and set up an appointment at a local bridal salon.

I was nervous that I would forget the essentials for dress shopping—heels, strapless bra, and patience. (And snacks…like Miss Lyre, my mom and I both tend to get hangry!) But I came to my appointment fully prepared, with a happy mother in tow. I described some of my inspiration dresses (I left the pictures I had printed out in the printer at work—dangit!) to the sweet lady who was helping me that day, and she picked out about four dresses for me to try on. My mom and I picked out another four dresses, and then we headed to the back rooms to try on dresses.

The first dress I tried on was similar to Monique Lhuillier’s Scarlet dress—this one was Allure 8764:

Allure8

Photo via Allure Bridals

As soon as I caught a glimpse of this dress in the mirror, I knew it wasn’t cut for me. There was too much lace going on in the shoulder area—it looked like it was swallowing my head. So we went back to the drawing board.

The next dress that I tried on was Allure 8634, another fitted lace dress with beautiful details on the back:

Allure+01

Allure801

Photos via Allure Bridals

I LOVED the back of this dress when I tried it on, but there was way too much cleavage. My conservative mama definitely didn’t approve. :) I also didn’t like the tulle underlay. It was a little scratchy, and it just didn’t fit my vision. I tried on a few more dresses, but they weren’t noteworthy—I can’t even remember which dresses I tried on now that some time has passed. But the last dress of the day that I tried on had a different impact on my mom and me. This dress was an Allure 8903:

Allure802

Allure803

Photos via Allure Bridals

This dress fit my body like a glove—it hugged my curves, pulled in my waist, and with straps and a charmeuse slip, wearing it felt like a dream. My mom took some pictures, and we hurried off to finish baking cupcakes for the engagement party.

At the engagement party, all of the women in Mr. W’s family wanted to see pictures of the dress I had picked out. We huddled around the island in MIL Wallaby’s kitchen and my mom showed off the pictures. Everyone loved the dress, and they wanted to go back to the bridal salon the next day to see me wear it in person. I was a little hesitant to bring such a big crew to the bridal salon (we are talking 12 other women!), but being the pushover that I am, I agreed to go.

When we returned to the bridal salon the next day, everyone headed straight for the display room, and there was a shuffling around as all of these women—family and friends—began examining the dresses on the racks, looking for their favorite dress. They picked out a half dozen dresses for me to try on, and I headed back to the dressing rooms with those dresses in tow along with my favorite from the day before.

To make a long story short, everyone loved my favorite dress from the day before. But one of Mr. W’s family friends picked out another stunning dress that turned out to be “the one.” When I walked out of the dressing room to show off the dress, the short train following me across the room, everyone applauded. My mom started to cry. We had one of those stereotypical “say yes to the dress” moments. And that very day, my mom and I put down a deposit on the dress.

I can’t post pictures of me in the dress on Weddingbee yet, for fear of Mr. Wallaby’s prying eyes. But I will tell you that this dress is better on my body than any other dress I tried on. In fact, my mom continues to tell me that this dress fits me better than any of my original inspiration dresses would. The dress I picked out is indeed a lace sheath dress, and it is covered in silver beading. It has a very short train, and it reminds me of something from the closet of a 1920s movie star. It’s glamorous. And I can’t wait to show it off in November. :)

Did you consider buying your wedding dress online? Or did you have a traditional dress-shopping experience at a bridal salon? Am I crazy for going dress shopping with 12 other women?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Wallaby

Location:
Houston
Wedding Date:
November 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    EmeraldTiger 323 posts, Helper bee @ 11:16 am

    Ahh.. I super super love all of these dresses!! :)

  2. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:40 am

    Sounds gorgeous! I can’t wait to see it on you!

  3. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 11:41 am

    I love the lace sheath style, so I can’t wait to see what you picked!

  4. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 11:58 am

    Your dress sounds dreamy, I can’t wait to see what it looks like on you!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Marta, Guest @ 2:15 pm

    Very sexy dress uaooo

  6. Member
    panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:28 pm

    I love those dresses and I can’t wait to see what you picked out!

  7. Member
    bluebelle23 854 posts, Busy bee @ 5:29 am

    Which store in Houston did you go to for the large selection of Allure? I’ll probably be going to H-town to dress shop soon! Almost all my inspiration dresses are Allure.

  8. Member
    Pink Penguin 144 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:19 am

    Can’t wait to see what you picked! I found one I loved in the bridal shop but wasn’t convinced about spending that amount of money. I lucked out big time and found it cheaper on a second hand website but it was actually brand new! (cancelled wedding!) x

  9. Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:19 am

    Wow, I can’t wait to see pictures of your gown… with you in it! :)

  10. Member
    mswallaby 2040 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:32 am

    Aww thanks everyone!
    @bluebelle23: I went dress shopping at Ventura Bridal, in the Heights. I would really recommend going there, especially if you’re looking for Allure dresses – they have a ton! It’s not fancy like Kleinfeld’s on Say Yes to the Dress, but they have a huge inventory and the salespeople are very friendly.
    @Pink Penguin: That’s awesome! That was my original plan, and I’ve kept on thinking that if something were to happen to the dress I ordered, I would be 100% happy with a dress from a second hand website.

  11. Member
    bluebelle23 854 posts, Busy bee @ 6:42 pm

    My MoH bought her dress at Venturas, so I’m very familiar! I’m planning on going there and Alfred Angelo. Thanks!

  12. Member
    mswallaby 2040 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:44 pm

    @bluebelle23: Have fun dress shopping!! :)

  13. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:07 am

    Awww I can’t wait to see your dress! Are we date twins Miss Wallaby? I am getting married 17th of November!

  14. Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:43 am

    Gah! Your dress sounds stunning. Such suspense! Can’t wait to see it. It sounds like it was made for you!

  15. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 11:15 am

    This sounds so similar to my BFF’s dress experience! She’s also a big fan of lace and classic beauty. She had a “One”, but had decided that she would try on similar dresses because of the price and lack of availability of The One. She tried on quite a few Allure dresses because of their striking similarity before the consultant put her in The One – without either of us knowing! There were definitely some squealy moments to be had.

    I’m so glad you got to have your SYTTD moment. I definitely think it’s one of those things that is NOT overhyped.

  16. Member
    mswallaby 2040 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:44 am

    @Jacofblues: Nope but almost – I’m getting married before you! November is going to be a great month ;)
    @StephK527: I’m glad she had a similar experience! I haven’t watched that much SYTTD and didn’t have too many expectations of dress-shopping, but it was a pretty magical afternoon.

  17. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:17 am

    @Miss Wallaby: it is isn’t it! ohh yay! I will come back from my honeymoon to see and read your stories then!

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Maybelle, Guest @ 7:33 am

    Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something
    unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic
    but I had to ask!

  19. Member
    KateS77 160 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:34 pm

    Such beautiful dresses, they are exactly the kind of dresses I have been looking at. Claire pettibone chantilly is my dream dress, I tried it on and fell in love. Unfortunately it’s so over my budget it’s not even in funny! I really want a lace sheath dress with a keyhole or lace back.

    Your blog is really fun and interesting, been enjoying reading it :)

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