The Obligatory Dress Post

**Warning: Superfluous pictures of myself in bridal gowns are ahead. I promise I’m not a narcissist.

Here’s the deal, people: Searching for “the dress” was toward the absolute, very bottom of the wedding priority list for me.

I guess I’ve just never been the type of girl who daydreamed about “the dress.” Even after getting engaged I was more concerned with paper products and reception decor than what I would be wearing on my wedding day. And that’s cool. Our guests are getting mailed some pretty kick-ass DIY invites (at least I think they’re awesome!). I’m a plus-sized bride with a pretty distinct pear shape so I figured my options would be fairly limited, anyway. The only stipulations I had on whatever gown I ended up getting were 1) it must have straps, 2) it must be pure white (at Mr. A’s request) and 3) it must have some kind of train. Secretly I hoped to find a gown with some kind of lace on it, and considering my body shape I figured I’d play it safe with an A-line silhouette.

With these ideas in mind, my very first plan was to get a replica gown made from Jasmine’s Bridal Shop. These guys do BEAUTIFUL work, particularly with lace gowns, and with a limited budget of around $500 for my dress, I knew there was no way I would be able to get my dream of a lace gown without going the replica route. However, just for the sake of the dress shopping “experience,” Mama Dillo took me and Lil Dillo to a few local bridal shops for a fun girls’ day out, just to try dresses on and, you know, figure out what I wanted when it came to ordering the replica.

We started our dress shopping adventure in the good ol’ small town of El Campo, Texas, about 45 minutes away from home. We stopped first at a small bridal boutique called “Cupid’s Corner.” The woman who owns the place is in her 70”²s and is very sweet, but it was clear that she had a lot of outdated dresses in stock, and not a whole lot of plus-sized samples to try on. I did get to slip on a couple, and just the feeling of putting on a wedding dress for the FIRST TIME EVER was pretty exciting.

The first dress I put on was this little number: a dropped waist, ivory satin gown with ruching around the waist and lacy cap sleeves. This was a big moment for me, because I suddenly realized something very important:

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I’m a baaaaad blogger bride and have no idea what designer this gown is.

Straps make me look like a linebacker. (Cue stink face.)

I also realized that ivory dresses look really nice against my skin tone, so although Mr. A requested a pure white dress (“because we earned it!” he said, haha), I was open to the idea of maybe getting an ivory or off-white dress, instead.

With my hopes of wearing straps going completely out the window, we also tried on this strapless, dropped waist number with a sweetheart neckline:

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Again, I have no idea who this dress is by. Sorry

It was nice, but didn’t quite give me the hourglass figure I was hoping. It was also INCREDIBLY HEAVY.

Since those were the only two plus-sized samples the lady had in the store, we took our search elsewhere and stopped in at another bridal boutique in town called “New Beginnings.” You guys, for a small town dress shop, this place was HUGE. And they literally had like 30 dresses in my size to try on. It was amazing! To top it off, the owner, Michele, was super helpful and attentive without being overbearing. She let us pull however many dresses we wanted and my mom helped me into each one. Michele and the other owner, Ruby, gave feedback on each dress I came out in, which I thought was awesome considering many of the ones they liked were actually some of the more inexpensive ones I had pulled. It made me feel like they weren’t as concerned with making money as they were with making sure I left with something I looked good in.

However, some of these dresses looked pretty awful on me. Observe:

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Boo. Once again, no idea who this dress is by.

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Yuck. Haha!

However, with the bad also came the good. Here are a couple we all really liked:

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The five year-old in me totally loved this dress. There were subtle feathers all over the skirt!

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A bit more simple, more on the traditional side. The one strap was cool.

Here’s the deal: There was one dress at this store that EVERYONE had an incredibly positive, strong reaction to. In fact, Lil Dillo started crying when I walked out of the dressing room with it on! It made my waist look super tiny, it had beautiful buttons down the back, and had a gorgeous, simple train. The issue was, we didn’t go into the store on that day with the intent to purchase; rather, we wanted to try things on to help me decide what I would be ordering via Jasmine’s Bridal Shop! I left the store feeling incredibly conflicted, and mostly just confused.

For some reason, I couldn’t get the “cry” dress (which is what we appropriately called it) out of my mind. The weird thing was, it had hardly any of the specifications I originally set out to find: it was an ivory/off-white color, it was strapless, and there was no lace on it, whatsoever. What made matters worse was that the gown (which is a Bonny Bridal gown, btw) was discontinued, which meant if I wanted it I would have to buy the sample I tried on at the store (which was no big deal, because it fit like a glove.) Michele, the store owner, agreed to hold it in the back for one week so I could think it over. I was kind of concerned because even though I really liked it, I didn’t have that “oh my gosh, this is the one!” moment. (Brides are supposed to have that when they find the dress, right?)

In the meantime, we went back home and stopped at one last bridal shop on the way, called “A Promise and a Kiss.” I told myself if I couldn’t find anything better in this store that I would go ahead and get the “cry” dress. Turns out they only had two plus-sized samples for me to try on, and neither was an a-line silhouette.

Here’s the weird part, though—I tried on two fit and flares, and ladies, I was SURPRISED by how I looked! Not only did they flatter my figure, they accentuated my curves in a way I never thought possible. See for yourself:

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Va-va-VOOM!

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It was clearly a bit too large, but you get the picture.

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A figure! I see it!

Honky tonk badonkadonk?

To save you all the suspense, in the end I called the lady back at “New Beginnings” in El Campo and officially made the Bonny Bridal gown mine. And the more I look at it, the more confident I am in my decision. It’s simple, but has some intricacy along the bodice that I love. The buttons down the back are infinitely romantic, and it’s super flattering to my figure. It’s not a true, pure white but I seriously doubt Mr. A will care once I’m walking down the aisle in it. Most importantly, I feel great in it, AND it comes in at my budget. Success!

I don’t want to share pictures of my dress because I want to keep things a surprise, but maybe a little teaser photo would be okay?

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Although I didn’t have that overwhelming, joyful, “SYTTD” moment, I’m confident I made the right decision. Now I just have to wait four and a half more months before I can wear it!

What was your dress search like? Was finding the dress high on your priority list or near the bottom? Did you have “the moment?” For my fellow plus-sized brides out there, was finding plus-sized samples to try on an issue for you?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Armadillo

Location:
Houston, Texas
Wedding Date:
March 2013
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comments

  1. Member
    texasaggiemom 595 posts, Busy bee @ 7:03 am

    Can’t wait to see you in “the” dress, but I love the second fit’n’flare style on you – looks great with your curves!

  2. Member
    hannahmn88 28 posts, Newbee @ 7:16 am

    I didn’t have that “OMG, this is the one!” moment either. But I couldn’t be happier with my dress, and I’m incredibly confident that FI will be blown away. :)

  3. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:22 am

    I found six dresses I liked and honestly, I probably would have found more if I had kept shopping. Winning my gown put and end to that!

    BTW, show a man a selection of white ANYTHINGS (paint samples, fabrics, papers, etc.) and they will think they are all white. :)

  4. Member
    krislynn_sd 72 posts, Worker bee @ 7:26 am

    When you put “honky tonk badonkadonk” under the picture – I was listening to that song at the same moment I read it. Weird!

    Holy darn girl, you look fabulous! :)

    I felt the same way you did – I wanted straps, I wanted lace and I wanted white. My dress is off-white, strapless, fit and flare, off white and the only thing about it that I had originally wanted was lace.

    I didn’t have the “SYTTD” moment either, but I cried a little when they dressed me up in a veil (which I don’t plan on wearing one!) and my mommy cried.

    Now I can’t get the darn thing out of my mind. Haha!

    Congratulations on finding your dress! :) I can’t wait to see pictures of it!

  5. Member
    ilikeballet 250 posts, Helper bee @ 7:31 am

    I found that most dresses I tried looked nice on me, so initially that was difficult. Luckily there was one that I couldn’t get out of my mind. When I went back to the shop with my family and friends, as soon as I came out in the dress they all loved it. It was pretty clear it was my dress, and it helped that it was under my budget. I didn’t have a SYTTD moment though, I’ve cried watching that show for years, and then I didn’t even cry when I found my own dress, haha. Funny how that works.

  6. Member
    Almost Mrs.P 2056 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:34 am

    OMG, you look AMAZING in that second fit and flare! I feel like those are super flattering on everyone– they show off those curves! Can’t wait to see your actual dress!

  7. Member
    vorpalette 11300 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 7:44 am

    Haha, I did the same thing–wanted a replica dress, went shopping just to try on silhouettes, bought a dress in a shop instead.

    Also, HOLY CRAP at you in those fit and flares! I’m jealous, especially since that shaped looked awful on me lol.

  8. Member
    dlbaqua 837 posts, Busy bee @ 7:58 am

    you are so pretty! Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m not doing a dress this time so it’s fun to live a little through you.

  9. Member
    Highness 82 posts, Worker bee @ 8:03 am

    I’m not an emotional buyer either but I knew my dress when I didn’t want to take it off. I was more than happy to stay in it and walk around the store while our sales assistant was busy. I’m pretty sure I told her to take her time so I could keep it on longer.
    I know your dress is going to be perfect an I’m agreeing with the others..dang girl on that last dress.

  10. Member
    Merelymere 472 posts, Helper bee @ 8:04 am

    My dress is also a Bonny! No one seems to wear them but I think they are gorgeous, and VERY price-friendly :)

  11. Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:18 am

    Yeah!! I’m so happy you found your dress. Mr. A won’t likely even notice that it isn’t a bright white. The ivory looks amazing against your skin and you will be so beautiful, he won’t notice anything else!

  12. Member
    panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:03 am

    Yay! You are going to look gorgeous on your big day! The ivory looks great on you and the detailing is amazing!

  13. Member
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 9:20 am

    I loved my dress more and more as time went on, and felt very confident in my decision, but I didn’t cry or have a definitive “This is my dress” moment. I couldn’t find anything better and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Those were my cues. So even though I found it in June, I didn’t actually buy it until October.

  14. Member
    happyface 5777 posts, Bee Keeper @ 9:34 am

    Ivory looks great on with your skin tone!

  15. Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 9:34 am

    these look amazing! im glad you we open to trying things on out of your expectations…

  16. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 9:46 am

    So happy you found your perfect dress, it must have been so difficult choosing after trying on so many amazing dresses!

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Sept Bride, Guest @ 10:01 am

    You are so cute. Love the dresses you didn’t take, so the one you did must be amazing!

  18. Member
    MrsFutureG 1696 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:23 pm

    I said EXACTLY THE SAME THING about straps! I always pictured this beautiful halter style top. The second they put me in it, I saw myself, shouted “NOPE!” and ran back into the dressing room.

  19. Member
    jaguar 6245 posts, Bee Keeper @ 2:23 pm

    As a fellow plus sized gal who squeezed into a mermaid/fit and flare, I think you made a great choice. Why hide the curves when you can flaunt ‘em… and look INCREDIBLE. x

  20. Member
    birdi 3389 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:41 pm

    Love the last dress on you !!! gorgeous and glamorous !! :)

  21. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:29 pm

    I like the beading you show in the picture. Are we seriously waiting ’till march to see it?!

  22. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:23 pm

    I didn’t have the overwhelming say yes to the dress moment either though my bridesmaids did! I love the one shouldered look on yours and the teaser looks amazing! I can’t wait for you to reveal it!

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