When we last left off I was quickly falling in love with the beautiful Casablanca 1900. It had so many great features, but I was afraid of falling in love too fast so I stepped on the brakes and put a hold on dress shopping for a while. Between working two jobs (teaching and retail), coaching two sports (cheerleading and boys’ and girls’ tennis) that ended up overlapping, and suffering from walking pneumonia for about two months (wah, wah, wah) I didn’t get back to the dress hunt until late April. I think part of my rationale was that, worst case scenario, I knew I could order the CB 1900 all the way into June and still be OK.
Finally, the opportunity to take a mental health day presented itself, and I jumped at the chance to get together with MOH M and look at bridesmaids’ dresses and get back into a few wedding gowns. Mama O was able to come, and we met up early one morning excited to have a girls’ day (with the addition of M’s little guy!).
Our first stop was Coni and Franc, a small and locally owned boutique that I honestly did not expect to find a thing in. We were going there primarily because they carried Bari Jay bridesmaids’ dresses, and at that time we were trying to decide on a specific designer and go from there. I had scheduled an appointment a week prior, and when we arrived the lovely staff had set up a fitting room and had a long-line bra in my size waiting for me. (I learned to ask in advance from my previous experience!!!) I walked into the bridal room and looked around. Is anyone else as overwhelmed as me by the sea of white when dress shopping?! I walked the perimeter of the room slowly, touching a gown here and there but not really seeing anything. I stepped back in the center of the sales floor to discuss likes/dislikes with my sales consultant and was in the middle of asking her to look at bridesmaids’ dresses first when something caught my eye.
I walked over the rack directly across from me and paused over the mass of beauty in front of me. Then I stepped away. The dress that caught my eye did so for a very specific reason, but it was just TOO different. As soon as I touched it I could hear the comments of people who would see pictures or possibly even some of my guests. I wanted a dress that was “me” but not one that was too unique. I love fashion, but the last thing I want to do is take an unnecessary risk on my wedding day and end up hating my decision for the rest of my life. But it was too late—every person in the room heard my gasp when I spotted that dress. Everyone watched me approach it. The sales associate took it off the rack. “Wait!” I said halfheartedly. The dress was a size 10. Not only was I going to try on a weirdo dress, but it was clearly not going to go on past my hips and then I was going to be suffering from a crappy self-image for the rest of the day. But it was too late—the dress was in the room and waiting for me. What’s the worst that could happen? I thought to myself. Six other dresses joined the strange dress that had captured my attention, and within a few minutes I was out of my clothes and into my undergarments and ready to get things crack-a-lackin’.
Too much of the lovely lady lumps / Personal photo
If you asked my mom, this SHOULD have been my dress. She loved it. But it was satin and too formal for Jackson’s Mill and for me. Also, um, the bust is a little much. I didn’t get the name for the dress, but I’m pretty sure it was a Pronovias though I’m assuming an older style because I can’t find it online.
Udine by Pronovias / Photo via Pronovias
This is also a Pronovias—the style name is Udine. I didn’t get a picture of me in the dress because I didn’t love it. The jeweled waist just wasn’t for me.
Christina Wu / Image via Christina Wu
This dress by Christina Wu style number 15497 was OK, but it didn’t blow me away and there was a lot of skirt.
Another Christina Wu. This one is 15495.
Image via Christina Wu
While it was fun to try on ballgowns and they are beautiful, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Still, this dress was to die for in person.
Dress # 5:
The next dress was actually a real contender—Mama O loved the ruched/pleated bodice, and I have to admit, they were flattering. The corset back was another plus!
Moonlight T508 / Image via Moonlight Bridal
There was one more dress I tried on at Coni and Franc, but I’m not ready to share her just yet. And I also wasn’t ready to commit to her fully. We need to take one last trip to Classic Bridal where my first love was waiting for me. But was it true love?