Picture this, if you will—your average Australian bride-to-be, moving home from the UK and in the middle of a whirlwind of travel plans. I’d been on the lookout for dress inspiration for months but my plan had always been to wait and shop around, and to make my final dress decision after I’d returned home for good. Imagine my surprise when, amidst all that craziness, I found my dress. In Canada.
I was in Vancouver, and was lucky enough to meet up with one of my favourite blogging friends, who is also a Weddingbee hive member: toothfairyb. B and I got engaged at the same time last year, and she created the most beautiful wedding this past summer—le sigh. During one of our days in Vancouver, I left Mr. Jaguar in the city and headed into New Westminster with B for a whole day of wedding gown goodness.
I won’t lie: I was terrified of going. I was worried I would’ve gained weight while travelling, or that they wouldn’t have any dresses that would fit me—I was basically a bundle of nerves the whole time. Luckily, B put up with my craziness, and herded me into our first store: The Bridal Gallery.
I had three dresses to try on.
One lace number that was strapless, one v-neck but plain gown, and one really, really low backed halter. I ruled out the halter dress as soon as I’d pulled it over my head, it was WAY too low for me to be comfortable in, and having such a bare back wasn’t what I was imagining for our wedding.
I really wish I’d written down each style number, but it completely skipped my mind, so I can show you pictures instead. If you know the styles, feel free to call ”˜em out; I’d be interested in knowing what styles I *almost* bought. Let’s start off with the lace number, which my lovely accomplice had to stealthily take photos of—the store was unforgiving at the beginning regarding taking pictures, despite my international situation.
Please try not to look at the double chins.. oy, not pretty!
So.. if this dress had straps? I would’ve loved it. The lace and beading was gorgeous but”¦ it was strapless. And, from what little you can see of it, you can probably tell that it wasn’t super flattering—it was just kind of dropped straight down.
Next up: the plainer style gown. By now, the store had come around to letting me take photographs, so we ended up with a few better images this time around. The dress itself was really plain, but the lady added a nice ivory sash with flower detail (at the hefty price of $250 for the belt!) to spice it up”¦ and I loved it.
Awkwardly placed fake flower bouquet, ftw!
I liked it a lot (ignore the necklace…I’m not a fan) but I wasn’t 100% sold on it. The sash was what really made the dress pop, but it wasn’t an inclusion, so there was that to consider. The straps were also slightly off-shouldered, which was a little strange to get used to—and I didn’t think the back view was all that flattering. It was a good contender though, and was in my price range: just under $1000 including Canadian tax.
We moved on to Lisa’s Bridal, just down the road. They had hardly any gowns I liked at all in the bigger sizes, and I found that I was just being handed gowns that would ”˜fit’ and not ones that were to my taste at all. I tried a few on that were completely awful (hideous, even!) and was getting a little disheartened—but had one potential gown with a v-neck that wasn’t too bad. Excuse the self portrait…I struggled with getting photo permission again here.
This one was nice with the beading, but I didn’t like how the gathering sat on the neck, as well as that big old ivory panel in the front. It was nice, but not ”˜the one’. Also, as a side note, the saleswoman was constantly telling me how this was the right gown for me because it ”˜covered me up’ in the chest area & the waist. I’m sorry, but just because I’m a curvy girl, does NOT mean I want to cover everything up & wear an ill-fitting dress. Major irritation points, right there. (Oh, and she stepped on the dress while she was helping me in and out of it—minor points, but it just wasn’t a good vibe there.)
After the morning of shopping, I was pretty sure that the plain v-neck was going to be the best option for me, but we had more stores to try that afternoon”¦
Are you looking for a non-strapless dress as well? Have you had any luck finding different styles?