Way, way WAY back before I had even FOUND Weddingbee, not to mention had applied and then become Mrs. Corn… I headed to David’s Bridal in Harrisburg, PA on the Friday after Thanksgiving 2006 to try on wedding dresses with my mom and my sister.
It was an extremely overwhelming experience (as you will see from the expression on my face in most of these pictures). We had a wonderful sales girl who was very helpful, but stretched a little thin. You see… I had the mistaken impression that on ‘Black Friday’ everyone would be too busy checking out the holiday sales to go to a wedding dress store.
Big mistake. HUGE! Turns out Thanksgiving weekend is the. weekend. to drag your entire bridal party plus all the women in your family including Old Aunt Agnes and her bridge buddies to a bridal store…
Why? Because everyone is in town.
As we head towards Turkey day this month, please keep that in mind so you don’t freak out like I did…
So WHY exactly is this my ‘secret’ post? Because no one, not even my mom or sister or, heaven forbid, Mr. Corn has ever. seen. these. photos… until now. I don’t think there is a single smile from me in any of the photos and it ISN’T because of bad photography moments… I really was miserable for most of the day.
So now, without further ado, I present to you the never-before-seen photos of all the dresses I tried on before I found ‘the one’.
The very first dress I tried on had box pleats… it was the only one in the store with box pleats and box pleats had been on my request list since I had even thought about getting married when I was a kid… that and sleeves, but we all know how few of those options there are. 🙂
The first thing I noticed about the dress was that with the dropped waist; I looked weird… to me. Maybe not to anyone else, but since I am all legs and no torso, seeing a dropped waist on me weirded me out so much that I vetoed the dress and moved on…
The next dress was the ‘crustiest’ dress in the store… absolutely covered in lace and beading. I had a strict ‘no crusty stuff’ rule for my shopping excursion, but really liked the look of the dress. I liked it so much it ended up becoming the front-runner for the day.
Next I tried on a dress with an illusion neckline. This was good for me to see because I loved the look of the illusion necklines that I had seen in the magazines… but on me, it looked ridiculous!
Below is my sad attempt to see what the potential could have been had the neckline been both illusion AND portrait. It actually, in my opinion, is much better. But alas, there were no illusion, portrait neckline dresses in the store so it was time to move on.
In my quest to find something, ANYTHING, with sleeves, I tried on a gown with a lace overlay thinking that would be the key, but I felt it looked dowdy on me and reminded me of my grandma’s housecoat, so it was rejected too.
The wrap dress below was next and got an immediate veto from my mom, which is a shame because in pictures it really was very flattering on me. I do remember thinking it was slightly uncomfortable to wear, sort of like having your nylons on twisted. But had I known how good it looked on film, it could have been a serious contender.
This next dress was all about the beautiful overlay… I loved it. The detail was so different and really gorgeous, but in the end, the dropped waist did the dress in for me. Interestingly enough, now that I am going back through all of these pictures, this is the dress that is most like the one I eventually chose.
I was interested in trying on this style of dress (below) because of the two-toned nature of it and because I had heard it had wonderful tummy hiding features, but it was the quickest ‘no’ of all of them for me:
This next series of pictures is of the runner up dress of the day. This is the dress that actually inspired me to start trying on veils to see what they would look like and I finally started to relax and feel like a bride.
In the end, I didn’t buy that dress that day… I wanted to at least go to another store and see what some of the other options were out there.
So a few weekends later, my mom came up to visit me in Boston and we headed to Manhattan Bridals in Dedham, near where I live. It is a small boutique and isn’t the fanciest of places, but let me tell you, the service was extraordinary! And personal! And just all around, a wonderful, lovely experience.
The first dress I tried was an Empire waisted Alfred Angelo dress with two toned detailing. I liked this dress a lot but felt that it was a bit young for me. I should point out that the slight sweetheart neckline did wonders for my big ole’ chest that no other dress did and I still kind of wish the dress that I eventually chose had a sweetheart neckline.
Next I tried another dress with an overlay… but it just wasn’t happening. I couldn’t shake the grandma picture out of my head.
Having always LOVED me some Audrey Hepburn classic style, I tried on a boat neck dress… HUGE MISTAKE… the girls were very. constricted. in this style below:
Ahhhh…something a bit more romantic maybe? With a cap sleeve? Close… but not quite special enough: And then, nirvana… look how innocent I look below before getting to see myself in the mirror in the dress I eventually chose… I liked it so much I tried it with a wrap, but that wasn’t going to work… … so then I tried the cathedral length veil and I was h-o-o-k-e-d!!