Friday, September 14, 2012

Wedding: The Dress

Our society is wedding dress crazy.

Seriously crazy.

The average wedding dress will run a bride anywhere from $800 to $5000, depending on what she's looking to obtain. Talk about sticker shock for the woman who hadn't given much thought to what kind of dress she'd wear on her wedding day.

As it seems to have gone with everything I've planned for the wedding so far, I spent hours upon hours oogling Pinterest and The Knot's dress directory before I even set up an appointment anywhere. By the time I had scheduled an actual appointment at a bridal salon, these two dresses were my favorites:
Left: Paloma Blanca 4623
Right: Allure Bridals: 8953
My first appointment was at Pronuptia in Worcester, where I was promptly told that it wasn't likely I would find very much near my budget point at their salon. At first, the saleswoman brought me a dress similar to the Paloma Blanca above on the left just so I could see if I would actually like the illusion neckline. The dress was pretty and fit perfectly off the rack, but was well over double what I wanted to pay for a dress that I'd only wear once. She then proceeded to bring me several more dresses that were very much not what I wanted. I left the appointment agonizing over whether I should ask if they would sell me the sample of the Paloma Blanca I had tried on.  I resolved that I wouldn't do anything more until I'd settled down and really thought it over.

A couple days later, calmer and feeling more reasonable, I realized I didn't want to spend a fortune on the dress. In fact, I wanted to spend less than $1K. I did some research, contemplating the possibility of wearing a white floor length bridesmaid gown. I poked around Dessy, looking at the gowns and found this one:
After Six 6588
I loved the style and realized that it could also work as a simple, but elegant, bridal gown. I checked to see what salons in the area carried Dessy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the salon in the center of town was a Dessy retailer and set up an appointment (alone, no entourage) on a Thursday before Zumba class. Upon arrival, Veralyn (the store owner and my saleswoman) greeted me, gave me a handful of plastic clothespins and told me to put a clothespin on anything I wanted to try on. I was a little surprised by this, given my previous experience with Pronuptia, but happily started pawing through the racks. Towards the end of my searching, I came upon a size six petite dress that I hesitated at. I loved the detailing and the style, but I wasn't sure it would fit me. I shrugged, said what the heck and stuck a clothespin on it.

Having finished my search through the rack, I started trying on the dresses I'd picked out. The first one, while very lovely, had far more intricate and sparkly beading than I wanted.

The next dress I tried on happened to be that petite six.

I stepped into it, zipped myself up and looked in the mirror. I loved it, adored it even. The detailing, the train, the fabric, the fit, it was all just right. Despite that, I took it off hung it up and tried on the rest of the dresses I'd picked out.

Once I'd finished, I realized I wanted to try on that petite dress again. So I did, and I realized how giddy and pretty it made me feel. You'll note, there were no tears shed and I knew I'd found the right dress.

I knew I wanted it but I needed to know how much it would cost. Veralyn told me that the only way the dress could be purchased was as is because it was the last of its kind and that it would cost me a little under $300. I was pretty much decided at that point but I wanted to have my mom come and give me an opinion before I bought it.

So, I dragged my mom to the salon two days later and purchased the dress. And now? Now you'll all have to wait until April to see the pictures of it. :)

Did you buy a sample? How did you know it was the right dress?