Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dress-capades: David's Bridal

Yesterday was my first wedding dress shopping experience. The entire hour and a half was utterly surreal. I haven't spent years imagining my wedding vision; even when I would go crazy with purchasing wedding magazines, it was always the dresses that captured me. So I suppose it's only natural that, after all the unintentional anticipation, my first go left something to be desired.

I wanted to start at David's Bridal. It's a place I've been before, once with my sister, who at the time had already picked out her dress and was getting fitted, and once with a friend who was trying on dresses for the first time. It was a place that I at least had a frame of reference for, and even if I cringe at the notion of purchasing from them (this has a lot to do with both what the WIC wants me to believe and with the fact that my previous experiences there were not the greatest) I wanted to give them a try.

I still don't know exactly how to articulate the experience. My consultant was a cute young thing, and it was not crowded at all, so I was only overwhelmed by the fact that this was actually happening omg breathe I'm actually trying on WEDDING dresses than by having a suffocating consultant or being surrounded by way too many shoppers.

Of the 8-10 dresses I tried on, I was ambivalent at best, horrified at worst, at all but one. I don't know if they make the sample dresses with materials of lesser quality than what the actual dress would be (I seriously doubt this) but I hated the feel of all but one, I couldn't wait to get out of all but one, and I wonder if the one only looked amazing on me in comparison to the others, which were decidedly atrocious. Don't get me wrong, this was due mostly to the fact that the corset I had been provided was peeking out in both the chest and back area, and the straps were loose so weren't sitting properly, and it had clearly been worn by several people who were too big for it.

It's a gorgeous dress. I tried it on three or four times. It's the only one I didn't want to take off, but considering how much I truly loathed the others, I'm not sure that's an entirely winning review. In any case, C's mother (my future mother-in-law) offered to pay for my dress, so even if I had found The One on my first attempt, I wouldn't have bought it, since she wasn't with us.

I was melancholy most of the time. It's weird, having all this anticipation (that I hadn't realized I possessed). And then I got sort of panicky, and realized that I didn't want to find The One yesterday. I will (gods be gracious) be a bride only once, and I kind of want to soak everything in and live it up. I don't want it to be over after an hour and a half.

More than anything, I find myself wanting to try on more dresses like the one I favored yesterday. It was ivory lace over champagne fabric and had just enough sparkle. It was a modified a-line, which is basically a sheath with some flare. It was the perfect silhouette for my body, and had straps but not spaghetti straps, which I loved, and it was the only dress I could see feeling like me in. So because I need to exhaust all possibilities before I make a decision (I think this is a Capricorn thing), there are three (possibly more, but let's start with those) bridal boutiques I want to try.

The one good thing I can take away, is that full a-lines and tulle/organza (as whimsical as they may be) are not for me. Nor are natural-waisted dresses. I need some serious structure, so I need the dress to hug me to at least my hips. I've got curves, but they're slight, so I need something that really enhances them.

This is the dress that I liked, shown I believe in ivory/champagne on the left, which is what I tried on, and the colors I would get. White/white is not really my thing, and I like the contrast of the ivory/champagne more than I think I would the ivory/ivory, though I wasn't able to see it. (This is not me - the sample on this lovely lady looks way more fitted than mine did). The right one is a detail shot of I'm guessing white/white from the David's Bridal website.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

celebrate what you want to see more of

I've been struggling with reconciling the WIC and reality, and this week it's manifested in whether or not I should create an account on The Knot (and subsequently, a web site).

In the end, I did create an account (you can find me under AndeeC09). Because even though the 700+ To Do List is a bit over the top (understatement of the year?), and even though a lot of the content comes off as competitive propaganda (throw the best reception evar!!1!), and even though the "Just Engaged" badge makes me want to quit altogether (it's an obviously female hand displaying a diamond that's practically the size of her fist...because, you know, it's not an engagement ring unless it can feed a third world country), this is where most people turn first.

It took me months to discover what I affectionately call the Wedding Underground, and even then it was only because I was so fed up with the WIC (have you SEEN the Not Yet Engaged boards? They are exactly what is wrong with the WIC*) that I was close to tears at the sheer unrealistic nature of it all.

But if only one person finds me on The Knot, if only one person visits either my little blog, or is moved to search for alternatives, or is reassured that the WIC way is not the only way, and that they are not alone in feeling thus, then awesome.

As Tom Peters puts it best: Celebrate what you want to see more of.

I want to see more offbeat, practical, creative minds coming together to have their day, their way. Not the way that has been marketed to them as the Be All, End All.

*Which isn't to say there shouldn't be a Not Engaged Yet board or community. But my god, I found this community specifically to be the epitome of cattiness and opinionated self-indulgence. Not to mention that posters can get away with being - frankly - rude as hell to each other. It is not a safe place, in short, and I think it fosters a lot of ugliness that we should not be enabling.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

You Are Not Alone

My fiance and I have been engaged since April 25 (*SQUEE!*). I haven't talked about it in much detail to anyone, really, I think because I have felt so cocooned by love since the experience, and I'm terrified of releasing some of that joy, of relinquishing it to other people. It's certainly protected me over the past three and a half weeks, dealing with all the drama that seems to be part and parcel of announcing an engagement (and believe me, has there been drama).

But things are slowly starting to resettle. There were a lot of hard conversations, and many more tears. And I guess the main point I'm trying to make is, if the start of your engagement wasn't, or isn't what you expected, do not despair.

You are not alone, and this too shall pass.


*Incidentally, he proposed at the only time he could have possibly surprised me. It was simple, thoughtful, and utterly, breathtakingly perfect.