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.