As y’all know, this past weekend I went wedding dress shopping. I stuck with my 5 rules and I’m happy to say that everything went wonderfully! I did not 100% fully commit to one dress yet, but I learned a ton about this awesome process. Allow me to share.
Having a plan was key!! I felt much more calm knowing I had time between appointments and we even managed to have the time for a few lunchtime celebratory drinks! Yes please, pass the booze. And the Starbucks.
Being flexible was enlightening. By trying on dresses the exact opposite of my desired style, I either learned whether my gut was right or I was shocked if they didn’t look half-bad on me. But in the end, I stuck with what I felt would flatter me most and suit our wedding’s feel the best. I also found that it doesn’t hurt to try on something that you *know* in your mind that you will hate if it means the world to someone in your entourage. Especially a close family member. Just put it on. At the end of the day, you’re trying on a gorgeous dress and this is FUN. (And it was!)
Going with my gut was easy. The ladies in my entourage were all amazing with their compliments, honest and gentle advice and hilarious commentary. One thing they reminded me was that I didn’t have to show them every dress – which helped when something I slid on turned out to be a horror show. I’d just stay in dressing room and let them figure it out by the sound of my guffawing behind the curtain. As for the ones that looked great? The girls were perfect and waited for my reaction and thoughts before they offered their take. But…. I could tell by their faces which ones were the winners. I know my girls!
I stuck to the budget because I didn’t pick the dresses over it and/or I told each consultant not to bring me anything over said amount. Most of they time they didn’t. A certain boutique brought me dresses above my max, but claimed they’d throw a discount at me to help fit my budget. Meh to that. I’m not a moron. I know that there are alterations, accessories and underthings to be purchased AFTER the dress. Help a girl out!
The horror stories I’d heard about bridal sizes were only semi-true. It depended on the boutique! Some of the larger, national chains are very true to street sizes. I was even a 6 in a few dresses there, break my heart! The more specialty boutiques only had the sample sizes to try on, so there was some cinching with clips or adding-of-fabric to cover my CrossFit booty. FYI, Sample dress sizes are typically made in a bridal size 10 and for a height of 5’9″. Hello, that’s me! I feel extremely fortunate that about 75% of the dresses I tried on fit amazingly well. The rest of them needed only slight tweaks and maybe 2-3 didn’t fit at ALL. And because I’m 5’9″ and I’m wearing flats at my wedding, the dresses were the perfect length as-is. It made it very easy to see an accurate picture, thankfully.
Now, onto the things I wasn’t expecting:
Underthings MATTER. Or more accurately, the structure and design of the dresses matter. No lady wants to be worried about cleavage overkill (or overspill!), wrinkly dress lines, unwanted tummy bulges, side-boobage, back boobage, or exposed bras. I was delighted by the dresses that came as a package deal. (ie, I could go commando in those suckers, they are so well-built… not that I would.) I was annoyed by those that would require Spanx for days and a torturous backless strapless number that puts my girls on a damn shelf. Although… I will say that we may have snapped a shot of my never-before-seen AMAZING cleavage. Wowza.
Don’t forget to laugh. With my girls, this would be impossible. In honor of my staunch refusal of having a BUTT BOW on my dress, they had custom t-shirts made for all of us. The shirts were black (to hide the sweaty pits!) and our game numbers and names were even on the back.
This immediately amused the dress shops, who made sure to follow that one rule if nothing else. But also, the girls and their humor made it easy for me to stay relaxed and not be stressed. Because after going through it, I can see how easy it would be to become overwhelmed, frustrated and panicky if you feel undue pressure to find THE dress. Laugh. It’s all okay when there is poof involved.
Winter Storm Hercules. But wait, Peach, you’re in Atlanta. Yep. But my Maid of Honor is from Long Island and was flying out of LaGuardia the night the piles of snow hit them. Miraculously, her flight managed to depart despite a 3 hr delay, 2 de-icings and skidding on the runway as they were taking off. Eeeeek! She landed at 1:45am and we got home at 2:30am. Then Nette (my MaidTron of Honor – she’s getting married in April) took the redeye from Cali and landed at 6am that morning. So, I got about 2hrs of sleep, picked up Nette and then we all went all day on Friday. Screw the lack of sleep. It was totally worth it to have both of them here. Take that, Polar Vortex!!!
So there you have it. I am not yet done with dress shopping and I haven’t said yes to a dress yet, but I learned so much. I am so, so grateful to have had my girls and my mom there with me this weekend and I am taking away so many memories that I won’t forget anytime soon. My heart is full.
I’ll post a short review of the boutiques I visited soon.
Till next time. ~Peach