It finally happened…I tried on wedding gowns!
See, this is sort of epic for me. At first, I was dead-set against going to a store and trying dresses on. I hate going shopping and trying things on. I buy everything online. I had planned all along to get my gown from Lily Wedding one way or another, as they custom-make the dress to your size. But my cousin Darcy talked some reason into me, and I relented. I realized I really did need to try them on to see what looked best on my figure.
At first, I was convinced I would want to wear short-sleeves to cover my flabby arms. I then found out that doing that only draws more attention to them. I wasn’t into the idea of a halter, though my similarly-figured cousin Darcy wore one and looked great. I also didn’t want strapless, convinced I’d be tugging at it all night long.
Well, color me wrong. I changed my mind about everything once I tried some on. We went to David’s Bridal in Danvers, MA last Sunday, me still in the mindset of only trying them on and dead against buying one there. It ended up being a much more pleasant experience than I imagined it would be. I was first made nervous by all the girls walking in with appointments (it was a weekend after all) and I felt like a complete noob (gamer-speak for “newbie”). But they took my info and Cindy took me over. Darcy had her baby with her, so I didn’t expect her to be able to help much, but Cindy was an angel of taffeta, whisking me in and out of dresses, supplying everything I needed.
I tried on six dresses in an hour and a half, and ended up really liking two of them. I discovered halters look great, and strapless is a close second, staying in place much better than I expected. I discovered beads and sequins chafe my arms something horrible, so anything with them was disqualified. I also discovered that ruching in the waist area is a total tummy-hider, and an absolute must for my dress.
Super excited, I immediately posted pics for the ladies to weigh in on. I forbade Simon from looking at them, finally realizing I wanted him to see me in the dress for the first time on our wedding day (I later gave in and let him see pics of dresses without me in them, as I do want his opinion). Responses poured in, and NO ONE liked my favorite dress! It turned out the pics just didn’t do it justice, and it looked nothing like it had in person, which was super flattering. I really shouldn’t have even given them the option to weigh in on the dresses I wouldn’t ever wear, but hindsight is 20/20.
So here I am, lost and confused, and second-guessing everything. Darcy had me convinced it would be best to get my dress at David’s Bridal like she did, so they could take care of alterations and pressing and I could concentrate on other things. When I got to work on Monday, my co-workers warned me against the evil marked-up alterations there, one stating they quoted her over $100 for something she had another seamstress do for $30. (I love having recently married co-workers!) At 4’11” and with a very, um, “voluptuous” figure, anything I get off the rack is going to need to be tailored quite a bit.
I also continued looking at my “favorite” dress, which Simon had seen and approved of, and eventually found it boring. Plain white halter, the only embellishment being some ruching and gathers. I was over it already, and went back to searching Lily Wedding. This time, I had some direction. I knew I wanted color, and I knew what styles would work for me. That was when…I found THIS:
Ruching? Check. Color? Check. Flattering neckline? Check. I emailed customer service to see if they could do a few things: make the embroidery a darker red, eliminate any beads and sequins, and possibly switch it from strapless to halter. This is why I love them: they can do all three, for no extra charge. I had that answer in less than a day (and they’re based in China!). If I get it, I may keep it as strapless, I haven’t decided yet.
So I found a similar dress with red flowers on the David’s Bridal website, along with two others I’d like to try on. I’ll be going back next month with a few family members who couldn’t make it last time. After that, however, if I’m not in love with anything there, I will get something from Lily Wedding. I won’t need as many alterations when they custom-make it for me. If I have to be responsible for getting it pressed and tailored, so be it. It’s not worth a few extra HUNDRED dollars just for the convenience. I may not be a fan yet, and they did pleasantly surprise me, but I really can’t see myself getting a dress from DB. Call me a snob, but I want something made JUST for me. ;)
See my gown photo album.