A Bride and Her Dress

It started on a page in a bridal magazine — actually several pages in several magazines. My mother, sister, and I all bookmarked the same advertisement in different magazines for a stunning gown from Priscilla of Boston. It was fabulous … and out of our price range.

I lusted after the dress for days and came across a former bride selling hers at a discounted price on Bravo Bride. We communicated back and forth via email, and she shared pictures from her wedding day. But in the end, I decided there was a dress out there made especially for me.

My mom, being the detective she is, scoured the web for a similar style … and she found one! And this time it was within our budget. We located a dress shop nearby (Classic Weddings) that carries the designer (Casa Blanca Bridal), and off we went with a printed photo of my new desire.

It was the first dress I tried on, and it lived up to all of my expectations. As soon as the shop owner pinned the dress snug to my body, I was speechless. I twirled in front of the mirror and checked it out from all angles. And my mom cried when I stepped out of the dressing room.

Without divulging details (my fiancé reads my posts), I will tell you that the gown absolutely fits my style. It’s elegant but not elaborate. It’s simple and flattering. It’s ivory. And it’s just lovely.

But we couldn’t stop there! My mom and I had set aside an entire Friday for wedding dress shopping. And so I tried on 20 some other dresses. I selected various necklines and cuts and silhouettes and fabrics from two different shops. I almost fell for a princess gown with a fitted bodice and full skirt. It made me feel like Cinderella! But, really, it didn’t match my personality (or our venue), and so I returned it to the rack.

The following day I went back to the shop with my sister/MOH and slipped into the dress again. And I didn’t take it off for almost an hour! I accessorized with shoes, jewelry, and the finishing touch — a vintage-inspired veil.

So that was December, and it’s now April. I had my first dress fitting last weekend, and I’m still in love! I’ve talked to other brides experiencing “dress envy.” And I’ll admit that I haven’t stopped glancing at gown advertisements or looking at dresses on other brides. But as soon as I stepped into the dress last Saturday (this time in my size!), I knew there was no question about it – this was my dress.

To top it all off, Nick’s mother had flown to Pennsylvania from California to visit her mother for a few days, and the two joined my mother and I for the first fitting. My future mother-in-law cried when she saw me. There’s just something about a wedding dress that makes women – specifically mothers – very emotional. I wonder if it will make my groom emotional, too? My guess is yes.

If you’re just starting your search, here’s a website that lists the most common styles of gowns and makes suggestions for all body types: WeddingSolutions.com. And some tips from Real Simple.

Even though I chose the first dress I tried on, I think it’s a good idea to explore a variety of styles, colors, and fabrics.

I’m still debating whether to die my shoes ivory to match my dress or crimson to match the bridesmaids dresses. I love the thought of having a pop of color peeking from beneath my gown. And I wonder if I can get Nick to wear funky socks. What color are your shoes?

{credit EyeSpy Weddings via Snippet & Ink)

What stories do you have to share about the search for your dress?