Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Search for the Dress

I read all the time about brides who literally spend months looking for THE dress, often buying several dresses resulting from indecision about what they really want. It scared the crap out of me reading these stories. Was I really going to have to spend hours and hours drowning in taffeta and silk,  awkwardly stripping my clothes off in front of strange women? Trying to play the "I know you've seen hundreds of boobs before so I'll act cool about this, but let's see how good I am at covering up all of the essentials AND dragging twenty pounds of dress behind me" game.

Ughh, it just sounded miserable and I'll be honest, I wasn't looking forward to dress shopping. GASP! I know, how un-bridal of me. It's just that I had never really given a lot of thought as to what I wanted my dress to look like. I felt completely unprepared and had no idea what kind of dress would look good on me. Silk, Taffeta, A line, Mermaid, halter, strapless, sweetheart neckline or straight line?!!! My awesome solution to the overwhelming options? I didn't look at all. Great plan I know.

This plan was going along swimmingly until the end of last summer, when I suddenly realized that I needed to get on the hunt ASAP, or I was going to be walking down the aisle in my sweatpants (which actually sounds incredibly comfortable, but perhaps Grandma would have a problem with this?).

So the very next Saturday I recruited the woman who knew me best; Mommy dearest, and off we went to our first stop.

I had heard about an appointment only sample sale going on for a gown distributor in Atlanta. They are only open to the public once a year for this sale, the rest of the year they sell directly to dress retailers. I could browse a great sample of gowns at great discounts!

Let's get right too it shall we? The place was small, we weren't helped for almost 30 minutes, and I felt like I was having to change in front of the whole store. Since all of the samples were in sizes 8 and 10, it was a little hard to envision how each dress would look altered to my size (I'm a tiny person if you haven't picked up on that). We were off to a great start. . .not!!! (channel Borat here). Here are a few that I tried on.

Can we talk about my face in this pic?
I really liked this dress, the lace was really pretty and it was so light and breathable. The neckline was not flattering on me at all though, and I felt super self conscious about the lack of straps. How was I supposed to boogie down at our reception if my dress was going to be falling around my ankles the whole time? (somehow I don't think Nate would have a problem with that).

Yikes, bad lighting= really unflattering photo
I really loved the train on this dress. It definitely had that "sexy" vibe to it. Satin, off the shoulder neckline and very very comfortable. I also loved the beading along the bust line. The cons: I thought that it wrinkled very easily (I mean, do you see the wrinkles on this thing?!) and it was a very modern looking dress for the type of wedding we were planning. It was a contender, but I could not see myself buying a dress at the very first place that we went. Since the sale was only going on for that day, I was going to have to commit if I wanted it. We left with the promise of returning by the end of the day if we were going to buy. So on to the next place!!

Our next stop was a dress consignment shop located in Buckhead. I'll keep the name of the place anonymous because of what I'm about to say. The shop owner was a crazy, overbearing, BEOTCH. There, now that I got that off my chest. I will say that she was very nice to my mom and I, but we heard her having a phone conversation with someone on the phone that would have you shaking in your boots. She was screaming and threatening the person, and it made trying to be excited about the dress I had on just on the other side of the wall a leeeetle difficult.

This is where I channeled my inner princess.

Note the aforementioned dragon lady in the corner!

It was poofy, princessy, and really freaking heavy!!

I love the veil!!!
Part of me was in love with this dress. It was the quintessential princess bride dress. It screamed "bridal" and I loved how it swished like a bell when I walked. I even momentarily thought about buying it. It was just so much. . . gown. I felt like I was drowning in it. So we sheepishly said goodbye to the Dragon Lady (secretly hoping she wouldn't eat us) and moved on.

Our third and final stop of the day was Kelly's Closet

Sorry for the bad pic, it's hard to find pics of this place!
Can i just say that I thought Kelly's Closet was the cutest little place and was exactly what I had envisioned in terms of the "dress shopping experience". The cutest, comfiest couches nestled in between some of the most beautiful delicate gowns, and full length gilded mirrors to admire the potential dresses.

I found my dress here, on the very first day of looking, and I am head over heels in love with it. how do I know it's the one? My mom cried, and then I cried, and then it was just a big cry-fest. I knew the minute I put it on that this was the dress Nate would love. Speaking of Nate, he reads this blog, which is why I'm sure you'll understand that I'm not posting a pic of the dress! Such a tease I know, but only 3 short months before everyone gets to see it in action!

What was your dress shopping experience like?


  1. This was NOTHING like my dress shopping experience... haha. See, I read the blog!

  2. Yay! You found your dress!! I am sure it is lovely :-) Not sure if it goes with your dress but that long veil is so beautiful. I fell in love with my dress twice (

  3. I found my dress while out on an impromptu shopping trip by myself one Thursday afternoon. I didn't have anyone to sway me either way. It was perfect. I later came back with my parents and we purchased mah dress!