May 11, 2012

Say YES to the Dress: CHECK

I was truly on a roller coaster ride with my experiences trying on wedding gowns. I was determined to find the perfect gown, and shows like Say Yes to the Dress add to the drama of wanting that special moment, waterworks, you know - the whole nine yards. My dress journey lead me to two David's Bridal stores, one in Hattiesburg, Miss. and one in Mobile, Ala. I have to say if you're in the area, go to Mobile over Hattiesburg, they were much more focused on customer service and I had a pleasant experience there.

After those two trips, I scoured the internet for a gown in women's size because I thought I needed a bigger gown to accommodate my ahem, girls... I called every bridal boutique from Pensacola to New Orleans, all the way to Tupelo.

I finally decided to try some places in St. Louis since I'd be there for Easter. I found one shop that had the Allure Women gown I'd found online. My future mother-in-law went with me to White Traditions in St. Charles. First, let me tell you, that place is awesome. Exposed brick interior, quaint little fitting rooms with curtains for doors, and very few other brides trying on at the same time. I ended up hating the Allure Women gown I'd gone there for. I don't mean this to be ugly, but it just looked like it was made for a girl much bigger than I am. It was in my size, I just felt like it didn't do anything for the curves I have. At that point I discovered, I didn't need to be looking in women's sizes, I was too small everywhere else for them.

Sweetheart 5972
I found a dress there I LOVED, a Sweetheart by Justin Alexander, it's a new line. Future mother-in-law cried, I felt so beautiful and special, just one problem, my mama wasn't there. I wanted so badly to give the owner of that shop my business, but I just could not make that decision without my mom there.

(remember I'm doing all of this with a giant blood clot in my leg)

As soon as I landed in Mobile on the day after Easter, mom and Barbara Nan and I headed for I Do Bridals in Mobile, Ala. The owner herself had, unbeknown to me, opened the shop just for me to come try on. She hadn't mentioned when I made the appointment that they weren't normally open on Mondays!

Unfortunately, that's pretty much where my fondness for her ended. She started off by droning on about how they'd been ranked this and that by and she called me BOO-BOO. WHAT?! I was ready to tell her that if they were so awesome she needed to prove it. I tried on quite a few gowns and found some that I liked, but still didn't have that, "This is it," feeling. Even after Ms. Owner Lady had told me she had me pegged as soon as I walked in and knew exactly what dress was mine. HA! As soon as she said that, I shut down and knew I would not get my dress from her.

That night is when I went to the ER and spent a few days in the hospital, thus complicating my dress search since I couldn't go on any extended car rides for a while.

Okay, it wasn't THAT bad, but this is what
happens if you Google "wedding dress too much cleavage"

That lead me to try a local dress shop, Bridal and Formal Boutique in Gulfport, Miss. that I honestly hadn't even given a thought to after a friend recommended I not go there. I absolutely fell in love with my consultant and the owner, Adrian, who ended up helping me as well. I found a gown that I finally got "that feeling" with... One problem... It was basically a strapless dress (with capsleeves sewn on) with a sweetheart neckline.

Okay ladies, who can tell me what a sweetheart neckline does? Give up? It gives the perception of boobs where there are none! And if you already have boobs? Yep, it makes an ungodly, obscene mountain of cleavage and all things unholy. It would have been alright if I wouldn't have had to stare the priest who baptized me in the face as I say my vows. My dream dress just wouldn't work, it was Maggie Sottero and they don't alter necklines (FYI: Casablanca will alter a neckline of a dress with no extra charge).

Still on the hunt, we headed to JoVi's Bridal in Mobile, Ala. I was quite disappointed with the selection there. Now, I understand sometimes THE dress is something you do not expect... But this woman, the owner, completely went in the opposite direction of what I said I wanted. I flat out told her, "Lady, I know what I want, so please stop bringing me these gowns I don't like."

It was honestly a pretty terrible experience, not because of the shop itself, but my appointment was at the same time as this girl who had brought her ~3 year old son, her sister, and her mom. Now I realize these days lots of people get married and already have kids, it's 2012 after all, but this little boy was a monster and did not belong in a bridal boutique. I tripped over his toy trucks on my way to the pedastal - totally ruining any hope for that, "HALLELUJAH from the Heavens," moment. Then my mom witnessed the whole thing, he PEED all over the floor of the bridal show room while the mom, sister or grandma did nothing. I felt bad for the little boy because he was just trying to get attention while the three ladies with him were ignoring him to look at dresses. DISCLAIMER: This is not an "I hate kids" observation, I LOVE kids, but people need to remember where they are and be considerate of others...

So I went BACK to the Bridal Boutique in Gulfport to see if I felt any different in my dream dress, but the second time around, it became more evident that the girls were going to be a no-go in that dress. Bleh.

So the morning of the IMA Spring Charity Ball (I was a duchess and had to be there early, decked out, etc) my mom decides we should ride to Metairie, La. to go to the famed and fabled Pearl's Place. Imagine a Black Friday-esque scenario, but all women trying on wedding gowns and you'll somewhat have an image of what that place was like... 7 minutes after they opened their doors! Apparently this place is the mecca of bridal gowns in this area. Nonetheless, with mom, grandma, and DAD (yes, MY dad, he's not the types like you see on #SYTTD) in tow, we trudged through the masses of dresses and after a 45 minute wait it was my turn in the stall... errrr I mean fitting room. Although the scene was more like a cow herding nightmare!

This blog post is getting pretty long winded, so I'll cut to the chase - I found the gown of my dreams. It's actually one that other people had recommended to me, but none of the salons I'd been to had it in stock. Dreamy, princess-like, super classy - ahhh I was in love. Only problem was I didn't want to order it from that place, I wanted to give my business to Adrian in Gulfport. So mom and I had a little pow-wow and decided that's what we'd do. Problem is we didn't include dad.

So here we are, trying to bait and switch my consultant, because as soon as I let her know, "It's the one," she instantly begins pressuring me to go ahead and buy the gown. This was on the 28th of April, so I'm sure she had a sales quota to make by the end of the month. So then dad chimes in saying if I know it's the one, let's go ahead and get it. So I had to perform like a Grammy winning actress and convince dad and the consultant that I really wasn't, in fact, THAT sure of the gown after all.

Long story short - we drove to Gulfport, ordered it from the boutique I like and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, it's here only TEN days later?! Apparently it was a Priority Gown which means it ships faster than other gowns by this designer. So I was in this total frenzy thinking I was running late (most gowns take 4-6 months to come in) and now I'm going tomorrow to try on my dress!

1 comment :

  1. I love this post! You are such an awesome story teller. :D


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