I've already found my Prince Charming. His name is Brandon, and he wears ACUs instead of shining armor. Now, I'm on my hunt for my Cinderella ball gown.
Yesterday, my mom, sister, Belinda, and I headed to Mary Me Bridal in Orange for a bridal appointment with a very tall woman named Sue. I was not impressed by the service at first because I felt rushed and even a bit lost. I lied saying that my budget was $2,000 so that they would be willing to show me something. From what I saw, nothing was under $800. A single simple veil was $200. Belinda and I were allowed to look through their many dresses on our own while Sue grabbed what she thought I would like into the dressing room. We concluded that many looked too much like prom dresses.
I had gone in thinking that I liked something more fitted like this Jim Hjelm dress, but as soon as I put it on I knew that it was all wrong. All of my magazine clippings and tearouts were based on the trumpet gown, and I was really surprised to find that my preparation was meaningless. The trumpet silhouette is definitely not forgiving on those with wide hips and love handles. Plus, I felt like I couldn't even move.
Belinda and I had found a ball gown that I had wanted to try on "just for fun" and I immediately swelled up with emotion since it was my first dress. I felt the tears sneaking up as soon as Sue zipped me up and fitted it with her massive industrial clips. Suddenly, I was a bride.
I went out to show my mini-entourage and I could see tears forming in their eyes too. I was in that dress for another five minutes or so and knew that I had to move on. It only got better from there.
I had asked Sue to take down a dress we saw on a form near the front entrance. This gorgeous gown by Alvina Valenta could very well have been "The One". Since I cannot describe such a beautiful speciman on my own without ruining the integrity of it, I will leave it to the website: "Rum pink silk duchess satin A-line ball gown with full double box pleated skirt. Winter white alencon lace adorns scalloped sweetheart torso and creates illusion of a dropped waist. A deep border of winter white alencon lace surrounds hem. Covered buttons and loops over zipper down center back, chapel train."
I was in love. My boobs looked great. My waist looked tiny. The dress had everything I wanted. Lace, beading, texture, sweetheart neckline, pleating. Too bad this baby was over $5,000!
Lesson to all: Yes, it may be fun to try on dresses that are way over your budget, but you will just end up dreaming about those dresses because nothing else will ever be able to top them.
Sorry for the awkwardness in this picture. I had read some reviews of Mary Me Bridal saying that pictures were not allowed in the store so I had Belinda/Debbie snap some whenever Sue was away.
I reluctantly took her off and tried on another beautiful gown. This dress was "only" $1600. She was beautiful too. There was so much detail in this dress. It didn't have that sweetheart neckline, but a "smile" neckline. However, Sue said that she would alter it herself for only $20 compared to the $75 that they normally charge. I could even order the gown in a petite size so that the hem would not need to be changed. Sue was making it work for me every which way. I felt so guilty because I knew that I would never be willing to pay so much for a single dress. I was leading poor Sue on.
I ended our appointment by telling her that I had to think about it and we left. Belinda needed to head to work, but the rest of us went to the David's Bridal in Costa Mesa.
Coming from such a high end store to one where I can actually afford created a different experience. They were definitely less personal at David's Bridal, but we didn't mind because all we wanted to do was try on a few gowns. Besides, we already knew what would and wouldn't work on my body. Yes to A-Line. No to trumpet/mermaid.
After a few hits and misses, we landed on what will most likely be the dress. My consultant, Barbara, pulled out a dress that was brand new and wasn't even featured in their catalogue yet. It had wonderful detail for a much lower price of $695. Plus, it is on sale at the moment for $75 off. However, the sale ends on Monday so I have to make a quick decision. I need to determine if I really like the dress because my family likes it or if I like it.
I'll let you know when it happens.
P.S. I have finished my Save the Date cards (finally). They look a lot better than I had imagined. I'll post on that after I send them out.