GO AWAY ARCHITECT!
I first went dress shopping with my mom last July. Originally I wanted to put off dress shopping until after I moved to California. I figured that buying a dress and having alterations done in the state where I would be living would be easier than buying a dress in Boston... but then I talked to one of my friends who was living in California and getting married in Detroit, and she changed my mind. She was so worried about transporting her dress across the country to her wedding that she was considering buying an extra seat on an airplane for it. It was quickly becoming one of the most stressful aspects in the days leading up to her wedding, and I just didn't want that kind of stress. So in the end my mom and I decided to head to a local bridal salon just outside of Boston, to see what we could see.
We arrived at Yolanda's on a hot afternoon in July, inspiration pictures in hand, and our bridal consultant, Darlene, got right to work at pulling some dresses for us. Darlene asked what our budget was -- and promised not to pull any dresses above the maximum price that we told her. From my inspiration pictures, she said that she had a good idea of what I was looking for... and she did not disappoint.
I wasn't allowed to take any pictures of the dresses that I tried on, but here are the model pictures of some of the more successful dresses (i.e. the ones that I actually remember):
Dress #1 -- This one is from Paloma Blanca. It was the very first dress that I tried on, and I instantly loved it. I wasn't sure at the time if it was just the shock of seeing myself in a wedding dress for the first time, or if it was actually as fabulous as it seemed, but this was the dress that I compared all of the others against. One thing about this dress that I wasn't too sure about though was that the skirt was REALLY full. It had 3 whole layers of crinoline under the skirt. Luckily, Darlene informed me that it would be easy to order this dress with one less layer of crinoline if I wanted.
Dress #2 -- also a Paloma Blanca. The version of this dress that I tried on was a kind of funky light gray color, but other than the color the dress was gorgeous. The empire waist was very flattering, and the dress could easily be ordered in ivory instead. This one was also in instant contender... and you gotta love the pockets (!) on all of these Paloma Blanca dresses :-)
Dress #3 -- This one is from Romona Keveza. I tried it on in ivory, and I didn't wear the belt. This dress was truly stunning. Unfortunately, I felt that this dress didn't really fit our wedding. If I were having a hip city wedding in a cool loft or a gallery, this would have been my dress though. I still think about this one as my "alternate" wedding dress -- if we had planned a very different wedding. Also, while the cost of this dress lay below the price cutoff that we had given to Darlene, it was still a ways above our actual budget.
After these three dresses there were a few others that Darlene pulled that I wasn't such a fan of. There was the giant poofy dress that looked to me like a giant tutu -- and made me feel like a giant 5-year old running around at ballet class -- not exactly the right feel for a wedding day. There was also a mermaid style dress, which was quite flattering actually, but for some reason it just didn't feel like me.
So we narrowed things down to dress #1 and #2, while Darlene went ahead and pulled one more dress -- another Romona Keveza. Here she is:
Dress #4 -- Ah Romona. While I had never actually come across Romona Keveza before I tried on dresses at Yolanda's, she was quickly becoming one of my favorite dress designers!
Side view. Sadly, there is no back view on the Romona Keveza website. This is a crying shame as far as I am concerned, since the back of the dress was also just gorgeous!This dress had a very similar look to dress #1, but all of the details were a little more refined, and a little more elegant. It had box pleats in the back and a clean seam in the front, where the bodice of the dress met the skirt. It also had a beautiful line of buttons down the back. This is a detail that I always truly loved when looking at pictures of wedding dresses.
At this point, my mom proclaimed that the final dress was "the one", but I still wasn't so sure. After all, this was my very first time trying on wedding dresses, so I wanted to check out some other stores... or at least sleep on it before I made any final decisions. Darlene left a dangling offer of 10% off if we bought the dress on our first visit to the store, but I just couldn't commit. Not yet anyways. So with that Darlene wrote down the style numbers for the 3 dresses that were still in the running, and away we went.
Did you make any quick decisions when buying your wedding dress? ...or did you need to do some shopping around to find "the one"?