After our first two appointments from the day before I had three dresses floating around in my head. DressA: exactly what I had envisioned myself wearing. DressB: something I would have never picked but absolutely loved. And finally DressC: I liked it but it would need a bunch of extra alterations done to make it perfect.
At this point I had an opinion in my head about what I wanted to do about these dresses and apparently my family had taken a "secret vote" the day before as to what dress was #1 but weren't going to tell me until everything was said and done. So my mom, J's mom and my MOH headed to our last appointment for the weekend. This store was a smaller boutique style place similar to our first stop but unfortuantely didn't take appointments. Thankfully we lucked out and only waited about 15 minutes for an available consulatant while we went through all the racks and started pulling dresses.
One of the first things I noticed at this store was that they carried the same designer as the one from DressA. I was quick to ask if they carried the specific style (to see how price compared) but they didn't. However it was a very good starting point for our appointment as about 80% of the dresses I tried on here were from the same designer. I tried on a handful of dresses, most of which were great dresses. They fit me nicely, they had all the details that I said I wanted but none were thrilling me. I just couldn't get DressA or DressB out of my head. My mom was busy snapping pictures of all different angles and all different details about each dress so that if I left without a dress I could look back an know everything about each dress.
I finally found one more dress that was really fabulous, we'll call it DressD. It was very, very similar to the first two dresses and had exactly what I wanted in terms of style. And I can bet that had we come to this store first, this dress would have been my first choice. But standing there in that dress I was back to my internal battle of "do I love this dress so much more than either of the first two?" "is this my dream dress?". Because I'm practical I couldn't let my emotions tell me what to do. We started pulling up pictures of the first two dresses on phones and cameras. We compared dress prices and alterations prices. I imagined what type of veil and shoes and jewlery I would want for each dress. At this point, I was seriously confused.
I'm not sure who mentioned it but somehow the idea got tossed in that we should go back to the first place and see if they would let me try DressA and DressB back on. There had been so many dresses between when I wore them and when I was wearing DressD that I thought it might help clarify my decision. The kink in the chain however was that J and I were headed back to San Diego the next day so my options were to either make a decision today or place an order without actually being in town. Our consultant at this final store ended up taking my measurements and creating a file for me just as if I had placed an order for DressD but without actually placing it. That way, if I eventually decided that DressD was the one I could call and finalize the process. So we left and headed back to The Bridal Collection with all intents of doing the same process there with those two dresses.
On our way back to see DressA and DressB I gave them a call because technically you had to have an appointment to try on dresses. I told them I was there the day before and loved two dresses and was wondering if I could come try only those two back on today. She was hesitant at first but when I told her my circumstances about being from out of town and leaving the next day she said it was alright to come in. Unfortunately Miranda had left for the day but at this point I didn't need her expertise in picking dresses, I just needed to get back into the two I loved and comapre them to this new option.
DressA was the first one I put back on. It was exactly the dress of my dreams. Every part of it was exactly what I had seen myself walking down the aisle in. I put on a veil and some jewlery and stood there. I looked from the front, from the back, from both sides. I walked around wearing it, I sat in a chair, basically I did everything possible in this dress to see if it was "the one". Then it was DressB's turn and the process started all over. Veils, front, back, walking, sitting, etc etc etc. I still couldn't believe I loved this dress given the fact that I would have never picked it for myself.
By this point my family was pretty quiet. They had already said their opinions about both, the pros and cons, the comparison to DressD, everything except which was their favorite and they just silently let me think which I am so grateful for. I can't even tell you how many times I changed into the two dresses. I'd be standing there in one thinking "okay I know my decision about this all" and then I'd want to put the other back on and I'd be back to square one. Back and forth, back and forth.
Until I really let myself go, let myself take in everything that I had experienced, everything that was said about the three dresses and even let my logic take a back seat. Finally, I put my wedding dress back on for the last time and walked out to see my family. I stood on that pedistal one last time and said "This is it! This is the one!" And in that moment, DressB became mine! The dress that shocked me. The dress I doubted on the hanger. The dress that was fit for someone with exactly my body type. The dress my mom and I cried to. The dress that literally made my heart flutter each and every time I put it on. It wasn't everything I had imagined for myself.... it was better!
I had done it, I had found my perfect wedding dress.
I headed back to the dressing room and my measurements were taken. We talked about how fittings and alterations would work being an out of town bride. The paperwork was signed and all the formality was completed. And we celebrated!
I am so thankful for every part of this whirlwind dress shopping experience. Thankful for my family for being there with me through it all. Thankful for my amazing mom for giving this dress to me. Thankful for a consultant who knew what and when to do exactly the right thing. Thankful for my my perfect dress and thankful to be on this journey towards marrying J.
Who would have thought my dress would be the fourth one I tried on? Who would have thought the whole process could take only two days? I definitely didn't!