I realized I posted that I bought my dress and had a guessing game of which dress it was, but didn’t comment on my dress shopping experience. So I thought I’d do a series this week. Much like the girls do on the knot I thought I’d give a grade to each shop (I visited a bunch) and then give a tidbit of info to help those girls just starting their dress journey. On top of this, I have decided to go all in on these posts. If you don’t like honesty I suggest you skim. I am being honest about my experience and myself as a person in order to help those other brides to be out there.
To be honest, I put off dress shopping for a year and then months and months because I was not happy with myself. I haven’t lost the lbs. *lots of lbs* I have gained since meeting fiancé and I felt like crap. The dieting and exercising and weight I thought I would have lost didn’t come off as fast as I’d hope, or at all. I felt better inside but didn’t think I reflected it on the outside. My weight gain also lead to additional scaring and stretch marks that made me feel self conscious. I never talk about my weight gain much but I knew everyone else KNEW that was the reason I was being so apprehensive. I finally came to the realization if I wanted to get a dress I LIKED I’d have to start shopping and be happy with myself. Yes, I might be getting married at the heaviest I have ever been, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look pretty and have my dream dress. I got over the fact that I didn’t think I “deserved” what thin brides got for their day for my own wedding, and realized I needed to give myself some credit. So here is the disclaimer that a lot of my dress shopping was hindered by my size. Awesome. But, I deserved a dress I loved- so off I went shopping.
Anyway, mine was not so much of a dress journey as it was a marathon. Once I got going on it I didn’t WANT to stop until I found a dress. It left me searching website and pulling gowns from magazines non-stop on the days between appointments.
My first appointment was on a whim.
On a Sunday afternoon my mom and I went into David’s Bridal. Partially to look at dresses for her, and then to look at dresses for me. She wanted me to try on various styles to see what I liked so we could narrow it down.
In case you haven’t realized from reading my blog, I am really particular. I have a certain style in mind and a set idea of “what” I want. When I can’t find anything to fit into that mold, I get easily frustrated. This is probably why one day last August a girl I barely knew looked at me and said “it’s ok I understand why you are obsessing, because you are totally type A”. I will never forget that comment or the comment my printer made to me about being the “most particular client that has walked through the door in at least 15 years”- but I guess it helped me get out of my denial stage and come to terms with the fact that it was true, I was one of “those people”. (we don’t like to call ourselves control freaks).
At any rate, I did have preconceived notions before going to David’s Bridal. I knew what it was: A chain store that sold knockoffs of too expensive for me to afford designer dresses for an affordable price. A friend once told me the designers for Forever 21 head out to fashion shows for top designers and immediately run back to their office to sketch the Forever designs based on the shows- and immediately send the sketches off to be made. I figured this must be what David's Bridal designers did. This was the exact reason I wanted to check out the Vera Wang White line. After all, who doesn't want a Vera look at an affordable price? Overall, the store was a bit chaotic, and a bit over crowded.
We didn’t have an appointment so I was assigned a girl that looked about 12. She threw me over a corset and a petticoat and told me to come out when it was on. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to hook all 42 hooks on the corset myself but I tried my best. I got frustrated and was almost in tears when another girl knocked on the door. “How are you doing”…”um can you tell me how I am supposed to do this myself”…”you’re not”, she said. She came in and helped me. She was a life saver!!! She saved me from the edge of tears.
I tried on a few Vera gowns I had been swooning over. They weighed about 30 lbs a piece. And I soon realized what I “thought” I liked wasn’t what I liked. I wanted something a bit couture, and since David’s is a national store- they order their gowns so they appease a multitude of brides. Because of this, I found 3or 4 gowns I “kind of” liked.
The service wasn’t as bad as I expected. There were two appointments at once- but that was ok with me. I had more time to stand and stare at myself in the mirror (not my crowning moment, but hey, every girl wants to feel like a princess) while strangers told me they liked the dress I had on (that I hated).
I did find one dress that I thought could be a big backup if I couldn’t find anything. Also, I do give David’s credit for having dresses ALL women can try on. I mean I am talking size 0-30 in stock to try on.
Overall, I’ll give my appointment at David’s from the point the savior consultant walked in until I walked out a B. Anything before that gets a D+.
My next appointment I made was at the House of Brides in Woonsocket. Come back tomorrow to read more on that visit!