The Dress! The Dress! The Dress!

Maybe I’ve never really talked about the quest for the dress because everything about it was straightforward and easy. Yup – easy.

Jam and I had been engaged for about 9 or so months and had been way too busy dealing with grad school and life issues to concentrate too much on the wedding. The year we got engaged I graduated grad school -though a technicality almost prevented me from doing so, Jam started grad school, my father unexpectedly retired from his job and the exit was unpleasant, and his only living relative with whom he was close died, also unexpectedly and the end was ugly. Then we had to clean out her house and figure out what to do with her stuff.  It sucked. It was stressful and sad. There were a lot of tears and at the end of ’08 my father said that the only good thing that happened all year was us getting engaged. Which was really one of the sweetest possible things he could’ve said, though in my head I was like “what about the Master of Science I earned in Blood, Sweat and Tears…I mean, Biology?” But I digress…

By January 2009 I think we all felt a little better, like we had our feet under us again, so we decided to get some wedding stuff done. Jam and I booked our venue, and getting that out of the way was fantastic. My friend and bridesmaid had been pressuring me about dresses for months. Ugh, it was too early to shop! She called me one day to tell me that she had made me an appointment at David’s Bridal for MLK day and I’d be meeting her there at 11am. “But David’s Bridal is kind of seedy!” I whined. “Uh uh, none of that,” she said, “and before you get mad, I am a stay at home mom with a one-year old! I NEED TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.”

I said that I’d go to DB, but wouldn’t see anything nice and certainly wouldn’t buy a dress. No way.

I decided to take a look at the website just in case.

That’s when I saw this:

I pretty much knew it was “the one.” I llloooved this dress. But loving this dress made things a teensy bit awkward, since I had mentioned to my sister’s friend that I might ask her to make my dress. I didn’t want to hurt any feelings, plus it was David’s Bridal. I was still stuck on being a snob about it, despite the fact that I feared snooty bridal salons. Contradictory as usual. Ha.

We get to David’s and the dress is on a mannequin, so I point that out to the saleslady and she grabs one in my size, as well as two other dresses. I barely remember them. My sister’s pics helped job my memory.

First dress, all lace, strapless Oleg Cassini.

It was a beautiful dress….just not on me:

Uhhh Spanx much? LOL. Seriously though, I hated the sweetheart neckline more than anything, though looking back I probably should’ve disliked other things, like how it was clinging to my belly. Yikes!

Second dress, the DB T9612:

As soon as I put it on, I loved it. It was comfy and fairly flattering. I loved the beading and the color and how the veil looked. The dress was very “me” and I thought it sort of fit the theme and venue nicely – while matching the venue wasn’t exactly a priority for me, I thought this was a pleasant coincidence.

This was the third dress, also a DB brand.

I actually loved this dress. It was simple, elegant and comfortable. For me it lacked the oomph of the second dress, though I think this silhouette was much better at disguising certain things I appreciated having disguised 😉  Jam and I went to a wedding about 9 months after this, and the bride was wearing this dress. She looked a-maz-ing. But, since she’s a very close friend of Jam’s and her husband is a groomsman, I was kind of relieved to have picked something different….

…because of course I picked the second dress!

This is where I list all the reasons why I like the dress. blah blah blah.

Did I think it was a little crazy to buy a wedding dress a full 21 months before the wedding? Uhh. Yeah. What if I found something else I liked? What if I changed my mind? Lost weight? Gained weight? Got sick of my choice? My bridesmaid, MOH and mother thwarted my fears. “Just don’t go dress shopping again!” they said. Well that was easy enough. Then I wondered where in my crowded closet I’d keep this thing, and it seemed like a stupid idea to buy with with nowhere to store it….My mother said it could live at my grandma’s house.  Then I worried about buying a dress at David’s – it’s a chain store, wouldn’t other brides…like a lot of other brides, be wearing the same dress? I think someone told me to get over it and to look on the bright side, the chance of seeing other brides in “my” dress would decrease over time since I was buying it so early…that was all the convincing I needed.  I bought the dress, headpiece and veil that very day. Boom. Done. Then my dress went to live at my grandma’s house, where I didn’t think too much about it, except when I saw a pic on the internet of another bride walking happily down the aisle in it.

Funnily enough, one of the weddingbee bloggers rocked “our” dress at her wedding, and looked just lovely:

Mrs D’Orsay of WeddingBee (click for source)

Maybe some brides would be upset about seeing their dress on other brides all over the interwebs – I thought I would be one of them – but it makes me kind of happy. The brides look radiant and the dress looks fab in photos. Hurrah for T9612!

So I’ve written about how after I purchased this, stored it in my grandma’s closet for 17 months and tried it on again, the fit wasn’t fantastic. You can’t tell from the above pic, but my bust isn’t exactly filling out the dress, and the shoulders didn’t really sit right. Mary has been reworking the dress over the past few weeks. Yesterday I went to her shop so she could see how the alencon lace worked on the hem. O.mah.gah. I can’t even tell you how the lace changed the whole dress to make it look super-fancy and more expensive. It added a touch of extra-classy, which excited us both to the point where Mary exclaimed “Jeez, I’m so excited, you’d think you were my kid! ha!” ha ha ha.

While I don’t have a pic of me with the lace and the train alterations (she took off some excess in the back, thank goodness), here I am with the dress pinned up and fitting much better. Um, and you can tell that I lost over 10 pounds since I bought it too, that stomach bulge has gone down and I got my cheekbones back, ha ha ha:

So there you have it, “the dress.” I love it even more with the nifty lace customization on the hem. Eeek! It fits perfectly too (note to self: maintain exercise routine) and after the next fitting, it’ll be ready to move back to my grandma’s closet until the beginning of October. Can’t wait!

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