Wedding Dress: The Story of Selection

First things first, I am not posting a photo of me in my wedding dress or even a photo of my wedding dress. I’m going to show you what I did not pick while I tell you the story of what I did…b/c I’m awesome like that. ;)

Now pull up your boot straps and get ready for 1,395 words on my wedding dress search! Wahoo!

I must have tried on 100 dresses.

That is no exaggeration. That is not a lie. If I heard one more story from one more bride about how she chose the first (or second, or third, or 20th) dress she tried on…I would have punched her. I knew what I liked and what I didn’t and where and when I am getting married has long been decided so why wasn’t I “loving” any of the dresses I tried on?

They were all “ok” and I “liked” them. I even purchased a dress from Rue La La b/c it was “good enough” and only $100. I figured I could use it as a fall back plan for when I never “loved” a dress and could still afford to have some alterations done to take it a step above “good enough.”

Just over 2 weeks ago, I had completely given up on my search for a wedding dress but was going to give it one more shot at a consignment shop my step-mother, Jackie, aka Jazzy Jax, had found. They had an entire floor dedicated to second hand wedding dresses – how could I not? I tend to lean towards vintage style and I definitely lean towards cheap so I was game when I went to go visit that weekend and dragged my big sister, Sarah, aka Baby Mama, along for the ride, too.

I didn’t even try on a single dress.

They were too typical or too 80s (love the music, not so much a fan of the fashion). So I slunk back to the car feeling defeated. Then my lovely ladies decided I should just go ahead and try that cute boutique I had tried months earlier in downtown Schenectady. It wasn’t too far and I had really hyped myself up to try on some dresses so I agreed.

Immediately when we walked in an overwhelming flush of anxiety overcame my body. I tried to sound like a pro when I asked a consultant for help.

“My wedding is in October but it’s on the beach. I like sweetheart necklines, clean lines, a-lines are nice, so is a natural waist but my feelings on that can waiver and my dream dress is Watters Mackay.”

“Uh, okay. Let me get a consultant who can help you!”

Damn. I have to go through all of that again. Then this adorable, bubbly brunette in the sweetest crimson wrap dress with a drool-inducing owl pendant necklace came bumbling around a rack of dresses.

After introducing ourselves, and looking up WToo’s Mackay online to get an idea of what it looked like, she immediately pulled 2 dresses. It’s incredibly difficult to find a similar dress to Watters Mackay. Tapping her lip and looking at me inquisitively, I thought she was completely lost. Her adorably bubbliness was about to waste my time. I’d have to throw her a bone.

“I also really liked Melissa Sweet’s Fern dress but it’s way out of my price range.”

She sprung up and asked if I had ever seen Melissa Sweet’s Tammy (that’s not really the name of the dress but it will from here on out be called the Tammy so the Jer-Bear can’t accidentally stumble upon this post and find out what the dress is). After telling her I had not she told me to follow her to the basement…where they keep the expensive deluxe gowns.

There was no way I could afford anything in the basement. I had already told her I wanted to keep it below $1000 but even that was a little hard to swallow. I sighed heavily and followed her anyway – at the very least I could try on an amazeballs gown and have a little fun.

Then she showed me the Tammy.

It was gorgeous.

I said so.

“How much is it?” perked up the voices of reason I had brought with me.

After checking the tag, Erin tapped her finger on her lips again and looked at me inquisitively. All that was going through my head was, “Please, please, please, please…”

“It’s $2200…”

“Yeah, I can’t afford that. I don’t even want to try it on and get my hopes up. I appreciate you showing it to me, though, it is very beautiful.”


Really? Do you need me to tell you again how poor I am b/c I really might break down and cry right hereif you make me explain that to you.

“Do you have a calculator?”

Baby Mama (Sarah) whipped out her cell phone and punched some numbers with Erin.

“I can do 75% off the original price…”

“…that takes it to $1075. Is that okay, Em?”

“Yes. I’ll try it on.”

“I do have to say, though, if you want it for that price, it is this dress, this size, as is, no returns, no exchanges, you pay, it leaves with you, it can never come back into this store.”

“Yes. I’ll try it on.”

Erin ran around the store grabbing a few more dresses (she was quite nervous she would lose her job for throwing that figure out there) while I gushed with my guests about how amazing it would be to have a designer gown for that price that is that beautiful. Once she returned, we headed into the fitting room and got down to my business – or the layer that covers my business. If you’ve ever tried on dresses in a boutique you know there is no use being shy.

We decided it was a smart idea to try on the Melissa Sweet Tammy first to see if it would even work b/c if we waiting it would be on my mind and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the other dresses as beautiful as they may be.

Sliding it over my chest I could tell it was a bit snug. Quite a bit snug. She pinned the dress to my bra and we exited the dressing room.

Holding it bunched up at my waist it looked okay as I approached the mirror.

“Not bad,” I thought, “Not bad…”

I stepped on to the podium and looked down at my feet.

I dropped the dress and kicked it forward so it fell flat.

I lifted my head and looked at the dress in the mirror.

I saw me in the mirror.

I saw me in the dress in the mirror getting married.

I began to sob.

Ugly sob, too, but I still thought I looked beautiful. I loved it and I couldn’t hide it. I turned to Jax and Sarah and they were welling up, too.

“I love it,” I said it so matter of factly that it surprised me. I really thought I would be one of those brides that this just doesn’t happen for. “I love it.”

At this point Erin was jumping up and down telling us she was so happy that she was able to find someone so in love with this dress as she was and then she vanished (I think b/c she was still unsure if she would lose her job for selling the dress at such a low price).

Long story ending quickly (I need to go to bed and have been writing this for 2 days), Erin was able to pull the price tag from the dress and write up the sale before anyone was the wiser and we made it out of there with a $4650 dress for just over $1000. Holy bananas, Batman.

I do need to lose a few inches if I want the dress to fit perfectly, however, I do have the option of adding a tie back to loosen things up a bit. The buttons on the back have Swarovski crystals on each one and they are so pretty I can’t imagine adding a lace up (which has never been my favorite anyway).

Jer and I have already started on the get fit for the wedding bandwagon. How are we doing it? Getting busy…in the garden. ;) More on that later!

About Miss Em

I'm Emily, he's Jerry. Newly wed but long together, homeowners since 2006, one child in cat form.
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3 Responses to Wedding Dress: The Story of Selection

  1. Linley says:

    aw, what a sweet post! and i love all these dress pictures!

  2. Pingback: 2011: Year in Review |

  3. Pingback: Our Wedding: The Ladies |

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