Dress You Up In My Love, Pt. 2: THE DRESS.

So last we chatted about The Dress, I had shown you my inspiration and told you my criteria. I also mentioned that my dress only fit some of that criteria.

It was a rainy Sunday two weeks after we were engaged. I honestly would have started looking sooner, but I needed to get my ring resized and felt sorta funny walking into bridal salons without a ring – I know, I know! You don’t need a ring to be engaged. But we’re just talking about my neuroses here. Yeah, I’m just a little neurotic. A tad 🙂

I met BM Esquire at the local Alfred Angelo. This was a fact-finding mission – I needed to see what I looked good in. I intended on merely starting my hunt here. I had no intention whatsoever of placing my order that day. Fate had different plans.

My consultant seemed fairly new, but she was nice enough. I envisioned telling her what I wanted, her sizing me up, and having 5 perfect dresses delivered to my dressing room, all based on my preferences and body type. Well, I don’t know if that’s a common experience, but it sure wasn’t mine. I looked through a catalog and flagged a few styles I liked. I outlined my criteria, but focused more on the “no bling” rule.

I gave her my budget – under $500 – and she pointed me to the racks that would fit that bill. I tried to stay focused and not be distracted by the gorgeous lace creations on the mannequins, all of which were far above my budget.

Esq and I grabbed three dresses, and the consultant added another. Here’s the first dress I tried on – no corset, straps, white, no bling:

Image via Alfred Angelo

It was nice. I got a little emotional simply because I’d never seen myself in a wedding dress. But something about it wasn’t right. The straps seemed annoying. It didn’t flatter my shape quite the way I wanted to. It was OK, but I knew it wasn’t *it*.

Then I tried this one – the one my consultant had grabbed.

Image via Alfred Angelo

It was an off-white, had a corset, and was strapless. Still, no bling. It took her a good 5 minutes to truss me up in the corset. I walked out and saw myself, and I started crying. This was the dress! This was it. I couldn’t get over how flattering it was. The corset sucked me in in all the right places, and it didn’t look trashy at all (I’m not trying to be judgmental about corset dresses, but I think I’ve seen them in less-than-classy scenarios, so my judgment was clouded). The strapless scene wasn’t that bad, though I do want to explore the addition of cap sleeves. The “diamond white” complemented my skin tone very well.

They added a veil, which really upped the emotion factor – WHOA I LOOK LIKE A FRIGGIN’ BRIDGE – but a veil isn’t “me.” So she grabbed a hair piece – a white flower, some feathers, a few tasteful rhinstones – and held it up to my head. That sealed the deal. This was totally the dress.

I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, so I finished up the two dresses that were left. I don’t even remember what they were, so I have no pictures. For the first of those two, I said, “It’s nice, but it’s not that last dress.” For the final one, I just said, “Meh.”

The best part was the dress was on sale, so it was a whole $20 under budget – hey! We take what we can get.

I asked Esq if I was nuts for buying the second dress I ever tried on. She reassuringly said, ABSOLUTELY NOT. I paid half for it that day, and just four weeks later, it had arrived! I carted MOH Ginger and BM Spotlight with me, and they both cried a little too.

We took one whole picture of me in the dress – a crappy camera phone photo that I almost immediately deleted lest Mr. Ladyfingers stumble upon it and ruin the surprise. I promise to add more photos once I begin my fittings and start chronicling that journey. But I’m so excited to wear that dress when I marry the love of my life.

How was your dress journey? Were you this decisive? Or did you visit place after place and exhaust yourself in the quest for the perfect dress? Was it worth it?

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