Our Wedding Plan: The Dress!

(p.s...isn't this thing obnoxious?!)

Has anyone else besides me noticed that wedding dresses are ridiculously overpriced?

Unfortunately, I am not the daughter of a real estate tycoon, so the $15,000 Vera Wang dress of my dreams is just not an option.  However, I am a modern woman! I know what I want! I ask for what I want! I get what I want!

Unless it is a $15,000 Vera Wang dress.

I knew very early on in this process that the most difficult part of my wedding planning was going to be finding a dress that both fit my personal taste as well as my budget.  In terms of budget, my goal was to spend $800 or less. I would bend up to $1,000, but I decided anything over that would just make my forehead sweaty and I might not be able to sleep at night.

In terms of actual wedding dress prices, I quickly learned that my budget goal seemed completely unattainable.

Although this is my second wedding, and some may argue that the wedding shouldn't include anything that resembles a "real" wedding dress (Hi Mom...love you!), I wanted a beautiful wedding dress to properly celebrate my beautiful occasion.

And, you may not have picked up on this yet (even if you've been reading for a while), but although I am very laid-back regarding most life decisions, the ones that I actually care about are very important to me, and I am not very compromising in these situations. I'm the person who will search high and low before I'm willing to accept an alternative. That said, going into my dress search, I had a very concise list of demands.

(p.s...I also clean my kitchen counter with hydrogen peroxide up to 5 times per day...this might be a disorder).

My list of demands:

1) Fitted bodice with trumpet skirt.

2) Strapless/sleeveless.

3) Lace overlay.

4) Not white.

5) Not satin/shiny/slippery/poofy.

These are all factors that I wasn't willing to bend on. And I wanted all of them. In one little neat package. Tied with a black satin bow. For under $800.

During my November trip to Tennessee to visit my BFF, we went to the shop where she bought her wedding dress so that I could try on dresses. I fell in love with a dress by Pronovias (the designer dress line that they often feature on those TLC wedding shows).

And, by 'fell in love', I mean that I was prepared to buy the dress on the spot, take it home, and wear it while I vacuumed and cleaned my kitchen counter.

Until I looked at the price.

The dress was $1892.

After I looked at the price, I curled up in the fetal position in the corner of the fitting room and cried like a baby.

I spent the next 24 hours in Tennessee trying to figure out a way to afford it, but I was SO against paying that much for a dress. I even went so far as to search eBay for the dress, and I found it for $1200. In the end, even though the dress was listed on eBay by a store that claimed to be an authorized Pronovias dealer, I was nervous about it being a fake and being of poor quality.

"Goodbye, beautiful Pronovias dress. I'll never find another quite like you."

Then I cried again.

Back to the drawing board.

After spending a few weeks mourning the loss of my Pronovias Rosana dress, I jumped back on the horse and made an appointment at the small bridal shop down the street from my house.

The shop is like 4 square feet big, so my expectations were very low.

I invited Mama Gazelle and another friend to come to the dress shop with me, and afterward, we planned to have lunch at the restaurant where we'll be holding our dinner party after the wedding. I figured that even if I didn't find a dress, at least I could count on a decent meal.

Or that food would console me after spending 2 fruitless hours trying on poofy satin dresses.

When I walked into the shop, I informed the owner and her assistant of my (demanding) requirements:

(I repeat)

1) Fitted bodice with trumpet skirt.

2) Strapless/sleeveless.

3) Lace overlay.

4) Not white.

5) Not satin/shiny/slippery/poofy.

Mama Gazelle and my friend picked out about 5 dresses for me, and the dress shop owner picked out like 5 more.  Imagine my utter amazement when every one of the 10 dresses were poofy, satin, shiny, had straps, and were white. Not a single one matched ANYTHING that I asked for.

**WAHHH...WHY DOESN'T ANYONE LISTEN TO ME...WAHHH...I'M A MIDDLE CHILD...WAHHHH...Bridezilla...WAHHH...MIDDLE CHILD...WAHHH**

I'm joking. I didn't have a Bridezilla moment for real. Only in my head.  Needless to say, two of these dresses never even made it out of the dressing room for modeling purposes. One of them never even left the hanger. Poor dress.

Around dress #8, as I was getting into dress #9, I was beginning to lose my center.

"Do you guys even HAVE the type of dress I'm looking for?!"

To which the assistant answered:

"I don't really think so......I'll take another look around though."

To which I answered:

(in my head)

"WELL THANKS FOR WASTING OVER AN HOUR OF MY LIFE THAT I WILL NEVER GET BACK!"

(but in reality)

"OK, thank you very much."

I finished putting on dress #9, and the assistant left the room to "look around".  I stepped onto that annoying pedestal to look at myself in the equally-as-annoying 3 phase mirror; poofy, shiny, and poofy. And shiny.

Pissed. Sweating (wedding dresses are heavy, man), and pissed.

Then...all I saw was BEAUTY as the assistant came around the corner with a mannequin dressed in MY dress.

Lace overlay. Trumpet skirt. Light gold with gold accents. Sleeveless.

I might have gasped and jumped up and down. And I might have also yelled "THAT'S THE ONE!"  Everyone might have laughed at me.

I put it on, and it fit like a glove. I sheepishly looked at the price, and it was $825. The rest is history.

And, for those of you who sat through this whole entirely-too-detailed wedding dress story (and because I know that even My Gazelle didn't make it this far, so there's no risk of him seeing it), here is my dress.

And I love it!

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