I had made appointments at two different bridal salons, Love Couture Bridal at 10am in Potomac,MD (not too far from my house), and Lovely Bride later in the afternoon in Georgetown. Going in to the first appointment I was honestly a little nervous about how I'm going to feel during the whole thing. I was worried that I would try on that first dress and feel overwhelmed, or that my emotions would bubble over and my indecisive side would win out. But looking at what I'd pinned (on my secret gown board) I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted:
I knew that I did not want a mermaid or trumpet dress which I think would make me look shorter than I already am. And I also didn't want anything that would overwhelm my petite figure or make me look like a little girl playing dress up.
So we headed to the first store. I filled out a form with some basic information about my wedding, our dress budget, and my style, and then we met our consultant. She was a dream. So kind, not at all pushy, and it just felt like she listened to what I wanted and made the whole appointment so calm and relaxed. She also helped my roommate find her dress which was a nice connection.
She took the three of us back to a dressing room to go over the process and to discuss what I had in mind. Then we walked around the store and I picked out a few dresses from several different sections. Sister and mom then took a seat and we went to put on the first dress to show them. It was a beautiful gown but just a little too "glam" for my taste. I tried on two more dresses after that and liked both of them for different reasons but wasn't in love with either of them.
Then my consultant pulled a dress from the back because she thought it looked like me. I put it on and commented that the skirt felt like a ballet skirt which I just loved. It was soft and flowy, a "good spinning dress" and comfortable, like something I could dance with T.J. in. The lace on the bodice was beautiful and the boning made my figure look darn good if I do say so myself ;) It also wasn't like a lot of the dresses I've seen at all the weddings I've been to lately. It checked every box on my list and then some.
We went back into the dressing room because I still had another dress try on. I slipped it on and it just didn't compare so I didn't bother showing it to my mom and sister. I reviewed all the other dresses we'd already tried and was able to eliminate them all except that one. Back into it I went and this time she popped a veil on my head and I headed out to show it off one more time, to swish and spin around in the skirt, and to picture myself at the back of the church with my dad, and then walking down the aisle to T.J.
I hear it's a good sign when you don't want to take the dress off.
We didn't go far, just across the street, and over lunch we pulled up pictures of the dress on the designer's website and we looked at the pictures my sister had stealthily managed to take of me in the gown. And that was it. I called the salon and asked if I could come back and get measured. 30 minutes later I was walking out of the store for the second time, with a receipt in my hand a bounce in my step! If only I could start every morning in a wedding gown.... It was such a sweet, perfect shopping experience and I can't wait to wear my beautiful dress, The Dress, on the big day.