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…and I’m not talking about the boy.

Photo by Mrs. Kasey Cannon

No, I am talking about finding The Dress.

Ian and I got engaged on September 3rd, 2010. The weekend after that was one of the biggest Penn State football games, so naturally, I fled town.

My mom suggested that we go to David’s Bridal in Altoona “just to look” at dresses. I had decided right off the bat that I did NOT want to buy my dress at a chain store. Remember how throughout the process of planning the wedding that I was a little on my high horse about being 100% unique? I had visions of finding the perfect vintage gown at an obscure little boutique, or on Etsy, or from someone’s grandmother. Heck, maybe I could even make my wedding dress myself.

I agreed to go “just to look” so I could at least get some ideas of what kind of style I was going for. All I knew was that I didn’t want strapless, I didn’t want to look like a cupcake, and I didn’t want a big poofy veil. And that was probably all David’s Bridal was going to have.

Still, we brought a team of dress shoppers (and fellow football haters) just for fun: my mom, Aunt Joan, sister, and bridesmaid Courtney. I had watched enough Say Yes To The Dress to know that you always need an army of dress shoppers, and that it usually caused a lot of drama, but that when you emerged from the dressing room in The One there was a lot of tears and hugging.

When we arrived to David’s, we were immediately whisked to the back and a catalog was shoved into my hands where I was supposed to look through and pick out the dresses I liked, while the sales girl stood over me and reminded me that they were closing in an hour so we would have to move fast.

Hm. Kleinfeld this was not.

I breezed through the catalog, dog-earring the pages that went with my non-conventional requirements, and the girl disappeared to find them. When she returned, it was into the dressing room we went, and my new friend helped me slip into the bridal lingerie contraptions. I guess one needs to have no shame when working as a wedding dress consultant.

It was off to the races we went. Emily served as the official photographer. Dress # 1: Huge flop.

I’m not really sure why I liked it in the catalog, because I’m baffled at how it could possibly look flattering on anyone? Next, please.

#2 was beautiful–I really liked the one shoulder flowers, but it just wasn’t me. A little too beach wedding-y.

I had bookmarked #3 as an afterthought, so I wasn’t expecting anything when I slipped it on. But when I came, everyone instantly smiled. My mom said, “Bren, that’s really neat.”

I turned around and looked. And I LOVED it.

And it fit like a glove!

The sales girl started rattling about how “it was on sale, and that if I wanted to, I could take that very gown home tonight.”

I went back and forth looking at the mirror, and looking at the shopping crew, and looking back at the mirror, and each time I looked I loved it more and more. Was this the dress? Was this THE DRESS?

“And”, the sales girl added, “it has pockets”.

WOAH!

I really, really, really liked it. I could put my CHAPSTICK in it, for petes sake! And I could wear red shoes and everyone could see them because it was short, but still long in the back!

But it was only the third one I tried on. I had envisioned the dress hunting process lasting for days, weeks, months. This just all seemed too easy, so I decided to just try on a few more. Just in case.

I tried on some short dresses–really cute, but they just didn’t seem like wedding dresses.

My mind was still stuck on the pockets dress. Yeah, that was it.

So I put it on again.

And there you have the face of a girl who was in love with a dress. A strapless dress, no less!

Just for good measure, I asked if they had any birdcage veils that I could try with it. And she brought one over that literally looked like a bird.

Oh well. David’s can’t have it all, can they?

So that was the story of Brenda saying yes to the dress. No drama, no over-the-top prices, and no need to worry about the dress not being available because it came from a factory and they could make more.

It was the perfect dress for a perfect day.

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