Sunday, October 24, 2010


Like most brides, I have always dreamed about what MY wedding dress would be like ever since I was a little girl.  Now, my perfect dress has changed a bit from the cupcake-looking sparkly dress complete with long gloves and matching sparkly purse I once imagined as a 5-year-old.  Now that the time has acutally come to look for what I will be walking down the isle seems that I have NO IDEA what I'm looking for!

The story of how I found MY dress is definitely not like most, so just know in advance two things:

1. Yes, I did find and purchase THE DRESS before Hessy proposed.
2. I know that this was crazy, but I don't regret one second of it!!!

Let me begin by noting how many weddings I have been a part of in the last year.  It started last summer with M's wedding in August, then my friend C's wedding in January, followed by being the Maid of Honor in my friend B's wedding this coming November, and more recently, I got asked to be in my friend A's wedding this coming June!  So that's 4 weddings all in less than 2 years time! You might as well have said I was the girl from 27 Dresses, because my closet is beginning to look like a variety of rainbow colored dresses and shoes! 

The good thing about being a part of these weddings all at the same time is that I am in the loop with all of the wedding advice I can handle!  Between all of my girlfriends, a lot of the looking around has already been done and I trust my friends' judgement when they say who they reccommend for what.  Of course, I will do my own looking around - but at least I know who to veto and who to check out right away!

So back to the dress....

Okay, so first and foremost - a BIG SHOUT OUT to Britty Bear, one of my bridesmaids for introducing me to the best bridal boutique in Orlando, Priscilla of Boston in Dr. Phillips. 

She found her wedding dress here, and I helped her pick out the cutest bridesmaid dresses ever for her wedding here as well.  (Seriously, I'm obsessed with the dress I get to wear for hers!)  After about the 3rd or 4th time I went to the store for my dress and altering it, I was waiting for Britty to finish up and took it upon myself to look at all of the pretty bridal gowns, thinking to myself "Oh, one day I'll actually get to look for a dress on my own!" After a few minutes, I still had time in the store so I took that opportunity to mosey on over to the sale rack just to see...

I saw some crazy poofy dresses, some beautiful elegant (and heavy) dresses, dresses with bows, dresses with tons of sparkly embelishments, and then BAM the prettiest dress I have ever seen meant for the summertime, unique, fashionable and classic at the same time (if that's possible?), ON SALE for 50% OFF, and truly had my name alllllllll over it.  I quickly called Britty over, and she agreed - this dress was beautiful.  I didn't think too much about pursuing this dress just yet for two reasons: I was not engaged at this time, and I couldn't justify dropping so much money on a wedding dress of all things to my mom!  Also, I would feel horrible getting a dress without my mom there, so I just kept the mental picture of her in my mind and went about my day. 

The next day, there I was just checking my e-mail and minding my own business and BAM, there's an e-mail from Priscilla's telling me there is a ONE-DAY ONLY Sample Sale on Bridal Gowns 2 days from then.  At first, I said to myself, "Man, if only I were engaged, this would be perfect," but who am I kidding...that lasted about 30 minutes before I called Britty and asked her if I was crazy for wanting to go to this sale to see if my dress is even on the eligable rack for the additional 50% off! Of course, being the OCD planner she is, she said "Girl, before we officially got engaged I had already seen 2 venues and met with a photographer!" So, naturally, she understood where I was coming from.

Friday rolls around and Britty meets me at P of B bright and early at 8am when the store opens so I didn't feel like a crazy girl by myself.  We walk in and right away I go to the rack where I remember seeing my dress before...and what do I see? Twenty beautiful dresses out of the entire store on the Sample Sale rack....that's it. TWENTY.  What are the chances my dress is going to be on this rack? Well, apparently it was a 10 out of 10 because there she was in all her glory, 50% OFF an additonal 50% OFF!!!!!!! If that confused you, that's a total of 75% OFF! I knew the only hope of convincing my mom I could afford a dress in this store would be some kind of miracle sale, and WOW - here it is!!!! So, a friendly consultant walks over, sees me swooning over this dress and immediately says "Oh, if you really like this dress - you must try it on right away because there is a girl coming in at Noon today to try this specific dress on, and there's only ONE!" A huge part of me felt bad for even wanting to try it on...but again, that didn't last very long and before I knew it I was in the dressing room with 4 Bridal Gowns, with THE ONE being the last one on the rack to slip on.

THIS is not the dress! Just a pic of the beautiful store!
Of course I felt akward, embarrased, and shy - which are definitely not emotions you should experience trying on your wedding dress options, but in all reality I was thinking, "Am I really the girl who goes to pick out her wedding dress before she get's engaged?" Well, YES! Of course I am! I have been dreaming about the moment I found my dress since I was 5 years old! :) I liked the first few options, and let's be honest - at this point I could literally get a wedding gown for $250...that's CRAZY!!!! Well, I didn't, BUT, I finally get to my favorite and the anticipation is killing me.  I get the dress on, and there is a huge problem - it is a size 10 and I am between a 0 and a 2! There's no way that we could even alter this dress to look the same in my size.  Or is there? The fabulous consultant assured me she had already spoken to their alterations lady to make sure the girl coming in to see the dress (who is my size) could get the dress down to the size I need without compromising the style.  So here's the next question I asked, "How attached is this girl to this dress?" The last thing I want to do is take a dream dress from a "real" bride, I mean I'm not even engaged yet, and I would feel horrible if someone did that to me! When the consultant said "Well, she already bought a gown for the ceremony and this would be her reception dress," I thought...well geez, forget it then! I don't feel bad for a second! Here I am stressing and stressing about taking a dress I'm obsessed with away from someone who may or may not purchase her for a reception only? NO! This dress deserves a home and Bride that will honor and cherish her and wear her the entire night of her wedding! SOLD!!!!!!!!

The only thing holding me back at this point was guilt that my mother was not there to experience the search for the dress with me.  But, why would I even tell her I was looking for a dress when I'm not engaged? On top of that, she was on a cruise in the middle of the ocean with no way to get a hold of her.  So clearly, I had to make this descion on my own.  I kept going back and forth, and FINALLY I said, "You know what? I have butterflies.  I actually feel like a bride, and I'm not even engaged yet.  THIS IS THE DRESS!!!!! I'll take it!" Within 2 minutes they had sparkly shoes on my feet, a headpiece on my head, and the most beautiful earrings put on my ears that I have ever had on!

Of course, I fall in love with all of these, so I fork over my credit card for the dress and put everything else on my wish list.  I'm prepared to take a big gulp when I hear the total which I calculated in my head to still be pricey, but somewhat affordable because for some reason I didn't think it was possible to get 50% OFF 50% OFF.  BUT, when the dress rung up in the system, that's right...I GOT HER FOR drum roll please......75% OFF!
Before you freak out, I did pay more than what I got it for in alterations alone, but when it all comes down to it, I AM IN LOVE with my dress.  This is THE dress I have dreamed about, and I CAN NOT WAIT to wear it down the isle on my wedding day.

So what I can tell you from all of this is this:

Go with your gut.  Whether you're engaged, dating, single, an old maid, whatever...when you find the dress you've always dreamed about YOU KNOW.  And when you know, YOU KNOW!  You don't have to justify buying a wedding dress and wait until it's 3 months before your wedding to start looking for one.  The last thing I wanted to do was stress over finding the perfect dress, and you know what? The day I got engaged, I told my mom all about it, she understood, and couldn't wait to see it.  I couldn't be happier with it, and now it's only 271 days until I can wear it!  Everything fell into place and I know everything happens for a reason!

If you're a bride in Central Florida, I highly recommend this store.

They have several locations all over the US - but staff at the Dr. Phillips locations is so nice and will make everything you can possibly want happen as quickly as possible.  Seriously couldn't be happier, I'll have to tell you all about my shoes and accessories in another blog, but I guess that's it for now.


Oh, and as for pics of MY dress? You'll just have to wait until after the wedding! ;)


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