Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wedding dress central...

So, I am on the hunt for my perfect wedding dress, and it's more of a challenge than I thought it would be.

I'm not the girl who had envisioned her wedding day for years on end. When Patrick proposed I had no idea what kind of wedding I wanted at all. We thought about going to Vegas, St. Johns' Chapel in the woods, my parents' house...now we've settled on having both the ceremony and the reception here at our house. We have a very large, level backyard. I would have loved to hold everything at my parents' house - they live on 40 acres in the country, but they also live on a hillside - there is no big level spot to put up a tent/canopy. Plus this way we're inspired (pressured) to landscape!

Now that I know I'm having a backyard/garden ceremony I'm more certain of the type of dress I want to wear. I'm still set on finding a bargain, though.

I started out looking at pictures of gowns online. I originally liked a couple of designs from David's Bridal, but the first place I tried on gowns was the Bridal Boutique in downtown Saint Cloud.
I fell in love with the first dress I tried on:

It's a Jasmine F912 - a light taffeta fabric, ivory, delicate beading, bridal buttons. I felt elegant and glamorous and lovely in this dress.

However, it has a very long train - Tiffany length. I recently discovered it can be special ordered without the train, but orders take at least 12 weeks.

Not to mention it also comes with a $711 dollar price tag.

Now I've been comparing all of the other dresses to this first dress :/

A recently married friend/coworker has been very helpful with the dress search, and she agreed to go to David's Bridal in Maple Grove. I tried on the dresses I first looked at online:

I loved this taffeta trumpet online, but it wasn't the dress when I tried it on.
Same with this dress - gorgeous on the model, but the halter neckline doesn't work for me.

I did try on a couple of styles that I liked ok, but they just weren't right.

After we went to David's I ended up bidding on a dress on ebay: a satin v-neck Jasmine gown supposedly in my size with a lace bodice. The dress (with alteration) will fit, but it is itchy and very heavy. Even though the dress is very pretty, it's not *my* dress. Plus, since I will be outside all day I would prefer to be comfortable.

I went to Carrie Johnson Bridal last Friday. Carrie was great and her gowns are lovely - many one of a kind, designer dresses to choose from! I fell in love with this dress (right) until I realized how very itchy the lace is. :/

I also tried on another Jasmine gown - it was the type of taffeta that I really like but it was sort of a mermaid style dress and I didn't like the way it hugged my hips. I missed getting a style number, but there is a pic on Carrie's website. It's so funny that I started out so against strapless styles, but they've really been growing on me.

The dress on the left is from Carrie's, too. It isn't the most fabulous photo, and the gown doesn't fit extremely well, but it's very important for a different reason - I fell in love with the way the fabric felt! It's a silk charmeuse, and it's gloriously light and comfortable while still looking quite elegant. This sounds really cheesy, but this dress has given me permission to look at simpler designs. I want to be comfortable and enjoy the day more than I want to indulge in a fairy-tale wedding gown.

This has turned out like babbblebabblebabble, but I've been wanting to document the hunt. I just won an auction for a J Crew Vivian gown on eBay, so the mailbox anticipation is in full swing :) I also have my eye on a Jessica McClintock dress which is similar to the halter style on the left, but it's strapless. I may schedule an appointment to check out the Bridal Boutique again since I have a promo offer from the wedding expo - it's just fun to look. The more I search the less frustrated I am - I'm enjoying the process (finally!)

Oh, and if you have any wedding dress shopping hints/tips/advice, please let me know! I'm especially interested in hearing about other brides' experiences with the Vivian - is it light or heavy? I'm so anxious to try it on :)