On Giants' Shoulders

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Dress Shopping

Yup, that's what was on the agenda yesterday. Abby and I spent 3 hours in the store looking at bridal gowns. She tried on around 20 different gowns, we took pictures of her in half a dozen of them. We came away with a totally different picture of what she wanted than she had when she went in. The one thing that didn't change was the designer she liked. There were elements she thought she didn't even want that when she actually experienced she found she loved. There were also some elements (like halter tops) that still stayed on the list of things she didn't like. One of the dresses that had been on her list of favorites turned out to be too plain, not pouffy enough. One of the ones on my list of favorites turned out to be pouffy enough, but the skirt looked much plainer in person than in the photo. The dress we both liked best (thus far anyway) was on neither of our lists, although to be fair it was somewhat similar to at least one dress that was on my list.

We still have at least one more place to look, so we'll be going shopping again this next week. Meanwhile, I think we both are dreaming of tulle, beading, organdy, and lace.

There's something incredible about looking at your grown up little girl in a wedding gown (even the wrong wedding gown!). I felt almost as if I were playing Barbie dolls as we looked at one after another. The mother of the princess was there in full force wanting something special, something very decorated, something, in short, worthy of a princess. We aren't necessarily looking for the most expensive gown out there (in fact her favorite was less expensive than she had thought we'd have to pay), but we are looking for something that truly befits her special day. I think when we began that we had somewhat different ideas about what would look best, but by the end of the day we seemed to have come to a real meeting of the minds. Our original lists had very few dresses in common and one of the few that was (the first dress she tried on) was immediately rejected by both of us. Our meeting of the minds wasn't even a matter of compromise, it was a matter of seeing what different dresses looked like and actually both of us seeing which ones looked best on her. She agreed with me that ivory was better for her coloring than stark white, after seeing a stark white dress next to her skin. I agreed with her that the general style she was choosing was more attractive than some of the ones (like the halter top) that I thought I might like better. We both realized that we loved beading (which we hadn't necessarily known before). We both rejected sweetheart necklines, even though some of the dresses we might have otherwise liked had them.

Anyway, it was a fun afternoon, although trying all those dresses on made her both tired and hungry. Wedding dresses weigh a lot! We also realized again how tiny she really is. The smallest sample dress was at least one size too big. The poor sales people had a dickens of a time lacing them tight enough for us to get a good idea of how they looked.

She tried on one veil as well. I didn't really like it, but hesitated to say anything. It had been such a nice afternoon that I figured I could live with a veil I wasn't crazy about. After we got in the car and talked about it she revealed that she didn't like it either. We both were looking for the same sort of veil and it simply wasn't that type. It just felt so good to be on the same page. Do you think that praying a couple of decades of the Rosary as she was trying on the first gown was helpful? I certainly think that just perhaps the intercession of the Blessed Mother helped avoid our turning into Momzilla or Bridezilla and allowed us to be just mom and daughter having a fun time.

So the shopping will continue. However, a decision needs to be made shortly since it takes 5 months to make a gown and get the alterations accomplished. So onward and upward and off to New York state for one more round of try ons. At least now we both know what we're looking for and we're looking for the same thing.


At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Randi said...

I'm also very choosy in my dress shopping. Used to do lot of online search before shopping.

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Liz said...

We actually ended up with the one gown we both liked that day. We checked out what was available elsewhere and came back to that one. The seamstress who is doing the bustling has pronounced it the prettiest gown she's ever seen. I certainly like it better than anything else in the same price range (we weren't looking at the tremendously priced gowns, nor at the bargain basement ones).


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