What I Wish I Knew: Dress Edition

I’m pretty sure almost every girl dreams of the day she looks into the mirror, cries and says “yes” to the dress. I know I did when I was younger and, in my dream, everyone else cries and they bust open a bottle of champagne. We are celebrating a long day full of trying on dresses. I may have tried on 30 different dresses, but it was well worth it when this moment happens.

Reality is, it’s nothing like what we see on a certain famous show we love to watch.


say yes to the dress

Image via whatscookinchicago

I went in to David’s Bridal with a few dresses I found online and one that I knew was the one I would be wearing, along with that dream of mine. Reality hit me pretty quickly when I saw there were no fancy couches and no private spaces for my family to sit on the couches and swoon over me. I’m pretty open about how shy I am, so this was terrifying to me. Anyone in the shop could/would be watching me try on my dresses. They sat in chairs outside the dressing room.

I also went in because of the $99 sale they had going on. While I had more money, I could never imagine spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a dress I was only wearing for one day. I know it’s a pretty important day, but I still couldn’t stomach spending money that could be used elsewhere. No, my budget was $200 maximum and that was only if I absolutely loved a dress that wasn’t part of the sale.

The consultant only pulls out a few dresses and she usually has one or two other clients. You only get about an hour and a half and when that is over, they move right on. I will say that I absolutely adored my consultant. She was fun and amazing and very helpful.

I printed out the dresses I had saved, because that’s what I saw on T.V. Of course, the one I loved was only available online, so I was forced to try on similar ones instead. Vera Wang has been someone I looked up to back when I was really into fashion. She was actually one of the reasons I went into the design program in college. I wanted to design wedding dresses just like her. Finding a $99 Vera Wang dress was more than I could ever hope for.

The one I wanted was this one:

(All photos via verawangbridals)


vera back

vera drawing

Sketch by Vera Wang

The ones I tried on had some similar elements to that one, so I could make sure I would like it when I ordered it. I tried on dresses similar to the following:

Since the Vera dress had a similar silhouette, I tried on a mermaid dress and found it to be uncomfortable. It was beautiful, but I couldn’t move or walk in it at all.


Image via David’s Bridal

I also tried on a halter dress that was flowy, like a typical beach wedding dress would be, but I felt like the top looked weird on me. This one wasn’t similar to the Vera, but it was one I saved and she pulled it, because it is something that is light and flowy, which makes it perfect for the beach.


Photo via David’s Bridal

The most shocking thing of all had to be the dress I actually got. It had a full bottom half, it wasn’t made by Vera Wang and it cost way more than $200. $535 more, to be exact. That was with the undergarments*, but still. It was funny, because I knew it was my dress before I ever came out of the dressing room. Also unlike the huge fitting rooms on t.v., the ones here were tiny, little stalls without mirrors in them, so I literally knew it was mine before I ever saw it. I just felt it was the one as soon as she slipped it over my head. My whole family said they could tell it was the one, because I had a huge smile on my face. It was the first time that whole afternoon.


Me and my mama. Personal Photo
The best entourage a girl can have. Back: Grandma and Dad. Front: Little sister and Mom.

I know I went way over budget, but I also knew I had the money. David’s Bridal offers an awesome credit card program that my mom applied for and I paid it off. I actually paid it off about three months early. You just pay so much a month and, if you pay it off before 6 months is up, there’s no interest. Major win!

So, while I didn’t try on 30 dresses in front of my huge entourage who sat on fancy couches, sipping champagne, it was still a beautiful experience. I only tried on about four or five dresses, but I still got asked, “Are you saying yes to the dress?”, and when I did, I got to ring a bell for everyone to hear. I even didn’t mind the people complimenting the dress and clapping and all the attention I got. I was on cloud 9.

*I recommend making sure you actually NEED the undergarments. I was told I needed a slip, but I found out later that I didn’t. It wasn’t a lot of money and I’m hoping to resell it, but it was still a bit of a waste. My dress had too many layers for it to be of any use.

Was your dress experience what you dreamed up, or was it different?

What I Wish I Knew Series:

  1. Can’t Please Everyone
  2. Wedding Websites DON’T Equal An End To Questions

One thought on “What I Wish I Knew: Dress Edition

  1. Pingback: Love Unhatched: Nashville, TN | Bridal Waves: Riding The Waves To Marriage

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