So my dress, which is at home, safely tucked away, was $500 plus tax. This dress was $2500 plus tax. That is more than twice my rent. It's our photography budget and DJ budget combined. It was unquestionably out of the question.
After the suggestions about the dress from Alfred Angelo, I looked into it. Alfred Anglo has a store in Glen Burnie. I decided to go there sometime in March and look for some dress closure - either I would find a dress for a price similar to what I paid for my dress; or I would conclude what I concluded earlier - my dress is nicer than anything I can find in my price range in a store.
I was headed to Costco yesterday to get frozen salmon and goat cheese and vitamins and it turns out that the Alfred Angelo store is on my way home. I'd never noticed it before, and since I knew Mark was working late, I figured that I might as well go in. I wasn't planning to try anything on, because I didn't have an appointment and I know how snooty bridal shop ladies hate brides that don't make appointments. I mostly wanted to feel the fabric, because I really didn't want to wear a dress made of cheap feeling polyester.
I'm gonna interrupt this now to say: GO TO THE ALFRED ANGELO STORE. The salesladies are so nice! The store is so bright and airy! Oh, and the saleslady gave me a bra and a slip before she helped me into my gown, so I didn't have to get naked in front of a total stranger. Sweet! They are having their grand opening this Saturday and a sale until the 15th. They also will let you take pictures (I didn't have a camera).
Once I got through the door and explained I just wanted to look around, I started lying. I should have just said that I had a dress already. But I didn't. And then I got more and more tangled in my web of lies! I'm also the worst liar ever and it gives me a funny feeling in my stomach. The salesladies asked me if I had been shopping already and I said yes, and they tried to get me to stress over the fact that our wedding is 8 months away and I don't have a dress yet, but I kinda shrugged them off. Cuz I'm not worried about it. Because...oh yeah...I already have a dress.
Anyway, the dress helped me a lot. It gave me quite a bit of closure. I love the fabric of my dress, I love the way the skirt feels when I run my hands over it, and this dress didn't have that. It did have pockets. I'll be adding those to my dress, they were awesome. The thing though, standing there in this dress, it was beautiful, but it was very stark white, and the only other option was an ivory-ish color. Neither are great options. I also found myself focusing on the dress, not myself, as I was in it. Ultimately, I felt like the dress was wearing me. I also couldn't get over an issue at the waistline where it puffed out and made me look...a little chubby. I think this could be fixed with an additional layer of tulle in the skirt, but the skirt was already really puffy! And I like ballgowns and poof, so you know it was a lot!
As I stood there, staring at myself, I realized that while I liked the neckline, and the sparkle trim, and the fact that it was $650 and the fabric didn't look as cheap as it felt, it didn't give me that same feeling as my dress gave me. That soft, "oh" feeling I got in the pit of my stomach. I also realized, looking at the dress, that it's total whiteness and the poofiness of the skirt overwhelmed me. That the dress was kind of wearing me. I also realized some silly things. That the necklace that my aunt gave me when I was born, that was passed down through four generations of my family wouldn't go with this dress. And that that necklace means more to me than any dress would. That I liked my dress because there is something romantic and soft about it, even though I'm not particularly romantic. (Just soft.) I realized that this dress wouldn't go nearly as well with my awesome shoes. That it didn't look right with my short hair. I also realized that my biggest concern about my dress, the basque waist, was actually a good thing because it made me look skinny instead of chubby.
I might keep looking for a dress, but I think instead I will look for a seamstress that will fix my other concerns about my dress - the neckline and the fact that it's a wee bit too small. For the moment, I have come full circle. My dress may not be "the one", but it's a pretty good second best, and ultimately, the dress I will wear to marry my husband will have it's own special meaning, no matter how I feel about it right now. I remember the always-eloquent Mrs. Cheese, and what she said, "You will. At any price point. You will find a dress that will be with you on the day you get married. It will be, quite frankly, any of the dresses you pick today. (See how that works?) Your happiness and joy at finally getting to marry that handsome man of yours will overshadow any “lace or puffy or flowy or fitted” angst."
So for the moment I have come full circle, back to wearing the dress that I like, and relieved at having some closure, and feeling extremely guilty about lying to the very lovely women at the Alfred Angelo Store. (Which you should really go to on Saturday. She said there would be cake!)
Did anyone else cheat on their dress and tell a large number of lies in the process?