Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Dress Browsing Experience

Yesterday was the first time I had ever looked at bridal gowns in real life since getting engaged.  I think I may have looked at them only two times beforehand; one time was when my aunt was getting married and my cousin and I were 2 of her bridesmaids, and the other time was just in passing.  Since my dad needed to go to the Jersey Gardens Mall before we had dinner, I had the opportunity to check out GroupUSA with my mom.

It was a sudden visit, so I didn't have a chance to write down the dress styles that I liked.  The ones that I saw on the website that I considered were as follows:

Empire Waist Mesh Grecian Strapless Dress ($449.99)


Haltered Chiffon Gown with Beaded Halter ($349.99)

I really don't know what would look the best on me, and I actually like many different styles (recently I've liked the Greek goddess look with the empire waist).  The things I do know for a fact is that I like the look of chiffon gowns over the look of satin (don't know taffeta or organza to really comment, but some dresses that are taffeta had a stiffer look that I didn't like).  I like the flowiness.  Plus, it looks like it'd be easier to go to the bathroom!  Haha, I know that sounds odd, but that's one of my main concerns!  A friend from college just got married in a rather large gown, and she said that she only went to the bathroom once in 14 hours because it was such a hassle and she needed help!  Um, no thanks.  I'll use the restroom myself.

It helps to know what I don't like either.  The things I really would prefer not to have are the buttons on the back or the corset ribbon thing.  I just don't like the look.  To me it seems too high maintenance for me.  However, if I love a dress and I love how it looks, the buttons or corset back aren't going to push me away entirely.  It just might help in narrowing dresses down.

As for necklines, I'd prefer something that goes straight across just because my mom's doesn't like cleavage.  Plus, I'd probably be more comfortable showing as little as possible if students will be at the wedding!  I also would prefer to have straps or a halter.  If I find a strapless that I like, I'd probably add straps to it.  I'm not entirely comfortable with strapless although now that I know Howard and I aren't having dancing, I guess it's a possibility.  I just don't like the way my shoulders look either.

Lastly, I don't like trains.  I would be very concerned with the fact that the train would be touching so much of the floor and picking up so much dirt!  Yuck.  A shorter train on a chiffon gown wouldn't be as terrible though because I imagine it'd be lighter.

Oh, and let's not forget the cost.  I'd like to find a dress that's under $300, but I think I'm willing to go as high as $500 if I find something I really love.  Haha, what a difference from the $5000 budget on Say Yes to the Dress!  There are, of course, Maggie Sottero dresses that are close to $1000 that I love, but I can't see myself spending that much on something worn for only a few hours.

Anyway, all that just so that you have an idea what I'm looking for!

As mom and I approached the store, I actually got a little nervous.  I was glad that the first time we were looking at dresses was casual.  We didn't have an appointment, and we were just going through the dresses on the racks without having anyone try to help us.  The dresses on display on the mannequins were actually ivory, and they looked a little yellow in the light.  But we were able to find white dresses in the mix.  I wish that they had every dress on a mannequin!  It'd make it that much easier to see the detailing and how the dress falls instead of in the clear plastic garment bags on the racks.

There were a couple of dresses that were okay.  However, they weren't all very well-made.  Of course, the less expensive ones weren't as well-made, and some of the beading looked like it could be pulled off.  I made comments for each one that I saw, which cracked mom up.  "This one looks like a tablecloth."  "This looks like an art project (as if someone glued on sequins)."  Better made dresses just weren't my style; I'm sure the dresses would be good for someone else, but for me, I just did not like them.

I did find the halter one, but I didn't like it enough to try it on.  The funniest and best part was when my mom found a strapless dress that she thought was really pretty with intricate details on it.  Then she saw the price tag of $600!  I was kind of happy about that because when I initially told her about a month ago that I liked a Maggie Sottero dress that was about $950, she was appalled at the price!  She kept thinking it'd be easy to find a dress for $99 at David's Bridal.  I know it is possible to find an inexpensive dress due to sales, but yesterday just wasn't the day for it.  I made a comment that all the dresses on sale there had "better be on sale" considering how they looked.  Even then, they were still close to $500, just not the kind of money I want to put down on a dress that's only okay.  At least now my mom understands that the dresses that look better are going to cost a little more.

Well, we walked out of the store empty-handed, and I didn't even try anything on.  Of course, I felt a little dumpy in my denim shorts and my Cleo crocs, so it wasn't exactly the time to try on dresses!  I didn't expect to be looking at wedding gowns.  Of course, I also didn't expect to see a current and former student (brother and sister; they were there for the sister's sweet 16 dress) and their parents at the store either! The mom came up to me and said, "Who's getting married?" and I turned around thinking it'd be a sales person, but it wasn't!  Despite my feeling messy, it was nice to see them.  I love that family so much, so I was eager to show them my beautiful ring.

The next stop will probably be a David's Bridal.  I know it seems early to be looking for a dress since we don't plan on getting married until March 2012, but if certain things work out and we can start planning earlier, we might actually be aiming for an April 2011 wedding!  Oh, maybe I should have started this blog entry with that tidbit first ... whoops!


  1. I'm glad you were relaxed on your first visit to look at wedding dresses. I can't imagine what you must've been thinking, with all of those choices around you! I probably wouldn't have been of much help, but I'd definitely like to go with you to David's Bridal :)

  2. So fun! Isn't it great to know that you can actually look at dresses--FOR YOU--now?!?!? I'm sure you'll find the perfect dresss.

    If you like something that will cover more and have something on your shoulders, you might try cap sleeves that are a little off the shoulder. Sometimes halters are really low cut once you put them least that's what I've found. And be willing to try on something you don't think you'd like--my dress was one I didn't even want to try on!! Also, you can always have them order the off-white dress in white. That's what we did.

    Above all, have fun!! And don't let anyone talk you into getting a dress you don't like as much. Pick the one you love. You'll know because you'll put it on and feel like it was made just for you!