I hadn’t been engaged for two seconds before I fell knee-deep into looking at wedding gowns on IG. Granted, I had envisioned my wedding day before, but I would always stop myself before I got too deep in thought because, well, I wasn’t engaged yet (shrugs). It’s a completely different feeling looking at wedding gowns just for fun than when you are actually planning a wedding – like night and day.
I already had an idea of the type of wedding gown I would want. I knew I had a type – mermaid/silhouette of course. I am 5’9” and slim built so naturally I felt the mermaid style would be most flattering to my body type. Even with that in mind, I still allowed myself to be open enough to try on other dresses I typically would not have given a second thought.
I went to 4 different bridal gown stores and I’m sure I tried on over 15 dresses. The first two times were actually kind of fun, it grew redundant around the 3rd store and by the time we got to the 4th store and probably 13th dress, I was ready to just purchase.
Here are some of the dresses I tried on before finally deciding on my one (please excuse the bluriness of some images – they were taken by android users J/K)
These were some okay choices but I didn’t feel like any of them were “me.” None of them shouted “Mrs. Woodson” so I gladly handed them back to the consultants.
Fun fact: My wedding gown was not my first pick. I actually purchased another dress before getting the dress I wore down the aisle. No, I don’t have cash dripping out my pockets. The first dress I bought was an “off-rack” dress (bought as is – no alterations and no refunds). The dress was originally $1800 that was marked down for $350.
I actually really liked this dress. It was a little big on me (size 10) but I knew a seamstress that could work her magic. I was content with this dress after I bought it but just a few short weeks later, I kept thinking about another dress I tried on and if I had made a mistake. I would look at pictures of me in the other dress and compare the two. Eventually, I couldn’t get the other dress (my wedding gown) out of my head, so I knew I had to make a decision and fast. Mind you, it was approaching March and my wedding was September 29th. In wedding gown world, I really didn’t have much time. After hearing me talk about it enough, my then fiancé finally said, “Alana, I’m tired of hearing you talking about this other gown. Just go buy it.”
Just look at her. Y’all can see why I fell in love. I tried this dress on at Clarice’s Bridal but I turned it down because it was out of my budget. It’s also a dress I wouldn’t have grabbed off the rack just by looking, but I am so grateful for my consultant for putting it in my dressing room. It gave me that “feeling” – not the dramatic/ dramedy/ only-in-the-movies-I-found-my-gown type of feeling but a feeling of confirmation. When I went back the 2nd time, I was convinced. Thank you mommy for my dress 🙂
Any advice I would give to those who are in the process of finding the perfect dress, enjoy the process. It’s not like you’ll be shopping for wedding gowns on the regular. Typically this moment occurs only once in your life and it truly is an experience. Take your time and be open-minded. If you are comfortable, take guests with you to get feedback (but take those who also know how to keep negative opinions to themselves because ultimately it is your decision). Take lots of pictures and play around with different accessories – different length veils, bird cage, head jewelry, etc. Most of all, get something that still makes you look like YOU. To hear my husband say he really loved my gown and it was “me” put the icing on the cake. Sorry girls, it aint for sale. However, my first pick dress is for sale 🙂 Serious inquiries only (email firstname.lastname@example.org) Size 10.