Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Finding "The" Dress, Part Two

** Mr. Cupcake, I know you are probably not reading this.... but if you are, READ NO FURTHER!!!! Seriously!!!!!! **

On my third dress shopping extravaganza, it was just me and Momma Cupcake, and we had appointments at a whopping four bridal salons in the area (yes — all in one day!). Maybe that was a little ambitious, but we had a blast!

On this particular Saturday, we started out at 10 a.m. at Forever Formals in Kennett Square, PA. Tracey was our sales assistant, and she was 100% delightful to work with. She let Momma Cupcake and me look through the dresses and stepped in only when we found something we thought I should try on. The fitting room here was the nicest and most spacious I had been in yet, and Tracey was helpful and speedy without rushing us.

We found some really beautiful gowns -- some looked okay on, and some looked ridiculous and I didn't even get in them all the way before I took them off! There was one in particular that we liked the best out of them all: The Maggie Sottero Marissa dress. They had it in the darkest color, which was called Vienna Cream, but try to picture it in ivory!

I was surprised by how flattering the neckline was on me; I liked the crystal details on the neckline and on the "knife pleats" below the dropped waist. I liked the asymmetrical cut and the asymmetrical crystal detail in the back. The train was a little plain for my liking, but Tracey said we could probably add some crystal details. I wasn't so sure about the corset back, since I've always been a bigger fan of buttons, and I think I could grow to like the corset. Also, I was trying not to have my mind too set on the lace thing, but it just didn't seem as "me" as the dresses I had tried with lace. Momma Cupcake really loved this dress on me, and I certainly liked it a lot, but was looking forward to continuing our search to see what else was out there.

Our second stop was The Wedding Touch in Frazer, PA. Sylvia was our sales assistant, and she was very sweet. She truly enjoys what she does and got a good feel for what I liked the more I talked to her. I tried on a few really pretty dresses, but wasn't extremely blown away by anything. I thought that maybe I was just at the point of trying on so many gowns that I was becoming numb to the "feeling" I was supposed to have!

....Until I tried on a particular Casablanca gown.

This photo is a little weird to me -- like they Photoshopped her chest away!
This is a little more "normal" looking and shows the amazing lace and beading.
Love. This. Train.

The style # is 1860; I don't think the photos online do the dress much justice, and it looks completely different on me since I am shorter, bustier, and overall curvier than this model! But I still like to show the difference, because I think it proves that you really can't always judge a dress by how it looks on the model.

So, without further ado.... here is the dress on me!

The back.... we didn't take a lot of time to lay out the train all pretty, but you get the gist.
It is not what I imagined for myself at the beginning, yet it has a lot of the details that I have liked in other dresses -- the v-neck (that really sits on the outermost point of the shoulder, which I love), the dropped waist, the slimmer fit (while not a sheath dress, it does have a little bit of poof without being overwhelming), and, of course: lace, lace, lace.

The detailing seems like a lot, but when I put it on, I just felt like a much better version of myself. The details weren't overwhelming to my size or figure, and I liked that the beading and lace really blended into the rest of the dress (I hate when details stand out in a different color or tone). Overall it had a very vintage, classic feel to it that seems to suit my "old soul" type of personality and style (or at least the style I've always wished I had!).

Momma Cupcake was also really into this dress -- I know she is not the one who will be wearing the dress, and there were certainly some dresses that she loved on the hanger than I wouldn't even try on, but it seems like when I find something that is right, it is something that we both love equally. She is my best friend and I really value her opinion; plus, she used to be really into sewing (she sewed her own wedding gown and ALL her bridesmaid's gowns back in the 70s!), so I trust her opinion on how things are made and how nice materials are.

The real "wow" moment for this dress came when Momma Cupcake started to tear up -- as much of a crier as I am, my mom has never been quite as emotional as me. So when she IS emotional, I cry, even if I don't know why she's crying! She started to get a little teary-eyed and said "it just reminds me of my mother" and we both lost it. (My grandmother died when my mom was 24, before I was born.) Through my tears I joked, "well now I have to get it!" But it was really the first dress that gave me that "the one" feeling. (It's not an urban wedding myth after all!) It felt good to know that this had the vintage charm of something my grandmother might have worn, and that didn't make me feel like I needed to work on my body to make me love it more -- it looked great on me, the way I am right now. Things just started to fall into place. And, bonus: it is under $1000!

Funny thing: when we got into the car to go to our next stop, I paged through my wedding binder and found that I had torn out a picture of this dress before! It still looked completely different, but it was fun to know that I had noticed it before.

To cut this novel short, I will say that we continued on to our last two appointments, the second of which was at a store that carried the original Jasmine dress that I thought I loved — and this dress no longer did anything for me. Aside from it being about three sizes too big on me, I just saw that it wasn't the dress that would truly flatter me, even if it was the right size and altered to fit me. It was a great starting off point which eventually led me to "the" dress, though.

A few weeks later, after it had all sunk in, Mama Cupcake, FMIL, and my MatOH came along when I went to try on the Casablanca dress one more time. As MatOH said, it was a "no brainer" and the troops were unanimous — I HAD to get this dress! I kept it on for maybe 15 or 20 minutes, loving every second of it and loving the dress more and more the longer I kept it on. So, I got measured, and wonderful Mama Cupcake (who does so much for me and is doing so much for our wedding that I could never thank her enough) put down the deposit. DONE! Such a great feeling!

Aside from the few clips on the dress when I tried it on, the sample was very close to my normal size, so this is the size we ordered. For an extra $85, it will also be custom cut to my height with 2.5" heels on (which will probably save us a few hundred dollars in the alterations that would have otherwise been needed removing and re-stitching all of the detailed lace along the bottom hem). It is hard to tell, but the sample is champagne and that is the same color I ended up ordering. It's basically a more pink ivory that is flattering to my Italian skin tone (where as regular ivory has more yellow, which brings out the olive tone of my skin, which I am not a fan of!).

Also, you can't see in pictures, but each button on the back is beaded with the same detail as the rest of the dress. Truly spectacular!!!

I really like the veil that I am wearing, too. I didn't see the need to order that right away, but I might end up buying this one. I like how the subtle scalloped edge picks up the detail of the dropped waist, and the beading along the edge frames my face while picking up the beading on the dress. I'm also not a fan of "poof" so I like that this veil is a single layer -- no blusher for me (just not my thing and I swear I feel claustrophobic when I wear a blusher.... yes, I'm weird like that!). I would get it a bit longer (I honestly forget the length I want.... 50-something inches? They wrote it down!) because I liked the way another longer veil looked with the dress.

I am so ecstatic about this purchase; I feel like I really found the dress that suits my body, style, and personality to a T. I also like that it will help to set the tone for a somewhat vintage-meets-modern/eclectic style wedding, in terms of decor, flowers, and stationery.

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