Monday, May 18, 2009

dress shopping trip

I’m sitting on the ferry on the way back from a very wonderful and relaxing vacation in BC. I’m looking forward to life becoming a little more relaxing again—I know that there will be stress, as that is part of life, but I think that the pressure and stress from this last year will slowly disappear. I don’t remember being this stressed all the time in Edmonton, which I think is because I could take breaks there without worrying that I had work to do. But, we’ll see.

One important part of the trip was organizing wedding stuff, of course. I already wrote a little on here about the fun day I had going around Port Alberni to find a reception venue and talk to the church. Two days later my mum and I headed down to Victoria to go wedding dress shopping. It was a really great trip, and actually one of my favourite things that I did on vacation.

My mum is essentially adored/idolized by many of the girls/women who know her, so I always have people telling me nice things about one on one time with her. I mention this because mum and I figured on our trip that this was the first time just the two of us have really spent any time together! There is always someone else around, usually John, Dad, or David. So first of all it was really nice to just have that time away to talk about both life and the wedding.

Our first stop was at Michael’s in Nanaimo, in order to get ideas for the wedding flowers. We made up some very bare mock-ups, and those coupled with some pictures and the aid of Sue will hopefully make something beautiful. We then went to Victoria where we picked up David’s mum and showed up half an hour late for a dress appointment (I forgot the time and then we were late on top of that!).

That was my favourite appointment. It was one on one and the lady was incredibly helpful with telling me what kind of dresses would work best with my body type, although of course she let me try on what I wanted, but she was seriously perfect. So I tried on six dresses, and then put my favourite back on while we talked over details like headpieces, bridesmaid options, colours, and alterations. Mum and Jen really liked her as well and we were all quite impressed.

The three of us left all liking the same dress a lot, but we decided to go to two more salons on Friday just to make sure. So Friday morning we met my cousin Tara and went to a fancy salon downtown, where the service was not nearly as good and the dresses were more expensive and nothing quite hit the mark. It was becoming quickly obvious to me that I had found The Dress the day before, and although I liked a couple of the dresses it wasn’t the same. But the store did have dresses in my size, so it was good to see what they’d look like when they fit properly.

Both of the salons I went to allowed me to take pictures, and after comparing those and how I felt in the dresses I’d made my decision by the time I got back to the car. I drove with Tara, and mum and Jen drove in mum’s car and they picked the same dress as well. They are both quite impressed that the dress comes with both a purse and a shawl in the price, and kept commenting on it (I find this hilarious—it is such a motherish thing to be impressed with).

So, The Dress. Neither of the places I went to had any of the dresses I’d picked. The dress I’m getting combines elements of them, but it does not really look like either of my favourites. I stepped away from chiffon, which felt too much like curtains, and am going with taffeta and lace. Strangely enough, it is very similar to a dress that I had a dream about, and which I had assumed was my subconscious revealing my dream dress to me. Go subconscious! I won’t be putting pictures up of the dress, because I don’t want David accidently seeing it AND I want must people to see it new on my wedding day. So ya’ll can wait and wonder. I will say that it is corseted and I don’t have to wear anything under it—that was a big selling point with me. Here’s to being braless on my wedding day! Woohoo!!!

Styles aside, most importantly I feel like an absolute princess when I wear it. I kind of like I did when I was a little girl playing dress up and imagining I had a princess dress, and feel the same way I did watching Cinderella or Belle in the ball scenes in the Disney movies. I love it! It also is so incredibly ME, with beautiful little details and all that. Love it! So that is that. I’ll be ordering the dress when I’m home in September, and I’m really looking forward to trying it on again then (if she still has it there) and having that total LOVE moment.
Other things learned on this trip—I have very nice shoulders (according to one salewoman) and I am also the perfect height for wedding dresses (5’9”) and thus my dress won’t need alterations. Yay!

One thing I insisted on with the dresses I really liked was that I see them with a veil (thank you, Say Yes to the Dress). And this naturally led into discussions of veils and me wondering what to do. The only veil I tried on that I liked came with a $200 price tag, which is a bit excessive. The plan all along had been to fix up mum’s veil and wear that, but she is getting more and more certain that it is going to be trashy after 30 years of poor storage, so we’ve been going over options. She had made her own, but was telling me the problems with that. I guess she was complaining about veil prices to her friend, because the next thing I know her friend offered me HER veil, if I wanted it, to do what I want with (the headpiece being some giant flower thing from the 80s)...

So we took the veil home to look at it. It was perfectly pressed in a sealed box, and looking into the box I didn’t think I’d like it—it’s pretty but looked dated. But we pulled out and it turned out to be PERFECT. We can easily remove the flowered headpiece and the veil itself—love! It has the same lace idea that I wanted—just a few flowers along the edging, and to top it all of it is a cathedral length veil, meaning it is really fucking long, which is what I wanted. It also, unlike the mantillas I looked at, has the second piece to cover my face, like I wanted. So now all I need to buy is a head piece, and the place where I’m getting my dress sells those too and they are fairly reasonable.

So aside from needing to pay for all this those aspects of the wedding are pretty much settled. It’s starting to feel a lot more real now, and I’m quite excited!

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