First, the dress I always dreamed of wearing turned out to have ugly stains.
Then, I discovered my hatred of sequins and poofiness.
After that, I barely avoided the Great Dress Purchasing Mistake of 2010, and had a complete failure of a dress shopping trip.
At some point in the midst of all that, I found this picture in a magazine:
Casablanca Couture B028
It was love at first sight. This is the dress that made me believe I could maybe, just maybe, love a dress other than the one that was worn by my mom and grandmother.
All three pictures from here.
I spent a couple hours on the phone with every bridal store in Texas that was listed on the Casablanca website, and the consensus was this: The dress was brand new, the samples weren't in stores yet and wouldn't arrive until February, and there was pretty much no chance I could have it in time for my six-months-away wedding. So, I had to move on. I'll never know whether it would have actually looked good on me, but someone else sooo has to try on this dress because it's beautiful and I like it.
After all of that, I was headed to Dress Store #3, Brickhouse Bridal. Remember, this whole process so far has happened over a lighting-fast period of just under 36 hours!
Brickhouse was recommended by The Knot and a few friends, so I had high hopes. When I walked in, the store was all elegant and pretty, and it seemed like I was the only client in the entire place. They gave me a bunch of plastic clips, and I got to run around the store clipping every dress I wanted to try on. The clipped dresses magically appeared in the dressing room! I told my helper-consultant-person (what exactly is the correct term for those people??) "long, lace all over, no super-white-white, no poofiness, no sequins, elegant." She grabbed a few dresses for me that I loved. This was going well.
Unfortunately, my camera began its downward slope of "Battery Low" when we first started, and I only squeezed in pictures of one dress before it powered itself off for good. Silly Canon, why don't I always bring your spare battery along?
Anyway, I found two dresses that were possibilities. First up, this lovely one:
Apparently I'm an expert at knowing what to do with my hands.
I have no idea what designer/style number this dress is, but it's lovely. I loved the sleeves, the lace, even the bow. Picture it with a little brooch or something!! But, the bottom half of the dress seemed a little too boring. Plus, it made me make this face:
Not a good bride face.
The second dress at Brickhouse Bridal was Paloma Blanca 3858. I LOVED this dress. Compared to the pictures on the models, it looked so different on me. But, alas, I have no photos. But let it be said that this dress was beautiful.
Both pictures from here.
What wasn't so beautiful was the $3,000 price tag. My parents are generously paying for the dress, and it was well over what they had been planning on spending. So we got creative. We looked into having a replica made. We looked at buying it used. We looked at knockoffs from China. We scoured the Internet and other bridal stores for better prices. The results: the prices were only marginally better anywhere else, I was wary of the whole replica thing, and we couldn't find it pre-owned in anywhere near my size. I was dissappointed.
So, I came up with a plan, and announced to my mom (who at this point was the only one still attending each and every dress-shopping trip) this:
"We've pretty much exhausted the Houston dress shops list, but I have one more store to try and we'll go there. I'll try really hard to find something I like and if I can't, I'll pay for part of the dress, and we'll go back and get that one. Mmkay?"
Mommy was on board. Stay tuned for the fifth (and final!) installment of the dress-shopping series!