Monday, April 27, 2009

This is why I'm Haute: Wedding Gown Shopping

Ok what is the first thing EVERY bride does right after she gets engaged? Cry? Well I am a Barnes—and what do we do? Go buy a book (my mom’s a former librarian-- it was her answer to everything). So I got a bunch of books and started researching what this craziness people call wedding planning is all about. I don’t stress out easily and I am fairly organized so I thought everything would be fine (which it is). So one of the chapters in one of my books (Bridal Bargains By Denise and Alan Fields) talks about dress shopping. They made it seem like it takes forever and people try to con you out of thousands of dollars for the most basic dress. Well there is a section that talks about designers and their price range, and an overall rating. So I found a few designers that fit my budget and that had A ratings. Then I started looking through magazines.

Not ONE. SINGLE. DRESS. Caught my eye. And I inherited about thirty magazines, seven planning books, and four catalogs from co-workers, friends (and my sister). I thought to myself-- this will be harder than I thought. So I check online. I Googled the three designers and found out that one was having a trunk show the very next day about 30 minutes away at a place called The Dresser (and this was the only one in California all year). Wow just my luck that its tomorrow I thought. So I called to make an appointment and asked my friend Farah to accompany me to my very first dress shopping experience.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the sweetest (had to be 19 year old) girl named Brittany who looked enough into fashion that I trusted her gut instincts. So she asked what I was looking for in which I replied “I have no Idea. I am not the girl who has been planning her wedding since she was 10 and wants to be a princess. BUT, I will know what I don’t like when I see it—and I can tell you about my style—simple, modern, chic.” Her eyes widened and she says with a huge smile “I have JUST the dress. Follow me.” So she takes me back through this gorgeous foyer lined with every kind of wedding dress God ever made. The store was gorgeous with vaulted ceilings and drapes for the dressing rooms that stretch from the roof to the floor. I turned to Farah and said “wow this place is nice huh?” She smiled and nodded. So we get all the way to the back where all of the trunk show dresses are and she pulls this one out and says “this is it.” I looked a little skeptical so she said “its okay go pick out 4 or 5 others and bring them back to try on as well.” Cool. So Farah and I go through of course singling out some ridiculously hideous ones turning to each other to say “I KNOW THIS IS THE ONE I JUST KNOW IT!!” Laughing out loud.

Time to try them on. So I try Brittany’s choice first. Looked in the mirror and thought WOW!.....WOW!!!!!! This?? OOOOO!!!!! (But of course I am in the fitting room by myself so nobody else has seen it) So I open the curtain all cool calm collected and (fortunately the sample size fit me perfect so there was no clipping or tucking) when I walk out, the room breaks out it “AAAAHHHs”. Now I know the people who are trying to sell me a dress would do that even if it was horrible, but there were 2 other brides’ entire families (like 4 people per bride) AND 2 brides AND Farah with their mouths wide open. Ok ok Farah’s mouth wasn’t open but she was smiling. One of the brides says “I’m jealous. That dress looks like it was made for you. You’re done girl.” And I reply “well I thought it was gorgeous but now I see the reaction and now I really BELIEVE its gorgeous!” but then I turn to Farah my very “realist” friend who I knew would give me the true sentiment objectively….her response was “well, first of all it is VERY you. And also VERY VERY nice. I like.” That was all I needed. Confirmation that this was not a mirage of perfection. First dress on--and I knew it was the one. Brittany (sales person) asked “did you want to try those other 4 on as well?” I said sure why not—I expected to be here longer than 20 minutes anyway. But of course they were all nothing compared to that first one. WOW! I have never seen anything like it—but it is indeed perfect.

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