I Don't Even Know Her Name

I hated dress shopping. The attention, the price tags, the sales people, the stage with special lighting, the awwww's from strangers were all just entirely too much for me to handle. I envy those of you who have/had great experiences filled with fuzzy teary bonding moments. I came to grips with reality long ago though and realized I would not have those. So it's all good, and I moved on.

I found out Brides Against Breast Cancer had a gown sale in town back in February '07, 3 months after our engagement. The idea of that inevitable payment for a wedding dress going towards a good cause thrilled me. I had no expectations of falling in love with my wedding dress, for I do not think it's possible for me. I was simply looking for something that works, with my criteria being 1. champagne in color, 2. fits me.

My MOH and I arrived at the event and found a room full of gowns and volunteers.
The set up and 'sales force' were super minimal, just how I like it. We went through the gowns in my size, picked out a few, and went into the dressing room. The dressing room was simply a big seperate area with racks scattered, completely open.
I was trying on dresses with many other girls in the room, most brought company as I did, and those who went alone got plenty of friendly help from the rest of us. After many hours of trying dresses and narrowing down the choices and trying them on again, we ended up with this (both blurry pics and no frill pics included) :

Dress Front

She is by Maggie Sottero, but I do not know her name. When I found her on the rack she had tags on, everything perfectly zipped, tucked, and buttoned up, as if she had never been touched. She cost $750, which I was assured would go directly towards flying family members to see their loved ones suffering from breast cancer.

Is it horrible that I don't feel the connection that most brides seem to have with their wedding dresses? I mean, I think the dress is gorgeous... for somebody. It's just that strapless, poofy, long train, sparkles everywhere... none of it is really me. As a matter of fact, I had it on when I showed my brother (who knows me very well and whose opinion I do not take lightly) for the first time, he was quite surprised.

Me: so what do you think?
Bro: ehh... it's a really nice dress
Me: so you don't like it
Bro: no, I just never pictured you choosing something like this
Me: what did you picture me in?
Bro: something more mordern looking, not all poofy I guess
Me: me too...

It's done, the purchase had long been made and I sure ain't throwing another penny on a dress. Could I have found a cheaper dress that I like more than this? Probably. It's actually really unlike me to make such a decision so quickly without shopping around. Though not tax deductable, I thought of the dress payment as a donation. It was the only way I could justify spending so much money on a dress I will wear once. I drool over gowns by Claire Pettibone all the time, I can't help it. But that's it. While I'm envious of those who get giddy just thinking about their dresses, I have to say that I would probably do what I did again. I'm not an altruist, I'm just practical and the wedding dress is much lower in my priority ranking compared to most brides. Oh and, bridal sales people scare the crap out of me.

Anywho, that's my dress story.


  1. Put the f*cker on craigslist. I don't care what you paid for it.

    You've got to feel a) fabulous and b) like yourself.

    Here's my story:

  2. It's so funny reading this - I feel like there is so much pressure on us to have this big "moment" when we find our dress, where everyone gets all teary and breathless and whispers, "that's the one"... and if we don't feel that way, we kind of feel disappointed. That's how I felt anyway...

    However, while I didn't get a big emotional moment with my dress, I do feel like me in it, and like I couldn't have found a more "me" choice... so perhaps try a couple more just to be sure?

  3. Yeah, I didn't get that "feeling" when I tried on my dress. In fact, every time I would go to try on dresses, I would find a new favorite. When I went with my mother (the only time she came), I saw my dress and thought it was really pretty on the hanger. After trying on several, I narrowed it down to 2 - and since the ol' pocketbook was there that day, and I wanted to just find one and get on with it, I chose my favorite out of the two. I actually was thinking to myself as we were driving away "Gee, I really hope I made the right choice...."
    BUT - now I really do like my dress. The more I think of it, the more I really like it. And it is "me". Plus, it's light and comfy.

    I agree with East Side Bride - I think you should try selling that one and look for one that is more "YOU". You don't have to spend a fortune, and you don't have to fall in love with it, but you should at least be happy with it!!
    The blogger Guilty Secret even bought a bridesmaid dress in ivory for her gown - and it's gorgeous!!


  4. I second East Side.

    I know it's a shitload of stress and extra hassle and I totally don't buy into the whole 'perfect dress' thing, but you should at least feel comfortable, and like yourself. You deserve that much. And it's so not 'I deserve the most specialest fantasticest wedding ever!', feeling comfortable and like yourself isn't being an uber-bride, just a happy bride.

  5. There are many wonderful gowns out there and I think your dress has a rather classic, princessy (in a nice way!) look. However, the professional bloggers here have a point. From reading your inspiring ideas, I am sure that you could find something that reflects your true style a bit better. A simple straight dress with unique etsy-ish jewellery/headpiece/wrap?

  6. I'm with East Side too. You KNOW I don't belive in the myth of the perfict wedding, no way. But, something about this just doesn't seem quite right. It's a nice gown and all, but I'm not feeling like it has your vibe. Send the wish for the right gown at the right price out to the universe, and I SWEAR you'll get the right dress, and you won't look back and say "ehhhh." You don't need anything to be perfict for your wedding but more then anything you want to feel the most like YOURSELF, not just like your in the bridal package.

    It's a lovely gown, you'll find someone for it on ebay or craigs list.

    And I'm going to a vintage gown store in Oakland this weekend, email me if you want the scoop afterwards. They have affordable stuff! And you're a blogger!! Tell people what you really want. They'll point you in the right direction.

  7. I hear you fellow brides! I thought I would get all teary, because I read so many stories about brides knowing it was the dress because they cried. I laughed and had the best time trying on dresses! My mom and grandma (recently widowed) were there and my grandma said she was thoroughly entertained watching me strut around in those dresses! I'm wearing boots and fishnets at my wedding. I don't care what ANYONE says.