Thursday, December 11, 2008

the tale of my (first) dress

also entitled: "how i almost became a Two Dress Bride."

just got home from Evs' firm's holiday party (an hour and forty-seven minutes + two glasses of wine is pretty much calling it a night for those corporate law party animals - j/k, hon!). at least i got to field lots of questions about the wedding, which is sometimes wearing (i do have a purpose in life aside from designing the perfect invitation suite, people!, kinda) but tonight i was in the mood! since we've been engaged for over a year now, most peeps have had their fill of "our wedding small-talk" but i don't see Evs' colleagues all that often, so they were all ears (or at least politely pretended to be).

lately - oh, okay, since 8 mo. ago - my favorite wedding topic is THE dress. materialistic? possibly. self-centered? probably. but the dress is probably the one area of our wedding where i have whole-heartedly embraced the "its my day" mindset.

let me explain. it all began with a lela rose trunkshow...

can't remember exactly where i first saw pictures of lela rose's gowns, but it was months before the Jenna Bush hullabaloo (so ha!). it was love at first sight... her designs are so organic: the perfect mix of modern and vintage. i was hooked. at that time, there was only bridal salon in TX that carried lela rose - the oh so fabulous Warren Barron in Dallas. i had just begun the hellish Practice Court program at BLS, but two weeks in, i rounded up my maid of honor RJB, my mom and my aunt and we made the trek from Waco to Dallas for a trunk show.

lela's designs were truly gorgeous, but its hard to get a real feel for what a dress will really look like on you when you have a designer size 2 encasing you like the skin on an over-stuffed sausage. so elle and ceclilia (the two realest women you will ever find in a bridal salon) pulled some other dresses for me, since we were already there. there were many gorgeous options... and then, there was a Vera... a wispy number with layers and layers of chiffon - it was soooo comfortable and so dreamy. i felt like a nymph in Midsummer Night's Dream. and then they put the veil on my head... i was exhausted from the hours i'd been pulling, and with exhaustion comes lots of emotion. i cried, the dress was so beautiful and modern and different. it was the best i'd felt in weeks (which really isn't saying a lot, looking back at my last 6 mo. of law school, but at the time, it was a big deal).

without a second thought, at my first bridal salon appointment, we signed on the dotted line.

and then... panic set in. this was not the gown i'd envisioned myself getting married in... but maybe it was better? it was so different! it was so fashionable! it would be amazing... right? right? RIGHT? i was embarrassed, a total wreck - i'd already signed the contract, i was not going to be one of those crazy brides who re-thinks every decision she makes. and i was NOT going to be one of those girls who says "oops! i fell in love with another dress - guess i now have two! what to do, what to do!" i'd never understood those girls - why did you get carried away and buy something you weren't 119% in love with? or why are you so wishy-washy?

yeah, karma's a bitch.

all of a sudden, i understood those 2 Dress Brides. you imagine your wedding day for years before it actually happens (or at least i did) - who will be waiting for you at the end of that aisle, and what you'll be wearing when he first sees you walk toward him - it sounds so cliche, and way more 1958 than this modern gal likes to associate herself with - but you want it to be your own version of perfect. this is a moment you'll remember forever - there will be pictures that your parents will frame, and that your children and grandchildren will look at. ummmm, PRESSURE, much?

and then it hit me - maybe this wasn't the moment to take a page out of Vogue... maybe my inner-fashionista had gone a bit too far with this one. after all, there's something to be said about tradition - and feeling like yourself on the day you marry the person who loves you for yourself.

so i did what any rational, adult, professional woman would do.

i bawled.

i bawled on the phone with my mom. i bawled on the phone to my dad. i bawled to RJB right before our 7:45 AM class began. i bawled on the phone with the girls at Warren Barron. but there were no tears when i went back to WB, 2 weeks later, and found the dress that made me feel like the most beautiful version of myself i had ever dared to imagine in all those silly little girl wedding fantasies - only huge goober-grin smiles. with this dress, its not about being "the perfect, modern, fashionable bride" - its about being Kate, on the day she marries Evan.

so while the experience might have transformed me into "cracked out bridezilla" for a good 3 weeks, i have to give props to my first dress (and major thinks to elle and cecilia for putting up with me and being so understanding when they didn't have to be). you are oh so pretty, and i'm sure you will make some other bride very happy. plus, you got me some free champagne - which can never be a bad thing.

dress numero uno:

i can't wait to post pictures of the real-deal (le sigh)... i've never had a second thought - and i hope every girl can feel the same way (cue pixie dust and rainbow sparkles - sorry for the cheesy-barf-moment)... no matter how many "holy crap" moments she has to go through to get it.


  1. That's an amazing dress. Te vez Preciosa!!! Bravo for finding The DRESS for you.

  2. You look so pretty!!! As far as a red the only one I have tried from the holiday collection has been "Don't Toy With Me". It's a pinkish red with some mega sparkle. I love it!! Or my friend has "Curl My Mistle-Toes" which is a deeper bright red without sparkle. And of course my all time favorite red is just OPI Red. Let me know what you decide to go with. :)

  3. Great news that you've found your perfect dress! The most important thing about your wedding dress is that you feel comfortable - and it sounds like you've found one that is 'you' and makes you feel fabulous, congratulations!

    Saskia x

  4. you look AMAZING...seriously stunning!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don't worry I was almost a 2 dress bride too happens to the best of us!

  5. I went through the exact same thing! Its just such a big decision. I can't wait to see the dress you chose. You are going to look amazing!

  6. I feel so special since I have seen a pic of the real deal. I can't wait to see it walking down the aisle in just a FEW MONTHS! love you.

  7. Im a blog stalker and love yours... adding it to my link list. Yes, I know- Im crazy ;)

  8. So so pretty! Enjoy the rest of the wedding planning and all of the fun that comes with it. Your big day will be here before you know it! Can't wait to see pictures!

  9. I love REAL dress-shopping stories, because mine could not have been farther from the "then I found THE ONE and birds were chirping and violins were playing!" experience you always hear about. The runner-up dress is amazingly beautiful, btw... can't wait to see the real deal! Are you going to offer up any hints? I've been doing fun "Not My Dress" postings on my blog since I'm not going to reveal it until the spring, so I understand the fun of being coy. ;-) Also, this makes me think that I should've checked out Warren Barron. Honestly, I assumed they would terrible and Dallas-snooty. Reference my hate letter to a certain other bridal salon in town: "Dear Bitchy Bridal Boutique."

    Congrats on loving your choice!!! That's what matters most.

  10. Oh that dress is gorgeous! I can't wait to see which one you ended up getting!

  11. i bought my dress at warren-barron, too, and fell in love with elle and cecelia! and guess what! my first dress was the vera dress, too. i never signed a contract on it, but my mom LOVED it and loved how ethereal it was. i loved it, too, but never really felt like myself in it. it was the dress that made my mom cry and say, "that's the dress." i went back the next day and signed the contract on the simple, pleated, structured, carolina herrera that i ended up wearing. and i still got to work with sweet elle and cecelia every other month!

    the vera is beautiful, but i can't wait to see what the real deal looks like!!! i know it is gorgeous!


happy little comments!