Read Part 1 here…
So we left off with me having left The Bridal Garden with two dresses on my mind. As soon as I saw the pictures from Kerri, I knew.
Serious note to ladies who are shopping – even if it’s not allowed, take pictures. I was shocked by how what I thought looked fabulous on—the Elizabeth Fillmore in the first pictures—did not photograph quite so. Body dysmorphia FTLoss.
Scott and I were at brunch for Valentine’s Day when these arrived in my inbox and I was so excited about the pictures I may have a) accidentally showed him, and b) spent a significant amount of time forwarding them to interested parties.
Another note to ladies who are shopping – if you accidentally show your fiancé a photo of the dress, with or without you in it, he absolutely will not remember it come the wedding. (Unless he is some kind of whore for fashion with the memory of an elephant.) And as an interesting sidebar to those of you already marrieds, asking your fiancé to remember and describe your dress is a really hilarious game to play—and win. Thinking this was a sad WIC cliché after reading it in UK Cosmo, I asked Scott while on the plane home from our honeymoon. Even he, who generally notices clothes and has an eye for them, was way way off.
So I loved the dress, but there was still the matter of the price.
And my own indecisiveness.
The dress was also dirty, and though it mostly fit, it would need some altering. I wasn’t prepared for the cost ($250! for cleaning, and $275! for alterations) associated with those either. So I brought another friend, this one with some dress cleaning/altering experience—Beverly Hills Bloomingdales FTW.
And then I made an appointment at the salon my friend Aimee’s dress came from. (Because yes, she had bought her dress back in September, the day after we went shopping together. And I’d hate her for it, except she wound up having waaay more dress drama than me in the end.)
It was there that I tried on a bunch of dresses I never would have except they were the only things in my price range/size. Because uh yea, I’m not a Kirstie Kelly for Disney Bridal kinda girl. Or so I thought.
Much like David’s Bridal (or so I hear – I never did get to go into a David’s), the Disney Princess line was surprisingly okay.
This little jam did in fact make me feel like a princess. Probably because it’s like, what, an exact replica of Belle’s gold dress? But even for a 28 year old, getting to dress up for five minutes as Belle one last time was pretty awesome.
And then I realized, uh yea, I don’t want to be Belle for my wedding.
Next came a couple womp, womp dresses that were not from Kirstie Kelly, but are proof that sometimes things (usually the ones that didn’t make it out of the fitting room), can look just plain shitty.
I actually didn’t mind the first one, but it was too “trendy” for me. I hate to use that word because I think trendiness can save one from decision overload—there’s no greater validation or safety than “everyone else doing it”—but part of the allure of the Junko Yoshioka was that no one else had it. Short of making something custom or finding something vintage (and believe you me, I searched in every dark corner of the interwebs—despite longing for a story like Meg’s, I couldn’t bring myself to actually pound the pavement), how impossibly awesome to have a dress that you cannot find on a single “real wedding” blog post anywhere?!
But then, there came the dress that made me reconsider everything.
It was unlike anything I’d ever thought I wanted. Covered in beading. Flowy, not structured. And well, inspired by Princess Jasmine.
But it reminded me of this.
And come on, that is a truly great moment.
As a girl who once [seriously] considered spending $6,000 to have her wedding here and just sit on the floor and eat Chinese takeout, the easy comfort of this dress suddenly seemed like a forgotten necessity,
And then there was the price.
It was a very nice deal, and all the salesladies were just about bouncing off the walls with excitement, though of course you can never tell if that’s authentic or just put on to make the sale.
It was all so very tempting…
But I wasn’t thrilled with how I looked in the pictures, and regardless, I had one more appointment with Flora (which is the style name of the Junko Yoshioka), and 2 more friend’s opinions to gauge.
So I left behind Princess Jasmine, and put on my best big girl bargaining pants.
And bargain I did. I put on Flora, my friends fell in love, and I got that saleslady to knock $500 off the price (with only a little crying). Of course there was still cleaning and alterations, and I COMPLETELY forgot about sales tax until my credit card was out of my wallet. But this was my dress and I just didn’t want to look anymore. (That, and bargaining down money that’s going to a non-profit felt sort of wrong.)
My initial budget was an arbitrary and seemingly high number. But, as anyone can tell you, I am a Clothes Person, so putting some financial focus on The Dress seemed like the right thing to do. On the other hand, I am a Bargain Person, and so I also had the pipe dream that I’d be about to somehow conjure a $13,000 couture gown out of thin air for about $300. Because that’s how I roll.
So I was feeling a little down on myself for going over budget while forking over my Visa, when my friend Maureen observed (Maureen is getting married in August and clearly she will not be having any issues because she is far wiser than I), that based on the original number on the price tag, I was getting the dress at 80% off.
Epilogue: The memory of Jasmine did not go quietly into the night. In fact, I spent the entire evening after buying Flora wondering if I made a mistake. I set up an eBay saved search and even wound up trying on some Sue Wong wannabe Jasmine’s while helping Maureen at the Battle of the Brides. Thankfully, by the time a reasonably sized, reasonably priced Jasmine turned up on eBay, I had come to my senses and didn’t buy it.