‘Finding My Dress’ the Bridechilla way!

by Aleisha
Every other wedding decision had been relatively quick and easy. I was worried I had become the dreaded high maintenance bride

By Bridechilla Liz- Read Liz's intro post here!

I went into wedding dress shopping thinking that I could knock it out in a day, a weekend at most. My mom was flying into D.C. for the weekend to look at dresses with my best friend and me.
I did my research, pinned the dresses I Iiked best (after googling to confirm they were in my budget), and made appointments at all the stores with reasonable price points.
The first place I had scheduled was supposed to be just for fun. I was going to try on some cool dresses before trying on the ones I had picked out beforehand at BHLDN and J.Crew.

I had a fail-proof plan of attack... famous last words.

It had intricate hand sewn details and a breathtaking train.
It flattered my figure.
It cost nearly three months rent.
Whoops. Unfortunately after that, nothing could compare. I had become a bridal cautionary tale before lunch. I tried on dozens of other beautiful dresses that weekend in an attempt to find something that approximated the bird dress and even ended up buying one (that was fortunately returnable, because I discovered later that night that it had given me a rash across my chest and on my arms -- not cute). When my mom went home at the end of the weekend, she told me it was okay, no one said that you had to find your wedding dress in two days. I felt more like a failure than I would like to admit.
Every other wedding decision had been relatively quick and easy. I was worried I had become the dreaded high maintenance bride. I was already planning on flying home to Wisconsin to attend my cousin’s bridal shower in a few weeks, so my mom suggested I come home a day early so we could visit some more salons.

This time I had no plan and no expectations.

I made appointments at two stores that had good online reviews and a third store where two of my cousins had found their dresses.
In the meantime, I went to a store in D.C. and found a great dress which I planned to buy during a trunk sale about a month later (definitely worth it for the 10% discount). It was very pretty, it was still not the bird dress.I arrived in Wisconsin with an open mind. I was mostly planning to try on dresses to make my mom happy since I thought I had already found a dress back in D.C.
I let my mom pick out some options that were different styles than what I had chosen for myself. It made me realize that I wanted a more classic dress than I initially thought.

When we walked into the last store that day, my mom saw a dress in the window that she wanted me to try on. It was the last dress on the rack that I put on that day, and as soon as I saw myself in the mirror, I knew I had found it.My mom and I both teared up which is not something we do, especially when it comes to clothes.And, most importantly, I forgot about the bird dress.

I spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at pictures of me wearing my wedding dress at work the following week.

I am so excited to wear this dress when I marry my fiancé. It has straps and pockets(!)
It was the only dress I tried on where I looked and felt like myself, albeit myself in a gorgeous white dress. On the path to finding my dress, I accepted that I didn’t fail at being a bridechilla because it took me some time to find the “perfect” dress. As it turns out, there is probably more than one perfect dress out there and there’s no point in judging yourself if it takes some time to find the right dress for the amount of money you want to spend. And definitely listen when everyone tells you to let the salon know your price range.
Spare yourself the awkwardness of having your mom tell every subsequent sales assistant, “well, that dress is nice, but look how much more beautiful she looks in this dress that costs $$$$.”
Yep, that happened.
Learn from my mistakes!
Note: I ended up buying my dress from White Dress Bridal Boutique in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is a beautiful store with an incredible selection of gowns and helpful, not at all pushy, salespeople. I also loved my experience at Lovely Bride in Washington, D.C., which has a ton of unique dresses that you do not see everywhere else. I’d highly recommend both!

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