Something I’ve really been looking forward to writing about after we got married was the process of shopping for my wedding dress!!
I obviously couldn’t post any pics or talk about this before the wedding because I didn’t want Chris to see any of the dresses I was looking at. This post isn’t really meant to be anything super helpful or informative, I kinda just wanted to talk about my experience. Also, the shop that I bought my dress from has since gone out of business so it’s not like this post will be any help to anyone now, but here we are anyway!
My wedding dress was perfect for me and I can’t imagine having chosen any other dress now – but it wasn’t always that obvious. Like I mentioned in my post about what I wish I would’ve known about wedding planning, I actually went into the process pretty much blind. I knew I wanted a long white dress and that was pretty much it. I was also pretty sure I wanted sparkles, which obviously turned out to be true.
In the back of my head I kinda KINDA thought that I would want a big princess dress, but I was kind of afraid that I would get lost in it. I looked up a bunch of those charts of like, “what wedding dress looks good with your body type” but like, none of them really laid out the choices for my body type, which is 10,000 mile long legs and a Polly Pocket sized torso.
I looked at SO MANY charts like this one trying to figure out what dress I wanted!
So I decided that I would just go into the appointment and see how it went. My first appointment was at David’s Bridal. When I got there, the stylist gave me a catalog and told me to mark any dresses that I liked and she could pull them for me. I pretty much told her, “I have no idea what I want so can you please just pull a bunch of different things in my size” lol. I decided to try a bunch of different styles, so at least I could rule out what I DIDN’T want. Here’s some ~never before seen pics~ of some things I tried!
This was the first dress I tried on. I quickly figured out that I was going to need a big skirt when I put this on and said “it’s fine but it’s kind of small” haha
A slightly bigger skirt – I liked the silhouette and the sparkly belt, but I still low key wanted it to be poofier. And I felt like the top made my already really short torso look even smaller. I liked this one a lot but it wasn’t *The One*.
I knew I wasn’t going to like this one when she pulled it out of the bag…it’s big, poofy, and sparkly, but it’s not really me! I’m not really a fan of the layered skirts like that and I think this one swallowed me up a little bit. On to the next one.
I decided to try some with sleeves/straps too. This was pretty, but a little plain for me I thought. I need the old razzle dazzle you know? I also decided pretty much right away that I did not want sleeves.
I wanted to try on at least one mermaid dress. Before going in I actually kinda had an inkling of a thought that I really wanted a mermaid dress, because they’re so sleek and elegant. That thought and all other thoughts of possibly having a mermaid dress were immediately dismissed when I discovered I could not move in this dress!! I actually loved how it looked but I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable in it.
I’m not mad at this one but the silhouette was so SOOOO not me. It’s just kinda…flat.
This is the last one I tried on at David’s. There were a few others in there too but they did not get photographed because they were so NOT me that they weren’t even contenders. I remember this one being my favorite at the time, along with the second one I tried with the sparkly belt – but I actually don’t really like it as much looking at it now!! I think I was just excited to try on something so big and fluffy with lots of pretty detail on the skirt. I still think it’s pretty, but I’m glad I didn’t end up going with it.
So after my first appointment I knew I wanted the following:
- no sleeves or straps
- nothing that makes my top half look too small
- big poofy fluffy huge fun skirt
Great, really moving along here. My second appointment was kind of on a whim, because my parents were in town and I wanted to be able to go try on some dresses with them. This one was at Alfred Angelo. Obviously Alfred Angelo bit the dust and filed for bankruptcy last year, but when I went dress shopping in December 2016 none of that had happened yet…so let’s go back to that happier time ^_^
I will say that my experience here was really great, and much better than David’s – they had great lighting first of all!! And the stylist that helped us was AMAZING. His name was Marcelo and we were pretty much in love with him. He helped me so much in narrowing down and pinpointing what I liked and disliked, and he was so funny and nice to us. He honestly gave us such a good experience and I don’t know if I would have found my dress here if he hadn’t been so patient and helpful. When all the craziness went down with Alfred Angelo last year for some reason one of the first things I thought of was if he was still there and if he had lost his job because of it. This is such a weird tangent but I just think a lot about Marcelo and I hope that he is off in another bridal salon somewhere helping other girls find their dresses like he helped me LOL
ANYWAY. I honestly did not expect to find my dress on this trip – like I said I kinda just wanted to try on some dresses with my parents while they were here so they could be part of the experience. You probably know that Alfred Angelo also is the one that had the line of Disney inspired dresses. I did NOT want a Disney dress because, more than anything, they were out of my price range – but also I thought it would be just a bit too on the nose for me to have a Disney dress for obvious reasons. But my mom was dying for me to try on one of them, so I tried this Cinderella one:
And I didn’t dislike it, it’s really pretty! The skirt especially was so beautiful – it’s hard to see in these photos but it had this really stunning layer of glitter tulle that I loved. However, I really hated the top on me. Again with the whole small torso thing, and I really didn’t like that ruched look on top. But that skirt tho.
This one was next and this was a high contender to be the one I chose. Marcelo figured out quickly that I liked sparkles and this dress delivered. I really liked everything about it, but I still looked a little short on top. The skirt was pretty and did have sparkles, but not the glittery tulle that I had loved from the first one.
We tried it with a veil to see if I liked the whole look, and I did – but I couldn’t stop thinking about that sparkly skirt from the first one. And I LIKED this dress, I didn’t LOVE it. We decided to move on and keep this one on the pile of maybes.
This one is SO pretty but again I just didn’t really think it was very Kaela. Plus the top is SO SHORT I look so lopsided! This one was fun but not for me.
So after a lot of discussion about what I did and didn’t like, we determined that what I needed was a drop waist. Marcelo pulled out this one and informed me that it was the only drop waist ballgown they had in the store. I absolutely LOVED the top:
And the drop waist really helped me look tall and elongated like I wanted! We decided to try it with a veil:
And I LOVED it – I could see myself getting married in this dress!!
But I still couldn’t stop thinking about that sparkly skirt. I said something like “I wish I could have the top of this dress with the skirt of that dress” and brilliant Marcelo went and grabbed a sparkly veil they had on a rack somewhere and held it up to the front layer of my skirt – and it was perfect. It was exactly what I wanted. He suggested that we have a seamstress add in a layer of glittery tulle under the first layer of skirt in alterations, and I would have my dream dress!!
And that sealed the deal! I was totally in love with the idea that this dress could be even more sparkly and I put down the deposit that day!!
And the best part of all was that my stunning wedding dress that I’m completely in love with cost LESS than $1000 before alterations! And that’s exactly what we did, btw – we ordered sparkly tulle from fabric.com and had them add it in during alterations!! My alterations were done by the AMAZING and talented women at Longs Bridal. They basically had to take apart the entire dress to add in that sparkle and they did it so beautifully, it looks like it was always there. I am so grateful to them for all they did to make my dress flawless!
And that’s the story of how I found my dress! I found it SUPER far in advance, but I felt so good having that part of wedding planning done and over with. Finding my dress had seemed like such a daunting task and I was glad to have it checked off my list. I ordered it in December and it arrived in May – luckily before all the mess went down with Alfred Angelo in June. I was so happy to have my dress safely tucked in my closet when all of that drama happened.
Anyway… here’s how my dress turned out on the big day!
Not that it matters now, but in case you’re wondering…this is Alfred Angelo style #2450A in ivory/metallic. It’s perfect for me and I love it so much ❤ I felt so beautiful in it and I low key wish I could put it on and just wear it around the house sometimes….. And for the record, if there was any doubt that this dress is “me” – I asked Chris what he thought my dress looked like about a week before the wedding and he said “probably big and poofy, maybe strapless, but definitely really sparkly” so I guess I am that predictable haha
And that’s my experience with shopping for and finding my wedding dress!! I was nervous but it turns out that it only took 2 appointments and a few alterations to get me my perfect dress. I’m glad I went in with an open mind but in my heart I should have known that I would end up with a big princess dress! As usual – the photos from my wedding day are all by our amazing photographer Jake at Courage & Co Photography! I hope you liked this post and I’m glad I finally got to share all this with you 🙂 stay tuned for more wedding posts soon!