Monday, October 5, 2009

The Stress Of The Dress, Part 1

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I actually found and bought my dress this past weekend! It was something that I'd stressed about for quite some time, and although the day leading up to finding it was stressful as well, it really was true what they say, I "just knew" when I found the right one.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's start back at the beginning, waaayyyy back!

So, I have a confession to make. I actually started looking at wedding dresses about three years ago. Mr. Cola and I'd been together for about 3 1/2 years, and we were constantly getting asked by family and friends when we were going to tie the I figured, it couldn't hurt to look a little, and get a feel for my preferences so when the time came I'd be ready. Well, the time came a little later than I expected, but the good news was that I still knew exactly what I wanted: a strapless A-line with a sweetheart neckline, in champagne, with beading on the bodice, but not on the front of the skirt, and either a corset back or little fabric covered buttons on the back.

Now fast forward to the time we actually got engaged, and I started looking at wedding dress pictures for real. I still wanted the exact same criteria, but over the past few months had started to get more and more depressed about the dress search. For one, I didn't want to spend very much money on something that I was only going to wear for 5 hours. So watching "Say Yes To The Dress" didn't help on that end, where girls go into the salon with a $1,000 budget and get almost laughed at because their target price is so low. Secondly, after spending hours, and hours, and hours looking at pictures of dresses online, I'd still never found a picture of a dress that really got me excited. That was, until last Thursday.

After making my bridal salon appointments, fitting 6 places into one day because of the constraint of my sister only being in town for 2 days, I gave up on all the wedding websites, and just started looking at Google Images for dresses. Several of the salons had suggested I bring in sample pictures of dresses I liked to the appointments, so I knew I needed to find at least something to illustrate what I was going for. And these are what I found:

{Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5, Source 6, Source 7}

They're all very similar, but none of them really made me excited. I also brought this picture that I'd flagged a few months ago of a $400 dress from a distributor. I figured it would work as a backup if I couldn't find anything else and had to settle on something. I still didn't think this was the one, but it did meet all my criteria and there's only a $29 restocking fee if you return the dress, so I figured it could be worth a try.


And the final sample picture I brought was the one I found two days before my appointments, the first picture of a dress I'd seen that actually made me excited. I had been dreading dress shopping, fully expecting I wouldn't find anything right and have to settle, until I saw this picture of a Sophia Tolli dress:


This dress had everything I was looking for, but somehow stood out so much more to me than the rest, so I added it to my pile of photos to bring. I was finally excited about shopping!

Now that you've gotten some background and seen what I was looking for, next I'll share my day of appointments with you!

Did you have an exact idea of what type of dress you wanted before you went shopping? And did you expect to not find it and have to just settle on something?


  1. I'm drooling over all of the Jim Hjelm yumminess! I know exactly what I want and haven't been able to find it yet - no one in Sacramento or the bay area seem to carry the Jim Hjelm dress that I've fallen in love with. I'm curious to see what you've chosen!

  2. That last dress is stunning! I knew exactly what I wanted before I started, and I did start to worry that I wouldn't be able to find it at my price point. I had a back up all picked out, I'm so thankful I found my dream dress for an equally dreamy price!