I guess the post title says it all- I found my dress! Unfortunately, for the next seven months at least, this is all I can show you:
I can tell you that the dress is absolutely gorgeous and everything I could have imagined wanting. And yes, I did get "that feeling" with this dress. I just couldn't stop thinking about it even though I tried on many others!
Since I can't share too much about the dress itself, I will share a bit about the process of getting it. First off, as outgoing as I am, I do not like being the center of attention. Because of this, mega warehouse-style dress shops scare the crap out of me. Seriously, if I was asked to be on Say Yes to the Dress (a popular American show where brides select their wedding gown on national television at one of New York's finest bridal boutiques) I'm pretty positive I'd say no. Unless they were going to give me a free Judd Waddell gown. And a personal consultation with Randy.
So instead of heading to the nearest bridal warehouse, I made an appointment with Bonnie at the Bridal Boutique of Naperville. My friend Whitney not only purchased her amazing wedding dress there, but all of her bridesmaids (myself included) did too. Whit's dress was beautiful- I only hoped I would find something half as gorgeous!
This boutique, and it's owner, is something you aren't going to find just anywhere. Bonnie runs a sample size boutique, which not only means you can find great prices on amazing gowns, but it also means you get to take your dress home that day- no waiting! That was a big bonus for me since having the dress immediately meant one less thing I had to worry about.
The current shop (Bonnie may be relocating soon) is TINY, but I actually saw that as a positive for me. Not only am I spotlight-shy, but I am indecisive as all get out. So having only a certain number of choices was probably for the best. But don't let the size fool you- there are a ton of dresses on the racks!
My appointment ran about an hour and a half. Bonnie had pulled a few dresses before I got there based on what I said I wanted when I made the appointment. Then, when I arrived with my decision making crew, she let us browse the racks to select five or six more dresses we wanted to see on. Ironically I didn't pick a single dress for myself. Not that I didn't see any that were stunning- it was more like I was just overwhelmed. So I let my wonderful family and bridesmaids pick for me.
Let me just say here that Bonnie is AMAZING at what she does! Not only did she completely listen to what I want, my budget, etc., but she offered great advice the whole way through. She also has a rule while trying on gowns: I was only allowed to keep three dresses in my "yes" pile at a time. The rest immediately went back out on the rack. This was perfect, as it prevented me from getting completely overwhelmed from the start.
Surprisingly, I was able to say "no" to a few dresses right off the bat. Oddly, they were a few that Bonnie had selected- she joked that she must be having an off day. But, my keep pile slowly grew to my three gown limit as my "to try on" pile shrunk. Eventually, I was down to three gowns- one chosen by my sister and the other two by (you-guessed-it) Bonnie! She said she usually just needs to see a few dresses on to figure out body type, style, etc. After trying on all three again, I was able to nix the dress my sister picked. As beautiful as it was, it just wasn't what I was looking for.
The other two were a lot harder to decide on. While they both had a similar basic shape, they couldn't have been more different in overall style. And I loved them both. I tried them both on again. Despite hearing a few whispers about dress number two on the other side of the curtain, when it came right down to it dress number one was my choice! I could have tried to decide all day- they were both truly stunning, but in the end the first dress just gave me that feeling. Now I just wish I could show it to you!
So, after all of that, my beautiful dress is just hanging on my closet door. And all I want to do is put it on and walk around. Or show it to B. Which is why it can't stay at our place for long- we both want him to be surprised on the big day. I'll keep it at the apartment a few more days (I definitely opened the bag this morning before work and just stared) but then I'll be bringing it to B's parent's house where it will stay hidden until my first fitting appointment in May. The seamstress said I could have waited until June, but I figured the sooner it is out of my mind, the better.
Whew! One more thing off the wedding checklist. Now if only finding a caterer were this enjoyable...