But before I go any further:
Heehee, seriously, go away.
Everyone else... I bought a new gown...
That's right, even animals are ashamed of me.
I spent a lot of time thinking about it though and I'm asking everyone to disregard the majority of my early gown posts. I'm only concerned with the gowns I actually purchased, especially because I still maintain that I still love them.
First, I identified what I thought I wanted at the beginning of my gown search:
- Sweetheart neckline, criss-crossed
- Asymmetric drop waist
- Movement/flow in the skirt:
(This is a great example, but I wasn't impressed with the workmanship of the Demetrios, and somehow it's still a bit too boring for me... you can see that based on my own requirements, I was already making life very difficult for myself)
I had no inkling what type of shape I wanted; I didn't want gigantic poofy princess, and I didn't want sexy belongs-in-the-bedroom-only slip dress, but other than that, I said bring it on!
Some people are very happy and content finding a gown that has one or two elements that they wanted and they don't much mind what the rest of the dress looks like... Unfortunately, I'm much more picky and had to find thee gown that had all the elements I wanted in just the right configuration... I know it was frustrating for my family and bridesmaids, especially when it was difficult for me to say what it was I didn't like, but I just never found that one.
First in the line of very real possibilities were a Martina Liana and a La Sposa:
I know, they seem crazy different, and they are, but they were both appealing in their own ways; the Martina Liana was more modest, it had a country feel to it, the color was awesome, the detailing was subtle, but there was enough going on to make it really interesting. I hate dupioni silk, taffeta, stiff satin/silk. I just couldn't get over hating the material. The La Sposa had a really cool bodice, interesting neckline, drop waist, it was awesomely-flattering (but still held the girls in), and I loved the exposed tulle. But I felt it was too classic ballgown, belonging to a classic ballroom in a classic wedding.
Finally, the Diana came along, well, the Diana and the Erica:
The Diana had this awesome detailing that I fell in love with instantly, a sweetheart neckline, ruching, (no dropped waist, but who would be looking at that anyway?!) and I thought I was sold. Then I saw the Erica and I loved her too; she was a little more figure flattering and still very interesting in the skirt. The Erica, now that I've spent so much time examining my thoughts, would have been the perfect wedding gown for me had it not been for the awful neckline and the $7,000 price tag. The sales consultant at Vera Wang in NYC would not budge on either the price or the design... yeah, that's right, they wouldn't even have modified the neckline for me because "Vera doesn't like it that way."
Are you kidding me?? Another salon was having a trunk sale and offered the Diana at half price... so I bought it of course! Looking back, I think I did it to purposefully drive the Erica from my brain, I couldn't have her the way I wanted her or for a price that was reasonable, so that was that.
Or so I thought.
Vera then deigned to stoop to our poor broke level and designed a line for David's Bridal. I realized that the Diana was way way too big for the event we were having, for the feel of the wedding. I bought my second gown at David's Bridal after selling the first via OnceWed.
This one seemed to make up for all the deficiencies in the first gown; it's more-drop-waisted and has a slight asymmetry to the waist, and it's smaller in the skirt.
I wasn't crazy about the straight neckline (but alterations didn't care about changing it to a sweetheart) and I still wasn't thrilled about the semi-severe shift from bodice to skirt:
But I bought it and happily strutted home having spent less than a third of the money I thought I was going to spend on a wedding gown when we started all this nonsense.
Then the dress came in... Then I took it home... It was so white! It was so poofy!! I panicked and covered it with a sheet as per DB suggestion and ignored it for a few months.
I went about my business convinced that I wasn't too unhappy with the David's Bridal dress, that it still had this awesome movement that I had loved from the start.
My mistake was that I continued looking at wedding blogs- including the ones that sometimes do designer spotlights when new collections come out. And I found her.
Meet JL312 by Priscilla of Boston. Now, I know what you may be thinking, this is so wildly divergent from what I have heretofore thrown at you, that you're probably pretty confused right now. Allow me to explain. A less full skirt elongates me, no ruching is slimming (since ruching essentially means twice the fabric), and the detailing on the skirt is super sweet without being so... all-over. Also, recall the Martina Liana, this was like my long lost Martina but in organza; my favorite fabric! Remember at the beginning how I said I didn't know what kind of shape I wanted? Well every gown I bought seemed too big once I brought it home (I called the Diana the Fat Wh@re for pete's sake). It was decided: I wanted a true fit-n-flare.
I tried it on and felt incredibly sexy in it without it being sexual. It felt more fun and spunky, and the detailing was so soft and I love how it cascades over the shoulder and then discontinues for a bit and then flows in the same direction in the skirt! I bought it right there. It cost a little more than double what the David's bridal gown cost, and now I had two gowns.
I want to take a moment to say that it has been so supremely difficult not to have Kyle's opinion! I know that's the whole point, but everything else about the wedding (and about our lives in general) is a collaborative effort, including what he will wear on the wedding day, but I have to keep my attire a secret. I just wanted to put that out there, my life is so hard, I know.
I went home, told Kyle, and settled my brain into this decision. He was a little exasperated but after a few minutes, said the same thing he always says "Get whatever makes you happy."
I put the DB dress up on OnceWed and didn't hear anything for over a week... And something funny happened, I started feeling overprotective of my poor, unwanted gown. When Kyle went on a business trip, I pulled it out of it's hiding place again (as I always do when he goes away on business) and put it on. Storing it wrapped in a sheet had calmed the poof! I felt the way I originally felt in it; Romantic.
I have since started to have these nagging doubts about whether I want to be fun and spunky or romantic (and let's face it, still fun). I've started to worry also because compared to the David's Bridal gown, the Priscilla of Boston gown looks even whiter! And when I tried on the David's Bridal dress again, I fell in love with the ruching once more. I'm also super NOT psyched about the crystal detail on the Priscilla of Boston gown, but without it, the waist is a little boring and not as slimming.
BUUUUUTTT, I still love the detail in the PB dress. I really, truly love both of them for different reasons. I can promise you one thing, I am not looking at or buying ANY. MORE. DRESSES!!! I mean, come on, I don't have any time anyway ;)
I have determined that I go back and forth so much that it's just going to be a surprise for everyone (umm, including me)...
So, if it was your decision, which would you choose? Did anyone else have a similar [ridiculous and self-imposed] dilemma on their hands??