Dress Shopping, my take, Part 2

I may be speaking words of blasphemy. Dress shopping was one of the easiest tasks on my wedding to-do list.

When I went wedding dress shopping two weeks ago, I really had no intention of purchasing a dress. I was simply going out to get an idea of what I'd look good in or what styles we available currently. I had a couple of ideas of what I was looking for, and my only request was that it would work with my "something borrowed", my mom's veil from when my parents married, 29 years ago.

We went to the first bridal salon, J'aime Bridal, located in Pleasanton, about a hour east from San Francisco, and about 25 minutes from where I live. I had found the store online as a recommendation from Here Comes the Guide as well as a recommendation from my venue, Castlewood Country Club. It's a small boutique full of lovely wedding gowns from all sorts of designers, as well as chock full of bridesmaid dress options.

Jaime, who I believe is the owner, met with me, my mom, and my sister. We showed her my mom's veil which gave her a couple of ideas of what to pull. I told her that I didn't want too much beading, but some lace, and some details would be okay. I'm not overly fond of the gathered skirts that have been in style the last few years, and I'm definitely more on the simple side of things. I was pretty sure I wanted a strapless dress or one with straps, but with a V-neckline.

After perusing the two main sections of gowns, I pulled some that I thought I would like. Here's a note to wedding dress shoppers out there, if you have allergies, and the dresses are not bagged, then you may experience an allergic reaction to the fumes(?) of the materials of the dresses. I know I sure did. My eyes finally acclimated after a while. I entered the dressing room and accepted what would come next: stripping down to my skivvies and allowing a total stranger to help me get dressed. Not a time for body issues.

I dove into the first dress and Jaime cinched me up as the corseted back sucked everything in. The dress was gorgeous, a Maggie Sottero, which J'aime Bridal, just so happened to be having a Maggie Sottero Trunk Show Sale that day. I didn't really think much of that fact at first. I liked the first dress, it had nice ruching and the corseted back made sure the strapless dress stayed in place. I thought, "Wow, this whole dress trying on thing isn't so bad".

I tried another Maggie Sottero that Jaime had chosen that had less ruching and a fuller skirt. It too had a corseted back and some nice embroidery detailing along the front of the dress. It was beautiful. My mom and sister remarked at how lovely it was and how good I looked in it. I thought, "Definitely Maybe".

I tried on a Casablanca dress that I had picked out. I could definitely tell that it was way heavier than the first two that I tried on. It was made of satin, whereas the other two were made from taffeta. I always liked the look of taffeta, and now I realized that the weight of the fabric made all the difference in the world.

I think I probably tried on seven to ten more gowns after that. I tried on some shoes -- most definitely looking for comfort! -- and even held up a necklace to see the look altogether. Wedding dress shopping is tiring! After trying on all the options, I chose my top two, which Jaime wrote down on a card for future reference. My favorites from this stop were the first two Maggie Sottero gowns.

But I wasn't ready to decide. We still had one more stop before the day was over and couldn't make a decision without seeing what the other salon had to offer. So we thanked Jaime for all her help and headed to the next shop.

To be continued!

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