Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Actually, it's a Mrs. and Mrs."

Yesterday two of my fearless bffs set out on the most important mission of all, finding my dress. I was about to say "the" dress, but alas, there will be two at this fine wedding. Which, it turned out, still is a pretty novel idea to the fabulous folks in the wedding business.

I think I have been putting off doing this because the whole process seems a little overwhelming. Don't get me wrong - a shopping trip devoted to me finding something that I get to look fabulous in that includes me getting a personal shopping attendant  - is not something I am in any way opposed to - at all. I have been known to walk out of Express with bags full of clothes thanks to the simple assistance of male express employees with just fabulous taste. However, my wedding dress is a big deal... a very big deal. 

Nevertheless, time was getting tight and it needed to happen. I made an appointment for yesterday at 11:30 and we were off. Upon arrival, I was greeted with a card that needed filling out - all of my information... name, address, wedding date, and "groom's name." Uh oh. Recently discovered wedding planning pet peeve #1. Would it be that hard to put "spouse's name" or "partner's name"? Unlikely. So of course, as I did on my photography contract, I simply put about 5(ish) lines through "groom's" and replaced it with a nice big "BRIDE'S." Feeling like I had gotten that matter out of the way, with some encouraging smiles from my bite-sized entourage (in comparison to those accompanying my fellow brides-to-be in the store), I marched on. 

The bubbliness of the wedding shop girl gave me a pretty big scare at the get-go, but after a few heart-to-hearts (which happens pretty quickly as you stand there naked relying on her for everything, given what getting in and out of these things takes - no matter how simple they are!), I was on her side. Then, during the transition from dress number one to dress number two she used the magical "him" pronoun in asking how we met. Oh dear, now tell me, what is the point of having me fill out a card that you appear to read before getting me to undress and try on your luxurious dresses if you do not read it?... and here we have reaction to finding out person is marrying someone of the same sex option #1:
Lovely Shop Girl (while with me in dressing area): "SO! How did you meet him?" 
Me: "Actually, she is a woman."
Lovely Shop Girl (at an inappropriately uncomfortable high volume): "OH! That's EVEN better!"

Really? It's even better that I am marrying a woman. Who knew? I couldn't wait to tell my lady how good it is that she isn't a man. I mean, according to my lovely dress shopping assistant, it would just be second-rate if I was marrying a man. Those poor other straight girls in the shop... they were just marrying men! But me, marrying a woman, thats "even better"! 

Anyhow, 15 dresses and almost two hours later I had narrowed it down to two dresses but was in turmoil over which one was "it." I was shaking from hunger and needed to get out of my head so we called it a draw for the day and wrote down all the information and left. After looking at the pictures my two partners-in-crime snapped of the favorites (and one close runner up) - I was more torn than ever. I started to think that I was actually leaning towards the close runner up that I had previously ruled out. Ahhh! I stopped knowing whether I was shaking from hunger or just a complete anxiety attack. How do you pick ONE dress when they are all SO beautiful? Can't I wear them all? What if I make the wrong choice? We decided to see what else is out there. Given that I wanted to spend as little as possible (which meant I had limited options at the lovely dress shop we started with - incredibly beautiful ones, yes - but limited), we couldn't imagine that there were many other little bridal shops I could go to and have more luck with range and variety. So we took the plunge and walked right into... David's Bridal. After having the experience of the morning, it was like night and day walking into David's Bridal. To be fair, I love a good deal as much as the next girl. However, when you get to try on beautiful dresses in a gorgeous small boutique and feel like a princess... it was a bit of a shocker walking in to such a warehouse of wedding dresses. None of us were enthused but we humored our assistant and we found few dresses for me to try on... 

The first dress? No dice. I don't think it helped that for clamps (when a dress is to big or small on you, they use clamps to make it fit right so you can get an idea of what it would look like) they were using those little clips on the cheap white skirt hangers I have from Target (think clothespins). Needless to say, they don't really do much in terms of trying to get a realistic idea of how great the dress may or may not look on you. 

this was us taking our second
stab at dress shopping
really seriously.
The second dress? Better. It was really different and looked like a mixture of some of my previous faves - you could see all three of our attitudes shift. Hmm, maybe we could find a dress we like here?! I had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. I am not sure whether I really ever gave it a number because I spent the next 5 minutes trying to get her to better define what a 1 would be and what a 10 would be. I may have been missing the point...

The third dress? Boom. It was the one. It just felt like me. It wasn't exactly as I had imagined - it had a bit more shine and maybe a few more inches in certain places - but it was ridiculously close. It even matched my ring. We had the alterations lady come over and see if she could make a few alterations to the style to make those extra few inches go away. Between her green light and my dear wedding officiant's teary looking eyes, I knew I didn't need to try on another dress. We started talking about what this meant for my lady's dress (who they would also be helping with) and joked about us wearing the same dress. The assistant laughed with us and seemed to understand that there were two brides coming to this wedding. We thought.

So, I say yes to the dress and I end up buying my wedding dress - boom, just like that. We walked up to the counter and before you knew it I was being handed the dress (sadly they wouldn't store it until alteration time - the downfall of not using a fancy bridal shop, I suppose). I was in disbelief that I was supposed to trust myself with the dress (especially since someone reminded me of the classic Friends episode where they all wear the wedding dresses around the apartment for kicks).

There we stood. The three of us and the store assistant. She gave us the garment bag and handed me a few more brochures. She started to explain all of the deals that buying a dress there opened up for me... she walked through several services and store names. That, my friends, is when she got to the Mr. & Mrs. service ...and here we have reaction to finding out person is marrying someone of the same sex option #2:
DB* Assistant"...oh and do you know about the Mr. & Mrs. service? We have -"
Me"Actually, it's a Mrs. & Mrs."
DB Assistant: "Oh!" 
[silence, face turning red, deep breath]
DB Assistant"..."
DB Assistant (post-recovery): "Well, still, so when you go to change your names, it' service where..[yadda yadda yadda]"

We voted that we actually appreciated the second option more. At least she didn't try and compensate for her slight discomfort and embarrassment from assuming. We were also pretty shocked that she hadn't picked up on it prior to that point - but that is neither here nor there. Another plus to that institution as a whole, they had "groom/partner's name" on the intake form. Who would of thought?

While I had desperately hoped to not fall in love with anything so that I could make a similar trip with my mom when I get to Michigan next weekend, sometimes things just don't work out that way. As it seems with every milestone in this wedding planning, however, getting the dress only opens up so more  things on the to-do list. Shoes, earrings, hair, a headpiece, this, that, and the other thing! My mom and I will have plenty to team up on over Christmas still, never fear. And hopefully - if we're lucky - we'll get to do some extended research and uncover what reaction options #3, #4, and maybe even #5 are.

If we are lucky.

*DB - David's Bridal. I could of gone for what I usually mean when I refer to a DB when I found out she incorrectly quoted us our price, but no need for wearing the bitchy-pants on wedding dress buying day.

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