This is all just kind of funny now that I’m reflecting back on it. As I’ve previously explained on here, I am the type to have planned out my wedding over the course of my entire life. It has been getting planned in my mind since way before I met Charlie. Years ago, when I saw my first Hayley Paige dress, I was immediately drawn in by the fun of it, the whimsy and the use of color that showcases itself in many of her other designs. As years passed, I attempted to suppress my love for Hayley’s designs because she became so big and so well-known that I felt it was possible for her stuff to become a bit
Cue the beginning of (actual) wedding planning. My Pinterest ‘dress’ board had only Hayley Paige dresses pinned to it and I chose to face my certain reality with newly-blossomed excitement. I was destined to be a Hayley Paige bride! I knew all of the bridal salons that carried her lines (both her namesake line and her Blush line) and before I knew it, I was booking an appointment at one of them! My brother and his fiancee are getting married a handful of months before I am and my soon-to-be sister-in-law got her dress fairly early so I was quickly inspired, ready to rumble and stoked to do the same.. even though we had just under 600(!!) days left until “I do!”
I meandered over to the bridal salon in Raleigh that carries Hayley Paige— Coastal Knot. I’m going to be upfront: I fully planned on trying on dresses, finding a favorite and purchasing secondhand from either Preowned Wedding Dresses, Nearly Newlywed or
I went in knowing exactly what dresses I liked and exactly which I did not. While there were two that were on my list that were not in stock, there were two of my frontrunners available that I needed to try on ASAP. Those two were the Andi and the West gowns.
I tried Andi on early in the appointment and it was the frontrunner (until West… read on) and then it seemed to fade from our memory. I left my appointment without thinking about this dress again and it wasn’t until I reviewed the almost 200 photos that my mom took during the appointment that I remembered I had really liked this dress! It’s modern, fits my bust, has a beautiful back and didn’t seem like a typical wedding dress without seeming too “try hard”. Keep on reading to see what happened with Andi.
Next, I whole-heartedly expected West to be my “say yes” dress. I tried it on and it was just as wonderful in person. I even left my first appointment with a “top two”, with West being one of them. Within a few days of my appointment, however, West had completely dropped off said list. I realized I was not going to love the bodice of that dress as much as I needed to– EVEN THOUGH I loved the back, the train, the silhouette and that deco design more than anything else I’d ever seen. Sigh. Small boob problems. Articles of clothing don’t look the same on me as they do on so many other women. It’s disappointing and annoying. But I believe it was fate that West didn’t work out. Read on.
There were a couple of roadblocks in this first appointment. I tried on the Divine gown and it was so not what I wanted. So much so that my mom didn’t even get a photo of me in it (saying a lot) because I took it off my body so quickly.
Another dress that didn’t quite do it for me was the one single non-Hayley Paige that I tried. I’d been eyeing this Allison Webb dress for awhile and figured since I was doing my initial try-on and my salon carried the dress that I may as well try it on. It was very romantic but made me feel frumpy and restricted my arm movements. Noooo thank you. Additionally, the peachy shade didn’t look very nice on my skin tone.
Back to Hayley Paiges. My mom picked out this Hawthorne gown because she liked the Roman-esque vibe it gave. That was not my vision but I decided to try it on. When else will you be shopping for a wedding dress?! It ended up being, as expected, too much in the front, too much in the back and not enough on the bottom. Next.
Thankfully, the entire appointment was not lost. There was Andi, there was West and then there was the ONE. Maaaaannnnnn was there the one.
My mom and I were inspired by a random gown we found on the rack but didn’t like the bodice of. I started looking around for dresses with similar detailing but with a different bodice. I randomly grabbed a dress and declared that I was going to try it on. Didn’t check the price. Didn’t check the designer. Nothing. This is a common problem I have when shopping…….
Anyway, I tried it on and loved it. I so loved this dress but suddenly I was conflicted. I’d come in LOVING West and knew that it was 100% “me” in a dress. I was supposed to love West! But then I had this super weird, glittery feeling that I couldn’t put my finger on but just knew that I had connected with this other dress in a way that I was unprepared for. No tears (that ain’t me), just magical, glittery feelings. I was so conflicted that I ended the appointment saying that I needed time to “marinate” and decide between West and this other dress.
As days passed following my appointment, I found myself envisioning our wedding with me in this dress. I made a mood board and this dress was featured. I couldn’t back off of this stinking dress in my mind. The main things that were holding me back, though, were…
- it was more $$$ than we’d planned
- I could possibly be seen as “trying too hard to be different” (which is a common theme in my 25 years of life and I’d rather not be that bitch on my wedding day, you know?)
- it was simply just not the
silohouetteI had envisonedfor myself
With that being said,
- I would recoup at least half of my money back when I resold it
- I don’t know if I really care all that much how I’m perceived in general, let alone on my freaking wedding day
- Just because it wasn’t super “me” doesn’t mean that I couldn’t feel like myself in the thing. I just needed to come around to it!
I returned back a week or so later to try on the final contenders and a few other dresses to exhaust all options. (even though I was all but convinced that the ONE dress was going to be MY dress!) I even skipped an opportunity to try one of my favorites that were out of stock at my initial appointment. I felt I had honed in on my vision so precisely that the dresses from before were no longer significant contenders.
We started the second appointment by trying on West look-a-like. Since I’d fallen off the West train, we thought Safyr would be a great next pick. Too funny. We LOVED Safyr– better than West! It’s more of a fit-and-flare, less mermaid and is strapless. It made me look like an Oscar statue in shape and so elegant in style. In the end, though, it was not my wedding dress. Just a really pretty, REALLY flattering gown.
Next up was a random choice, the Markle gown. This was really just to entertain the thought and was an attempt to dethrone “the one” in my mind. I was
Speaking of Andi, I tried it on again. and it didn’t hold a candle to my “top”. It was down to one final dress to unseat the front-runner!
Milo is truly everything I did not want in a dress but later realized I liked. Strapless but with an exaggerated sweetheart neckline, poofy, fairly “safe”. I loved the detail and draping on the bodice and the skirt, although “safe”, had different colors of tulle running through it– even a super, SUPER bright purple. It made it less boring and far more exciting as an option.
We went back and forth between “the one” and Milo multiple times and I even tried both on multiple times. It boiled down to the fact that the main shade of Milo didn’t complement my skin tone as nicely and the skirt had less going on and made less of a statement. Against all my attempts, I ended up with “the one” that gave me those magical, glittery feelings.
I’m not a crier and I sort of cringed when my bridal consultant dared to ask “are you saying yes to the dress?” because, well, duh. But it’s cool how things work out. Something about “the dress” really made me feel different and that is something I didn’t expect to feel in this process. It was just ordered yesterday and I was told to not expect it back in my hands for EIGHT months! After
PHEW! That was a lot. Thanks so much for reading if you did! This is absolutely one of the more exciting posts in my Wedding Wednesday series but I am so stoked to keep planning and keep on sharing with you all.
As for my decision to buy brand new, I really didn’t have a choice. My dress is from a newer collection and hasn’t made its way to the secondhand sites yet. Plus, I got worried about purchasing the wrong size from somebody. I felt more comfortable spending more upfront to have the gown custom made for my measurements and then recouping my funds after.
I’m SO curious to know if any of you who have shopped for wedding dresses in the past had a “moment” like me? There didn’t have to be tears but if anyone else had magic and glitter in their veins then I’ve gotta know!! Haha.
Want to see what else we’ve planned for our big day?
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