Sunday, August 8, 2010

62 days until the wedding!

An immense and jubilant rush of gratitude came over me as we jumped the major hurdle in the preparations:  Christina found her wedding gown!  Here’s how it all played out last week~

After many anxious moments spent remembering previous shopping excursions gone awry, we decided that we would shake off the stink of the past and put our best feet forward last Friday as we drove down to the David’s Bridal shop in Oxnard.  This place is about 2 hours south of us, so we had plenty of time to set good intentions for a successful shopping adventure.  We stopped for lunch (high protein/zero sugar) and then walked in the door at our appointment time of one o’clock. 

To our right were racks upon racks of wedding gowns in every imaginable shade of white, each ensconced in a long plastic bag.  Daunting to say the least. 
 As Christina gave her information to the “concierge” at the front desk, I looked upon this sea of tulle, satin, beaded silk and taffeta and wondered where we would begin (a quick guesstimate put the option count at close to 300) .  The helpful woman who took Christina’s information explained the procedure for how to search for a gown, and that then someone would go find it in her size in the back storeroom (which must have had the square footage of an airplane hanger if each of these dresses on the sales floor came in a variety of sizes!).  She handed Christina a catalog, and immediately, Christina identified the dress she had seen in a magazine months ago.

So we began combing the racks for that gown as well as a few others just so that she could see how she looked in several different styles.  She chose three, including the one she picked out in the catalog, and went in to the dressing room.

Now that we had found our way out of the overwhelming field of puffy white confections (which, I must admit, all began to look the same after about 10 minutes), I could get a good look at this store.  It was sadly apparent that the last time a decorator’s vision had touched this place was in 1986.  Peach colored walls surrounded us as we sank into well-worn turquoise green vinyl couches.  As we waited for Christina to get into the first gown, I had time to notice that this place had seen much better days.  Fraying carpet and black-scuffed walls spoke volumes about the fact that this was not much more than a utilitarian warehouse, as opposed to a luxury bridal salon.  The Denny’s of the bridal gown shopping experience, if you will.
But of course, that was just my cynical eye taking inventory as we waited for Christina.

Eventually, she emerged in one of the gowns which showed way too much cleavage and looked “scandalous”, according to the sales girl.  Back into the dressing room (which, interestingly, was no larger than a regular dressing room at a department store), appearing a few minutes later in a lovely dress that we all exclaimed over.  But it wasn't until the sales girl put the veil on Christina’s head that it really hit me…… my little girl is a beautiful, grown up woman, about to be a bride.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my emotions have been running rampant recently, and it takes very little prompting to nudge me into tears and blotchy hives.  With this in mind, I had packed a fist full of tissues into my purse, ready to mop up the tearful tsunami when I saw Christina in her gown.  Interestingly, now that it would be perfectly appropriate for me to cry, I had no tears at all!  I was once again in Business Mode, devoid of emotion as I calculated in my mind how many alterations this dress would need, what kind of veil would look best and if the style suited her.
On to the final gown (which was the one she’d fallen in love with initially).  The moment she stepped out of the dressing room, we all knew that this was The One.  It fit her almost perfectly, had no pretentious train to futz with, was comfortable and light and she looked absolutely stunning in it.  The smile on her face was all I needed to see…..three dresses and 40 minutes into the process and we had scored a winner!  It does not get much better than that.
Our chipper little sales girl tried her level best to sell us on a $160 veil and a $50 hair ornament, but since I am wise to the ways of the crafting/sewing world, I immediately knew that we could construct both of these simple items for under $40.  
While the gown was reasonably priced (on sale for $399!!), the add-ons were ridiculously over-priced and I instantly recognized the psychological strategy making itself glaringly evident.  Once you got the dress on, you would be so overwhelmed with misty-eyed romantic emotions that you would do anything to complete the look, including paying $160 for $20 worth of veil tulle sewn onto a little plastic comb!
In under an hour, we had a gown and the appropriate undergarments as well as a plan for what length of veil would look best.  I could tell that our once-warm and accommodating sales girl had cooled considerably as I refused to pay top dollar for all the “accessories” she felt were absolutely necessary for Christina to complete her “look”.  I stuck to my guns and wrote the check with a look on my face which clearly told her that this was NOT my first rodeo, thank-you-very-much.  The up-selling was apparent to the very end when an “heirloom-quality” garment bag was offered for an extra $20.  I did a covert eye roll, opted for the free plastic bag and breathed a sigh of relief as we carried the gown triumphantly to the car.

A fabulous success! 


  1. Well this is just awesome news and I am delighted to finally catch up on all the goings are such a writer!! Sending you love, light and abundant energy not to mention tons of blessing to Christina and Charlie! xoxo Jen

  2. Thank you, Jen!!
    So much Love to you~