Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Miss Peep Toe goes shopping for a dress

The night before I went dress shopping was horrible, I didn't sleep and I kept having dreams of the 'fat guy in a little coat' scene from Tommy Boy, except it was me trying to fit into a wedding dress. I know, I know, I was being WAY over dramatic, but we all have our own wedding neurosis and this was mine. When I finally woke up I thought, this day is going to be a disaster!!

Sister/MOH Peep Toe was so excited to go dress shopping that she planned the day. She strategically had us start at Bridal Galleria, she figure it was the place to go to try on a wide range of dresses no matter what price. I knew with my budget I couldn't really afford anything here, so it took some of the pressure off. I promptly showed the Consultant my dress montage that I had created:

Image 1: Vineyard Colleciton, 2,3,5: Stewart Parvin- you UK brides are so lucky, 5: Real Simple Weddings: Kelima K, 6: Pronovias.

I really wanted a bit of lace, a bolero or sleeves to cover up my arms, and nothing strapless. The consultant at BG made a passing glance at my montage, and jumped right into my worst fear, trying on dresses. I had made sure I wore underwear that covered my bottom, and she handed me a strapless bra and a robe.

Unfortunately, this is where my blogging comes up short- none of the places we went allowed pictures to be taken. Bummer. But I am trying to make up for it by including pics of models sporting the dresses!!

I promptly found out that boleros are usually worn over strapless dresses, so all of a sudden I was in a ball gown with a ton of lace. I think it looked something like this (just add a bolero, a sweetheart neck, and convert it to ivory):


I have to admit it was beautiful together, and I totally had my first dress shopping moment, especially when they put the veil on me. Unfortunately, it was way out of my budget, and to be honest I left knowing this was not the one. It didn't feel like me at all, nor did it look like anything I had in my head.

Sister Peep knew that after a couple of hours of dress shopping I would need to stop and refuel, so we went to where all ladies should go for lunch in San Francisco, the Neiman Marcus Rotunda because that's how we roll (scratch that, that is how I wished I rolled).

After a much needed glass of wine and a few nibbles of lunch, we headed over to Amy Kuschel. This was my pick; while nothing in particular stood out on her website, all of her dresses were modern and simple- just my style, and not too pricey. The space is just how I pictured a bridal salon, an open loft with bright windows and wood floors.

My consultant, Amber sat down with me and discussed styles and prices. This is when I found out the VERY best part about Amy Kuschel- alterations are included in the price because they custom make each gown to fit you. For a girl with assets this was looking good.

After a quick glance at my bridal montage, we walked through each one of the dresses to decide what to try on. Like many girls out there, I thought this Amy Kuschel dress might be the one:

But it totally wasn't. And again, I found myself in a few strapless dresses, but this time I was told straps could be added. I loved Amy's dresses. They totally FIT my body, and it didn't feel anything like the Tommy Boy scene. We came away from Amy with two contenders. One totally romantic and covered with a delicate lace, but I still think it looks simple, no?:

And one modern, sleek and simple. Seriously, how great is that little train?:

The next stop was a complete disaster. It was our budget* place. It was a new shop and they had ordered the sample dresses based on street size not bridal size, so my worst fears came true- it was so close to the Tommy Boy scene, my sister and mom just laughed at the one dress I braved to show them. But the day up to that point had been so wonderful, I didn't care. We left the store in hysterics and for the next few weeks I thought about the two dresses at Amy's.

Wanting to keep no stone unturned, I ventured to try on a couple dresses the next weekend at Haute Bridal. And ironically enough, I found one romantic dress and one modern dress that I loved (are you seeing a pattern?). I still think about this Matthew Christopher dress named Moet. I heart the train and the pleating so much.

It's suppose to look like a glass of champagne!!!

But I could barely wedge myself into the sample, so it was really hard to tell what it would look like, and it was strapless- and adding straps would just look off. And the final reason this wasn't the dress- it was out of my budget and average alterations were quoted at 400-600 bucks!! And that was just average. I don't have an average body, so I could only imagine what the alterations would have been. The unknown itself took the dress from almost affordable to totally not.

Here's a pic of the romantic dress at Haute Bridal- Adele Wechsler is so fantastic- she has a whole line of dresses that includes hand sewn bead work from women in Africa. Unfortunately, once again this dress would have been a splurge and then 400-600 bucks of alterations on top of it.

I left Haute Bridal knowing my choice, I couldn't get it out of my head. So a month later I took Mama Peep and future MIL Peep back to Amy Kuschel!! I couldn't believe that the one moment I want my mom to take a picture she leaves her camera in the car. So here's the one pic I have of me in the sample dress taken on a camera phone. I think I'd be smiling more if I wasn't trying to tell Mama Peep how to take the picture:

I decided I loved the dress so much that I could handle showing off my arms- that's what the 100-push up challenge is for, right? And look, the dress actually makes my waist look smallish. I was also able to add a strap so I don't feel like my girls are going to fall out all night. It's simple and modern. Perfectly in my budget -since I didn't need to factor in alterations, and the very best part- I feel like Mr. Peep is going to go gaga over it. I can't wait for my first custom fitting in March!

*I have a hard time calling a dress over $1,000 a budget dress!!

Did you end up finding something fantastic on your first day? And then did it take you awhile to decide on a dress?

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Great finds.!! I too love to wear strapless dresses.