Saying Yes to the Dress

I'll be honest... wedding dress shopping was not my favorite part of the wedding process. I've always loved looking at wedding gowns, but when it came to finding one for myself I felt overwhelmed, anxious, and indecisive.

In August we went to Coastal Knot Bridal in Shallotte. I tried on around 8 gowns of different styles. I thought I wanted something lacy but relaxed. The simpler gowns I tried on didn't feel very "bridal" to me, but I loved lace even more after this appointment. I had a good experience with the bridal salon, but I've never enjoyed shopping for and trying on clothes. Turns out I feel the same way about trying to find my wedding gown!

One of the very light and super comfortable dresses I tried on! I decided I didn't feel enough like a bride in it, though.
This dress made me fall in love with lace! I was almost sold on this one (and would have been extremely happy with it), but was afraid to make a hasty decision.

I loved the lace and the bow... omg the bow... on this one! It was a fit and flare, though, which I decided accentuated placed I didn't want accentuated.

Lunch on the water after my gown appointment with my mom and sisters!

The best thing about that shopping experience was taking a day trip to the coast with my mom and sisters. After my appointment, we had lunch on the water. It was a great little girls day that I'm blessed to have shared with them.

A few weeks later, I decided on a whim to visit Carolina Bridal World in Smithfield. We didn't tell Cassie we were going because I wasn't planning on buying anything and didn't want her to drive up from Greenville. I brought two of my bridesmaids and tried on around 8-10 more gowns. It was fun to see everyone's styles and what they grabbed off the shelves for me! I had a specific vision, though, and vetoed a lot of gowns. The lady who helped me was amazing and I had a fantastic experience there.

Overall, between the 16 or so dresses I tried on, there were maybe 3 that I really dislike. They all started blending together and I was getting stressed out. I asked myself in the dressing room alone when I put on each gown, "Can I see myself getting married in this dress?" Truly the answer for 80% of them were, "Yeah, I guess I can."

I really thought hard about which dresses I liked and decided to put on the first gown I tried on that day. When I stepped in it and walked out, it felt right. I wasn't expecting to get a ballgown, but I loved the A-line and how flattering it made my waist. I did check to see if I could get some layers of tulle taken out! It wasn't an overwhelming yes, but I decided on that one then and there! (Cassie hasn't forgiven me yet, I don't think, though we did Facetime her!)

I loved the keyhole back!

Sometimes I tell people that I was kind of lukewarm about my gown at first and 99.99% of people think I'm insane! Everyone seems to expect a big emotional moment when they put on their wedding gown and just know, but I never expected or experienced that. I found a dress that I really liked and that flattered me and decided that's what I'd get married in. It wasn't a simple decision, but it was a calm and peaceful one.

Something that surprised me about wedding gowns, but that probably shouldn't have, was how heavy they are! It takes lots of material to make them!

Later on, after alterations and putting it on a few more times, I really fell in love with it. I still adore that dress and take a peek at it on occasion—it is currently still in my closet at my parent's house. I need to take it to get it preserved soon!

I really think my feelings about it were that what I decided to wear didn't matter that much. I had a vision, yes, but I think I could have put on a burlap sack and people still would have told me that I looked beautiful. I wanted to feel like myself and be comfortable (that didn't happen, LOL) and just get married! Looking back, however, I think my dress was perfect for the day.

I ordered it in a 12 (I think... wedding dresses typically run 2 sizes bigger than your regular size!). Since it had a lace hem, it had to be ordered in a specific length since it couldn't be hemmed/would cost a ton to be hemmed.

I picked it up in December and started looking into seamstresses for the minimal alterations it required!


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