Finding the Dress

Forewarning to all the male readers out there:  This post is dedicated entirely to THEE dress; and rightfully so.

Last weekend my mom came down to Des Moines to catch up on some Christmas shopping, wedding planning and, well, gabbing. She was going to be a couple hours so after work, my friend Kaitlin and I kicked off the weekend with a much-needed happy hour at Granite City Brewery and chatted all about our jobs, moving, married (and almost married) life. Good beer + good food + great company = my kind of Friday night.

Then my mom got to town and what’s the first thing she does? Heads to the bar! Naturally, I joined her. We met up with her friend Cindy at Sports Page (Ankeny sports bar/restaurant) for a round of drinks and to tune into part of the Iowa/Iowa State basketball game. And then the weirdest thing happened: all the TV’s went out. Weatherman came on and said a storm had swept through…they think it was a cyclone… 😉 #cyclONEnation

Once we hit the I’ve-had-three-beers-and-now-I’m-sleepy stage, we headed back and rested up for what–unbeknownst to us–would be a big day ahead!

So here’s the story:
Of a girl named Linny
Who was in Ames looking for some wedding flowers.
When she stumbled in,
to a bridal shop
and found the dress that would be hers.

(If you didn’t read that in The Brady Brunch tune, please go back and try again.)

So that’s the short story. Long story:  We went to Ames to meet with the Hy-Vee floral department and thought we’d pop in to Pure Bridal boutique first just to take a look/droll at their gowns. They let us know that they had an 11 a.m. appointment if I wanted the chance to droll AND try on a few. Um, yes please.

So we headed to our floral appointment, which was great. Our consultant was very honest and helpful and I felt bad that I rushed her due to my having ballgowns on the brain. We wrapped up and then it was back to the bridal shop to try on the few that I had picked out.

Number one, loved it. Number two, a stunner. Number three: ok, ok, they were all beautiful!

On dress number six or seven, we did the ultimate bridal “no-no” and pulled a dress that was seemingly perfect; but over budget. Tisk, tisk. As echoes of “just try it on” floated around me, I did just that and what do you know? It was perfect, almost.

My dress checklist included:

  • Lace, bling and buttons
  • Beaded straps or one-shoulder
  • Fit and flare silhouette

Check, check, checkity check. But the focal point on this dress was really the back. It was a dramatic, open back lined with glitzy straps. Dat back doh.

All the bridal consultants assured me that this was “the one” and would be sure to make a statement to our guests. But being as beautiful as it was, it wasn’t in my size and I was having a hard time envisioning what the gown would look like if it were fitted.

Our consultant Kate suggested we try on another dress from the same designer, in my size. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen (if you’re still hanging in there), was MY DRESS. I won’t give many details but can tell you that it meets one of the three checklist requirements. What is exactly what I was looking for when I went in to our non-appointment? Yes and no. No, it doesn’t have two of the “requirements” that I was leaning towards; but it is elegant and timeless, which is exactly what I wanted. Someone mentioned to me, “The last dress was beautiful, but this dress shows your personality and YOU look beautiful.” That really stuck with me because it was the first moment I really went from dress-up mode to feeling like a bride.

So as they say on all the bridal shows, our consultant and the store owner “jacked me up” with accessories, had me walk down an aisle to a mirror/”pretend this is Jared” spot and I said “yes” to the dress! A couple tears were shed and then it was all smiles as they let me hang out in the dress for another half hour throughout the store.

The only thing that was holidng me back was that I wanted to share this experience. We had bridal appointments set up with other boutiques in January and that was when I planned on having my future mother-in-law and friends coming. No huge entourage, but just a couple people who know me really well and would have loved to be part of finding the dress. As bummed as I was about that, maybe it was fate. Maybe  a huge snowstorm will hit in January and it wouldn’t have worked out (hello, this is Iowa). Or maybe, since I’m traveling for work throughout January/February, it would have been too late for me to order something in time for alterations. Side note: Did I tell you it’s six months, or so they say, before it will be in? What’s with all the long ordering times for things in the wedding biz? First the ring and now the dress! Just minor details to the bride.

But anyway, it was fate and the dress is beautiful and we continued wedding planning happily ever after.

Now time for a sneak peek!


And those would be my earrings. And the only reason you’re seeing those is because I’m not entirely sure.

Only nine more months ’til everyone can see the dress in person!




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