I heard hundreds of horror stories about trying to find a wedding dress. I avoid using the words "perfect dress" because I don't believe such a thing exists. There will always be something better if you resigned yourself never to stop looking. I don't like shopping. If I get the courage to go to an actual, physical mall I'm in and outta there in 10 minutes. I know what I like and what I'm looking for and most of all, I don't like being around big groups of people I don't know.
So when it came to the thought of looking for a wedding dress, I knew I would actual have to go and try it on, maybe more than one, around a lot of highly stressed out people. Which did not sound like fun?
Lucky for me, the first time we went shopping, it was a total spur of the moment decision, and so I had no expectations. We were visited California to see Katie (my future sister-in-law) and her family. Dan and I had just got engaged, and I knew I wouldn't have another opportunity to shop with Katie being there. And so, on a drive from a brunch date in Laguna Beach we stopped on the way home at a Bridal Salon Katie had heard about called Casablanca Bridal. The boys stopped off for a coffee while we hopped into the store thinking we'd try on a few dresses just for fun and head out.
This was not what happened. What happened was we stopped into the most beautiful shop with the kindest staff and not another person to be seen in the store (it was the middle of the day on a weekday). When we walked in the stylist who greeted me was wearing Mickey Mouse ears, and a smile exploded onto my face. Every dress in the shop would have been a fantastic choice. There wasn't a single thing in there that I thought was truly awful. Sure there were some that stuck out more than other, but it was as if this shop had been personalised just for me.
But then, there was that moment. That silly moment you see on TV, and you think just doesn't happen in real life. I put on a dress I actually loved, and when I looked in the mirror, I could see myself walking down the aisle, Dan by my side in that dress. And in that one simple moment, something I was worried would have taken forever, took only an hour. It was a precious moment for Katie and me.
Since we were in the states we couldn't purchase the dress right then and there; I had to find a shop in Toronto that carried the same line. And so we wrote down the style number and headed out the door. When I got back to Toronto, I went to one of the Bridal salons I'd seen timelessly growing up. It wasn't great. But after such a fantastic experience the first time, I don't think anything could have topped that. I went with a few friends and tried on a few other dresses just for fun but in the end still decided a version of the same dress we tried for the first time. It was the same brand, just had a few alterations we liked more than the first version.
After ordering the dress....the there came the adjustments. I'm so used to buying clothes that don't fit correctly I didn't see the point in the changes. They were exhausting, but I suppose necessary. I had had some of the most charming staff that I got to hang out with while we were doing the alterations. I was pretty relaxed and easy going so I spent the whole time joking around with them. They loved it since I think most of the other girls coming into the salon came through the door white in the face and nitpicking every little thing the entire time I was there. I know because I saw this many times. But for me, I was just fun.
Each time I went, I brought friends and family with me to make the whole experience that much more entertaining. All in all, something I was dreading turned out to be a pretty good time. Goes to show, that if you just let things happen, everything seems to work out for the best.