Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Found It!

Snackers' Favorite
Ok, this is wedding dress talk time.  You know me, whatever I have going on in my life tends to consume my posts and now that I'm engaged there's gonna be a whole lotta wedding talk.  For starters I should mention that the entire financial responsibility of this wedding is going to fall on Snackers and I, though our friends and family will be as supportive as they can in other ways, I am sure.  We're cool with that.  We knew long, long ago that's how it would be when/if we ever got married.  I should also mention that neither Snackers nor I are "traditional" people so our wedding plans are not very traditional either and we're going to keep it as small, easy, inexpensive, and low-stress as possible.  We pinkie swore on that to each other Saturday night.

So, that said.  I'm a tom-boy.  The last time that I shopped for/wore a formal dress was in college in 2001 when I was 150 lbs of blond adorable-ness and wore a size 6 so the prospect of dress shopping has been haunting the back of my mind since the moment Snackers proposed.  I would honestly be perfectly happy wearing a nice floor-length sun dress but this is one area in which Snackers is a bit more traditional because he's always wanted to see me in a nice gown.  He's seen my pictures from college and he wants to see it in person I guess so we knew we needed a happy medium.  A white wedding dress with a train and taffeta is out of the question - but I knew that if we could find a nice pretty formal dress that was affordable I'd get all girly and enjoy the experience so we went looking.

Too much white
David's bridal is an off-the-rack dress store for both prom and wedding dresses.  We walked in and the girl at the door barely greeted me.  After an overwhelming browse through the prom dress section I went to her and told her that I was getting married but hadn't shopped for dresses in years and didn't even know what size I was so she asked me my pant size and then shouted through the store "What size dress would someone with a size 16 pant need?" so all the little skinny college girls shopping for their prom dresses sent me dirty looks and I felt like shit in a split-second.  The other woman who worked there popped her head around a corner briefly to explain that their dresses are all sized really small so I should be looking for something in an 18 or even a 20 and my self-esteem just plummeted even farther as she looked me up and down with a critical eye.  The girl pointed me in the direction of the 5 size 18 dresses in the entire store with price tags well over $500 and I just bolted for the door with a very confused Snackers on my heels and burst into tears before I could even make it to the car.  Yeah ... not fun.

As far as I was concerned that was it.  I was going to get married in capri's and a tank-top if I had to but I was never going to set foot in another dress-shop again and the whole idea of having a wedding took on a very sour note and I wanted to just elope to one of the bazillion little white chapels that we have here (because I DO want to marry Snackers but I didn't want to even think about the hell of planning a wedding).

That night Snackers was rolling through channels and came across "Say Yes to the Dress" where women will clip you into a dress if they have to and they dote on you and they make you feel wonderful and special and beautiful until you find the dress that you love and he said "This is the wedding capital of the world!  There has to be places like that here in Vegas, we just have to find them."  Of course I argued that we'd never be able to afford a dress from a place like that but he argued so what.  At least it would help me figure out size/style and have some fun with dress shopping so that I could look online or something to find the right dress in the right size.

Well Saturday morning dawned and I realized that I was being an over-emotional cow and that I needed to suck it up and stop being such a negative nancy so we took my size 8 prom dress out of the back of my closet and headed for a dress swap that we'd read about in the paper but when we got there we found out that it had been canceled.  I won't lie - I was relieved.  A dress swap isn't likely to be the best place to find a size 18-20 wedding dress but it was worth a shot.  As it turns out we passed a dress shop on the way home and decided to swing in just to see what it was all about and, in my mind, I promised myself that I would try on at least 3 dresses to face my fears.  Well the dress shop (Alfred Angelo) is one of those places where you make an appointment and they clip you into a dress if they have to and dote on you and work on commission.  YAY!  I didn't have an appointment of course but the woman didn't have anyone else in the shop and no appointments for the next hour-plus so she took me in on the spot anyway.  She was a sweet older lady that reminded me of my mom so I kind of opened up and told her the truth about how I was feeling insecure and afraid and she is GREAT at her job because she changed all of that.  I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman as she asked me a few basic questions about what I was looking for (none of which included "my size") and then started pulling dresses off the rack for me to try on.

It was a sample store, meaning that they didn't have the same dresses in 30 sizes, they just had dresses - most of them big so that they could put them on anyone and then just clip them in place.  She brought me 6 or 7 dresses to try on and Snackers started snapping pics with my camera phone (granted, not from the most flattering angles) and I started feeling better and better about the whole experience.  At the end of it there was a dress that I liked the most, a dress that Snackers liked the most, and one dress that we could maybe compromise on and the woman said "I have time for one more dress and I think it's going to settle the debate".  Turns out she was right.  It was the winner for both Snackers and I!  It IS a brides maid dress, not a wedding dress but they had a wedding dress that was identical to it except for the price tag ($300 difference).  It was red but I can get it in any of 13 different colors, and what they'll do is take my measurements, make the dress, then have me come back for a final fitting and tailoring session with all of the undergarments that I plan on actually wearing with the dress on the wedding day once the dress is made.

This works out great because I can have them take my measurements and make the dress now and then hang it in my closet as motivation.  She said I can bring it back 8 - 10 weeks before the wedding for the final tailoring so it's perfectly ok if I lose as much weight as possible between now and the wedding because they'll account for that in the final tailoring.  YAY!  And ... drum roll please, it was only $215!!!  I can't even believe it!  So I have an appointment for April 7th to go back and have my measurements taken to order and pay for the dress.  I'm so excited!!!!  Now if only finding a corset to go under it could be so easy.

108 oz of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
12 oz gatorade
2 oatmeal bars
1 healthy choice lunch
1 weight watchers ice cream bar
8 oz skirt steak
12 asparagus spears
Daily Caloric Intake: 1307

Yoga: 30 minutes
Walking: 6 sets @ 3 mph for 9 min each
Running: 6 sets @ 5 mph for 1 min each
Fitocracy Points: 207


  1. WOW!!! Snackers fav and the one you picked are both so very flattering on your figure!! I don't like the green ribbon one either. I'll tell ya a little secret. My wedding dress was a bridesmaid dress too! :) $199 or $500 Hmmmmmm We paid for it all ourselves too. I have only been to David's once in Feb to try on dresses for my sisters wedding (bridesmaid) They all look like ass in my size but what can ya do. It is very normal for them to run 2 sizes larger- so while they were douches it is the truth. It does make you feel like ass though. :/

  2. I don't use this blog but if you scroll down to bottom left you can see a picture of my dress. I just loved that cut so much. The white flowers hide it but it did but it at the waist and then I had rented a crinoline from the bridal shop to poof it out.


  3. BTW I read two of the three. I am totally not feeling the poetry one though. LOL

  4. Swan: I honestly can't understand why anyone would pay for the wedding dress when it is IDENTICAL to the bride's maid dress AND you can get the bride's maid dress in white so if you wanted a white wedding dress it would literally be the same dress but $300 less. Too funny.

    You wedding dress is very pretty. I love the neckline on it especially. They did say that if I want to add sleeves to the dress that when they tailor it they can do that and I was thinking of having them add something similar to what you've got on yours with a scoop or even a square neckline and cap sleeves.

    I'm not surprised that you're not feeling the poetry book. I wrote everything in it between the ages of 11 and 17 so it's probably likely to appeal more to a younger audience. Really the main reason that I published at all was because my mom has always been obsessively fond of the poetry more than anything else I've written and wanted a copy for her coffee table. I have some ideas for some children's books as well, possibly with illustrations but I'm not sure on them yet. I wrote a short little book in first grade for a book fair called "the snake that had a rash" and, again, my mom has been obsessively fond of it my whole life ... but moms can just be like that sometimes I guess. lol

  5. I was thinking about it later so I wanted to pipe in. If the red dress really does have those umm swoochy things in the skirt I think it will look better strapless/sleeveless. I am sure you feel self conscious but honestly that red just looks pretty kicking on the fit and really plays up your hourglass well. My concern would be my arms personally (well they are with strapless bridesmaid dress I will be wearing in a few weeks) but yours look pretty good it that picture.

  6. So happy to hear you had a great experience and found a beautiful dress, the great price is just an added bonus :)

  7. Thank you all for the support and kindness. It's kind of ironic but the dress shopping experience actually had some positive side effects. First, as I mentioned in my post, it helped me get over the fear and the self-deprecation of dress shopping which, in turn, put me in a much more positive place for planning the entire wedding.

    Second, it gave me one more reason to realize what a great man Snackers is. I don't think many men would go dress shopping with their women, let alone browse the store to find dresses to suggest, snap pictures, and take a very active interest in the experience. After my emotional melt-down at Davids I think a lot of men would have felt out of their element and not sure how to help. They might have called the mother-in-law-to-be or a friend to take over the situation because, lets face it, most men are fixers and emotional women are out of their Mr-fix-it element. Snackers, on the other hand, listened to and tried to understand my feelings and then somehow knew that it was the experience that needed to change for me. Not many men would put on a show called "Say yes to the dress" and find the answer in it either. He's a very unique man.