After I got engaged, and decided to get married in Georgia, I made plans to go to Portland to shop for wedding dresses with my mom, my aunt, and my two best friends. Then, a few weeks ago I broke down in tears when I found out the “tall length” at a few bridal salons I was interested in were only designed to accommodate a girl who is 5’11”. To be fair, I was hormonal at the time (if you know what I mean), but I’ve never had a dress that fit me right in my LIFE, and I was not looking forward to the prospect of an ill-fitting dress on my wedding day.
So I turned to my Facebook friends, asking if anyone knew any custom dress designers in Portland, assuming I had no choice but to get a custom dress. It turned out one of my law school friends, Mary, went to high school with a girl who now lived in Portland, and was a bridal consultant at a salon in Portland (AniA Collection). Mary emailed her friend, and it turned out their salon had dresses that would work for my height, and they worked with a custom designer in case I couldn’t find anything I liked. I made an appointment immediately and felt so relieved!
I didn’t make any other appointments. Probably not the best idea, but I know myself and I’m not really the type to try on a billion things and dwell on purchases for awhile. I look at a few options, and if I like one, I get it. I didn’t have an image in my head of a dream dress. I just wanted something pretty that fit me right. If this first salon had it, I’d get it.
I am SOOOOO glad I asked for help on Facebook, and that my friend Mary had a connection. AniA Collection is FANTASTIC. My only knowledge of shopping for a dress is going to David’s Bridal with girlfriends who were getting married (which, let’s face it, is not the place you go for ambiance, customer service, or a knowledgeable consultant. You go there for price.). This place was really nice inside, and there was a man in a tux playing a marimba (which I mistakenly referred to as a xylophone). Funny sidenote: at one point he was playing Creep by Radiohead. So perfect from a random man in a bridal salon (What the h* am I doing here? …I don’t belong here...). We had our own little sitting area in the back and were given water and champagne while we waited for our consultant.
It turned out Rachel, the consultant who helped me (and was friends with Mary) was tall herself which was super helpful. She asked me some questions about the wedding and what I liked, and was off to find dresses for me. She pulled things she knew I would like based on what I told her, and some dresses she thought would look great on me. It turned out the second dress I tried on, one of her picks, a dress that was basically everything I thought I didn’t want in a dress, was “the one.” But I tried on several others to make sure. I wish we were allowed to take pictures just so I could have a little proof of how comical it was. Most girls who try on wedding dresses have to stand on a pedestal to get a better idea of the dress because the dress is too long. Me? I stood behind the pedestal so it blocked my feet and I could get an idea of what it would like when the dress actually touches the ground. Brilliant idea from the consultant… wedding dress shopping with a tall consultant rocks.
I went back and forth between two dresses for awhile. Neither one was a dress I would have picked off a rack if I had been looking for myself, but I absolutely loved both. One of the dresses was made with a fabric that would probably be better for an outdoor wedding in Georgia in September (i.e. breathable). I was getting the impression that everyone liked that one better (it turned out my mom and aunt actually liked the one I picked best, but they didn’t want to sway my decision). But the other dress… When I put it on I could totally picture myself standing in Dave’s parents’ back yard, and standing next to Dave in his uniform. “I think I really like this one,” I said. “While the other one would probably be better for the weather, when I put this one on… I can really picture myself standing next to Dave, and…”
And then I started crying. All “Say Yes To Dress” style. And then of course my mom, aunt, and Krissi started crying. So there I was, wearing a dress I thought I didn’t want, and reacting in a way I swore I wouldn’t. This wedding stuff is crazy, y’all. But I love, love, LOVE the dress and can’t wait to wear it come September 8th 🙂