Tag Archive | wedding dress

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Transform Me Into a Bride

Sister Big Eyes had arrived and it was time to step into my bridal gown!  After having such a lovehate relationship with Evie (yes, remember I named her), I was so happy to put her on that morning and even more relieved to see she photographs as well as she does.

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My wedding gown had a zipper which meant there was no room for error!  I had to stay as close to the same size as possible that I was at my last fitting.  This is what one’s face looks like when they are waiting for their dress to zip up all the way:

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SUCCESS!  Then it was time to hook all the buttons that cover up the zipper.  And I’m all smiles.

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These photos of Mom Sword and I are some of my favorite from the whole day.

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I want to take this opportunity to make a follow-up comment on my decision to avoid tanning beds/sprays/lotions for my wedding day.

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I already wrote about how I used to worry about getting a tan but decided to go au naturale on my big day… and the verdict is?  I LOVE IT.  I’m so happy I embraced my natural skin tone because it totally fits who I am and how I wanted to look.  So if you’re on the fence about tanning, remember you really can rock your gown no matter how fair or how tan you are as long as you’re happy!  (Wow. Sorry for the sappy PSA.)

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Once I was in my dress it was also time to open up my gift from Mr. Sword!

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To be completely honest, Mr. Sword was not excited about exchanging “day of gifts” and told me the wedding was our gift to each other.  Haha, isn’t he clever?

I explained to him that I was excited about this particular tradition and wanted to be able to open something from on this most special of days and give him something in return.  Obviously he did agree to it after we set a reasonably priced monetary limit.  🙂

Mr. Sword isn’t a man of many words but when he picks out a card he reads every single word and chooses very carefully so of course I started crying while reading the words he had picked out especially for me on our wedding day.

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His day of gift ended up taking me totally by surprise.

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It’s a large smooth stone with the words “I love you” on it, and it says, “Written in stone.”  His love for me is permanent just like those words carved into that stone.  I felt so excited in that moment and ready to see him!

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After opening my gift, it was time to slip on my tartan princess shoes and finally my jewelry.  I was officially a bride!  And I felt beautiful.

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Did you exchange gifts with your partner on your wedding day?  Who was with you when you transformed into a bride?

All pictures by Crystal Liepa Photography.

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!

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Obligatory How I Found My Wedding Dress Post

Since I kept Evie (remember how I named her?) a secret from all of you until after our wedding I figured it’s only fair to explain how I found her, and most of all share photos of our alterations journey together!

To recap, I bought her at the Wedding Shoppe, Inc., back in June of 2012 with Mom Sword, Sister Big Eyes, Auntie B, and BM L Dawg in attendance. There were some tears and I had the “this is the dress” feeling so I considered it a successful day! After a week of disappointing appointments and knowing I was heading back home to Chicago in two days, I was so thrilled to have found my wedding gown!

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This dress is the epitome of glamorous in my eyes.  It’s sexy on top and fit for a princess on the bottom.  It’s dramatic and a little crazy (like me) and it was actually really easy to wear all day!  It was very comfortable and my favorite part was lifting up the bottom of the dress and feeling like I was being swallowed up by the ruffles.

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Naturally everyone wanted to get in on the lifting of the ruffles, or make fun of me, either way I didn’t mind.  I’d found my dress!  So you can imagine my surprise and frankly, disgust, when I first tried it on again in October.  It was so wrinkled and ill-fitting (hard to tell in the photo below), and it was far from glamorous.

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This is one of the few pictures taken from my first fitting and there’s no need to go into all that again.  You can tell by my face in the mirror that I am NOT happy.

Fast forward to my fittings with our family friend L, a five-pound weight loss, a steamed dress, and you’ll see me as a happy bride-to-be!

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We ended up taking in the sides where it hit my legs and everyone warned me that dancing would be difficult but I’ve always preferred my clothing to be body hugging and I’m here to report I danced the entire night without a problem in my tight fit and flare gown!  🙂

The second fitting (first time looking at alterations) was where we discovered the veil I’d borrowed from Mrs. Archer didn’t match my ivory dress at all (I was so sad)!  Luckily, L had a bit of ivory tulle lying around her sewing room and she ended up making me the beautiful veil you’ll see in all of my photos.  We did something a bit different by making a small poof at the top of the veil to sit behind my tiara. I can’t wait to show you guys the way it looked in the professional photos!

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I chose to do a three-point bustle.  It was pretty simple (or so I hear), the most difficult part being finding where the hooks were located.  The best part about having a jagged, ruffled bottom was that I could bustle my gown for our rainy pre-ceremony photos without wrinkling my dress, which was then un-bustled for the ceremony and then bustled again for the reception.  Phew, that’s a lot of bustling!

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Sister/MOH Big Eyes practicing the bustle days before the wedding!

Sister/MOH Big Eyes practicing the bustle days before the wedding!

I practiced walking down the hallway and family friend L told me to remember to keep my head up anytime I was walking, she said it’s so awkward when brides stare at the ground the whole time worried about tripping on their dress.  The many layers of my gown made walking tricky at first but by the end of alterations it was the perfect length.

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I could stare at the back of my dress forever but alas it’s time to say goodbye… for now… I am so incredibly LUCKY that I get to do a wedding gown photo shoot with my sister after her Big Day in June. I can’t wait to wear Evie in some warmer weather and take some cool shots next to my lovely sister.  And don’t worry I’ll definitely be sharing our Rock the Frock Sister Shoot with the hive!

(all photos personal)

Did you go through a love/dislike process with your wedding dress too?  How did your alterations go?  Who else is obsessed with RUFFLES!?!

I Miss My Self-Esteem Most of All

We tend to lose a few things during the wedding planning process, but of all the things I’ve lost (free time, spending money, quality sleep, eating whatever I want), I think I miss my self-esteem the most of all.

I’m sorry, but I’m going to talk about body image.  I don’t want to, but I need to get this out somewhere and I figure this is the most ideal place.

Last week I picked up my dress for the rehearsal dinner and not only did it not fit, but the shotty zipper broke while they were trying to get me in and then out of it.  Talk about depressing.  I’ve now had TWO horrible first experiences with ordered dresses and I’m pretty frustrated/annoyed with my body.

This is a 200+ dollar bridesmaid dress from a shop* in downtown Chicago.  I wouldn’t normally spend so much on a rehearsal dinner dress but it was a gift from Boss Lady.  During the summer of 2012 Boss Lady bid on a gift card to this shop and won!  We didn’t have time to go shopping until this past January and we brought Littlest C with us to try on their flower girl dresses as well.  I had Littlest C take a few photos of some of the dresses we looked at that evening.

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Wedding stuff and Museum Jan. 2013 008

In the end we found this beautiful strapless color-blocked dress (ivory, silver, black) with a pencil skirt bottom, and we decided it would be perfect for not only the rehearsal dinner, but also to wear again to other semi-formal events!  The problem was I was in between sizes, which is the STORY OF MY LIFE.

This is my ever-constant first world problem, everything on me is two different sizes, my shoes, my bust, my body.  I always seem to need two different sizes which inevitably causes problems when it comes to purchasing clothing/shoes.  Well, I decided to go with the smaller size in the case of the rehearsal dinner dress when I probably should have gone with the bigger size.  Ugh.

In the end it was a crappy zipper that did me in.  Much like the bra fiasco from scenario one.  The ladies at the salon were very nice to me and offered a credit for the broken zipper.  But the irritating part was that they called the designer and she proceeded to blame me for the broken zipper based on the fact that I chose the smaller size, which could be partly true, but it could be partly true that her zipper was crap as well!  Also, the dress has shearing over the mid-section which makes it difficult for zippers to get past seams, AND I remembered the sample I tried on previously had a broken zipper as well.  And seriously, did she have to make me feel like a fat ass two weeks before my wedding?  I think not.

To be honest, I’ve always had pretty awesome self-esteem.  I was raised to feel confident about my self image regardless of “flaws,” and I like my body, if not love it most of the time.  So it sucks that I’ve been picking apart at myself these last few months.  My teeth aren’t white enough, my skin isn’t tan enough, my body isn’t thin enough.

The shocking part is that I’m the thinnest I’ve been in a while and I’m still feeling like crap.  It’s all in my head.  I get this.  I’m smart.  And the brain is a powerful thing.  I know I look damn good, and I know I will be a beautiful bride.  All that aside, can I please wear a paper sack for the next few weeks?

I can’t even blame the wedding industry or bridal magazines/blogs (well, I guess I could…)!  It’s my fault for imagining myself a certain way on my wedding day and it’s my fault for putting unnecessary pressure on myself to be perfect.  Don’t be like me.  Don’t put pressure on yourself.  It’s one day.  And you’ll look beautiful too.

NOTE: I’m not searching for compliments, just some commiseration!  And I literally CANNOT WAIT until after the wedding and I go back to being my normal, confidence exuding bad-ass sexy self (she says with a grin).

*I don’t want to make this a review of the shop but if you live in Chicago and want more information, just send me a private message.

(all photos personal)

Does anyone else feel like their self-esteem did a 180 during wedding planning?  Anyone else have frustrating experiences with ordering dresses and them not fitting or zippers breaking?  Tell me I’m not alone!  🙂

My “Somethings,” My Own

We all know the phrase, Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.  (OK, maybe not everyone is familiar with the last part (myself included) until Mrs. Archer sent me her sixpence to use on my wedding day.  Yay!)

My guess is we’ve all probably wondered what we’d use for each of our “somethings” on our wedding day at some point during the planning process.  That said, I’m a big advocate for making your wedding your own and making it unique and personal to yourself and your partner.  So who cares if you have all your somethings picked out way in advance or if you scrap them all together?  Since there was a piece of me that wanted to complete my “somethings” I decided to go ahead with them but in my own special way.

Something old: Grandma Sword’s handkerchief passed down to her from the Grandmother who raised her.  Her Grandmother received the hankie as a gift when she was working at a hospital in the 1930/1940’s.  The handkerchief is decorated with beautiful Japanese embroidery, and my favorite part is that you can’t tell which side is the front and which side is the back.  Does anyone know what that technique is called?

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Something new: Our family tartan!  While the standard answers of dress, shoes, and jewelry are also fitting, there’s nothing quite as new as our newly minted tartan!  It doesn’t exist anywhere else.  Mr. Sword and I designed it together and had it wove in Scotland and then shipped to the US.  Boss Lady has made me a beautiful tartan shawl to wear on the wedding day and I couldn’t be more thrilled to match Mr. Sword’s kilt!

The best part is all I’ll have to do is look around our bridal party or our reception room and I’ll see bits and pieces of our tartan everywhere reminding me of this journey Mr. Sword and I are starting together.  The tartan is symbolic of two cultures joining into one, and it reminds me of all of all the special people in my life who have had a hand in sewing it, crafting it, cutting it, wearing it, and caring it around for the past year as we prepare for the wedding.

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Something borrowed: My new last name.  I don’t believe I’ve spoken about this before but I’m insanely excited to take Mr. Sword’s last name.  It’s such a personal thing that I almost don’t want to talk about it.  Truth is, I currently have the BEST last name ever.  It makes no sense, and it has never been pronounced correctly on any first day of school since the beginning of time, but it’s pretty awesome.  Plus, it’s been my identity for 29 years and it’s provided me with the best Gmail address ever.  No numbers or middle name for this girl!

While I do love it, I’m happy to lose my last name as sort of a rite of passage.  It’s a leap of faith and of trust.  It’s an act of respect to those women in my family who have taken their husbands names before me.  It’s about putting the whole before the individual.  And it’s about creating a new baby family with Mr. Sword.

I’m always going to think of myself as my former last name in some ways, but I will be so proud to sport Mr. Sword’s name is just a few short weeks.  And then I’ll FINALLY be able to hang out on Twitter.  Cause I signed up with newlastname.  Duh.

Something blue: My mothers.  Both Mom Sword and my Future Mother-in-Law are wearing dresses in the color blue, and since my ideal shade of blue is purple, I decided the two most important ladies in the room would cover that “something” quite nicely.  You’ll have to wait for photos of their dresses until after the wedding!

OH AND ONE MORE THING!  It’s the Swords one year engagiversary!!

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Yep, exactly one year ago today the very shy Mr. Sword proposed to me at the top of the John Hancock building in front of many strangers and his future in-laws.  (Clearly, he was smitten.)  If you want to read about it, check this out.  I sorta kinda knew it was coming…  still, it was one of the best days of my life!

(all photos personal)

How are you covering the tradition of the “somethings?’  Does anyone else have a fun twist, I’d love to hear about it!

It Fits!!!

You know what I’m talking about, my wedding dress.  My wedding dress fits and she fits well.

This is a big.deal.  Last time I tried on my dress I had a meltdown.  Needless to say, I had some nerves going into this appointment.  Fortunately, the whole atmosphere of this appointment was different.  We have a family friend doing the alterations (we’ll call her L) and she takes appointments in her home.  A home I used to play in as a kid.  It was relaxed, casual, and took place in the late evening.  My other appointment was fast, impersonal, and took place at the end of a Friday when everyone (understandably) just wants to go home.

Plus, I had a new bra.  The main reason my dress didn’t fit the first time was due to the bra they sold me when I purchased my gown.  I really did LOVE my consultant from the Wedding Shoppe, Inc. but she didn’t know bras at all, and I was sorely misguided.

So this time I went to a bra specialist at a store called {intimacy} in Chicago.  This place was amazing!  I scheduled an appointment and explained to the girl exactly what I was searching for and she brought me two options, one of which was perfect.  Going this route was a bit pricier than buying from a department store or even a bridal salon, but I’ll be able to wear the strapless bra again, and it’s worth the price to avoid pulling up the top of my dress all night.  Plus, because it fits tight to my body instead of adding unnecessary bulk, it makes my dress fit even better and that’s priceless to me.

My modesty left me long ago so for those interested, here is my miracle bra.

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But a good bra wasn’t the only reason my dress fit better. Below is the face of relief.  It’s not a pretty face, but it’s a real face.

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Hive, it’s amazing what 5 pounds can do.  Do not underestimate the 5 lb weight loss.  Things shift, your face is less swollen, and overall you just feel better.

I know I’m never going to be a size 2, I know I’ll always be curvy (thankyouverymuch), and I have zero delusions about drastically losing a ton of weight for just one day.  But you can eat less, eat better, and feel better for your wedding if you so desire.  We all want to look our best on our wedding day, we want to love our photos, and we want to feel amazing, and in my opinion that’s worth some lifestyle changes.

For me, it’s not about exercise.  My back doesn’t allow me to do the things that most people do to lose weight.  My most recent weight lose was done by portion control, lots of fruit and veg, and tons of walking.

I am also trying to focus on working out my arms and getting rid of my arch nemesis, upper back fat, but I do this by way of resistance bands and planks in my own living room.  I don’t go to the gym anymore, I was advised to avoid running at all costs, and even my workout DVD’s stay on the shelf these days because they aren’t worth the nerve pain they shoot down my legs.  For me, it’s more important to be able to walk down the aisle pain-free than to look skinny.

That said, it is possible!  (And no one eats as many desserts as me, trust me, no one.)  Due to a stomach bug post-Christmas, I’ve managed to lose almost another 5 lbs, much to the chagrin of family friend L.  🙂  We’ll see if I can keep it off now that I’m eating normally again.

(all photos personal)

Anyone else lose a small amount of weight but notice a big difference in how their wedding dress fits?  Evie and I are buddies once again.  I’m getting so excited for March!  How are your fittings going?

…What a Weekend Baby: Miss Sword Has a Meltdown

This is the last installment in my series (my apologies if you’re ready for me to move on by now).

That said, if you want to read what else happened during my “My Wedding Dress Doesn’t Fit and I Feel Crazy But My Shower Rocked, What a Weekend Baby” posts, then you can catch up now!

First, I showed off my White House Black Market shower dress, then I booked a florist and forced Sister Big Eyes and Mom Sword to make tartan fabric boutonnieres, and finally I shared all about my shower!

As I’ve already shared the good, it’s time to progress to the bad and the downright ugly.

My dress, lovingly referred to as Evie, arrived in late August, but I wasn’t able to schedule an appointment to pick her up until October.  NO PROBLEM.  Mom Sword and I showed up at 5 PM snagging one of the last appointments of the day.  I was a wee bit hangry which put me off to a bad start but BM L Dawg had encouraged me to skip on a  pre-fitting snack and I’m glad she did!

This is what I looked like before my appointment:

This is what I looked a mere ten minutes later:

Evie didn’t zip up Hive.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Here’s the whole (ugly) story:

When I first ordered my dress I was encouraged to buy a strapless bra that would be sewn into the dress to keep the MN twins in check.  Well, both bra and dress were in my room when I arrived so I put on the strapless bra first and slipped into my gown.

But when the girl tried to zip up my dress, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.  She tried really hard but there was no way it was going to zip up to the top.  I feel like I’ve lived through every bride’s worst nightmare and I’ve come out a better person on the other side (said in a sappy, melodramatic voice).

The thoughts running through my head were, This isn’t happening to me!  MY dress is a size bigger than the sample dress which FIT LIKE A GLOVE.  Could the sample have stretched out that much?  Damn my huge boobs, back fat, and wide Scandinavian rib cage!  Damn them all!  To make matters worse I was having my monthly girl thing and I’m sure the extra bloating wasn’t helping my case.  Ugh.

The panic started to set in as the girl helping me went to get the alterations lady.  Mom Sword was sitting quietly on the couch feeling terrible for me, and that’s when the tears started to fall.  There was no way I was going to ask them to take out my dress!  When the alterations lady arrived she suggested we try it without the strapless bra saying that it was a terrible bra with really weird cups that were most likely adding to the problem.  So we went bra-less and relief upon relief, Evie zipped up!

But it was too late to stop the meltdown, because things got even worse.  As I stared at my dress it struck me how wrinkled disheveled it looked.  In my hangry, fragile, and period-driven state, I was starting to doubt why I’d chosen this dress in the first place!

Then I noticed A FLAW.  On the right hip of my dress a small part of the ruched fabric was puffing up.  It looked like there was extra fabric there or that it had been stretched or pulled because while the left hip lay flat, the right side looked like crap.  Of course the alterations lady didn’t believe  me at first and kept trying to calm me down instead.  I’m sorry, but I hate being told to relax, it’s my pet peeve!  I’m an emphatic and intense person, and people have been telling me to me to relax my entire life and all I wanted was some compassion, not someone glossing over things and making me feel like a freak for getting upset!

Anyway, she started to say that a good steaming/pressing would fix the problem on the right side.  On the exterior I was trying to be understanding but on the interior I was getting even more upset!  It’s a flaw!  How could she not see it?!?!  I begged Mom Sword for some support but Mom Sword doesn’t know dresses all that well, and said from far away it wasn’t visible, but as she got closer she could see the imperfection on the right hip.  Just when I was beginning to feel like I was in a dream and clearly imagining things, the alterations lady said she’ll pin the fabric in question down and then sew it, and we’ll be able to pick up the dress in a week’s time.

Excuse me?  Does this mean you’re agreeing with me?  She even went to steam the dress to show me how the wrinkles would come out (they were so bad), and my guess is IF she could have steamed out the flaw, she would have, but it looks like she couldn’t.

When we went to the front desk to schedule the pickup they asked when I could come back and I said, “I can’t!  I live in Chicago; I won’t be back until December!”  We decided Dad Sword and MOH/Sister Big Eyes would pick up the dress the following week.  I asked Sister Big Eyes to try it on for me so she could assess how it looked even though she hadn’t been there to see the flaw in the first place.  It was my best option!

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I’m happy to report that the dress was picked up this past weekend and it looks beautiful.  I wish I could say I was 100% happy now, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve fallen out of love with my dress.  I just feel so annoyed with myself for barely fitting her, and I’m frustrated with the delicate fabric and its haphazard look.  I’m sad that I didn’t smile very much when I was wearing her, I’m pissed I started off on such a terrible note, and I’m angry with society (and myself again) for all the pressure I feel to love my dress.

I love my groom more than anything and that’s all that matters, right?  My relationship with Evie is a work in progress, like any relationship I guess.  In the end it was a bit of a blessing that she didn’t fit me well, because if she was too loose, I’d have gotten overly comfortable and relaxed. I would have become less diligent about what I ate, and I might not have had a good fitting come December.

While that whole experience was really difficult, I feel like I learned a lot.

1. Don’t go to your appointment hangry.  Or bloated (although there’s not much you can do about that).

2. Try to look your best so you FEEL your best.

3. Set the expectations bar super low.

4.  Keep in mind that EVERYTHING is super tight and tiny in the bridal industry.

5. Remember your groom loves you for the size you are, and that size is not just a good size, it is the right size for you in that moment.

Mom Sword even got me to chuckle during my meltdown because she started laughing hysterically at me when through my tears I asked her to get a few photos for the blog.  I knew this would be a good story and I want to make a real effort to share the not-so-good parts of wedding planning as well as the sunshine-y moments.  So yea, I was thinking of Weddingbee during this moment:

The good news is I am going to have a family friend do my dress alterations and that already makes me feel more comfortable!  Evie is currently hanging in a closet in my parent’s house and I’m hoping our next meeting goes a lot smoother!  🙂

(all photos personal)

So, that’s my story.  What’s yours?

Saying “no thank you” to some lovely dresses

The time has come for dress photos!!  Yay!!  I’m so excited to share a few of them with the Hive right now, the thing is, after much contemplation I’ve decided not to share THE dress before the wedding.  It was a tough decision but in the end I want all my guests to be surprised as well as everyone else!  Plus I’m so in love with her that I want to keep her my little secret for as long as I can!

There were tons of beautiful dresses that I did not choose and I will share some of those now.  I’ll also give some hints on what my dress looks like and reveal the designer at the end so hang tight!

OK HE SHOULD BE GONE BY NOW.

So… my vision for the Big Day was a fit-n-flare with hints of princess (obviously) and romance.  I wanted something tight and sexy that still felt whimsical and right out of a fairy tale.  It sounded easy enough when I started out but I quickly found that most fit-n-flares come with tons of beading, and I didn’t really want beading, or lace for that matter.  Nothing against beading or lace, but I felt like I needed an understated dress that still had the power to WOW.

Here are some of the fit-n-flare candidates:

And then there were the ball gowns… Sigh, the ball gowns.  I loved them!  They fit the theme of our fairy tale wedding so well and truth be told I almost convinced myself to buy one (of course I don’t have a picture of that one because it was the one place where photos weren’t allowed) but in the end I’m so happy I waited just a bit longer so I could find my dream dress.

Please excuse all awkward and/or chubby photos, not all of the dresses fit 100% correctly.  Did you have a favorite style between the ball gowns and fit-n-flares?

Here are my wedding dress stats:

I went to a total of 6 different bridal salons (one in Chicago, the rest in the Twin Cities), and I found my dress at store number 5, only two days before we were leaving Minnesota on wedding planning trip number two.

Designer is Morie Lee.

Style is to die for fit-n-flare.

Neckline is a slight sweetheart that I plan to dip even further.  (It actually got comical after one consultant told me, “Yes, I get it, we can dip the neckline even lower, all of them can be made lower!”  And so it became a running joke.)

Price is under $1,000… by a little bit.

How it happened:

I don’t think my search was particularly long, it was just that being a long-distance bride I knew my time was limited if I wanted a dress ordered in time to have all my fittings take place  in Minnesota.  I can’t just show up when my dress arrives at the salon, instead I have to make well-planned trips up north that coincide with other wedding related tasks or I’d be there every other weekend!  I know it will be awhile before I see my dress in person and I plan to wait patiently, or as patiently as possible.   Until she arrives I will think of her often and attempt to give her a name… the designer just uses numbers and I really think something so pretty deserves a special name.  How does Evie sound?  I’m leaning towards naming her Evie.

One last thing:

Like other brides, I had the same “I just know this is it” moment when I put on the winning dress.  I know it’s a different experience for everyone, but I usually get strong gut feelings when I know something is right so I was expecting one to occur during my dress search.  I knew from the second I put her on that this was it, but I didn’t say it out loud until about 40 minutes later when I tried her on again.  Everyone else could tell by my face that we had found my dress, but I didn’t want to rush the moment, I wanted to make sure I was still thinking about her when I took her off and when I was in other dresses, and I totally was!!  I even had tears hiding behind my eyes and I was urging them to fall!!  It took a little coaxing but once I saw Mom Sword crying, the tears just started flowing.  I was lucky enough to have Mom Sword, Auntie B, MOH Big Eyes, and BM L Dawg there when I found HER.  It was magical!

(all photos personal)

Did you know when you’d found “the one”?  Did you almost convince yourself to go with a completely different style than you had originally wanted?