Our story left off with me lying on my mom’s pull out bed trying to imagine myself in “the dress”.  🙂

Saturday was Alfred Angelo and David’s Bridal out in Allentown, PA.  I was actually ready to cancel both after Friday, but figured we should go just in case.  Alfred Angelo was the first appointment I made after falling in love with their dresses in the magazines.  I had flipped through plenty of magazines, and those were the only dresses catching my eye!

The Allentown location is Alfred Angelo’s flagship store.  It was a lot bigger than any of the bridal stores I had previously been to, so I was a bit overwhelmed upon walking in.  We were assigned a sales associate, and she asked me to identify five dresses I wanted to try on.  I had brought my print out of dresses I saved on the site, so I was prepared!  I went back to a dressing room, where they had me put on a bra/corset type thing along with a big underskirt.  I probably looked pretty ridiculous.

A note about Christine, our sales associate:  after observing the level of service the other ladies in the store were receiving, I really feel as if we lucked out and got the best person to help us out!  She stuck with us, providing her opinion when needed and working with us until we were comfortable with our choices!

At first, we were striking out again. Most of the dresses I had chosen initially were a satin-y fabric, and although I loved the color elements and some of the details, it was still all wrong for me.  The second dress was actually very nice.  It had the lace overlay that I loved, and the pop of color was a definite bonus.  The sleeves were detachable, and I definitely preferred the dress without the sleeves.

After we tried on the initial five, Christine offered to go get three more of her own choosing.  I decided to let her do that, since I really hadn’t found too much that I loved.  The first dress I tried was very princessy, but the skirt fabric pleated in the back, making my butt look big. 😉  The next dress I tried on looked interesting on the hanger.  I remember standing there thinking, ok, we’ll definitely be going back to Chrissy O’s, maybe Kelly can call right now and make an afternoon appointment.  I put on the dress anyway, and walked out.

I think I knew this was the one when I saw the reactions of my mom and sister. Kelly started to cry a little, and my mom’s expression changed from the one she had for the other dresses. When I looked in the mirror, I could really see myself getting married in this particular dress.  Also, this is going to sound weird, but I promise you it’s all true.  When I walked out of the dressing room, the whole store stopped to look at me.  A ton of people were oohing and aahing and remarking over how great the dress looked.  Christine and Maribeth, another sales associate, put me in their favorite veil and smiled as we walked around the store, admiring the dress in different lights.

So, I bought it right then and there, right?  Not so simple.  By this point, I was overwhelmed.  I loved the dress, but I couldn’t picture it with any other elements of the wedding.  It was so different than the vision I had in my head, that I politely took it off and said we’d be in touch with them the next week.  My mom, sister and I went to our car, where I proceeded to call David’s Bridal to cancel my appointment.  I wasn’t thrilled about going there to begin with, and I didn’t need more stress of trying on other dresses.  As my sister drove us to lunch, I sat in the backseat with my head spinning.  What was I going to do?  This dress was great, but the others were fine too.  How would I fit the style and make of this dress to the bridesmaids?  What would other people think of it?

I lost it when we got out of the car.  I started crying, because the pressure was just too much.  I was letting all these voices into my head saying various things:  “That dress doesn’t fit your body well.”  “Wow, Val, what an interesting choice.”  “Those bridesmaids dresses don’t really go well with that dress at all, do they?”  “Odd choice given your color scheme.”  “I’m shocked you picked something in that price range.”  “I can’t believe you picked a dress so quickly.”

It was time to stop.  My sister, my wonderful MOH, finally suggested we go back to see it with some bridesmaids dresses that Christine could recommend.  My sister was really just dying to try on dresses 😉 but I agreed anyway.  The sales associates were overjoyed to see us again, lol.  Christine was happy to start pulling dresses for my sister, and soon, we were back in our dresses.  Standing together, it all became clear in my mind.  This is the dress, these are the bridesmaids dresses, this is what I want, and I will stop letting what other people might think influence my decisions.  My mom, sister, Christine, Maribeth and I all started to cry.  This was THE DRESS.

So, yes, we bought the dress, the veil and another hair accessory.  What does the dress look like?  Well, I guess you’ll have to wait until May 22, 2010 to find out. 😉

Thanks to my mom and sister for supporting me through this process!  I couldn’t have had better people along to help me.  Also, thanks to the lovely women at Alfred Angelo’s who knew what I needed and how to get me what fit me best.  🙂  It was a pleasure working with you!!

I learned a lot going through this process.  Though they are things I should have grasped all along, I’m glad I finally got it and am able to tune out the voices of other people.  But that’s a post for another day. 😉