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What We Came Away With.

Because of my lack of blogging this weekend, I’m sure most of you are ready for some report about what Z. and I left Phoenix with and without. Luckily, some large stresses have been laid to rest, so I’m venturing to say that the rest of this wedding planning will be much more pleasant for both me and my groom.

We saw most of our venues this weekend, with the exception of a couple. My camera is loaded with pictures, so as soon as I am able to download them this evening, a post revealing our favorites will be written. Until then, I will let you know that we have driven away from the Valley with two favorites that stand apart from the rest, which allows my brain to relax just a little bit.

Phoenix, Arizona -- the city I miss.

Most importantly, I left with one of the most stressful pieces all figured out — and paid for. As some of you know, I did have two dress appointments scheduled, one at I Do! I Do! Bridal in Phoenix and another at Destiny’s Bride in Scottsdale. I must criticize, especially for all of you ladies who may be in the market for a wedding gown. I Do! I Do! Bridal had some fabulous designers and some fabulous prices, but the service was only mediocre (yes, I had been referred to Destiny’s by THREE brides, but I had to have some “trial runs” before I jumped into paradise). They gave me a quick tour of the facility, attached my information sheet to a rack and told me to start pulling dresses that I wanted to try on. I had invited the troops: the sister/MOH, my mother, my father, my aunt and one of my fabulous bridesmaids, C. We waded through what seemed like thousands of dresses, and I was rather unsure about what I really wanted. I had looked at pictures and what not, but I didn’t know what would look best on my shorter stature. I asked an employee, and she actually had no advice and just told me to keep pulling.

Once I had pulled approximately 8 dresses, they tossed me into a dressing room with a curtain and told me they’d hand me a dress through the crack when I was ready. Once the dress had been stepped into, I walked out onto a pedestal and they clamped me into the dress with construction-orange industrial strength clamps — no one could really tell what the back of the dress would really look like. I walked out to present the options to my friends and family, and there wasn’t one dress that I actually said that I “loved”, nor that I think any of them liked. I left with two favorites documented, and no true intention to return.

Sunday was a day that was jam-packed — five appointments for venues; another bridesmaid (Ja.) and her husband and my Godson drove down from Cottonwood to spend the day with my family. We toured two venues, grabbed lunch, saw one more and then ended up canceling the last two; by this point in time there were still two that really stood out and were favorites for myself and Z., so there was no point exhausting our guests. Instead, I knew that Ja. really had wished she’d be able to experience looking for a dress with me, so in desperation I called a David’s Bridal in Peoria and managed to squeeze my way in. The help was much more valuable, and I truly believed that the employees wanted to help me find the dress of my dreams (and I think she also realized when I hadn’t loved one that I tried on). It was fun and I managed to narrow my ideas of what I wanted even more, preparing myself for Monday’s appointment.

Destiny's Bride -- Click for website.

I went to Destiny’s Bride yesterday with my mom, one of her friends from home, C., and my MOH. I knew the moment that I walked in, aside from the wonderful referrals, that the service there would be outstanding and more personal, which is what I was looking for after being so discouraged. I know, maybe I had been overreacting because I had only been to two other stores, but I was hoping that I would find the dress that I would buy with my family — and I’m sure that my mom wanted the exact same thing.

We started by talking with Linda about what exactly I had been looking for, but that I wasn’t even 100% sure about that and would be willing to try on anything she wanted me to. We started by pulling some dresses off of the racks and running them back and forth between the floor and the dressing rooms. I’m tellin’ you what: LINDA is the bomb. She is sweet, honest, and you can truly tell that she loves what she is doing and that she cares about each woman that walks into that store. AND she calls her dresses by name … adorable. We slipped into a more simple one with some of the details that I had mentioned, and I knew immediately that it wasn’t the dress that I would wear, but that there was no doubt that Linda would find the ONE.

Off. Gown number two was just perfect — maybe a little too busy, but it was a beautiful shape and it felt so good. We definitely marked it as a favorite. Number three was unique and what I really wanted to love, but we ended up eliminating it because even though I wanted to love it, I just didn’t; it wasn’t me. I returned to the dressing room and Linda said, “Okay. I know this isn’t exactly what you have asked for, and she doesn’t get pulled out a lot because she is a newer dress, but just try her on.”

Gown number four. I walked out and stood on the raised pedestal and she fluffed the back of the dress. I saw my mom start to well up, and that was it. I lost it. I loved it. It was nothing that I ever dreamed I’d be getting married in, but there was a presence that I felt not only within the dress, but within the way it made me feel. I was asked if I loved it, and I said yes. I was asked if I loved it more than #2, and I said I wasn’t sure. So we went back into the dressing room and put #2 back on to see them back-to-back. I returned to show my family, and we just knew that it wasn’t it. It didn’t hold a candle to #4 … AT ALL. I actually couldn’t wait to put #4 back on.

When I returned is when it got real. Linda pulled my hair up and grabbed some jewelry and what not, and it just came together. She attempted to pin the back so we could see what it would look like bustled, and every person in the room knew that that was the dress. My mom kept crying … she said “In every other store we didn’t have this moment” — she was ecstatic. Geez, I even tear up now just thinking about how happy she looked. It was emotional and exhausting, but Destiny’s Bride (particularly Linda) made the experience worth the while and I found my dress, a dress that I wouldn’t have given a second glance online or in a magazine. The entire way home was spent dreaming about my gown.

Relief … in the fact that the dress is purchased and the venues are narrowed. All there is to do now before we sign with one of the favorites is to sit down and really work out the budget to see which one, if either, would be the better pick. Both compliment our style and personal view of where we want to commit ourselves to each other, so it’s just a matter of finally making a decision.

Be excited for photos and the venue blog — I’m so excited to be back!! ❤

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