09 January 2012


Hi friends! 

This is going to be a long post, please endure all my blurb-age! 

This weekend I was so excited for Saturday to arrive! Saturday was D day for me (aka first bridal appointments to try on wedding dresses!)

I had 3 appointments set for 3 different Bridal Boutiques/Stores. I gave myself 2 hours in between appointments.

First up was this place called "The Dress". I had one of childhood friends who actually lives out here in AZ like I do (Even though we both grew up on the same street back home in Illinois!) come with me. 

This is Kari in a few pictures with me

She's wearing the chicago cubs shirt OF COURSE! 

 Us and Our fur babies Aspen & Wrigley!

Anyhow back to the JUICE! 

The three bridal places that I chose were all based on RECOMMENDATIONS by my dentist (weird right?) Mister Wonderful's fellow female co-worker Nurses, & fellow bloggers!

The first store (recommended by my dentist) was a DUD. 

I was so disappointed. The store was itty bitty and had a selection of like 50 dresses that were OLD looking...

The owners of the store were MUCH older (think grandma/grandpa age) I'm thinking apparently they are NOT up with what's in these days.

I tried on 3 dresses just to "try" even though I knew within the second they pulled random gowns they were all big fat "NO"s! 

Needless to say I was crushed. I couldn't help but panic and think, "is this how it's suppose to be?" How in the world do girls find dresses under such conditions!?!


We couldn't escape to the car fast enough. Not to mention it was super awkward when the lady was PUMPING me for information as to where we were going next blah blah...

Is that really any of your business? I think NOT! 

Second place was a place called Shaffers.

It was Heaven from the moment I walked it. Elegant, classy and totally turned my really awful first experience into a life changing one. 

My bridal gal was AWESOME. 

No pressure. Seriously pulled 15 dresses for me to try. 

She never hurried me, and really LISTENED to me and what I wanted within my budget. 

What helped my budget out is the fact that I am NOT going to be wearing shoes on the beach and I will not be wearing a veil on the beach either. 

Two huge costs that helped push my dress price up a little since I 86'd those items out! 

the biggest lesson learned with trying on wedding gowns I learned was:

Dresses were pulled that I initially thought "there's no way I'm going to like that on me!" I ended up loving! 

I tried at least one style of dress in the shapes listed above just to see which ones would look best on me. 
I've always known the MERMAID look was NOT for me. Unless you are a size 0-2 I think it accentuates your hip area way to much and on me, that's the one place I DON'T want highlighted when wearing my wedding gown! 

I tried on 15-18 dresses and after a long 2 hours, I finally was duking it out between 2 dresses. 

Unfortunately they don't allow you to take pictures of the gowns till you actually purchase one and it's "yours" so I went online and found the picture of my runner up dress. 

This was a close contender! 

This is the dress I ALMOST picked!!!! I had SUCH a hard time at first deciding between this one and the one I picked, but really it came down to breaking it down what I liked on both dresses what I didn't like what popped out to me first what didn't. 

The dress I did pick was also a Maggie Sottero VERY similar to the one I almost picked.

I felt like I was walking on air when it finally hit me that I had found my dress! 
I didn't cry. A few twitter/blog peeps asked me that. I don't know, I don't get emotional over clothes I guess? I mean I will probably cry when I actually am walking towards Mister Wonderful the day we get married, but I'm not a huge crier when it comes to stuff like this. Only thing I ever get emotional about is Animals and videos/movies depicting them! :) 

I had one more appointment for the day. It was at David's Bridal.

Note: I don't mean to offend ANYONE with my opinion, but please remember this is based on my experience and what I went through! 

David's Bridal was a ZOO. From the moment we walked it, I had a bad vibe. The girl that was suppose to consult me didn't do so, she was so busy helping another girl at the same time. I might as well of been invisible. 

Another thing I noticed was the quality of dresses. I'm no dress expert but I could just see/tell by touching some of the gowns that they were cheaper for a reason...

Kari told me to go home and sleep on the dress to make sure I was absolute 100% about this dress. I agreed. Not to mention if it was the dress, I would get 10% off the price if I made my decision within 24 hours. 


So I went home, went to bed, and I kid you not I had the most wonderful dream about "THE DRESS" and when I woke up, that's how I knew it was the one FOR SURE! 

And that's my story! So in a matter of 14 days of being engaged, We've set the date, booked our destination wedding to Kauai, booked our resort, ordered my dress, and ordered Mister Wonderful's wedding ring! 

Needless to say you have to get a lot done when you wedding is in SEVEN months! 

Any recommendations on Bridal Jewelry friends? Sites? stores? 



  1. I love both dresses you shared so I'm sure I'm going to love love love yours! I can't wait to see! I guess I can expect pictures in 7-8 months ;) I'm so excited for you! And wow, you sure did get a lot done! GO YOU!!!!!

  2. Congrats on finding a dress! It's hard when you're disappointed by your first store. I was too and it actually stopped me from looking for about a month or so. I also didn't cry when I found the dress even though I LOVED it and knew it was the one. Some people do, some people don't. I'm the same - I'll cry over a sad animal commercial but typically don't cry over things that others find tear worthy. Congrats on getting so much done! Way to go!! I got married about 5 months ago and have started blogging about it in a Wedding ABCs post. Hope you can check it out :)

  3. I had a very similar experience at David's Bridal. I didn't like anything about that store...the dresses, the salespeople, the other brides in the store {the girl next to me was clearly pregnant...try explaining that to my 10 yr old cousin/goddaughter who was with me!}...I tried on a few dresses just to appease the saleslady, but I had already found "my" dress at a previous store.

    Sounds like you're doing pretty well on getting stuff checked off your to do list! Good luck!

  4. girlfriend.
    you are on a ROLL!
    I can't believe you already have so much done!!
    I had to plan my wedding in 3 months, so I understand wanting to get it done though :)

    I also had a bad first experience. And, it was at David's Bridal. My MIL kept suggesting I go, just to try it out.. just in case. (I also do not mean to offend anyone) but the whole situation was tacky the way it was handled. I will probably write a post about it some day. They were rude, didn't pay attention to ANYTHING I said, and were basically out to sell me something. (And EVERYTHING I tried on was cheaply made. It was like night and day! from the second place I ended up getting my dress!)

    The dress I ended up getting was the first one I came out to show everyone. They all gave it a ten, and I seriously had 5 different people say something about it between the room I tried it on in, and the viewing area. And, 2 other girls requested it after they saw me in it... HAHA so I knew it was it!! And I bought that sucker right then and there! (I will say though, you are lucky to have gotten to go home and think it over! I bought mine so fast, that at first I was a little worried I didn't take enough time to think it over!!!)

    The "runner up" to your dress is beautiful! I'm sure you will look absolutely stunning in the dress you chose!!

    I just have one question..

  5. I can't believe how many things you've already got crossed off of your to-do list! Good for you!

    Both dresses are gorgeous and I'm sure the dress you picked is perfect!


  6. I love this post!! Wedding dress shopping was one of my favorite parts of the whole process...I bet your dress is amazing!! Your destination sounds incredible as well :)

  7. I always wonder how the heck people know their date, like the week after getting engaged! I'm always flabbergasted! The dress you almost picked is absolutely gorgeous :)

  8. How exciting! The two runners up are ahhhmazing so I can't imagine how stunning the winning dress is. You are going to make such a gorgeous bride.

  9. Wedding dress shopping was my favorite. Honestly I tried on over 100 dresses. I kind of miss it now that I've found my dress! Congratulations! Such and exciting time in your life. Enjoy ever second!

  10. The hubs & I honeymooned in Kauai! It was beautiful and we've already started to plan and save for the next trip back. Let me know if you would like any information for there! We did a few excursions, did some hiking, of course relaxed and ate to no end :)

    Congrats on getting your dress too! It's so exciting and all you'll want to do is wear it when you get it back!

  11. I love those Maggie Sottero dresses! Gorgeous!
    I'm so glad that you have found YOUR dress!!!

  12. SO exciting!! What a great feeling to know you found your dress. I agree - you can't judge the dress on a hanger! I hated my dress on the hanger and didn't even want to try it on! I'm glad I did! Congrats on finding your perfect dress:)

  13. Both of those dresses are gorgeous so I am sure yours is too!

    I went to David's Bridal this weekend for a Mardi Gras ball dress. UMM nightmare!!!! Don't think I will be going back there ever again.

  14. SO exciting!! You definitely "know" when you find the-one! Excited to see the dress you picked later this year =)!!

  15. Congratulations on getting so much done! Picking your wedding dress is such a momentous occassion - glad you had such a great experience!

  16. Based on the image you posted .. any chance the Adorae gown is the one you went with? ;) I was married in 2009; and all of a sudden all of these BEAUTIFUL vintage dresses are showing up and all I can think is: "DAMMIT! Why couldn't these have been around when I was getting hitched??"

    Truth is? I settled for a dress. The process was frustrating and I just wanted a dress to get married in. My dress was beautiful ... but not "the" dress. I think I had a bigger moment over my Prom Gown in high school than I did when I bought my wedding dress.

    I too felt like David's Bridal was the Wal-Mart of wedding gowns ... the difference between a $1500 gown and an $800 gown is quality.

    Good luck with rest of your wedding planning!!

  17. So is your friend going to be a bridesmaid? I ask because I have a friend who went bridal gown shopping on Saturday with one of her good friends, but this girl hasn't asked my friend to be in her wedding... she just asked her to go dress shopping, which seems really weird to my friend and I!

  18. You are going to look gorgeous!!! I had a horrible experience at David's bridal as well. It was my second store to go to...you could totally tell the difference in quality between the stores!

  19. Congratulations on finding THE dress! It is such an exciting and important milestone in the planning process! Also, I chuckled at your description of David's. I had heard about their 'experience' and avoided them like the plague!

    With regards to jewelry, check out Nordstrom. Specifically Nadri. I wore a breathtaking pair of earrings and super fab bangles from their line for my big day and still love them. Good luck!!! And happy planning!!

    Chelsea (www.hautechildinthecity.com)

  20. i think this was a very successful weekend wedding-wise for sure ;) so happy you found THE dress!! as for jewelry and such, you should absolutely browse through etsy...there are some great stores on there for gorgeous jewelry at a fraction of what you would pay for designer baubles

  21. I'm so glad you found the gown! I can't wait to see it!!! (:

  22. Congratulations on meeting this exciting and important milestone! It's so very exciting when you find THE dress. And congrats on being such an over acheiver and getting everything taken care of that you have. Kudos!! I giggled at your description of the David's 'experience'. I had heard of this prior to going to look for dresses and avoided it all together, but have since been there to look at bridesmaid dresses with friends and it is a cluster to say the least.

    Also, if you are looking for jewelry, check out Nadri (carried at Nordstrom). I wore an amazingly beautiful pair of earrings and several bangles for my big day and still love them.

    Good luck and happy planning

    Chelsea (www.hautechildinthecity.com)

  23. This is so exciting! I love love love both of those dresses, so I'm sure Your Dress is absolutely fabulous!

  24. How exciting! Your runner up dresses are beautiful so I know the dress you chose must be beautiful as well! I agree with you on the David's Bridal stuff....I walked in and walked right out when I was looking for my wedding dress. They're stuff is soooooooo cheap! Just not for me...

  25. I totally agree with Davids Bridal being a zoo!! They have some pretty dresses but I've always had a weird experience there. Girl, I can't wait to see your dress, I know you will look STUNNING!!! How exciting is it that you have the dress you will become a wife in!

  26. Congratulations on finding the dress. It I such a relief to put a check in that box!

  27. AHH! Love those dresses! I'm not doing a destination but I think i will wind up with a style similar for my wedding in October!! Congrats on the perfect find!

  28. Yeah!! She said YES to the dress!! You are going to be a gorgeous bride in whatever dress you choose!! Now, promise me something -- Keep trying on dresses. Don't tell them you've already bought yours. Just keep going and trying them on. Seriously. You'll never be able to wedding dress shop again in your life. Take advantage of that shiny ring on your finger. :-)

    I remember my first dress fitting shop. It was Davids Bridal (yuck) and the dresses were cheap looking and the ladies were rude and I never went back. The right people and environment will sell a dress. I loved where I bought my dress and the people helping me as much as I loved the dress itself.

    My cousin just opened a bridal shop in Omaha, NE (a bit far away I think), but she has a cute little blog and her Pinterest boards are filled with amazing ideas. Check it out: http://readyorknotweddings.com/blog/ and http://pinterest.com/ready_or_knot/

  29. I got my dress, set the date, and booked the venue after being engaged for two weeks. I got my wedding dress at David's Bridal and had a great experience. I didnt make an appointment. Just walked right in. However, I knew the salesgirl cause she went to school with my hubby and was in the army too. I have heard tons of horror stories about them though. Probably more bad stories than good. I went with my hubby and bought it. Some people might not agree but we did it on a whim and that's how we so things. I didn't cry either. I never understood why girls cry trying on a dress. To each their own. I bought the first dress I tried on, and took it home with me that night.

    Can't wait to hear more!

  30. Dang girl, you are cranking things out.

    I too bought a Maggie Sottero gown for my beach wedding and if I had to do it again, I'd buy the same one. Your runner up was gorg though!

  31. Oh man. Wedding dress shopping is way fun and way way stressful. You sound like you handled yourself well :) And I'm so glad you found one! I went dress shopping so many times and I could never decide on one. I had no idea what I wanted! And you're so right about not judging on the hanger! :) Congrats, girl!!

  32. Congrats on finding the dress! I've been to look at David's too and the word "zoo" is actually being nice. I feel as though they had too many people walking around not helping, and when I specifically said what style I was looking for, they pulled everything else...ughhh...

  33. Finding YOUR dress is an amazing experience. And such a relief. I know you're going to be a beautiful bride!

  34. Congratulations on finding your dress. I am a new follower to your blog and so excited to see all of the details that you have for your wedding!

    Have a great day,


  35. YAY!!! I'm so happy for you. This has got to be one of my favorite posts... Keep us updated on all wedding stuff...You are going to look beyond gorgeous on your wedding day...lots of hugs...xoxo

  36. So glad you found THE DRESS! That's the absolute best feeling in the world....and SUCH a relief! I too bought a Maggie Sottero dress ("Beth") and loved it! Congrats girl and I hope everything goes well for you!

  37. You're crossing things off left and right and I love it! Congrats on finding THE dress for you :) Can't wait to see it!

  38. Ahh I love BOTH of your runner-up dresses! I can't wait to see what you actually picked - I bet you look gorgeous in it!

  39. Congrats on finding the dress. I wore a Maggie Sottero for my beach wedding too. I also went barefoot with no veil.

  40. The dresses are AMAZING!!! I can't wait to see which dress you actually picked. Good for you for getting everything done early. I had my whole wedding planned within 3 months of getting engaged which gave me 10 months to relax! Looks like you'll be in the same boat!!!

  41. Eeeeeeekkk!!! :) YOU FOUND YOUR DRESS!! I saw that on Facebook and was beaming from ear to ear for you, sister!!!!! You are going to be a GORGE-OUS bride! And I still need to help you with engagement pic options yes!?? In allll your spare time...I was wondering IF- you would be up to revamping my blog look for me!?? NO RUSH! Can be a month or 3 from now!! I will pay whatever you ask too!!! Think about it! xoxoxoxo

  42. Hey C Mae- I'm a fairly new follower, I'm so excited to read about your beach wedding plans!

    I tagged you in a post! Hope you get a chance to re-post :)

  43. Your runner up dresses were absolutely amazing, I'm sure that your winner dress is the stuff that dreams are made of! Congratulations!!

  44. I love both of those dresses! I cannot wait to see the one you picked! I didnt cry when I found/bought my wedding dress either! I dont think I cried at all for anything wedding related. I guess im not sentimental like that either! You're going to be such a beautiful bride!!

  45. omg both dresses are gorgeous!!

  46. gorgeous! MS makes gorgeous dresses!! I can't wait to see the one you chose.

  47. ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!! so exciting!!! I'm so glad you found THE DRESS. They are all gorgeous, and you will of course look stunning!

    Don't worry, I didn't cry either until my momma started crying her eyes out :)

  48. how exciting!! I ended up booking the venue and finding a dress within the first week of being engaged =) I went to David's for my dress -- I know what you mean, I have had really bad experiences with other stores, but the one I went to where I bought my dress was amazing. I didn't cry and the dress I ended up loving looked TERRIBLE on the model in the magazine AND on the hanger lol!
    I'm so happy you found your dress =)

  49. I can't WAIT to see you in the dress that you picked!!! I know that it's going to be gorgeous!!!

  50. I had a similar experience to your grandpa/grandma store...I walked in, all of the dresses were old and weird looking. The sales guy asked my jean size, I told him and he said, "Um, I don't think so. You look bigger than that." I was seriously so shocked I didn't know what to say. My mom said, "I think we'll be leaving now" and we walked out. How horrible huh?!?!
    Then I went to a fabulous place like your second choice...it was amazing and that's where I found my dress!

    Yay for getting SO much done already!

  51. Those dresses are gorgeous! I'm excited to read along with your wedding planning journey. I had an 11 month engagement with my first marriage, and always said that the next time I get married, it will be a very short engagement - 6 months or less, but I know squishing all of the planning into half the time will be stressful, but worth it in the end!

  52. I just ran across your blog and had to say congrats! And love both the dresses!!

  53. i'm so glad you found your dress!! it takes some people a super long time so woohoo! i still am so in love with my maggie dress. it was love at first sight.

  54. Congratulations on finding your dress!!! Your runners up were gorgeous, so I'm sure the one you chose is stunning! I also had a bad experience with David's Bridal... The people there were just pain rude when I was wedding dress shopping!

  55. Congrats!! Finding the dress is a huge relief! I had the same problem at David's Bridal!!! I also ended up getting a Maggie Sottero gown! I love her dresses. They each are very different and elegant.

  56. I'm so late...but yay for finding the dress!! You are going to look amazing!! And I wore a Maggie S as well on our big day!! LOVED IT!!

  57. Congrats on your dress. I'm late joining in the conversation but found your site via pinterest. I'm getting married in October (hopefully) and I have not tried on a single dress so what you wrote was very informative for me. I'm going to look at a few places which sell Maggie S. Good luck on your beach wedding day! You'll look amazing!


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