My dress. Oh my dress. It was what dreams were made of. It was nothing that I expected and everything that I wanted all wrapped into one. My first, and only, stop was at the sweetest bridal salon in Buckhead, Atlanta, Joan Pillow Bridal. The salon is small, warm and inviting. It was just my mom and our dear friend Andy with me and they were all that I needed and wanted there. Their two opinions mean the absolute world to me. I highly recommend to any bride, take a small crowd to try on gowns. It truly makes the moment more intimate and you're not overcome with too many opinions.
When we went, I was planning to "just look around", to "try on a few dresses to get an idea of what I wanted to wear". I knew what I did not want: lace. I knew what I wanted: tulle. Crazy things happen when you actually begin to try on gowns. You love things that you never though you would. You hate things that you pictured yourself walking down the aisle in. To me, tulle fell short of the WOW moment that I wanted to have. In particular, I tried on several Monique Lhuillier, as she is the queen of tulle, and I couldn't convince myself they were what I wanted. The dress that was the runner up, was fully fitted, fully lace. Crazy enough, it was by the same designer I chose, Anna Maier, Ulla-Maija Couture. My biggest issue was that I felt like every other bride, even as unique as the lace was. My best friend told me once, "if you have to add a belt to the dress, the dress is not enough," and that line was haunting me. I wanted something no one else had ever worn, and to me, as gorgeous as lace dresses are, they are tired and similar to everything everyone wears in my generation.
Tori, our wonderful stylist, brought out one last dress, also from the Anna Maier, Ulla-Maija Couture line. She didn't even take it out of the protective bag and said, "would you be willing to try something like this on?". I of course said yes without hesitation. When I came out in this gown, Andy said, "It is as if 100 trumpeters just announced you." I knew it was the one. It was breathtaking. It was comfortable It was everything I ever dreamed of. I didn't cry, I always assumed I would. But my mom did. She saved her tears as long as she could. Just like with your spouse, when you know...you just know.
On top of everything being perfect about this gown, I was able to meet the designer, Charles Bunstine II, in person at Joan Pillow. It was a day I will never forget. In addition to that, all Anna Maier brides receive a hand drawn sketch of their gown, with their wedding date on it. The lace on top of my dress was from Dior with hand stitched beads all over the top if it. The pleats were unexpected, classy and subtle. The ends bubbled and gave a flowing train that was not too much, but just the right amount. I still have dreams of this gown a year later. If my mom had not got it preserved and boxed up perfectly, I would be dancing around in it when I come home for Thanksgiving.
Until next time, stay tuned for the next piece of wedding detail!