RK Bridal doesn't take reservations, so we made sure to get there early, before the store opened, and we managed to get our names first on the list for wedding dresses, which meant we were the first group to be assigned a consultant. Our consultant was Olga, who was fantastic. I probably tried on a dozen dresses, which, added to the 2 dozen or so I'd tried on at the Running of the Brides, puts me way over the average for number of wedding dresses tired on (which I think is around 10-12). (Remember when I said I'd try on a couple dresses and pick a pretty one, and be done with it?)
The dresses - most of them - were gorgeous. It's a completely different thing, I realized, too, to try on a dress at an actual wedding dress store. (They use binder clips to hold the dress in place so you don't have to just imagine how it would look if it actually fit! Binder clips!)
My sister Laura got there late, and so she'd missed the first couple dresses I'd tried on. After I'd tried on my dozen or so, and ruled out several, I started over, trying on what was left a second time. I walked out of the dressing room, in a gown that my mom, sister Anna, and cousin Jamie had liked the first time, but which Laura was seeing for the first time. She instantly burst into tears.
That means that's the dress I'm supposed to wear, doesn't it?
It's not the dress I bought.
I spent a while going back and forth, eventually, between the dress that made Laura cry and the dress I ended up buying. Olga told me that the first was more "bridal" and the second more "sexy," but that's not really the way I saw it. Sure, the second is closer-fitting, and open-backed, but when I wore it, the feeling I had wasn't "sexy." (It wasn't "unsexy," either, of course.) It was "bridal." I could see myself walking down the aisle in that dress. I smiled a lot when I put it on. And when I imagined myself walking down the aisle in that dress, the image in my mind was of Ben waiting at the altar, not of the dress itself. It was a dress that I loved, that looked awesome, and that knew its proper place, being amazing while simultaneously getting out of the way to let me focus on what really mattered - my groom. The only thing that prevented me from choosing was that I was weighing the dress I loved against the dress everyone else loved. Once I realized that, the decision was easy. I picked the dress I loved.
Pictures after the break! (Dear Ben, Don't click this link. For real this time. Love, Kathleen)
The style is Allure 8764. The bottom layer is satin - thus the sheen - and the top is all lace, in ivory. If you look closely, the shoulders are asymmetrical. One has several flowers and a bow on it. I'm undecided on them. I may have one or all of the flowers removed when I get the dress altered. They annoyed me a little when trying it on, but now that I look at the pictures and see that they don't really stand out too much, I may be open to keeping them.
And to top it all off, I got free shoes! They were having a special wherein you could get free shoes if you bought them the same day you bought your dress. I got a pair of plain white satin shoes with a low heel. I was a little worried about just how low the heel was (it was really low), but they were just so much more comfortable than the shoes with a normal sized heel, and I decided that, in situations where no one will see my feet, I'd much prefer comfortable shoes. They're pretty, too, but they're also super comfortable. How awesome is that?