One note: these dresses were all dresses I either liked or loved; if I had known that I was going to write a blog post about them, I would have tried on some truly awful ones just for fun, but I didn't! Most of these dresses were finalists, but I ended up finding the perfect dress somewhere else and bought it on the spot. Also, you'll notice that I mention that Noah helped me pick out my wedding dress. It will soon become clear that not having the groom see your wedding dress (and, further, not having him see you before the wedding) is a tradition that does not have any significance for me--and not just because we're already married. I loved having Noah be part of this process, and even if we had chosen not to do the civil ceremony we would still have bought a dress together and taken our photos before the ceremony, just like we're planning to do in October!
Explanations of the dresses, in order:
1. This was the only dress that we discounted right away because it just didn't look right. I think it was something about the tiny sleeves that made me look a little out of proportion. I liked the general style of the dress, but it's one of those things where you like it on someone else.
2. I LOVED this dress--particularly all that intricate detailing. It was pretty much a work of art. It didn't end up being a finalist, and I can't remember why. I'm guessing that it was the price, since a dress that detailed and beautiful is equally expensive. Also, my dad hated it, but I didn't know that when I did the rankings because I sent my parents the pictures later.
3. This one had mixed reviews among my helpers in wedding dress shopping (Sarah came with me, fulfilling her maid of honor duties, and Noah gladly agreed to tag along for a second opinion). Noah loved it, and Sarah didn't like it (though she came around). After looking at it for awhile, though, it kind of seemed like it clashed a bit with my skin color. It made my finalist list, but if I hadn't already chosen a dress I would probably bump it off and replace it with the second dress.
4. and 5. I'm lumping these together because they were so similar. This was the kind of style I mostly was leaning toward--light, lacy, and simple. At least one of these was a finalist.
6. This dress was the only one that actually fit me without having to be pinned. I liked it when I tried it on, but now I don't like it anymore. This is why it pays to not throw down money for something right away! I'm not sure why I don't like it--maybe because they way it fits makes it seem a little less elegant and a little more "I'm sexy and I know it".
7. This was pretty much our #1 choice. It was the first dress we tried on, and we didn't take pictures of it at first because Sarah was held up getting here and we forgot to bring a camera. (Sarah, being a good maid of honor, remembered all the stuff I forgot.) So after we finished trying on all the dresses, we tried this one on again and loved it just as much. If I hadn't already bought a dress, I'd probably buy this one. My wedding dress muse was my friend Halley, who got married last year and wore the most beautiful dress I'd ever seen. This one reminded me the most of hers--so no wonder it was my top choice. ;-)
8. This dress was just an astoundingly gorgeous dress. It also weighed about 20 pounds and had a huge cathedral-length train. I fell in love with it, and if I were getting married at the National Cathedral it would be perfect. But for a casual outdoor wedding, it just didn't fit the occasion.
So, what is my real wedding dress like? I guess you'll have to wait until October to find out! :-)