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I’m a Bride…smaid!

IMG_9420.jpgOur postwoman dropped off this package with my name on it today. I’m going to be a bridesmaid!

Bridesmaid S is one half of our Crossfit Doppelganger Couple. We all started dating at the same time, which then led to several double dates and a great friendship. About a year ago, Bridesmaid S got an out-of-state job offer she couldn’t refuse, and so our Doppelganger Couple moved halfway across the country.

We were sad. So we did what all long-distance doppel couples do, and immediately planned a vacation together. A vacation which turned out to be more than just a vacation!

Bridesmaid S played a crucial role in Tait’s proposal. See, the proposal wasn’t a total suprise. After all, we had shopped for my ring together and discussed timelines, so I knew the proposal was imminent. But the exact deets were a mystery to me. I made one request of Tait – to “make sure that I look pretty.” As 90% of my wardrobe is leggings and tank tops, this might have been a bit too strong of a request.

And so Tait found himself scheming with Bridesmaid S to craft the perfect proposal. Trying to fulfill my requirement, he considered somewhere down by the water after dinner, but Bridesmaid S immediately shot that down.

Tait: “But she said I have to make sure she looks pretty.”Bridesmaid S: “Sophia always looks pretty.”

And with those fateful words, my fate was sealed. Tait decided that there could be nothing more appropriate than proposing while on a hike in a national park. And Bridesmaid S decided that there could be nothing more appropriate than me being proposed to while dressed head to toe in Lululemon. And really, I couldn’t argue on either account.

Besides, I had a secret I was keeping from Bridesmaid S. Her boyfriend was also planning a proposal, and we had been helping him to pick out a diamond. Several months later he popped the question in Central Park. She was wearing shorts, sneakers, and a tank top.

I couldn’t be more excited to have the honor of standing up with them on their wedding day – which will be two weeks before ours! Their dream venue had just one date left for 2017, and it was two weeks before our wedding. They reached out to us to ask if that would work, and we of course said yes. If seems only fitting that we started dating simultaneously, and get married together as well. Plus, it’s going to be so much fun to have someone to talk non-stop wedding with who won’t try to gag me plan with!

June 2017 will be a crazy month for sure, but I can’t wait!

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Oh, USPS

Early Friday morning, I finally had time to take our Save the Dates to the post office. I wanted to take them in in person to request that they be hand-cancelled. While the internet seems torn over whether magnets can be machined or not, I figured that it would serve as a good trial run to see if my local post office would actually hand cancel or not – there are more than a few stories on the internet of post employees saying they’ll hand cancel mail, only to find out it was machine cancelled instead. Since I’m contemplating hand calligraphy for our invites, I absolutely do not want them machine cancelled (which can mess up calligraphy), so I’m interested to see if my post office was trustworthy. The STDs are likely ok to run through the machine – so I figured it was a low-risk experiment.

So at 9:30am Friday morning, I took our STDs over to the post office, and kindly requested that they be hand cancelled. The postal service worker kindly agreed, noting that she coudln’t do it at that moment, but would get them done throughout the day. So I thanked her, left the box behind, and crossed my fingers.

And then requested that my mother and sister send a pic of the envelope when it arrives to see what really happened to them.

IMG_4964.jpgWell – my mother’s arrived today and…they were hand cancelled and machine cancelled. Really, USPS?

I can’t fault the postal service employee who I gave them to – she clearly took the time to hand cancel them as promised. But that apparently didn’t stop them from being machine cancelled as well (which, if you look at the top edge of the envelope, was none too kind).

We get it, no one is EVER using that stamp again.

Guess I’ll be coming up with a new strategy for invitations.

 

STDs: Making Of

No, this post is not about contracting venereal diseases (which I’ve learned that all the kids these days call STIs). It’s about making our save the dates!

While our Save the Dates are waiting to go to the post office, I thought I’d share the process and labor that went into making them.

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Minted: “Statement”

 

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Minted: “Belle Memoire Landscape”
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Minted: “Love Line”

From the start, we knew we wanted large magnets. I loved several magnet designs from Minted – but at $2.45 each, 100 magnets was way more than I wanted to spend on Save the Dates. I checked a few other wedding paper vendors, but most magnets were on the small side. Introducing: Vistaprint.

 

Vistaprint is not your typical wedding stationer. They offer a few wedding-specific designs for invitations and save the dates, but their main line of business is promotional materials for businesses. And since business products typically mean high-volume orders, VP is way cheaper than wedding paper companies  – 100 postcard-sized magnets are only $95.00, compared with Minted’s $245 price tag. Additionally, it seems that you can always find a Vistaprint coupon for at least 40% off your entire order. The only problem? I wasn’t super crazy about any of VP’s STD designs.

And then I had That Thought that so many brides come to regret – “Maybe I can DIY.” Not entirely DIY – I would leave the actually printing to Vistaprint (whose price tag I could get on board with) – but DIY the design for our STDs. So I downloaded a copy of Adobe Illustrator and gave it a shot.

First, we needed to choose a photo. I had a few criteria:

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Not equally “present” in the photo.
  • We were both equally “present” in the photo. While there were several amazing pictures where one of us looked towards the camera while the other looked away, or you saw one of our faces but the other person’s back, I wanted our STD to represent US – equally. So either we both look at the camera, or both look away, and neither of us have our backs turned (unless we both do).

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    Not enough “room” for text. The dark foliage with light shirts combo becomes problematic for both black and white text.
  • There is “room” in the picture where I can overlay text without covering us. Again, we had so many great shots that just wouldn’t work for our STD without someone’s face being covered by our URL – and I love both our faces too much for that.

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    We are equally present, there’s plenty of room, but Tait didn’t like himself in it.Tait’s eyes were hurting, and he felt that he was grimacing in the picture.
  • Tait had to love the picture. I needed to love it, too, but as I did the first pull of pictures, I only selected ones I loved to begin with. As Tait often reminds me, I’m far less critical of how he looks in pictures than he is of himself – I suppose I’m biased and always think he looks super handsome. But I didn’t want a picture that while I think he looks great, he feels differently.

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We decided on this one of us walking together. I love the ease of it  – it such a Happily In Love picture. Not to mention the lighting is just beautiful (I mean, really – look at the highlight on my hair).

Once we had the picture chosen, it was just the simple matter of artistically adding some text. Using those graphic design skills that I don’t have. While I wasn’t willing to pay Minted’s prices, I loved many of their designs, so I looked back to Minted for inspiration.

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Minted: “Gallery Classic”

I wanted something simple that wouldn’t compete with our picture, but with a unique touch. “Gallery Classic” stood out – I can’t resist a good swash, and the curved names elevated the design above just a pretty font.

no comma.jpgI downloaded the font “Business Penmanship” and got to work spending far too many hours playing around in Illustrator. I can’t even tell you how many different font combinations, microadjustments, and text variations I tried (comma? no comma? 20-point? 18-point? invitation to follow?). Eventually, you have to decide it’s “good enough” and give up.

I uploaded the final design to Vistaprint, and did a quick Google search to discover a 50% off coupon. 100 postcard magnets for…$47.51. Even after tax and shipping, the total came to a whopping $62.58. Can we say #winning?

Another point for Vistaprint – they arrived fast. My confirmation email estimated 8 business days…they arrived in 3. Under promise, over deliver – nicely done, VP. In fact, the only negative thing I can say about my Vistaprint experience comes down to the envelopes. The order included 100 free envelopes, which I was initially excited about. I mean, who doesn’t like free things? But the envelopes, in addition to being very thin (which I expected), had very small back flaps (which I didn’t expect). So small that it is not possible to write or print a return address on them, let alone use our embosser.

Now, I recognize that I can’t really complain about the quality of the envelopes I didn’t pay for. And I certainly did not expect high quality fine envelopes for free, but I thought they would at least be usable. I hate waste. Had I known that the envelopes flaps were so small, I would have chosen “no envelopes” at checkout. Instead, there are now approximately 90 envelopes sitting in our paper recycling pile, as I can even justify holding onto them for something else (I was able to use about 10 of the envelopes for test printing and foiling). So my feedback to VP – be more transparent about the quality of the “free” envelopes so consumers can make a better informed choice.

All said, the envelopes were a rather minor setback. Thanks to Amazon, I was able to procure 100 white A2 envelopes with standard flaps in 2 days for $10.94 (I love Prime). The envelopes were nothing special, but they would easily run through my laser printer and accommodate our return address embosser. Done.

After one last run through our guest list, I used the date merge function in InDesign to create envelopes from our Excel file. Then I patiently fed the envelopes one by one through our laser printer, because my handwriting would ensure the STDs would never arrive.

IMG_8553.jpgBeing me, I couldn’t leave it there. Black text (even pretty black text) on a white envelope is just a bit too boring for my tastes. A couple months ago, I purchased a Heidi Swapp Minc Mini (aka fancy laminator) and some rose gold colored toner reactive foil. Rose gold is one of our wedding colors (we will have rose gold foiled invitations), and I wanted to incorporate it into the STDs in some way. So I decided to foil all the names on our envelopes to make them a little more special and pretty.

This was easier said than done. In theory, one simply cuts a piece of foil to size, lays it on top of the text to be foiled, runs it through the machine, and ta da! Perfectly foiled envelope. In reality, it was a bit trickier than that.

IMG_8552.jpgFirst challenge: the machine works by using pressure and heat to adhere the foil to the toner on the envelope. You know what pressure and heat also does really well? Seals envelopes. The machine was really good at heating the glue on the envelope seal and gluing them shut – without the magnets inside (and you can’t run it through with the magnets inside). The envelope couldn’t fit through the Minc Mini with the flap open. I tried placing a piece of wax paper under the flap, but it just glued to the wax paper instead. Finally, I trimmed a piece of plastic carrier sheet (the plastic folders you stick the envelopes in to run them through the Minc) and tucked it under the envelope flap. That did the trick! The envelope still stuck to the plastic, but only a little bit, and the carrier sheet could be easily pulled off the flap with no damage. Problem 1: solved.

IMG_8551.jpgThe second challenge I faced was wanting to only foil some of the envelope. The entire address was printed using toner, but I only wanted to foil the name. So I placed foil over the name, stuck it in the carrier sheet, put in through the Minc, and…pulled it out to find that the uncovered toner had partially transferred to the carrier sheet. The envelope itself was just fine for the lost toner – but the carrier sheet was ruined, as well as any subsequent envelopes put into the carrier sheet – the toner would transfer back from the carrier sheet to the new envelope, leaving a ghost image of the previous address. In other words, a mess. The obvious solution is to just foil the entire address. And why not? Since when is more rose gold ever a bad thing? Unfortunately, the USPS specifically notes that addresses need to be non-reflective to be deliverable. Womp womp. But I wasn’t giving up on my rose gold envelope dreams just yet. Fortunately, thanks again to Amazon, I was able to get some new transfer sheets. Then I cut up rectangles of plain white paper to cover the non-foiled part of the address. So when the envelope was put into the Minc, all toner was covered, either by foil or paper. The paper had the same issue as the transfer sheet – it was fine on round one (the toner from the envelope would transfer to the paper), but had the same issue as the transfer sheet on round two (the toner would transfer back to the new envelope). Luckily, unlike the plastic transfer sheet, we could afford to use a new rectangle of paper to cover the non-foiled part of the address for each envelope. Problem 2: solved.

IMG_8558.jpgIMG_8554.jpgIMG_8560.jpgSo after much cutting, foiling, and patience, I manged to foil the names on all 90-some of our envelopes. After that, it was simply a process of embossing our return address, stuffing the envelopes, and sealing them shut using our glue pen (the envelopes are pre-glued, but I’ve always found using a glue pen to be much more dependable – plus, I’m not into licking envelopes). Oh, and stamping them.

IMG_8564.jpgIn case you haven’t heard, 2016 is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Tait and I have a thing for the NPS and our parks. So when I heard that the USPS was releasing a set of 16 stamps with images of our National Parks to celebrate the birthday, I HAD to have those stamps for our STDs. So one day I left early on my way to go teach and stopped by the post office and waited in line for 45 minutes to get the NPS stamps. Except they didn’t have them (and the most frustrating part – there’s no one who is willing to tell you that they don’t have them until after you’ve waited in line for 45 minutes). Le sigh.

IMG_8568.jpgThey are available to purchase online through the USPS website, but they charge shipping. Yes, the USPS charges shipping to deliver their very own stamps, so that you can pay them to deliver your mail. Ugh. In any case, I was not about to wait in line at another post office and risk not obtaining the stamps again, so I just sucked it up and purchased the stamps online. And I’m so glad I got them. I know most people won’t notice the stamp, but they feel special nonetheless and very much “us”.

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And that’s it! Our magnet STDs are complete! The price breakdown:

  • Magnets: $62.58
  • Envelopes: $10.94
  • Foil: $10.42
  • Postage: $54.39

For a total cost of, $138.33*. That’s $1.38 each – almost half the price of the Minted magnets alone.

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*Note that the price breakdown does not include the Minc machine itself.

Save the Date!

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Now that we’re under the 1-year mark, we can finally send out our Save the Dates!

Why the wait, you may ask? Because paranoia.

As people whose calendars fill up very far in advance, we’re all for getting our wedding info out there right away (afterall, we’ve had our date on lockdown since mid-February). But as someone who has read way too much of the internet, I’ve become a wee bit paranoid.

It seems that when you send out wedding correspondence over a year out, sometimes people get…confused. They either don’t look at the year on your save the date, or forget what year it currently is, but either way the result is the same – people think the wedding that is 13 months away, is happening in a mere 4 weeks.

So in an attempt to head off any confusion of this type, I made a rule that we wouldn’t send our Save the Dates until we were less than a year from the wedding – or even better yet – July, just to be safe.

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So this past week I’ve been printing and foiling and embossing and stuffing and sealing and stamping our Save the Dates. And as crazy as it sounds to put all that work into making a pretty envelope that most people won’t even take notice of before ripping it open and unceremoniously tossing it into the trash, I love them. And Tait just laughs and says he loves me.

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But they’re done and now just need to be dropped off at the post office to be ruined hand cancelled.

Engagement Reel

As you might recall, we got our engagement pics on Friday…but not before we left for a weekend camping trip in the Land of No Service.

They…are incredible. Totally different from the stressed-out disaster day that I remember it being. It’s taken me over a week to write this post because I’ve just been clicking through the gallery over and over. There are just so many photos that make me smile that it seemed impossible to choose a handful to share here (seriously, I favorited over 200 pics).

Are there pics I don’t love? Of course. There are some that I look at and say, “Ugh, my arms look so fat,” or “I have triple chins,” or “I’m making the weirdest face.” I think the most frustrating ones are where I look at my make-up and you can see a clear line where the make-up artist failed to blend the foundation that’s three shades too dark along my jawline. But for all the ones that I look at wrinkle my nose, there are five that melt my heart.

I simply cannot recommend Pat Robinson Photography enough. Pat is so much fun to work with, his pictures are stunning, and he’s fast! Shoot on Sunday, and pics ready Friday? Yes, please.

Without further ado, here are a few of our favorites (it was so hard to choose)!PR2_2153.jpgPR2_2161.jpgPR2_2193.jpgPR2_2119.jpgPR2_2245.jpgPR2_2213.jpgPR2_2348.jpgPR2_1523.jpgPR2_1656.jpgPR2_1757.jpgPR2_1878.jpgPR2_1902.jpgPR2_2023.jpgPR2_2274.jpgPR2_2290.jpgPR2_2364.jpgPR2_2408.jpg

Pat even humored us with a handstand (fail) picture. Because #handstandseverywhere.

Father’s Day Dress Shopping

I don’t know how many Dads and Uncles go to wedding dress appointments, let alone look forward to them – but mine do! We spent a very special Father’s Day discussing lace, veils, belts, and necklines. I’m truly blessed to have such supportive (and indulgent) guys in my life.

So at 11am, we headed over to Claire’s Bridal in Wilmington. After my recent David’s Bridal disaster, I had a better idea of what I was looking for in a gown: all lace, no bling, not a ball gown. I have no strong feelings about neckline, and am open to color.

Yes, color.

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My mother’s face when I mentioned color.

Just to clarify – I’m talking blush and champagne. I’m not ruling out white, just opening up the possibilities.

My mother, on the other hand, wanted me in a white ball gown, preferably not strapless.

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What my mother wanted.

While I love a ball gown, outdoor woodsy mountain wedding in the summer? Not ball gown territory.

I tried on several different gowns from Allure, David Tutera, and Stella York. Despite the opinion of the David’s Bridal stylist, it was pretty clear almost immediately that a fitted silhouette was the right direction.

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Pretty and ethereal, but not right.

I tried on one A-line lace and tulle gown for my sister – a lace bodice and tulle skirt was my sister’s dream dress, had she had a warm-weather wedding (alas, she wore a white ball gown for her winter wedding, and it was absolute perfection). My dad called this one the “naked dress.” The nude underlay was too much of a perfect match for my skin tone, and the lace illusion neckline (it wasn’t strapless!) disappeared too easily. An easy no.

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The first fitted gown was a shimmery champagne strapless lace and tulle mermaid. Now, I love a good sequined dress. But in a wedding gown – not so much. And while the tulle bottom was pretty, I was still stuck on a full lace gown in my head.

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Can we cut the sleeves off?

 

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Not supportive enough to alter to strapless.

Dress two was a heartbreaker. The lace was so pretty, and there were sighs all around when I walked out of the fitting room. But I hated the cap sleeve on me. And unfortunately, it couldn’t be altered to strapless due to the low back; there simply wasn’t enough structural support.

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Lacy Perfection
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Allure Romance 2966

We tried everything: Does Allure make any other styles with this lace? No. Will Allure substitute this lace on another similar lace gown? No.

Allure will sell the lace separately. I could buy an entirely different dress, and enough of this lace to cover that dress, and then have the dress custom made by a seamstress – but this would be roughly the equivalent of THREE dresses. So another no.

Sigh. This was a hard one to let go of.

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Nothing to dislike…
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…but also nothing special.

I couldn’t find a single thing wrong with this gown. It was lacy, it was flattering, it didn’t have cap sleeves. But it wasn’t the one. It was vanilla ice cream – nothing to complain about, but just so ordinary. It wasn’t special.

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Gorgeous lace back…
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…which is entirely covered by my hair.

So I tried a gown with a lacy back for that “special” element. While the back was gorgeous, I plan to wear my hair down – which would cover all the beautiful back detailing.

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More cap sleeves…
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…with a low back.
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Hate the plunge neckline…
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…but the lace is pretty.
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Halter neck? No, thanks.

And so played Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Wedding Dress Edition.

Luckily, like Goldilocks, there was one that turned out to be juuust right.

I found the gown!

When I walked out of the dressing room, my Dad immediately said “That’s the one.” It’s not a big white ball gown, but even my mother admits that it’s perfect.

…But I didn’t buy the gown.

I’m not second-guessing; I don’t need more time to think about it. I just can’t bring myself to pay full price when I know I can get a discount. The salon is having an Allure trunk show at the end of August, and if you purchase your dress during the trunk show you get 10% off. Since I started dress shopping a year out, I have some time to spare before I have to order a dress (I thought I would need that extra time to try on a hundred more dresses). So I have an appointment to return in August, and we’ll make things official.

Until then…you’ll just have to wait to find out which gown I chose. I’m not quite ready to share pictures of my dress. Maybe I’ll reconsider, but right now I’m enjoying keeping the dress a bit of secret.

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Chinet Napkin

But I won’t leave you completely empty-handed. Here’s the “Worst Dress of the Day.”

 

Squat Like a Girl

Dropped in at Frontline Crossfit today for open gym. Right now, we’re in the middle of a 5×5 back squat cycle, and I missed getting them done on Thursday because I had to teach.

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5×5 at 135#. Gettin swole before froufy dress shopping tomorrow!

365 Days To Go

PR2_1805.jpgIn one year, I get to marry this guy ❤️

Photo credit: Pat Robinson Photography

 

Why David’s Bridal is The Worst

I haven’t exactly spent years of my life envisioning what my wedding gown would look like. Sure, I’ve probably watched every episode of Say Yes to the Dress – but it was really an excuse to be snarky over brides spending 15k on a Pnina Tournai gown that looks like it came out of a Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog (I mean, seriously?!? Who spends that kind of money on rhinestone nipple shields?!?)

So while I am excited to go dress shopping, I’m also kinda not excited because I have no idea where to start, and the choices seem overwhelming…and I have a problem making decisions without feeling like I’ve explored all my options (in Gladwellian terminology, I’m often a maximizer rather than a satisficer). In the world of wedding dresses, trying on ALL the options is just not possible. Still, I’m convinced I will be one of those brides that will try on over a hundred gowns before finding settling on one – and that sounds both frustrating and exhausting. Mind you, I don’t typically have issues shopping. But so much importance is placed on finding the Perfect Dress that it’s just a wee bit intimidating.

All this is to say that so far, my strategy for wedding dress hunting has been to just not think about it. Which was working amazingly well…until now. This weekend, my Aunt and Uncle are coming in from out-of-town to go dress shopping. My Aunt had no daughters of her own, and has generously offered to purchase my dress. So we have a big shopping trip planned with my Aunt, Uncle, Mom, Dad, and sister (my matron of honor). And so I realized I to address the Dress Problem.

Off to David’s Bridal! My mission was to at least figure out what silhouette worked best for my body, so I wouldn’t be completely clueless come Sunday. I made a 4:30pm appointment at the David’s Bridal in Manhattan. I arrived at 4:15, checked-in, and was told my stylist would be with me at 4:30.

At 4:40, I was still waiting. I spoke with the woman at the front, and she told me my stylist would be a few more minutes. At 4:50, I was still waiting. I spoke with the woman at the front again, and was once more told it would be a few minutes. The conversation went something like the following:

Me: Hi, I have a 4:30 appointment. I’m wondering when my stylist will be ready.

DB: A few more minutes.

Me: That’s what you told me 10 minutes ago. My appointment is now 20 minutes late.

DB: She’ll be with you in a few more minutes, have a seat.

Me: So like 5 minutes?

DB: A few minutes.

Me: Could you ask her?

DB: She’ll be ready when she’s ready.

Me: I would like to know how long before she’s ready. My appointment was for 4:30. It is now 22 minutes late, and I would like to know how much later it will be.

DB: We never start our appointments on time. Just like anywhere you go, an appointment starts when it starts, it don’t never start on time, it don’t matter your appointment time.

Me: Actually, most places you make an appointment, and you’re asked to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early precisely so that the appointment can get started on time. That’s the purpose of making an appointment. What you just explained to me is that you knowingly planned to waste my time. If I had known my 4:30 appointment didn’t actually start until 5:00, I wouldn’t have bothered showing up until 5:00. I want to know when my stylist will be ready. If you can’t find that out, then I’ll just go ask her myself.

A Different DB Associate: I’ll go ask.

I kid you not – David’s Bridal actually said to me that they “never start [their] appointments on time.” I understand that sometimes stuff happens, appointments run late, etc. But I expect for that to be the exception, not the rule, and I expected a certain level of customer service whereby a corporation apologies for the inconvenience and attempts to address the situation proactively. I do not appreciate when my time is knowingly and intentionally wasted.

At 5:03pm, my 4:30 appointment finally began. The experience did not get any more impressive. First, I was asked 20 questions about my bridal party (how many bridesmaids, colors, venue, etc). As I told my stylist, this is not a bridesmaid appointment and that information seems irrelevant. As we’re already running over 30 mins behind schedule, I would prefer to focus on my dress and not the bridesmaids who aren’t here. Then, I was handed the bridal book to look through – which I handed back, explaining that I had already looked through it during the time I was waiting. After another frustrating back and forth where I explained this was my first time shopping and I’d like to try on a variety of styles, and the stylist finally pulled four different silhouettes for me to try.

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First up, an A-Line gown. I think it looked better in person than in photos. If you asked me before I tried anything on what silhouette would be the most flattering on my pear-shaped frame, this is what I would have guessed. In person, while it looked fine, it was also a bit of a snooze.

 

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Next, I tried what DB dubbed a fit-n-flare (turns out definitions of Fit-n-Flare, Mermaid, and Trumpet all vary between designers). I was surprised. I never wear dresses fitted through my hips, as that’s my “problem area” that I usually hide with a full skirt – but I actually kinda liked it (not this particular dress).

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Oh, the classic princess ball gown. I have no desire to be a princess. But I can’t deny my love of a good ballgown. Firstly, they’re flattering on everyone (ok, maybe not petites), and make your waist look super tiny. Secondly, they’re just fun! I mean really, how often do you get to wear such a ridiculously large dress?

So of course I tried on a ball gown. And the silhouette was just a lovely as I expected. I pranced around the store, twirled, swooshed side to side, and even sat down in all the tulle glory. And then I took it off. Because as beautiful and bridal as the ballgown is, I also knew that it wasn’t the right silhouette for our wedding. We’re getting married outside, in the mountains, in the middle of summer – not in a ballroom – and I wanted my dress to reflect that. A ballgown is just too much dress.

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I decided to go the opposite direction and try on a mermaid. After the success of the fit-n-flare, I wanted to go whole hog and see what a very fitted gown looked like. Shock. Before this appointment, I would have never suspected I could pull of a mermaid, let alone that it might be one of the most flattering silhouettes on my figure.

In truth, I’ve always been a bit prejudiced against mermaids. It might be all those aforementioned episodes of Say Yes to the Dress in which everyone wants a mermaid and they’re all gaudy as fuck. So when I put this on and realized that not only can I pull it off with my hips, but that you kinda need hips to work a mermaid, my entire wedding dress world changed.

The one thing I knew going into this appointment was that I wanted lace. Some of the most beautiful all-lace gowns are fitted silhouettes – something about the combination is just so romantic. But since I didn’t think I have the figure to pull off a fitted silhouette, I had pretty much written off images of all lace gowns, supposing I’d settle for a lace bodice with a tulle skirt. Now, all-lace gowns were back on the table!

At this point, we need to pause for a moment and re-examine the picture of the mermaid dress. In particular, note the expression of the stylist who is standing to my right in the photo. Ok, with that in mind, let’s continue our narrative.

Armed with this new-found confidence in mermaids, I asked my stylist if she could pull a few more mermaids for me to try. The stylist”s response: “An A-line is better for you.” That’s right, my David’s Bridal stylist essentially told me that I’m wrong (and fat?) and shouldn’t wear anything fitted. But as my mother would have reminded me, I’m the one wearing the dress, not her, so I have to be happy, not her. So I asked again to see another mermaid.

The stylist came back with 1 gown, puts it on and laces it up, and…it’s an A-line. The fucking bitch brought me an A-line.

I again ask her to bring a few mermaids. She disappears, I go to wait in the fitting room. About 5 minutes later she knocks on the door,”Are you still in there?””Yep.” “Ok, I’ll be out here when you’re ready.” Confused, I pop out of the dressing room and see she has no dresses. “I thought you were bring more dresses?” “No, your appointment is over, I have another appointment now.” It’s 5:45.

David’s Bridal appointments are scheduled to be 90 minutes long. Mine was schedule for 4:30 until 6:00. Just to recap, it started 33 minutes late. And now they were kicking me out 15 minutes early. That is AFTER the stylist shamed me about my body shape, put me in a dress that I said I didn’t want to try on, and then refused to bring out the dress that I requested.

Thanks, David’s Bridal. The experience was certainly unforgettable. Btw, you’re The Worst.

The one positive of this whole experience was that I learned what I was hoping to learn – I figured out what silhouettes look good on me, and so now I have a starting point for the big dress shopping trip this weekend. Eeek!

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