Wedding Wednesday: Trying on THE Dress

Last week while I was home  in Chicago I had the much-anticipated task of wedding dress shopping.

For weeks, I had been nervous about these appointments. I didn’t have a clear idea in my head of what I was going to look like on my wedding day, so I went into these appointments blind.

My first appointment was at a boutique in Lincoln Park, Chicago called Weddings 826. The set-up was perfect for our first appointment since it is a huge room filled with bags and bags of dresses that we were able to pull right off the rack.

My mom and sister Hannah (my other sister Nellie was already back at school in Kentucky) came with and served as my panel of judges. We were told we had exactly one hour in the dressing room and so as soon as the timer started the three of us went crazy grabbing dozens and dozens of bagged dresses.

What I hadn’t really thought through was the fact that I had to get naked with the dress attendant. (So word to the wise, wear some good underwear). We went into a closed off section in the large room and she told me to strip down.  It was a little awkward just standing there basically in the buff while she took each dress out of the bag – but after the first five dresses I finally got used to it.

With every dress that I tried on we started to started to get an idea of what looked good and what did not. We quickly determined a few things that were not going to be a part of the winning dress:

A dropped waist:


Or Straps:

With all of the No’s, we were led to the ingredients that did work: strapless, sweetheart neckline, A-line, a long train, slight ruching, and an off white color.

After three dozen dresses, I finally put on one that worked. It met all of my criteria and looked good. It needed a few additional alterations to make it the dress that I wanted, but I felt great in it. The attendant took my measurements, but I just wasn’t ready to bite the bullet after one round of tryouts, so we left for lunch and decided to sleep on it.


I wasn’t looking forward to Round Two of shopping the very next day. I felt like I had picked the winner and didn’t want to go through the whole ordeal again but thankfully my mom pushed me to give it one more shot and so off to Volle’s in Lake Zurich we went.

We got to our room and unlike Weddings 826, the attendant picked the dresses for me after I told her what I had liked from the day previously. She brought out about ten and off my clothes went.
The first dress I put on made us all certain that we were in for a  tough decision. The dress was perfect. It was everything about the dress from the day before, but more. And it felt like me.  As I told my mom, “If I were a wedding dress, this is what I would look like”.

The attendant forced me out of the dress and into a few more, but after about six others I really wanted to put the first dress back on.

She clipped me in and told me to get comfortable in it. As my sister tried on Bridesmaids dresses, I sat in my dress. I could move, dance, twirl – and I didn’t want to stop looking at the mirror. The dress is simple but classic, and is everything I didn’t know I wanted in my wedding dress.

I even got a little teary eyed as I stood on the pedestal looking at myself as a real bride. It was the first time since I’ve been engaged that I was truly overcome with the fact that I will be the one walking down the aisle on June 22nd’, 2013 – and I’ll be doing it in this dress.

**This post is also featured on TheKnot so come check out here too!**


  1. Girl, this post makes me so giddy for you! Eek! I loved that feeling of finally feeling like a BRIDE. It's the best! I cannot wait to see the dress and how gorgeous you look on your wedding day!

    AND I was totally weirded out that you have to get practically naked with the consultants! Some of them I had to go in the dressing rooms with my mom AND sister AND the consultant and strip down. SO AWKWARD FOR EVERYONE.

  2. So glad you found THE dress! I know it will be a while before we're able to see it, but I cannot wait. :)

  3. Aw yay! So glad you found the one! It didn't take me long to find out what I liked, but I also went in knowing what I did not want. haha

  4. Oh my gosh, this made me tear up a little bit!! I can't believe you found THE DRESS. You make wedding planning seem like so much fun!!

  5. SO excited for you! I'm sure your dress is a stunner but you'll look gorgeous no matter what you wear : )

  6. You found a dress?!? YAY! I seriously can't wait to hear all about it!! You are going to be the most beautiful bride. :)

  7. Squeee!!! YAY for dress shopping and finding THE ONE!

  8. Ahhh, can't wait to see your dress! It sounds like we have very similar taste- I wanted a sweetheart neckline, ivory color, long train, full skirt. I think having the dress ordered makes the wedding feel so much more "real." Congrats on checking a BIG item off your list :)

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  10. YAY, YOU FOUND THE DRESS! I cannot wait to see it!