EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth part in an online-onlyseries by two Gazette staffers who are each planning their ownwedding this year. Editor Ashleigh Oldland is getting married thisApril in Dana Point, and Staff Writer Stephanie Minasian is gettingmarried this August with a ceremony in Huntington Beach and areception in Long Beach.
For someone who loves to shop as much as I do, I was extremelynervous before I went to look at wedding dresses last weekend.
It was a whole event. My mom flew down from Northern California,and I had four of my seven bridesmaids with me to make it a party.They came prepared, and brought two bottles of champagne andglasses to toast if I found the one.
My heart was pounding, and my chest hurt from the stress, but Iknew I was surrounded by the most amazing women I know, and thatwas comforting.
As a bride on a budget, I went to a popular bridal store withgreat deals. Slipping on the first dress, I stepped up on thepedestal and looked in the mirror. Everyone gasped, and I could seemy mom starting to lose it. It wasn’t the one, but after two otherdresses, I came out and I heard the champagne pop.
My mom was moved to tears, and the girls screamed that this wasit.
I really loved the dress. It fit perfectly and matched mypersonality – there was nothing wrong with it, so I should get it,right? The store was a whirlwind, with girl after girl coming outof the dressing rooms and taking turns admiring themselves in themirror. It wasn’t intimate, and I felt rushed.
I suggested we break for lunch and move on to the next store -another budget friendly retailer with what I imagined would have abetter atmosphere.
When we arrived at the second bridal store, I walked into abridezilla war zone. A group of girls were shouting profanities ateach other, threatening to kick each other out of the wedding andcausing everyone to feel extremely uncomfortable. I wanted to walkright out the door, but I decided to try on dresses. Everythingseemed like it was forced. My girls’ energies were depleted and Iwas worried that I dragged them out all day for an unsuccessfulshopping trip.
I was looking for that instant spark, and never found it -untilMonday rolled around.
My mom and I decided to try one more store with just the two ofus. I called a fancy bridal boutique in Orange County and told themmy budget, and that I was curious if they could accommodate me.They told me to come over immediately.
The store was like a dream. Crystal chandeliers lit up thebridal rooms, and I met with friendly staff. The couture dresseshung like sculptures in an art gallery. I knew I was going to walkout with a dress.
My consultant told me that she had several designer samples thatwere up to 85% off that I could try on. After putting on the seconddress, my mom and I began to cry a little, and I knew it was theone.
The dress was from a few seasons ago, so they sold it to me formore than 85% off the retail price. I was so floored, I decided tosplurge on a hand-made satin veil and pearl and Swarovski Crystalearrings.
I’m so happy I decided to look around before I settled on adress. I’ll be walking down the aisle in a couture gown that Inever imagined I could afford. I can’t wait until he lays eyes onme.