Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I have 3 wedding dresses.

{All photos courtesy of J.Crew}

None of these are mine, but aren't they gorgeous? So, why do I have three wedding dresses, you ask? That's a great question. It all started in Oct. 2008 when I found my dream dress. Or at least what I thought was my dream dress. I had torn pictures out of magazines, had screen grabs on my desktop and had numerous daydreams about this so-called "dream dress". I had been to Madeleine's Daughter and Priscilla of Boston (where I found dress #2) before finding it at L'Elite in Boston. I had some silly, ruffly dress on when I noticed another bride-to-be wearing the dress. I squealed in excitement! I had found it. As soon as I tried it on both my mom and I knew it was the one and in less than 3 minutes I had changed out of it and was putting down a deposit. I was thrilled to say the least.

In February 2009 Sam and I went down to pick up the dress. I tried it on for her and before I'd even stepped out of the dressing room I was crushed. I don't know if it was my pasty white skin that had lost its summer glow or the five pounds I had gained over the holidays, but something was off. It hadn't occurred to me until months later that it was possible the dress never looked all that good on me to begin with. I had been so excited to find my dream dress that it never crossed my mind that it might not be the most flattering dress on me. Of course Sam did what any good friend would do and told me I looked gorgeous and that it was the mid-winter blues, the lighting in the salon and the fact that the dress needed to be altered that was keeping me from feeling beautiful. She's a good liar, that Sam.

I listened to her and brought the dress home and left it in my parent's guest room to deal with later. Several months before the original wedding date I sulked into Sam's office (this is pre-retail store... back when we worked at Rumbletree) in tears. I had lost some weight, been to the tanning booth and still felt like an ugly duckling in my dress. What was I going to do? And then I remembered my #2: the dress at Priscilla's that was beautiful, but expensive and not quite what I was looking for. I tried to find it used, but had no luck. Again, I put it out of my mind and all of a sudden it was June and we were postponing the wedding (read this if you haven't heard the story). Dress disaster avoided. Thanks, mom.

So... this is getting to be a long story. Sorry! Now it's November 2009 and I randomly google #2 to see if anyone is selling it used. I am horrified to learn that dress #2 has been discontinued! They are no longer making it. Damn! You know how people say when you can't have something it makes you want it more? That's me. Ask A.K. He was my ski coach - totally unatainable - but look at us now! Anyways, I'm off-topic. So, the dress is discontinued, but I am determined to find it. I have the brilliant realization that every bridal salon that carries this dress is going to want to get rid of their samples. I sent inquiry after inquiry to salons all over the place and was so lucky to hear from Kelly at Belle Couture Bridal in South Carolina. They contacted me immediately and offered to ship me the dress to try on for 48 hours. If I didn't like it, I could ship it back. If I loved it, it was mine.

So, the dress ships and I head to Boston for a doctor's appointment. In my effort to find a new dress I had made an appointment at the new bridal department at J.Crew in the Atrium mall. Even though I had a dress on the way it didn't occur to me to cancel my J.Crew appointment. What if I didn't love #2? I might as well have a back-up. So, I go to J.Crew by myself and have a wonderful experience with the saleswoman there. Her son's a ski racer so we hit it off immediately. Every dress I tried on was gorgeous. They fit me so well and were ridiculously comfortable. I was convinced it was their skinny mirrors that were making me look so hot. The J.Crew team denied that they had skinny mirrors. Liars. So, there was one dress that I loved more than the rest. It fit me like a glove and went with my wedding colors and theme perfectly. I wasn't going to buy it, but I figured I might as well get all of the details in case #2 bombs when I try it on. So, I tell the ladies at the Crew that I am interested in this specific dress and they start whispering and puttering around trying to see if they can locate a dress for me (apparently they make them in batches every few months) and after a few minutes the manager comes in to tell me she is so sorry and doesn't know how it could have happened, but apparently the dress I love has been discontinued. You've got to be kidding me! They should never have let me try it on, but they did and I loved it and now I can't have it.

They tell me they can put me on a "wish list" and if the dress becomes available they will ship it to me directly. I can return it within 60 days and get my money back. I figure I might as well get on the list. I can always send it back. I nod in agreement, give them my credit card and in 10 minutes I am on a wish list for dress #3, the discontinued J.Crew dress. I drive back to NH and meet Sam at the store where dress #2 has just arrived via UPS. So exciting! We close the store at 6PM sharp and sprint back to her apartment so I can try it on. When I unzipped the bag I was weak in the knees. #2 is absolutely stunning. The fabric, the cut, it is so beautiful. I put it on and once again have to ignore my pastyness and spare tire. The dress is gorgeous. It fits me perfectly. I made Sam try on her bridesmaid dress so we could get the full effect. It was perfect. We both agreed I should keep #2. Of course, I had to zip up to Wolfeboro the next day and get my mom's approval and thank the wedding dress gods, she agreed that it was the one.

Fast-forward 5 weeks to December 28th-ish. I am in the car driving when Sam calls me: "A huge J.Crew box just arrived for you. What did you order? And why didn't you ask me if I wanted anything?" I am confused, "I didn't order anything. Huh. That's weird. OH MY GOSH! It's the wedding dress!" After I had bought #2, I called J.Crew to have my name removed from the wish list and the rep on the other end of the line assured me that my name had been removed. Apparently she didn't hit delete because they shipped me the dress. I told Sam to send it back, but of course she refused until I tried it on. I amused her by strutting around the store in it and while we both loved it, we agreed that it wasn't the one.

So, I have 3 wedding dresses. I am sending the J.Crew dress back tomorrow and hoping to sell my "dream dress" online. #2 is the one. It needs to be shortened just a tad, but other than that it is perfect.

I'm exhausted. Writing this super-long blog forced me to relive this crazy dress nightmare all over again. I hope my wild story left you feeling less silly about your own wedding craziness!


  1. This is hilarious. Thank you for sharing, as my afternoon was dragging on.

  2. Love this story! You're like the Goldilocks of wedding dresses! Can't wait to meet you girls tomorrow!

  3. Loved the story. . .too funny, Whitney. Glad that is all settled! Alle.

  4. I love you guys! Whitney, you are a doll!! I feel so honored to be helping you on your wedding day - I can't wait!

  5. Isn't planning a wedding just a fantastic nightmare?! Glad THE dress has been found and I hope you can get rid of the other 2. Or do what a friend of mine did...have 1 dress for the ceremony and 1 for the reception:)

  6. Hi Whit,

    Oh, to have options. I wish I had had that problem. :) I'm sure each one looks just amazing! I didn't know there was a #3! And can't wait to photograph #2! Will my bird cage veil go?


  7. Haha Whitney!

    You just made my day reading this. You're dress is gorgeous. Glad that the ordeal is almost over for you. At the very least it makes for a great story. :)

  8. Awesome story! Your kids will get a kick out of it someday. :)

    I can't wait to see THE ONE. ("Poor AK," says Charlie).