So yesterday, January 12th, 2013, I finally said yes to the dress. I know I can't believe it either. After exactly 15 months of engagement I decided to go look, for the first time, for a dress. Anyone that knows me well knows I claim I am not the dress and high heels type of girl. A couple days ago at my cousin's baby shower I tried to use this excuse while talking to my sister Kailey and she quickly called me out on being a girlie girl. It's so true! I love skirts, dresses, make-up, pretty hair, getting my nails done, and absolutely adore shoes. For me I try to keep the girlie side of my personality a secret because of my self esteem. Going dress shopping for school dances and other fancy functions always started out with much excitement and so much fun. In the end many of the times have always left me in disappointment because the dresses I fit in, I hate and the dresses I love, just don't fit. I searching through racks of dresses to find the ones I liked and going to the dressing rooms to try them on and ending up in tears because it didn't work out. It crushed me every time and what it did to my self esteem just killed me. As much as those experiences sucked, my mom always did an amazing job at building me back up and putting a smile on my face. She would drive me all over Pittsburghuntil I would find a dress that I loved and fit my body type. I didn't want to have a bad experience when shopping for my wedding dress so my cure was just not looking...
On the night of the 11th I came home from work and Jared's face was glowing as he grinned from cheek to cheek. Once I walked in the door he started rambling about the channel 2 news and some dress expo and how everything is cheaper (thinking that the price of dresses is what deterred me because that's what I tried to make everyone believe). Though the price of the dress did matter I know my mother would do whatever to help me get the dress that made me smile the real fear was finding the right dress in the right size. I noticed Jared's reaction when I brushed off what he said about the bridal expo and instantly felt bad. I asked him more information and he said he had recorded the news clip for me to watch. He said all he knew was that it was charity function in which some money got donated to breast cancer awareness and different designers donated dresses at discounted rates. The next morning, I watched the recording and learned all about the bridal expo. Turns out the bridal expo was actually a charity function in which the breast cancer awareness foundation receives dresses from all different designers and shops. The dresses are discounted anywhere from 25% to 75% off. The best part was they donate 71 cents of every dollar spent to the foundation along with the 30 dollar entrance fee. Once I heard this I was in. I hate the idea of spending all that money for a dress I'll wear once and pack it away forever. I love to get as much as possible out of every cent I spend. I loved the idea that the majority of the money spent on a dress would be donated and i loved that I could donate my dress back to them after my wedding in order to help them further their program and foundation.
The downfall of deciding spur of the moment to go look at dresses was that my mother worked, sisters were off at college, and majority of my bridesmaids had plans, work, or other factors keeping them from going. I went anyways. Since I had to be in New Castle that night Jared and I stopped by on our way up north. As we pulled into the parking lot many emotions went through me. I didn't want to go in alone because I felt awkward and silly so after much persuasion Jared agreed to come in as long as I promised to tell everyone he was my gay best friend and maid of honor. =) We went in not knowing what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. There weren't tons and tons of people and there were still plenty of dresses to chose from. I walked over to my size rack filled with plenty of dresses to look at. Almost instantly Jared being the perfect gay best friend grabbed a dress and said how about this dress. I didn't even look and kept browsing myself. I pulled out 3 dresses I liked tried them all and all three were amazing dresses. They all fit me perfectly! I was feeling confident and having fun. After trying the first 3 dresses and loving them so much I evaluated which one I should get. The first barely had a train, the second was a tad too short, and the third was gorgeous but not comfortable. I figured if I had to question which to get I must not have found the it dress just yet. I walked back over to the rack and looked at the dresses I had passed by before. Brenda Waters pulled out a dress and told me I was trying it on. I laughed and just kept looking myself and Jared said to her "that's the one I said to try!" She sent the dress back to my dressing room before I even got to look. All I said is to make sure it's in my price range and I'll try it. It was. I tried on one dress before the it dress. It didn't fit and was sent back out immediately. As I put on the dress Jared and Brenda both picked out for me I had no idea what to expect. As I got zipped up I thought of how comfortable it was. I looked down and saw the way the dress laid on my chest and the detail down the front and instantly fell in love. I walked out the the mirror in the dressing room and wanted the dress right then and there. I walked out to the main room where Jared was sitting and walked straight up to the mirror while he had his head turned talking. I stood in front of the mirror loving what I saw and trying to hold back the excitement I had. I looked in the reflection to see Jared's face and went he turned his head to me his eyes got so big and a smile came across his face that I had never saw before. I could tell right then at that moment our wedding was real, our love was true, and the dress I had on was the dress I'd wear when I became his wife. The best part was I knew he was going to love it when I wear it.
I am so excited for the wedding but I am also excited for the months ahead and all the planning we have left. I know it's very nontraditional for the groom to see the bride in her dress before the wedding but I can also say that I'm glad we threw that out the window. That moment when I saw the look on his face in the mirror will never be forgotten. I felt so beautiful, glamorous, and special! Nothing could ever replace that!
9 months until the big day and 9 months until you all get to see the dress! =)