In July of 2009, I took the plunge and started my search. But please, learn from me- if you haven't done any planning, or even chosen your venue, wedding dress shopping should probably wait! (This is sort of a smack yourself on the forehead, "Duh" moment, but I was a bridal novice-what did I know?!)
My first foray was at Hitched in DC. It was a gorgeous store, which was my first hint that it was out of my budget. (I didn't have a set budget, but knew I didn't want to spend more than a grand or two). I had walked by the storefront many times, and always lusted after their gowns on display, so when I saw they had a sample sale, I decided to join in on the fun.
Some of the beautiful gowns at Hitched. Source
I took my friend/roomie and strolled into the store. Immediately, I was overwhelmed. So much satin! Beading! Tulle! I realized I had no idea what I was looking for. But no matter! I still tried on about 8 or 10 dresses, and fell for 1 in particular- Ulla-Maija Etoile.
From here.I have no photos of me in dresses from Hitched; they are on the no-pics-of-dresses bandwagon (why do stores do that?). But, as you can see from the pic, the Etoile is, um, quite fancy. And big. And satiny. And you can't see it from the pic, but it was too pricey for me too (about $3000). So, while I didn't have any wedding planning done, I had a hunch we would choose an outdoor venue, and we wouldn't be too fancy (wear jeans every day? check). So, while this dress was GORGEOUS (and it made my friend cry-the only time a person cried during my dress shopping adventure), it was a no go.
This first unsuccessful foray into wedding dresses should have taught me something (be more prepared!) but sometimes I have a hard time learning. I waited until August when I was back home in California before continuing the dress search, but as you will find out next time, I continued to have many of the same problems.
Were you unprepared when you first tried on dresses (I couldn't have been the only one . . .could I)? Or did you march in with pictures in hand, and a style in mind?