Dress shopping

Did you know that wedding planning can be overwhelming? I sure do…

That just means that I’ve really depended on my meals to give me good strength and energy…

Oatmeal

Consumed: 1/3 C oats cooked with 2/3 C water, topped with peanut butter, frozen blueberries and granola.

“Fiesta Bowl”

Consumed: Spanish rice with steamed broccoli, steamed cauliflower and some shredded cheese.

Artificially Sweetened Iced Tea

Butternut Squash Bowl

Consumed: Dijon mustard-roasted butternut squash and chickpeas atop a bed of spinach.

Consumed: Whole-wheat pita pockets with salad mix and hummus.

Along with all that stress, I’ve also made a good deal of progress.

Church? Check.

Wedding Gown? Check.

Reception Site? Mostly finalized.

Caterer? Mostly finalized.

No denying that is a good start, considering Dan and I’ve only been engaged for a week and a half. But, with six months to go, there is still a lot to do. That’s why I’ve had to embrace the strategy of acceptance.

For example, when I was dress shopping, I wasn’t exactly planning on buying from the first place I visited. Instead, I just wanted to get a start by looking at David’s Bridal’s selection with my mom and sister.

I really liked the first dress I tried on. With lace, cap sleeves and a defined waist, it was the I’d always imagined. Still, I tried on a few more options…

A few gowns later, I tried on an intricate, mermaid-style dress that was a different style than what I had anticipated liking. I was shocked with how much I liked it, and for a while it seemed that was what I’d choose…

Just to be sure, though, I tried on a few more gowns. Finally, I tried on a dress that my consultant actually pulled for me. The moment I walked out of the dressing room and approached the mirror, I knew my search was done. It was the perfect combination of everything I wanted — I didn’t want to take it off!

Eventually, I convinced myself to take it off with the happy idea that I’d get to wear it again on my wedding day. To our extreme luck, my wonderful consultant tipped us off that there “may or may not” be a sale the next day.

My mom, sister and I went home to think it over and talk with my dad. When, hours later, I was still just as enchanted with the dress, I knew it was what I wanted. The next day, my mom and I called back and placed the order with a sale of $100 off the price!

Even though the shopping process was quick, it was a good thing we made the decision so fast: Since I’m already 5’9″ and plan on wearing heels to the wedding, I had to get a special order for extra length on the dress. That alteration takes 15 weeks. Then the shop requires and additional three-month period for size alterations. Basically, I had to order the dress now or it wouldn’t be in time for the wedding!

With the dress decision made, the next step was shopping for accessories. When I was down in Kansas with Dan, I spent a day with his mom and sister getting ideas for the wedding and stopping by a few dress shops. We ended up going back to David’s Bridal to look at veils and headpieces. Initially, I though I wanted a headband, similar to this…

Then I tried on a few accent flowers, pinned behind my ear and decided that’s what I liked most. I didn’t get anything that day, but I did narrow down my search. That’s success, right?

Next up on my to-do list is search for bridesmaids’ dresses, ask my bridesmaids, finalize the photography, etc. In other words, it’s a long, long, exciting list.

Questions: If you are married, how long was your engagement? If you aren’t yet married, how long would your ideal engagement be?

Dan and I made the decision to get married this upcoming summer because that is the best option to fit into our schedules as students. Even if we waited a year, he’d still be in school and I would be dealing with even more stress of starting a job.

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