Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: The Dress! Part II

I have been so excited all week to write this post. Last Saturday was such an amazing day, start to finish. 

This is one of my longer posts. 
You were warned!!!


As I mentioned last week, there were 10 ladies going to three appointments around the city on Saturday, with lunch in a crowded Lincoln Park wedged in there.

To our delight (but not much surprise), there was no drama, lots of laughs and some happy tears! 
We were also early to everything! 

We did, however, pay tribute to the show that I am sure everyone thinks of when I say that 9 ladies joined me on my quest for the dress: my sister bought me the shirt from Say Yes to the Dress!

(She also planned an AMAZING photo scavenger hunt for the girls to upload photos to our private Facebook group all day. The best video and the best photo got a sweet prize at the end! I love my sister!!)

Oh and yes, Mother-Daughter outfits. Not planned. That's just how cool/alike we are.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Holly, Jackie, and I woke up without an alarm Saturday morning at 7-ish. Me, well I was just pumped. Holly and Jackie are teachers in Ohio and Georgia and this weekend they were on Central really they slept in.

All of us walked down to Panera for breakfast when Callie and Megan arrived! They woke up suuuuper early to fly to Chicago to make it in time for our 10 a.m. appointment. I have the best friends!

Our first appointment was at Macy's. Yep! Macy's has a bridal salon in the State Street store! I was blown away. 

First of all, my girl Khrystyna was a doll. She is a designer in her own right, and just loved our group. I had my own room and a huge fluffy robe for in between dresses. I told her what I like, she listened, brought out some beauties, and recommended a few, all within my budget. I initially never thought any of them would be "The One." I was rather surprised by my reaction, especially because I thought the dress from the day before could be it! But my oh my you should have seen and heard the responses from not only me and my awesome entourage, but everyone in the salon also made some comments. 

Oh and I tried it on again before we left. I heard my Mom say, "I feel like we're done! Let's go celebrate!" I kind of agreed, but we had one other appointment for me and I didn't want to wonder "what if?" Plus, the second place offered champagne. Duh. We're going.

On to lunch!

Trying to find a spot on a Saturday for 10 people during brunch? Not the easiest. 
Luckily, it was a nice enough day to sit outside to enjoy the DELICIOUS fare at The Bourgeois Pig!

No pictures - the only ones were of me stuffing my face.

Off to the second appointment! I was really excited about Weddings 826. It's in a beautiful townhouse on Armitage Ave., they promised champagne, and I just had a fantastic image in my mind upon our arrival.

Well that was squashed pretty much immediately. Previously I told them twice that we would have 10 people. They said "no problem, we'll close the shop for you so it will be just your group AND you can have champagne! It will be so fun!" Well, they were just plain rude to us and there were other people there. I don't mind the other people at all, but the rudeness was not cool.

I brushed it off as I pounded my champs.

The rest of the appointment put a bad taste in my mouth. 
(The champagne was tasty, though.)

First of all, the lady didn't help me. She did help me get in to dresses and she was nice to me, but she basically told all of us to find dresses hanging in the room for me to try on while she stood by and watched us struggle. She didn't pick out anything or recommend dresses...or really help at all. The dresses were barely organized and all of the girls had to come over to me to ask if the dress they picked out was in my budget, which was awkward because that's not something I feel comfortable sharing. 

All of the dresses were size 8 or under, and wedding dresses run small, so pretty much only tiny people can feel pretty in them. There was a tiny foot stool to balance myself on in the dress, too. And it was about 500 degrees. When I asked if she had a particular style, she motioned to the back of the room and casually said, "Um, yeah, I think we might have some back there if you want to check." 

I kind of liked two dresses, but they obviously weren't my size and the gal said they would look different if they were in my size. Shocking. She put one on the mannequin so I'd get a better idea for how it's supposed to fit. Then she said that for $100 per gown, my size could be shipped to the store so I could try it on. Um, no no, that's not how that should work. Don't make me feel fat and don't make me pay more for my extra pounds. 

I'm not fat, and I'm not a bridezilla, but I felt like both during that appointment.

My girls gave me UGLY dresses to try on so that I would smile again and so we could all have a laugh. Those didn't fit, either. Womp womp.

Needless to say, we could not leave Weddings 826 fast enough. 
Aside from the champagne and the sweet thank you card they sent me in the mail after our visit, I would not recommend it. I might give it 2 stars on Yelp.

As we walked to the L, all of the ladies were incredibly supportive. 
Then I started to look at the pretty pictures on my phone and I felt better.
It was down to two dresses: the one from Friday at Martellen's and the one from earlier at Macy's. 
I had a happy decision to make!

But first, we went to Bella Bridesmaid so my girls could try on dresses!

This was just meant to be a fun trip since they were all here. I didn't want them to feel any pressure to order or even like the dresses. We have a year before the wedding, after all.

Orange was the color for us!
(Aren't my mom and sister so stinking cute? I can't handle it.)

Anyway, the girls all tried on the Love Lane line at Bella Bridesmaid: long chiffon gowns in various styles. All five of them found their dresses! And fast! Those girls did not waste a moment!
My sister chose one style, two chose a second style, and two chose a third! It was perfect! They all loved them, too! I couldn't believe it!

Our consultant, Sarah, was the best, too. We actually invited her to come out with us later that night! We all want to be her friend. 
(It's weird now that I type it, but I like to think that she was rather flattered.)

We celebrated by taking pictures for the scavenger hunt.

Since we were there, and since Bella Bridesmaid carries Alfred Sung dresses, AND since I'm in Callie's wedding (and we're wearing Alfred Sung dresses), I tried on a few. And guess what? I picked out my dress for her wedding!

Leaving on such a happy note, we made a quick decision.

It was 5:00. Macy's closed at 6:00. We were two L stops away.
We ran to the L.

When we got to Macy's, our spirits were high as we climbed the familiar escalators.

I wanted to make sure I wanted the Macy's dress.
Everyone else knew it was The One.

Well, dear friends, when I walked out the last time in the Macy's dress, my sister asked if I was going to say "Yes!"

I kind of screamed my answer.

And then we all cried.

And took pictures.

But I have to share those with you in a little over a year from now :)

Now it was time to celebrate! 
What a productive day!
I picked out my dress!
My girls picked out their bridesmaid dresses!
AND, an added bonus, I picked out my bridesmaid dress for Callie's wedding!

Yeah, it was time for beer.

Off to dinner!

Dad and Lizzie met us at The Berghoff, a German restaurant around the corner from Macy's. This place has a lot of history, a great atmosphere, was perfect for big groups, and had delicious pretzels and pierogies! 

I loved having everyone sitting at one table, recounting the day. Such an amazing group! 

The best part was my Dad's reaction to the picture of me in The Dress. There really aren't words for that moment. I love my Dad. 

After dinner we were stuffed and exhausted. Naturally, we grabbed more wine and talked the night away, slumber-party-style, in one of our rooms.

I finally got to hand out their presents!

My friend Dana from Bloom and Inspire recently opened an Etsy shop. I knew I needed her creative help when compiling gifts for everyone who came. 

She made the most beautiful cards with their names in our wedding colors!

She even gave me a set!!

I was so thankful for that sweet surprise!

I also gave the gals some Garrett's Popcorn in the Chicago Mix. YUM. I kind of wish I didn't know how delicious the popcorn is because now I want it just about every hour of every day.

Kate also gave gifts to the scavenger hunt winners!

It was such a special (and fun!) day and night!!!

I'm writing this smiling. 
It truly was the best weekend ever 
(OK fine, it's in second place: the weekend Andrew proposed tops any other weekend!).

I can't wait to see them all again. Most likely the next time alllllll of us will be together is for the wedding! So yeah, I REALLY can't wait to see them again!!!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this recap as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'm so happy that I have it documented. Congrats if you made it all the way to the end and thanks for reading!


Olivia said...

I LOVED reading this Mary!!! So happy for you! I will be in town next weekend so let me know what you are up to! Love you!!! and Yay for saying yes to the dress!!!!

callie ;) said...

i have many comments! :)

1. sarah was totally flattered and wanted to be in our bestie group. it's not weird. we're awesome, duh.
2. i love all these pictures!!
3. seeing you say "YEEEEES!" was the best part of an amazing day. papa k's reaction was the second best.
4. i forgot to tell you that night, but i loved seeing you use your bag from the engagement gift i sent you! i'm glad you like it. :)
5. i forgot how much i like my bridesmaid dress, and i'm glad you posted the picture of us holding our dresses. hehe.
6. i love kate in our silly picture.
7. i love you all the time.

this post makes me so happy!! :)

Rachel Farrell said...

This post made ME happy reading it! It's weird how the consultants can totally make or break your dress experience. When I initially found my dress, I deliberately found another store - in IOWA - to buy it from so that I wouldn't give her any business.

Knowing what your dress looks like makes this post even better. You're going to have so much fun in the next year! XO

Unknown said...

You're adorable Mary. I love reading your blogs. Congrats on the dress!! :)

Unknown said...

You're adorable Mary. I love reading your blog. Congrats on saying yes to the dress!! :)

DSR said...

I can tell what an incredible weekend you had with your friends and family and cannot wait to see those a year!! Congrats on such a productive experience. Sounds and looks like you guys had a total blast!