Today was by far the most fun day I've had so far throughout wedding planning. I met up with my mom, sister, and my Grandma Michelle at Starbucks in the morning to sip gingerbread lattes and look over several pictures of dresses I was thinking about.
A bit later, we headed over to Michelle's in Urbana for my first appointment. A few minutes in, I was joined by Kim and Abbie, two of my bridesmaids, my good friend, Emily, and Al's mom, Mary, and sister, Sarah. I sat down briefly with my consultant, Keely, and went over my budget and expectations.
We began browsing and, to my dismay, most of the dresses were well beyond my budget. My family and friends suggested I look through the selection of bridesmaid dresses, as they would all be available in different variations of white, and many were quite beachy. :)
Right before heading to the dressing room, my grandma called me to the back of the store and pulled out a dress that had caught her eye. I could tell it was worth much more than I was willing to spend, but she insisted I try it, and I (not so reluctantly) agreed. As I began getting into the dresses, Keely suggested I switch off between the bridesmaid dresses and the formal gowns, so that's what I did!
However, once I started trying on the formal wedding gowns, I definitely saw the difference! It was so much fun getting to try on these beautiful dresses, and I actually loved just about everything I tried on. In the end, it came down to three dresses that I was in love with. I ruled one of them out somewhat quickly because the shape did less for me than the others. In the end though, I had to choose between the one that my grandma had picked out and another of the same price right next to it that had caught my eye while we were browsing.
Of course, I'm not going to post a picture of the dress I chose, but it is absolutely beautiful. I've been sneaking peeks at my pictures ever since coming home from shopping. I can't wait to show Al on the day of our wedding! It's going to feel like a long wait, now that I have something I'm absolutely dying to wear...
Also, I have to publicly declare how incredibly thankful I am to my grandma, not only for helping to pay for (a lot of) my dress, but for driving all the way down here to share in this special day with me. It was so nice to have so many people I loved there!
Of course, since I was trying on wedding dresses today, I didn't eat anything all morning to feel super skinny! ;) All of us starving ladies, headed out to The Olive Garden for soup, salad, and breadsticks. Yum! Unfortunately, we ended up waiting over 30 minutes just to get seated, which was totally understandable, but then waited another 15ish minutes for anyone to come to our table. When someone finally did stop by to get our drink orders, it was because Al's sister, Holly got up to find our server. Lunch ended up going on for about 2 hours, due to even more very slow service, but I was secretly thankful for that time to spend with all of my favorite girls! Al's mom, Mary ended up treating me to lunch as well...I felt like such a spoiled girl today!
Because I had already found the dress of my dreams, there was no need to attend my David's Bridal appointment. However, I was hoping to look through bridesmaid dresses there instead to see if I could find anything more fitting, considering the dress I chose. I had Katy and Kim be my models and we chose the dress below in the color 'watermelon', which Kim is wearing in the first picture and Katy is wearing in the second.
Finally, after choosing the perfect wedding dress and bridesmaid dress, my mom, sister, grandma, and I headed back to my apartment to relax a little, visit with Al, and taste-test the delicious cookies my grandpa Don made for me this morning! YUM! We wound up the fun-filled day with dinner at El Toro. So much food and love today!
I had an absolute blast today, and am so thankful to my best friends and family for being there and helping me to choose the perfect dress! It was a wonderful day!