Tag Archives: dress

David’s Bridal: the Final Battle

Yesterday was my scheduled Dress Pickup, Take 2.  Not sure if you read or remember the first part of this story, but here’s what you should take away from the whole thing: “dress pickup” means “dress fitting and maybe dress taking-home if it fits the way we said we’d make it fit, but we might not have made it fit right, so it may just be another fitting.” Just fyi.

Brief review of our last visit: my dress was so tight around the ribs that I could barely breathe, and I was still sore the next morning from trying it on the night before.  They gave me a hard time about letting it out.

I showed up this time prepared for battle.  A small part of me hoped that it *wouldn’t* fit so I could just ask for my money back, make some loud complaints, and then wear my suit.  We arrived and – shockingly (sarcasm) – couldn’t find someone to help us for our appointment.  Finally we went into the room where they actually do the sewing, announced ourselves, and someone brought me my dress.  With the wrong name on it, but it was my dress.  Way to show your customer service and organizational skills off, David’s.

I put the dress on, and… it fits.  It’s comfortable.  I look pretty. Turtle is pleased and obviously relieved that I am not about to throw a fit in the bridal salon.  Part of my throwing a fit plan was to tell all the shoppers there how horrible our experience had been.  Anyway: Turtle, relieved, moving on.

So I turn to go back into the fitting room to undress and I see: the hem is uneven.

Seriously, David’s?  I mean, I am no master tailor, and I’m not even sure how to use a sewing machine.  I tried once and failed.  But I do know that a hem is one of the simplest things to do.  The nice lady at our local place hemmed my pants perfectly in five minutes after only pinning one side of one leg – you, DB’s, pinned around the entire bottom of the dress and still one side was an inch longer than the other.

On the upside, they fixed it within half an hour.  The back still looks a wee bit uneven to me, but I’m not dealing with them anymore.

In the meantime, Turtle found her dress.  The second batch of J. Crew dresses arrived.

these dresses came in smaller boxes and pretty little bags. excitement!

folded all pretty and mysteriously...

She tried the first one on, and it was pretty.  I’m not quite sure what to do with the funny sash thing coming down the front.

pretty lady!!

She hemmed, she hawed, she thought maybe this was the dress.  I thought it was pretty, if a little toga-like.

And then, you guys – she tried the second one on.  And we were sort of, well, floored.  It was beautiful.  She was beautiful in it.  I might have gotten a little teary, and she stood there quietly for a minute and then said something like, “I think this is it.”

We took it to a tailor on Saturday and we’re picking it up this week. All so much easier than anything we did before this.

My pretty lady won’t let me show you a picture of her in her for real dress, but here’s the stupid uncomfy one from David’s – not sure if we’re selling it or doing some sort of giveaway (but if you know someone who’s interested, they should get in touch with us!):

after seeing her real dress, it's so clear that this was not the right dress... boo our decision making skills sometimes!

us, in the dresses that we're *not* wearing!

Did you get it right the first time? Are you dying to see how pretty she is in her real dress?  Don’t worry, you only have to wait 10 more days until someone somewhere posts a picture of us GETTING MARRIED. IN TEN DAYS (according to my countdown). omg.

In the meantime: just keep breathing, just keep breathing.

How are you staying sane?

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On clothing and not standing around in one sock

We are having a thrilling evening this evening.

First, I could not find the keys anywhere for a petsitting job, so 2 hours went to searching for them. Yup, two hours, just searching for keys.  Did I mention that this is not my week? Also, my check engine light came on.  See, again: not my week.

But right now – right now, folks, I am sitting on the couch while my lovely fiancee flits around setting things up for the big event: trying on wedding dresses.

What? you say. Didn’t you already do this? you wonder. Oh, silly you, just because we already bought one dress (each) doesn’t exclude the option of buying another. Or four others, if you are Turtle.

We got our dresses all altered up and Turtle does not like her dress. If she can’t find something else then she’s stuck with it, and that’s the deal we’ve worked out.  In the meantime, some giant J Crew boxes showed up at our house today, and Turtle washed her hands and feet so that she didn’t dirty the dresses.  Once her appendages had been thoroughly cleaned, we began the process: she with the opening and on-trying, and I with the bemused watching and faithful documenting.

open the box! out will pour hope and glory!

um, maybe instead of hope and glory there's just tissue paper?

box inside a box!

hope and glory? is that you?

Dress #1 - not so much with the glory. interesting back, but it didn't fit quite right.

pretty fiancee! All mine!

dress #2 - so pretty, but way too big, and a little stiff. I got tired of taking pictures, if you couldn't tell.

Neither of these dresses was *the dress* – whatever that means.  So we dug around in the boxes to find dresses #3 and #4, and lo and behold – they were not there.  Turns out they shipped separately.  So with under three weeks to go, the additional dresses will be arriving soon.

In the meantime, something else arrived in the mail!

package for me?

a vest you say? why, this is the wrong color...

Okay, readers, maybe some of you are thinking that you already saw me in my muslin fitting.  So the truth is that I was so excited about my *actual* suit’s arrival that I did not document the thrilling unwrapping process. Sorry to disappoint, but moving on:

I got an email last week that this was done:

photo by MacheteNSons, click image for source

I got it in the mail a day or two ago, and this morning we had a little photo shoot in the sun:

glorious!

beautiful lining! is that mild satisfaction on my face?

There are a few things that need to change, so I’ll be parting with my new-found suit to send it back for alterations.  Guys, I cannot say enough good things about A.J. and Lianna at MacheteNSons – this whole experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and I have been really impressed by the customer services. That, coming from someone who works in customer service, is saying a lot. THANK YOU, A.J. & Lianna.

So the struggle to dress the future Bird-McTurtlesons continues, but we are making progress! Yes, my friends, I truly believe that progress is being made! And I am thoroughly impressed by the ability of some tailors to fit you over the internet. Amazing.

Have you/are you in the process of the/did you struggle with clothing yourself and/or your future spouse?  Did you consider driving all the way to NY in one day just so your beloved could try on a dress she found on the internet? Did you consider scrapping the whole thing and showing up in jeans?  And is there anyone who reads this who is looking for a tailor? Cause, seriously, I love the ones I found.  Lastly: how hot do I look? And how pretty is my future wife? Discuss.

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Bridal bulge

Last night we went back to David’s Bridal. Oh, David’s Bridal, why do you and I never quite get along? Is it the airbrushed matching families in your giant window ads, your oh-so-hetero marketing, despite the legalization of same-sex marriage in both MA and NH, or the fact that every time we show up your employees seemed 1. perplexed by us (two dresses? both for the bride? confusion), and 2. annoyed that we don’t know where to go, despite the fact that they never told us?  Perhaps a combination of all of the above.

We were told to go back for our dress pickup at 8pm last night, so we did.  We thought ahead enough to bring our shoes – maybe they would want us to try them on?  It was called a pickup, and while last time they mentioned specifically that we should bring our shoes and our undergarments for the fitting, this time they told us to bring the pink slip with our info on it, and that was it.

So we arrive, and, as usual, the staff are annoyed at us for looking around and not knowing where to go.  Thanks DB’s staff, you’re so sweet!  We make our way through throngs of wedding parties – apparently Wednesday night is a big night to find your wedding dress – back to the alterations area, where someone comes to help us pretty quickly.  She’s blond, cute, upbeat, and cannot for the life of her figure out which one of us is Bird and which one of us in Turtle, nor how to pronounce our names.  This is sort of a theme for the rest of the evening.  I spend a good period of time worrying that they will actually alter my dress to fit Turtle, and then we’re really in a bind.

So they give us our dresses, we put them on (should have brought that bra, oops.)…and I bulge.  That is to say, my eyes bulge, because I can’t breathe.  Really, my dress is so tight around my ribs/waist that I am physically in pain.  I have Turtle unzip it until it absolutely must be zipped again.  And then – and then! – the alterations woman seems offended.  “We just took it in an inch and now you want us to take it out! Did you have dinner before you came here?!”

To which I, of course, respond, “Yes, I did have dinner, and I do plan to eat on my wedding day!” One meal should not make my dress asphyxiate me.

So then our alterations expert has to go get her manager, because apparently there might be more charges, and it’s all probably because I didn’t wear my bra, and they keep implying that I’ve gained weight.  A little part of my is afraid that I have, but before that I lost 8 pounds, and really a pound or two would not make my ribs fat. Ugh.  So I’m feeling guilty about being the “wrong size”, my dress is ridiculously uncomfortable, and they’re talking about charging us more money.  Where’s that nice woman who was so happy for us last time we were there? Can we have her back?

And in the meantime… Turtle hates her dress.  Not really my story to tell, but we are now on a 4-week countdown to “Woo hoo let’s get married” and “Quick let’s find a dress you like!”  If we don’t find one, she’ll wear the one she has…

At one point last night, the alterations manager said, “It’s a wedding dress.  It’s not supposed to be comfortable.”  And I thought to myself, “If someone had told me that six months ago, I’m not sure I would have bought one.”  My suit is going to be comfortable.  If we hadn’t already paid for all this stupid dress stuff, I would just scrap the whole thing.

I think maybe I’m approaching wedding zen? As more things are getting not-done or going not-quite-right, I can let go a little… yes?

What would you do with four weeks down and dress dissatisfaction on the rise?  If you did this all before, did you have the most wonderful dress-fitting experience ever?  If you work at David’s Bridal, how are you going to make us uncomfortable little lesbians happy again?

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Blue Bridal Brigade

To be perfectly honest, bridesmaids’ dresses are not something in which I am willing to be terribly invested. You have all heard plenty about how much trouble I have dressing myself – and you expect me to dress a bunch of other people? Who all have different styles and different body types?

Um, H to the L nooooooo thank you.

That said, we did want to have some coherence in our bridal brigade – the people we asked to be in our bridal brigade are super important and incredibly helpful, and we wanted them to be recognizable.  We also wanted them to be comfortable, and, especially given our current relationship with money (read: we have very little and are still trying to be alive, keep our pets alive, and plan our wedding), wanted them to spend an appropriate amount of money for them, whether that meant a lot o’ monies or a little bit o’ monies.  This meant having a lot of flexibility.

First, we narrowed it down as far as colors go: navy.  That was easy.

Then we emailed out pictures of dresses we liked, and then various people emailed us back. Simple, right?

Well, yeah, except their emails said things like, “What about this dress in brown?” or “Hey, when are you going to be sending out your invitations?” or “I am thinking of wearing a pantsuit.”

Okay, the pantsuit would have been fine, but no, not that dress in brown.  All we picked was one color! Do everything else however you want!  After struggling with my frustration and guilt for a few minutes – we really weren’t asking much, right? Was it wrong of us to dictate a color? Should we be offering to buy our brigade’s dresses? – I realized that it was not that big a deal.  So I wrote back, said blue only, and rumor has it people have dresses.

Here are some dresses we considered, modeled by my lovely Moh:

Are you really making me stand here so you can take pictures for your blog?

Fine, Ill tolerate your crazy Seahorse antics.

effortlessly beautiful, with me looking, ahem, casual in the background

looooved this dress! loved it like a dinosaur. Hi sister! It looks like you're trying to be a dinosaur here! Safe to say this one's a no?

uh, if i hold my breath and arch my shoulders it stays on...

I’m pretty sure no one got any of these dresses, and I’m pretty sure at least two people have their dresses.  And I’m just not willing to be stressed out about it.

Steel City Bride said something interesting today about bridesmaids’ dresses:

I don’t necessarily think bridesmaid dresses need to be re-wearable. I think they should fall soundly within a reasonable budget (however “reasonable” is defined for the women in your party) and I think they shouldn’t be something that the bridesmaids would be embarrassed to wear again (a highly unflattering cut or material, for example), but other than that, I dunno. Wearing a dress that the bride chooses, even if it’s not necessarily something you’d choose yourself, is kind of a hallmark of the bridesmaid experience, I think, and it’s one that I didn’t feel compelled to revolutionize.

I think there’s a lot of freedom in that.  And if I was the bridesmaid, freedom for me: hand me an outfit, I will wear it and try to look good in it.  But for us, now?  It was wayyy less stress to let people do what they want.

Where are you on the spectrum?  Do you want your options, or your dress handed to you?  Do you even notice bridesmaids at weddings? Tell me about your favorite dress! Readygo!

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Adhesions and Alterations

I suppose now that I’ve declared myself “back”, I should act as though I’m back. I’ve decided that once you convince more than four people to read your blog, it’s sort of your responsibility to give them something to read.

oh, uh, hey there, readers. come here often?

Two things have made our wedding seem more *real* than others: our invitations and getting our dresses fitted.  And since we haven’t sent out our invitations yet (I’m sure the Knot would disapprove… as would my grandmother), I will tell you about our dress fittings.

We bought our dresses at David’s Bridal, and picked them up a few weeks later.  I’m not entirely clear on why they have you going back to the store so many times, but here is my understanding of how the process works.  Please tell me that you also think this is a bit ridiculous:

  1. Try on dresses. Pick one.  Pay for it, but don’t take anything home. (Your dress = somewhere mysterious… possibly at the actual store?)
  2. Get a phone call weeks later that your dress has arrived. Go pick it up. (Your dress = at home)
  3. Go in for alterations. Leave your dress and measurements. (Your dress = at store)
  4. Pick your dress up, take it home. (Your dress = at home)
  5. Bring your dress back for steaming. (Your dress = at store)
  6. Bring your dress home. (Your dress = at home)
  7. Wear your dress at your wedding.

I had no idea it was this complicated.  Why can’t they fit you when you pick up your dress, then hang onto it and steam it for you before you pick it up?  There’s probably a reason, but I declare it a silly reason.

Anyway, they called us last week to confirm our alterations appointment, and to be sure to bring the dresses, shoes we would be wearing, method of payment, and undergarments.

Uh, undergarments? I think I forgot to think about those with all the other stuff that’s been going on, like, you know, life.  I start to panic a little – my MO these days – and Turtle reassures me that it’s fine, she’ll go buy us some undergarments the day before our fitting while I’m at work.

You guys, this is so not what I think of when I think “bra”:

click for source, where you can buy your own non-bra!

First, that is totally not my body. Just in case you were wondering.  I’m pretty sure that body has no bust, and I have quite a bit of bust.  This contraption looked pretty silly on me.  Second, the way it works is that it adheres using your body heat. TOTALLY CREEPY.  And third, it works. Also totally creepy.  So you adhere these two cups to your bosoms, and then once they’re on there pretty well, you clip them together.  You can use the clasp to achieve a bit of a push-up effect. You can also use this contrapment to feel like someone is walking around groping you all day long. And not in the sexy-time way.

Anyway, we arrive, dresses (big, heavy dresses) in hand, and no one is there to help us.  We have no idea where to go.  Finally, someone shows up and says, “Are you here for alterations?”  When we affirm that we, the two women carrying giant bags of dresses with shoes in our other hand, are looking for alterations and do not know where it is, the clearly-offended salesperson helps us find it.

At this point I am really, really anxious.  I definitely did not shave before this appointment.  I am looking pretty dykey today, and I am here with my lady – the one I am marrying.  I have had a few not-so-great experiences with David’s Bridal, and I am bracing myself for another crappy experience, a la, “Those are your shoes? You are going to shave your legs before your wedding, right? Aren’t you going to grow out your hair?”  I admit that not all of these fears are entirely rational, but they are fears.

Never fear, dear readers: our alterations person was the sweetest person ever.  Turtle was nervous about what was happening and she kindly told us about her past thirty years of sewing experience.  She heard our concerns about length and bustle and comfort and she addressed them happily and calmly.  Mary Jo of David’s Bridal – you are wonderful.

Halfway through my alterations, another woman came in to have her bridesmaid dress altered.  Let’s just say that she was definitely straight, and there we were, a pair of lesbians in our wedding dresses, hanging out.  I’m always a little nervous in these situations – how will people respond? It’s not that I felt unsafe at David’s Bridal getting fitted with this stranger next to us, but it is not fun to bear the brunt of someone else’s biased disapproval.  Point being: I was nervous and a little bit antsy and couldn’t figure out if it was better to ignore her (awkward, since she was two feet from me) or make small talk (awkward, I’m nervous and don’t know her).

So at one point she says, “So, are you two friends? Are you getting married close to each other?”

And my lovely, calm, beautiful Turtle smiles and says, “Same day.  To each other.”

My world froze for a minute.  Would this woman storm out? Would our alterations lady from Brazil suddenly refuse to work with us?  Would we have to get new dresses, would we have to leave quickly, what was going to happen?

That woman smiled, and said, “Oh my goodness, THAT’S GREAT. Congratulations!”

And Mary Jo said, “Wow, congratulations, congratulations, good for you!  That is wonderful!”

And then we all stood around smiling.  And then went back to the alterations.

My dress, which is at the store, feels more like my dress.  And wow, I felt pretty in it.  I declined the fancy poofy slip, I declined the enormous breast cups, and insisted on making sure it was comfortable.  And I can’t wait to wear it.

For your entertainment, a few non-dress-giving-away pictures:

forcing your fiancee to wear pretty head things is fun!

see? she loves it!

The whole process feels a little silly to me, but I admit that the bigness of it, the little steps all becoming one big thing I check off the list, is making it feel closer, more real – in a good way.  Wearing the dress and looking at myself in the mirror made me feel amazing – not because the dress looked good (though it did), but honestly because I knew that the next time I wore this dress in front of a bunch of people they would be people I am really, really looking forward to seeing, people I love, people I can’t wait to be surrounded by.

I can’t wait to get married* in this dress, to this lady:

photo by Ellie Leonardsmith

*Ahem, after we send out invites, write our vows, etc. Really, I can wait, if only so I have a little more time to plan.  Don’t worry, Grandma, we’re still getting married! Invite coming soon, I promise!

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Pretty pretty pictures

We had our “official” engagement shoot with our amazing photographer last night.  I can’t talk enough about how awesome Ellie is, and how anyone needing a photographer in/near Boston/Providence should probably use her.  Awesome.

Anyway, I have my first day by myself in a long time (Turtle is in Maine) and I promised myself I wouldn’t spend a lot of it on the internets, so no more comments/deep insights, just some pretty pictures for you!

Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith

Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith

Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith

I kind of can’t believe how amazing these pictures are. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing with them all yet, so I don’t want to share many – I’m feeling protective of them, but they are too beautiful not to share a couple!

I had a read in a few different places that doing an engagement photo session can really help get you comfortable with your photographer and with having your picture taken, and I didn’t think much of that until I experienced it.  It took us a little while to settle in, but then it was so fun.  It was especially nice because Ellie is a good friend of ours, and we got to have amazing pizza and beer afterward.  That, my friends, is a good photo shoot.

Some more of Ellie’s awesome skills:

Okay, so much for sharing just a couple of pictures.  But omg, pretty!!!

So here’s what this felt like: getting dressed up in things we felt attractive in (for me, of course, one dress, one dykey shorts-and-collared-shirt outfit) and walking around our favorite, important places being affectionate.  Things are hard off and on these days – something I’ve talked about before – and we just walked and talked about those things and how we love each other and do want to get married and will do the work.  It was wonderful to have a space where we were just supposed to be affectionate: no talking about the hard things or the piles.  And then, as I mentioned before, we got amazing pizza, beer, and time with good friends.

And now I’m home alone with two dogs, two cats, and a big apartment.  Not feeling motivated to do much of anything, which is silly now that I have all this time and space to myself!  Maybe the afternoon has big things in store for me… or maybe just a book and a glass of wine.

What are you doing this weekend? Want to hang out with me? Did I already mention two dogs, big apartment, and wine? What more do you need?

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Wedding Registries: Can I give you a lion cub?

An anonymous wedding question from the world:

Registries – tell us all about them. are people expected to buy from the registry? is it okay to not buy from the registry?
it’s the part of weddings that confuses me the most. for example, let’s say you had a friend who knows you pretty well and has a sense of your taste, though not necessarily your DP/fiancee’s taste, and let’s say this person was going somewhere cool this summer, like, hypothetically, africa, and let’s say this person planned to steal a lion cub for you to raise. would that be a good wedding present? even though it’s not on the registry?

would people prefer cash? if so, how much cash is appropriate? and if there’s something you really like, but it isn’t on the registry, will they hate you for getting it? registries are useful, in that they help you find something that both people like, but what if you find something and really really want to get it but it’s not on the registry?

First of all, I am pretty sure that I would end up suddenly single if I decided a lion cub was joining our family before I have my veterinary degree.  But if it’s a small and hide-able lion cub, I totally want it.  I just can’t let Turtle see that I registered for it, which is why it’s not on my registry.

Okay, but really.  I also think registries are sort of silly.  I think that in general, it’s weird to ask for specific gifts – I think good gifts are personal and don’t come from a list of “I want this” but from a connection the giver and givee have.  That said, I think registries give you a place to say what you need, like a toaster oven or a microwave that actually works.  And some people are bad at gifts that are based on a connection, or don’t know what to give both people, so the registry is a good guide.  It’s great, too, when you can combine the two – for example, one of my friends and her husband-to-be registered for a tent, and I thought that was the coolest thing! So I bought it.  Registry + connection = quality gift giving.

As far as cash goes, I think cash is often appreciated, and for me, I would give however much cash I would have spent on a present.

I guess my answer is to think of a registry as a guideline, but feel free to buy from elsewhere, especially if you have something meaningful.  Meaning trumps stupid registries every time, in my opinion.

What do you all think? What have your gift-giving/-receiving experiences been?  I understand that we’re supposed to register for our bridal shower (and there’s supposed to be a theme? What?)… and somehow that’s different than the wedding?  Someone, please share your answer for Ms. Anonymous’s question up there, and then answer mine. kthx.

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