Dress Shopping Adventure – This isn’t Bride-zilla

Bridesmaids and the Mothers
Bridesmaids and the Mothers

After ending my child-bearing with two sons, I never expected to join in on the bride-driven flurry associated with my sons’ weddings. My daughter-to-be has different ideas. Adventures in dress shopping are only the tip of this iceberg (I believe).

Our first foray (a second is bound to come since the perfect dress remains undiscovered) happened at a shop in Tigard, Bridal Exclusives. According to our extremely helpful saleslady, it is the top seller of wedding paraphernalia in Oregon. And third in the U.S. (which seems like a stretch – but I would believe they were third in overall customer satisfaction nationwide).

We had an appointment. A comfortable bench gave us a perfect view of everything. Bottled water was provided. After a brief interview, they were off to choose one of each style.

Close...but still not the one
Close…but still not the one

I’d like to say it didn’t take long to limit her preferred types to two – ball gown and A-line – but anyone who’s ever put on a single wedding dress would see through that farce.  The saleslady dropped the yards of shiny, beaded fabric and piles of tulle over the bride’s head and then used strange clothespin-like devices to give the illusion of a perfect fit.

Let’s just say that maybe two out of the first twenty she tried were even close to the correct size. Meaning they zipped and she didn’t have more than a pair of the fabric-devouring piranhas hanging off her back or waist.

Most of the dresses were stunning. I’m sure that included the price, but we only learned the prices of two of the dresses. When I heard the first, my stomach and chest warred. One with sympathy for the purchaser of the dress and the other with relief that it wasn’t ME.

Suffice it to say, two hours later we were closer to knowing what the bride imagined wearing on her special day – but not to actually locating said jewel.

After a delicious lunch, we had a completely different experience at a smaller dress shop in Tigard. It is obviously popular. Two women were already trying on gowns. A few men came in to check the fitting of their tuxedos during the time of our visit.

The brides helpful treasure hunting team
The brides helpful treasure hunting team

A dress the bride loved online was on the rack, so she was quick to request it. The six of us went through the racks, showing her options we thought she might like. The selection offered at this tiny boutique equated to a single rack of ONE style at the larger store.

In the end, she tried on five dresses. The one she saw online didn’t look the same in person, so it was deleted from the possibility list. One of the dresses fit all of her requirements, but the embroidery was obviously flowers – not what the bride envisions at her winter wedding.

Five hours later, I was in my car driving home again. Wishing I had experienced a similar shopping extravaganza back in the day.

Thanks for including me in this first part of the wedding adventure, Kacy. I know one of these days, you will unearth the treasure you’re seeking.

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