My Dream Dress…

When I was a little girl, my mom had a porcelain statuette. It was a figure of a young woman in a flowing gown. The long skirt seemed to billow out like chiffon and it became my ideal for elegance and romance. I knew I wanted my wedding dress to look like that.

I think most single women start planning their weddings before they meet Mr. Right. I know I’m not the only single woman who had a Wedding Board on Pinterest. I didn’t plan out every detail, but as a hopeful romantic, I loved to dream. I also loved looking up wedding dresses, seeing if I could find anything similar to my dream dress. Then I met the man of my dreams, and he proposed to me, and all my Pinterest dreams became real possibilities.

The Dress Search Begins…

Shortly after Danny proposed, my mom and sister excitedly told me it was time to go dress shopping. Bridal shopping is a bonding experience that is very special for a bride-to-be and her mother. I made two appointments, one at David’s Bridal and the other at a local bridal boutique.

All bridal boutiques suggest you bring pictures when looking for a gown, and thanks to Pinterest I had some great examples of what I wanted. We stopped in at David’s first, but as I looked around I was incredulous. Nothing looked quite right. Nikole, our salesperson, approached us with a huge smile on her face. She patiently listened as I described my dream dress and looked at all the pictures I’d come with. Then she went to work, quickly finding four dresses similar to the images I’d shown her.

I was excited as she helped me into the first gown, but when I looked down I could tell this was not it. My sister, my niece and my mom were waiting outside with expectant faces. It was beautiful, but the consensus was that this wasn’t it.

The Perfect Dress?

My mom had been looking through the clearance rack while I was dressing and she came back with a gown. It was lovely, but very different than my ideal dress.

“Try this on,” she said.

I hesitantly agreed, and went back into the dressing room with the clearance dress. It was one of David’s designer gowns, and had tons of beautiful detail and lace. Nikole helped me into it, and as she zipped it I was surprised when it fit perfectly.

I looked down, expecting to hate it, but I loved what I saw. I stepped out to show my family and felt beautiful and bridal. My sister and mom had huge, glowing smiles as soon as they saw me. When I looked in the large, three-sided mirror, I began to cry. This could be it. The original $1,300 price tag had been marked to almost half off. I couldn’t believe it. I tried on a few more dresses, but none came close to the feeling I’d had in the discount dress. We still had our appointment at Maya Couture, so I asked Nikole if she could hold the dress.

I was unsure I would be able to find anything I loved as much at the other bridal salon. My salesperson quickly made an appearance and we were seated on comfortable couches. I again described my dream dress and tried on a few options. Though beautiful, my heart had been stolen away at David’s Bridal.

The last dress I tried on looked familiar and as I slipped into I realized why. It looked almost exactly like the dress the porcelain figure had worn. I went out and looked at the mirror. This was the dress I had been looking for, but I was torn. I loved the dress at David’s so much. To make matters worse, they offered free alterations if I bought the dress that day.

Love Pats…

I didn’t know what to do, so I asked them to hold it until I could try on the dress at David’s one last time. Thankfully the stores were near each other. We rushed back over, and Nikole helped me back into the dress. Both dresses were amazing—the decision seemed impossible. The manager approached us, and I told her my predicament. While I spoke to her, I swayed back and forth, patting the dress fondly.

“Do you see what you’re doing,” the manager said, “we call that love pats.”

The way I moved and touched the dress made it obvious that I loved it. That simple action made the choice clear. I knew this was it. At David’s they have a sweet and cheesy tradition. When you say yes to the dress, they hand you a bell and have you make a wish for your wedding and for your marriage then ring it. I felt so giddy and silly, but I thought of Danny and made my wish, ringing that bell with all my might.

The Finishing Touches


A few weeks later, my mom and I went back to another location in Ghent, Privée Bride, to search for veils and headpieces that would complete the look. Evie, a fun and sweet salesperson, pulled out almost ten veils and several headpieces for me to try on. She patiently attached each one, and offered advice about which she thought looked best. I found the perfect headpiece for a great price!

My tip to you future brides, you never know what you may find when looking for your wedding gown. Although you should know what you want, be open to those amazing surprises that could come your way.

There are tons of important decisions that you have to make when planning a wedding, click here to read about how Danny and I chose our venue. Please keep reading Quickly Becoming Conley. Next week, Danny and I answer some crucial questions about the wedding budget. Learn how we’re cutting costs.


If you are a current bride or a past bride, you know that planning a wedding can be stressful, please respond to this post on the CoVa Bride Facebook page with what you feel is the most stressful aspect of planning a wedding. You could win a bottle of Stress Away, a Young Living essential oil, from Shannah Phillips Photography

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