I think I found it. With Lynette and my future baby niece by my side–what a wonderful day.
Belchertown Bridal, in Palmer, Mass.–the interiors are all green, like my ring. The owner was amazing–her nametag reads “Your fairy godmother,” and I recommend her and the shop to anyone. It was a very low-key, relaxed, and fun experience. We gathered as many gowns as appealed to us. It was so much fun hearing the crinolines and taffeta rustle, and feeling the weight of the dress fall over my head.
I chose elaborate gowns. I like ornamentation, full skirts, beading, and even color. My dream would be like to look like a portrait of a lady in the European rooms in the Metropolitan Museum. Or a John Singer Sargeant subject. Lynette chose simpler ones, and I was often surprised at how I liked them as well.
After I had tried all of our picks on, Kathy asked if she could choose a few for me to try. Of course! She brought two that hadn’t appealed to me at all on the hangers, but they were _perfect_ on. Two that she brought ended up being my number one and number two favorites. The one I loved the most I tried on three times–and Kathy was gracious and helpful each time. Little Aisla was perfectly well-behaved, and sweetly looked up from eating when the rustling from the dresses distracted her. And Lynette was the best “guide”–she gave comments, helpful suggestions, and was as happy and as excited as me.
The third time I put on The Dress, Kathy started bringing veils, and tiaras. I don’t think I want a veil, and I didn’t think I wanted a tiara…but it was so beautiful on my head! I didn’t want to take it off.
I’m not going to post a photo of The Dress, mostly because it looks very, very different in the photograph Kathy photocopied for me from the catalogue. In the catalogue image, the model is very tan, and the dress is ice-white. In real life, on me, I am very pale and the dress is ivory/champagne. It’s such a different effect that it doesn’t even look like the same dress.
I will say that it reminds me of an Edith Wharton character, or maybe even Emma, from Jane Austen. It’s not a full skirt in the front, but it comes out a little in the back into a slight train. The ivory taffeta lays over ivory satin, and this double-fabric effect creates nice depth, and even a subtle bit of shadow. There are very slight straps, and this keeps it looking more demure than sexy, which I like. There are thousands of tiny beads, and silver embroidery, all over the dress. But it isn’t really _sparkly_, just a subtle lightedness and opulence that comes from the beads, clear on ivory.
I think I will still go look at more dresses with my former roommate Jodut, who is also engaged, but I really think this one is it. I love daydreaming about it, and I can’t wait to wear it again. I love the way the color and beading look against my skin.
Finally, the fact that I’ve chosen a pretty fancy dress means that I need to rethink what the wedding party might wear. I had been thinking fairly casual, even simple black dresses. I don’t think those will look right–black is the wrong feeling next to this delicate-but-rich dress. I am thinking, as far as colors go, that pewter and pale pink, or pink and champagne and cream (either set off with dark green) might be nice.