On Saturday, I bought my dress. It's an Amsale '09, and gorgeous! I'd post a picture, but I don't think the pictures available online really do it justice. The runway model is kind of scary and the lighting is odd. So while I'd just crop off her head, I'm not sure how to fix the lighting in a jiffy. But it's so pretty! And it has pockets! It's silk taffeta, true A-line, natural waist, faux crumb catcher/asymetrical top. I love it.
So on Saturday, Wee and I went into the city for my 9:30 Kleinfeld appointment--print outs in hand and all. The other ladies were running late and said they'd meet at some point: Sam woke up too late; Dani had to run an errand earlier; and Lakshmi was on her way. Wee and I got into the city early--Wee got a coffee at a Starbucks where there was a guy who looked a lot like Larry David.
When we got to Kleinfeld, it looked like they were taping Say Yes to the Dress because there was a sign up and all--I've never seen an episode before so I had no idea what I was getting into really. I knew that this experience would be a lot different than RK Bridal. I also was terrified that my ring wouldn't be big enough, and they'd scoff. Or that they'd notice my ratty strapless bra (grabbed the wrong one when packing), and they'd scoff. Or they'd just scoff outright and say, "I hate you. Here's a dress. Give me your money." Wee said I was nuts, but who knows. It seems like a lot of people have had shitty experiences buying dresses.
The waiting area was full of women--their friends, mothers, cousins, and sisters. All women. The feeling was a bit strange. There was a lot of excitement/tension/estrogen in the air. My salesperson, Rita, called out my name. She was a tiny, old Sicilian lady with an accent and red hair. She used to be a seamstress, etc. Seamstresses have a good acute sense of fabric and structure--so I felt like I was in good hands. She said her daughter's b-day was my wedding date--maybe she says that to everyone, but it sure did make her more personable.
As we entered, she said that Amsale was having a trunk sale and introduced me to two of their sales people. One was named Sandra, I think. Anyway, we sat in the dressing room and talked for a few minutes. I pulled out my top 5, and Rita said that she thinks I'd look really nice in classic gowns versus the lacy ones I also chose. I also told her my budget, and she frowned and said that the dresses I chose are a bit over, but we'll take a look. So first things first, we took a look at the Amsale and pulled down some of the dresses. Wee claims she pulled down the dress I eventually chose, and I'll give her that. I mean, we technically did look at them together though. So with a dressing room full of gowns, the first dress I tried on the dress I eventually bought. It fit so well. With the trunk sale price it was closer to my budget than the other dresses, but a lot over the JCrew dress I bought twice on sale. At this point, I didn't even know there were pockets.
We tried on the other dresses I chose from my top 5. Rita just showed me the Claire Pettibone, and honestly, they were so disappointing. They reminded me of the dresses (but longer of course) that we bought for parties from Rave or G+G in the mall. Rita said that with a church wedding you don't really want to be wearing dresses that you could also wear on the beach or other more casual settings and I agreed. Also the lacy dress I tried on looked atrocious. I think I had to be older or something to wear it, which wiped wanting the Carpa dress out of my mind. Surprisingly too the 5K Monique Lhuillier dress I tried on didn't look that nice either. The sample was a bit busted, but still.
Sandra came by and said that she'd like to see me in the first dress, and I tried on one or two more Amsale before putting it back on. Sandra did bring in another dress, but I never tried it on. It may have been the one with the giant bow thing in the back. Honestly, I think Rita decided against it over the one I chose. So I put the dress I bought back on, and Rita brought out some shoes, and we walked to the main floor for a veil and more space. At this point, Dani found us, and it was so nice to have an extra opinion that I could trust. As we were walking toward the main floor, I really had no clue where I was going. Wee was holding my train and directing me. I said, "I don't know where I'm going! I've never seen the show!"
We got there and it was so nice standing there. I don't know why--it just was. Nicole and Randy introduced themselves to me. Nicole or Randy introduced that the dress had pockets too I think. I tried on a two-piece veil and a one piece veil--both were lined all around in white fabric, which was kind of like the thickness of the belt area of the dress and was nice. The stiffer veil got Wee and Dani's vote, but I didn't have to buy a veil yet. I think Grandma will be making it.
I told them that we were heading to Pronovias at noon to see what we could see. I also let it slip that I already bought a very similar dress from JCrew. The trunk sale would only work for today though, so saving $500 today or hunting down the dress for a better sale while time ran out were the only options it seems. I'm also not one to haggle, and so I said I'd likely be back.
Pronovias is a whole other story, but the experience was very nice. Unfortunately, I didn't love those dresses. So after lunch at Cookshop, all of us (me, Wee, Sam, Dani, and Lakshmi) went to Kleinfeld to try on the dress for sizing, sign the contract, and pay the deposit (60%).
My dress ships in April! I'm so excited!