So, my sweetie and I got engaged two weeks ago. We have not yet set a date, nor have we booked a venue (though we will be seeing some places tomorrow). It's still quite early in the game. I swear, I am not going to be a bridezilla. I know every bride must say this, but the idea of obsessing over every little detail (are the chairs the right style and color? Do the plates match my color scheme?) just exhausts me. I am not detail-oriented.
One thing I do know, however, is that getting married in NYC is an expensive proposition. So it behooves us to save money where we can. For exmaple, on the dress. I mean, my stingy soul finds it hard to imagine I would ever spend $5,000 on a dress anyway, but given the circumstances, it's even less likely. The only problem is, I'm a fiber snob. I hate the idea of getting married in polyester. Heck, I hate the idea of, oh, going to work in polyester. But a silk dress usually means a designer dress, and that means $$$$$.
So, this morning, my friend Laura and I went to the annual Running of the Brides sale at Filene's Basement. I did not expect to buy anything, but I thought, hey, if I can get a designer silk dress for a few hundred bucks, I'm ahead of the game.
Many other brides were thinking the same thing. Maybe you've seen news footage of the original Filene's in Boston and their bridal sale: crazy women in catsuits undressing in the aisles and fighting each other for dresses. The New York store was much like that, though I suspect not as crazy. Laura and I were there at 7:30; the doors opened at 8:00. Hundreds of women, many in packs of four or five wearing matching hats (or Easter bunny ears), the better to find each other in the mayhem, poured into the store, ripping gowns off the rack, basically at random. After about five seconds of attempting to actually look at the dresses and selecting ones I liked, Laura and I fell into the pattern and just grabbed. Inside three minutes, we had a pile of seven or eight gowns, and retired to the side to try them on.
Luckily, we retired to the side in front of what was usually the men's dressing room. As I disrobed, in true Filene's bridal madness fashion, a store employee came out of the dressing room and said, drily, "You know, you can use the dressing room." So, we did. It was a haven of calm in the frenzy.
At first, I thought I was safe: every dress in that first batch was polyester, ugly, heavily beaded, or too small. I figured that was the way it was going to go, and I was OK with it: I was here bascially on a lark anyway. Laura headed out into the fray to fetch me more. The scene out there was apparently quite bad. When Laura attempted to take some dresses another woman had rejected, that woman demanded that Laura provide a dress in trade for each one she was going to take. This was the order of the day, as the friend of the woman in the dressing rom next to me came back empty-handed and complained that everyone wanted something in trade. Laura is made of stronger stuff. She said, "I'f you've tried it on and you're not considering buying it, you don't actually own it." She brought me another armful of dresses. And another, and another. In all, I probably tried on over two dozen dresses.
Somewhere in that second batch, I started to see some lovely simple silk dresses from one of my favorite wedding dress designers, Romona Keveza. Alas, each one was too small. I was disappointed, but OK with it: I was here on a lark. And then, and then--I found it. A Romona Keveza 100% silk column dress with a dramatic fishtail train. In my size. In pristine condition. And it cost $700, not $5,000.
What could I do? I bought it.
Here it is, hanging on the back of my office door. Yes, I went to the sale before work. When I brought it in, everyone made me try it on to show them. I complied, until the mail guy walked by and looked at me funny. I bet he thought I was a bridezilla!
Here's the bodice, a simple crossover v-neck with an empire waist.
Here's that gorgeous train. I ask you, did I have a choice? None. None, I say. It will need a few minor alterations, but it won't need to be cleaned (assuming I can keep from taking it out and trying it on every week until the wedding), so all in all, I got a great deal. It was meant to be, right? I mean, we had no method: we were just grabbing any dress we could lay our mitts on. Yet in that haphazard pile was this dress, the One.
No, I won't post pictures of me with it on: my sweetie might see :-).