Mason Dixon Minded: Finding the Other “One”

I found my gown and said yes to that dress!! This is the thing many girls like myself dream of finding. I spent hours in my childhood making wedding dresses out of bed sheets. I wanted to be a princess on my big day. Now that I am grown-up, my perfect gown has changed but the importance of this garment has not. I have always thought my quest would play out like any episode of Say Yes to The Dress. I would find it surrounded by the ladies I love, my mama would cry and everyone would hug. However, the reality of my story is more of an accidental find.

While Baltimore doesn’t have mega salons like Kleinfeld’s in New York, we do have a few big ones that most brides will try. One of them, Betsy Robinson, had advertised a sample sale. Thinking maybe this was my chance to get something stunning at a discounted price I made an appointment for my mom and myself. My dad dropped us off and we checked in. The sales girl, Ashley, showed me the sale items and I was disappointed to not see anything I even was interested in trying on.

Fortunately, I wasn’t limited to just the sale rack. After pulling five or six dresses, we headed back to the fitting room. There were a few that I liked but you don’t want to just like your gown . . . you want to LOVE it. Most of the dresses felt heavy. Our wedding is outside and more casual so I was looking for something light. We went back to the racks and I pulled a few more, but nothing had caught my eye yet. Ashley brought a dress to me and asked if I wanted to try it on, even though it wasn’t full lace. I agreed but wasn’t convinced.

After another three gowns, I tried on Ashley’s pick. It fit like a glove. And I realized: I love this dress. Like, love, love, love it. My mom loved it too, although there were no tears (boo!). Ashley asked if I wanted to see it with a veil. She put a cathedral length one on (which is what I requested) and the angels sang down to me. This was it. I got a bit misty myself standing there looking in the mirror. I was a bride, a real one. After dreaming about this for so long, I had found it. When I wasn’t even trying or expecting it!

While I still have a year to go, I know this is my dress. It just feels right. But now that means no more looking! No more pinning, no more browsing, no more Style Me Pretty (for dresses anyway). For anyone else out there getting ready to look, as long as you have 6-8 months, there is no rush. I honestly didn’t mean to find my dress, it just happened. Another piece of advice is go with an open mind. This dress is sort of similar to what I was thinking but not really what I had imagined as THE dress. Also, I was lucky because I am the sample size and therefore almost all of the dresses fit me without any extra clips, etc. If these samples are too big or too small, have faith that once it’s ordered in your size and altered to fit perfectly, it will look a lot different (and better!). And most importantly, have fun. What girl doesn’t love playing dress up? – Carrie Costantini

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