Marriage and Lisa Marie: Dresses, Dresses, Dresses

Lisa Marie heads out on the dress circuit for round three.

The religious element of the wedding is well under way, so it was off to more bridal shops with my support staff in tow to see if there was anything else out there. I found a great dress at the Running of the Brides event at Filene’s Basement. But after making the trip to the bridal shops with my future mother-in-law, I fell in love with two other dresses, showing me that there were so many other dresses out there that I could also fall in love with.

With my mom and maid-of-honor, Stefanie, I visited two shops near my condo in Alexandria. Stef has known me for essentially our entire lives, and we’re way past the point of niceties when trying on clothes together, especially for an event of this magnitude. For instance, at the first store, I tried on one dress that had a pickup skirt and cinched bodice. When I came out of the dressing room, my mother was analyzing the dress, and Stef took one look at me and said, “You look like a window treatment.” Needless to say, I didn’t have to worry about a lack of honesty from her. Between the two stores, I tried on about 20 dresses, and I (thankfully) didn’t have the same sort of connection to any of them as I did to the first one and to the two from the bridal shop we visited a few weeks ago.

I was silently relieved that I now had only to decide between three dresses, but unfortunately the saleswoman brought me one last dress that she thought I would like. This dress is now affectionately called the “fancy-pants dress” because it’s by far the most formal of all the dresses I love. The intricate beadwork dances above my hips in a regal design, and the amazing full skirt makes me look almost like Victorian royalty. The strapless corset top makes me look absolutely tiny­—I really felt like I was giving every fairy tale princess a run for her money.

I stood on my pedestal and waved to my adoring public and murmured to myself that now I had four dresses I needed to choose among. All were below the original price limit I set, so I was desperately trying not to let the price tag affect how I felt about each dress—although it’s hard to deny that the $250 dress did give us some more flexibility in things such as catering. At my mother’s suggestion, we decided to take a couple of weeks off and not to visit any more bridal stores. Then, after time passed, we’d revisit the dresses with the entire gang of local wedding-party members to make a decision.

But in the meantime, we’ll focus on a different apparel element—bridesmaids’ dresses! It was time to put my girls through the grueling task of trying on as many dresses as possible to find the perfect one to complement the day. I hope finding their dress will be less challenging than finding mine!


Lisa Marie, a local bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Washington in July. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

If you like reading about Lisa Marie, make sure to check out our other blogging bride-to-be, Eleni, who writes every Wednesday. Follow her adventures here

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.