Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Second Dress Fitting (Oh, and Buying a House!)

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: My Second Dress Fitting (Oh, and Buying a House!)

Stephanie and her friend Emily on her first dress-shopping trip—now it's ready for her Big Day!

On my way to La Bella Moda for my second dress fitting, I had the AC blasting. I’ve noticed a new reaction my body has to stress: intense, all-consuming heat. I was feeling panicked—panicked about how my dress was going to look after a not-so-great first fitting and panicked about whether we were going to get the property we had just put an offer on.

When I entered the shop, the atmosphere was discernibly different than my last visit—much more relaxed. No line of brides out the door, no palpable tension. And I feel lucky to have found my dress at a bridal salon like La Bella Moda. Every single employee knows my name. It’s more intimate than some of the larger shops. It feels almost like family.

Seamstress Maria walked me back to the dressing room, and we began the task of putting on my dress. It’s no easy feat. It takes a remarkable amount of maneuvering, and by the time the process is complete, I’m even hotter. Should be quite interesting on my wedding day.

I walked out of the dressing room to the gasp of my grandmother. While she had been with me when I first tried on my wedding gown, this was her first time seeing my dress, in my size, tailored to me. And her reaction could not have made me happier. She absolutely loved it, admiring each and every detail as I rotated on the platform and Maria pinned away.

Perhaps most importantly, the alterations made from the first fitting to this one were a significant improvement. The gapping in the front and back of the dress had been nearly entirely eliminated. It still needs a few more tweaks, but I felt so much more at ease.

With most of the adjustments completed, we were able to determine what kind of hem the dress would need. We debated leaving it exactly as is, as it was nearly perfect. But with dancing on my mind, we decided to bring it up a tad.

The final topic on the agenda was the bustle. Maria was pretty dead-set on a French bustle, thinking it was the best, most practical option for being able to hold up the train—which could very likely be true, but I really didn’t care for it. The French bustle altered the look of the dress, as opposed to complimenting it. It was one of those moments I keep finding myself in throughout this process, where I need to speak up and speak up quickly before a decision is made that I know I’m going to regret.

I felt badly going against Maria’s clearly experienced opinion, but I mustered up the courage to say I’d really prefer another option. We had tried an overbustle (which I just had to Google—all this new terminology!) in the previous appointment, and I asked if we could give that a go again. Maria was wary, but she began crafting the first loop and then added two more alongside. The finished product was so much more beautiful than the French and perfectly mirrored the lines of my dress with the bustle—the shape that is the very reason I fell in love with the dress in the first place. It was exactly what I wanted. Thankfully, everyone else agreed.

The finishing touch was my veil, which had arrived just that week. When we ordered it, we had taken a bit of gamble, since I had tried on a variation of the veil with the dress, but not the exact one. We had to guess on color and length. But in seeing it on, it’s like it was custom-designed specifically for my dress, despite being entirely different manufacturers. I was absolutely ecstatic.

I didn’t want to get out of it. I couldn’t stop smiling. What a difference from my last appointment, when I was anxious to get the dress off as quickly as possible, so they could begin fixing it. And granted, I still am a bit worried. There are still adjustments to be made, but it’s very close to being perfect!

I walked out of La Bella Moda in the best mood I’ve been in a long time. We headed to dinner, where we met up with my dad—who upon arriving, asked what was going on with our condo situation. And so the stress was back.

I had been back and forth with our real estate agent all day. We decided to put in an offer that morning on a condo we had fallen in love with over the weekend; we went over the terms, debated over whether to come up to the full asking price, signed all the paperwork, collected all the documents needed for the offer, and then waited—all while Pat was overseas on a work trip and I was swamped with work at my office. We then heard from the seller’s agent, who gave us a hard time about our appraisal contingency: more phone calls, more strategy, and more waiting.

I checked my phone obsessively at dinner, waiting for a call or email from our real estate agent—but nothing. As we were driving home from dinner around 10:00pm, I noticed the D.C. area code of the incoming call on my phone and both excitedly and nervously picked up.

“Hi Stephanie. I’m just calling to let you know we’re under contract.” Before I could help it, I blurted out “Yes!”—the kind of “yes” you scream after scoring a goal or watching your favorite team kick the winning field goal. A loud, amped-up yes with the emphasis on the “s.” He laughed and explained the next steps.

I got off the phone and proclaimed to my mom, grandmother, and sister, “We got it!” And then even more fun, I got to call Pat in Ireland and tell him. “We got it! We have our first home!”

Unfortunately, that original glory of the moment has tampered off a bit just because of the paperwork, rules and regulations we have now been inundated with. We also have quite a schedule ahead of us. Settlement is on July 8th, a little more than a week before the wedding. Pat is currently going month-to-month with his rent, so we’ll have to move all of his stuff out of his apartment before the wedding, as we’re planning to return from our honeymoon on the last day of July. Buying a house is a pretty huge step in the first place, and we just compounded it with getting married.

I’m feeling rather frazzled. The endless to-do list is still ceaseless. I actually received an email attachment from our realtors titled “to-do” list the other day; I wanted to bang my head against a wall. But I truly could not be more elated about my dress. I feel like everything’s finally coming together. I can be confident that my dress is going to be stunning. And Pat and I have our first home! My eyes start to well up when I think about it. Twelve years of dating and three years of long-distance are about to culminate in a wedding and new house—and of course, it’s not an end. It’s the beginning of our lives together.

Were you a bit worried about your dress at any point during the fitting process? And anyone else out there do something crazy like get married and buy your first home all at once??

Like Philadelphia Wedding on Facebook

Follow Philadelphia Wedding on Twitter

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.