The Dress Hunt

My mom, Rita, and I officially began The Hunt today — and we also may have finished it!

I was pretty wary about too much salesperson intervention during my wedding dress search, and I was unsure about what it meant to set up an appointment at a bridal salon. We opted instead to take our chances and walk into Vera’s House of Bridals here in Madison — just in time for the Saturday morning rush to be in full force, with several brides accompanied by extensive entourages. It became immediately clear why one should set an appointment for this kind of thing; you can’t simply walk around and look at all of the dress options at a place like this. Vera’s inventory includes more than 500 dresses, and only a handful of them are on display in the lobby areas.

But today was our lucky day. We signed in and waited only a few minutes for an available consultant. Cassie took us upstairs to start looking through the “finale” rack options as she staked out a dressing room. On the very first rack was a very particular dress. I pointed it out, and once Cassie was able to sneak us into the “Paris” room, it was the very first dress I tried on.

The attraction was instant, but I wasn’t sure if I was really just excited about the experience of putting on a wedding dress. Three hours, more than 20 dresses, a bottle of water and a couple of visits from Vera herself later, it was clear that the first dress was the dress. As those other dresses came and went, the first dress never left the room.

Mom and I were both in love with it, but the purchase timing didn’t feel quite right. So we put the darling on hold, and I’ll see how I feel in a few days. (I already kind of miss it.)

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