Jun 222016

This weekend I’m going wedding dress shopping with a small crew of bridesmaids and female family members, and I could NOT be more excited. I made an appointment at two dress boutiques, and we’re going out to lunch afterwords, so it should be a really fun day!

Before taking everyone out to the stores though, I wanted to try on some dresses with just my mom so that I could get an initial feel for what kind of dresses I like. Even though I already have a style in mind, I thought this would be a good opportunity to try on dresses in different styles – like trumpet gowns and big poofy ball gowns – so that I can be more strategic and focused when I have my entourage in tow.

So, to start off this little shopping adventure, my mom and I met up at Ellie’s in Alexandria!


Ellie’s had great reviews online, and since you can’t bring more than 4 guests with you to an appointment there, I knew it would be the perfect spot to check out with my mom. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by our helpful consultant Cassandra, who asked me what styles I like and what my budget is. She also asked if I had any pictures of dresses to show her, but since I wanted to have fun with the appointment and try on lots of different types of dresses, I decided not to show her any of the pictures.

Then she told us to walk around the racks (and helpfully told us which ones to avoid to stay within my price range) and pick out about nine dresses to try on. When I found one I liked, Cassandra would take it back to the fitting room, and my mom and I didn’t need to lift a finger. I thought this was great customer service!

Even though Ellie’s wasn’t a huge store space, they had a ton of dresses to choose from!


I wound up choosing nine dresses to try on before I even finished looking through all the racks in the store.


If I was looking more seriously I think I would have done a lap of the store first, and then gone back to choose my nine, instead of just picking them out as I went. Since I was just trying them on to get a feel for style though, I had no problem picking a few here and a few there.


Then I headed into the dressing room and started trying on dresses! There were a few that I wound up liking a lot so I’m not going to share those pictures here, but I’m happy to share some of the ones that got nixed.

I really liked this A-line dress with a beaded bodice and crinoline skirt, and I even told Cassandra that if I was having my wedding at a different venue this one would definitely be a contender.


Since we are having it at the Aspen Wye River Marriot in Maryland (i.e., outside, on the grass, by the water) this dress didn’t really fit my vision, but it sure was beautiful.


I also tried on one that was even poofier and reminded me a lot of a Cinderella dress! That one was way too heavy and would be impossible to dance in, but it was fun to try on anyway. 🙂

There were also some really beautiful dresses that were more form-fitting thrown into the mix, and even though I liked these a lot, they didn’t really feel like me.


I also don’t know what I’m doing in this picture – lol – but you get the idea. 🙂


Overall our first adventure in dress shopping was a big success! I left with a better understanding of the types of dresses I want to be looking for at our next appointment. I also realized that choosing a dress is going to be really hard, especially because I’m a pretty indecisive person anyway and all the dresses were so beautiful! I’m hoping that having a bigger entourage with me on Saturday will help me narrow down the options a bit more. I’m also hoping that when it’s the right dress, I will just know. For those of you who are married, did you know right away when it was “the” dress?

After shopping, we headed over to Dante Ristorante near Tyson’s Corner for lunch! Fabio and I had gone there a while back for dinner around the holidays, but this was our first time going when the weather is nice and it was just beautiful!


My mom and I were seated outside on the patio, which was surrounded by a cute fountain and plenty of beautiful greenery. It was so peaceful out there!


My mom and I started off our lunch with champagne (duh!) and an order of calamari. Both were delicious!


For my entree I chose the veal ravioli, which was to die for. I had remembered that the homemade pasta is really a specialty at Dante Ristorante, and this meal did not disappoint! The pasta was chewy and perfectly cooked, and the decadent tomato cream sauce had me mopping up my plate with bread. So good!


My mom got the special of the day which was fish with crab meat (obviously a healthier choice) and the bite I had of her meal was so fresh and flavorful. Yum!


We also got an (unpictured) chocolate hazelnut trufo for dessert, which was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.

I have to give a HUGE thank you to Dante Ristorante for taking care of the bill in exchange for a review on the blog (though of course all opinions are my own). The staff there is so incredibly generous!

Overall it was a perfect mother-daughter day, and it got me even more excited for the shopping adventure this weekend. I can’t wait!

Question of the day: Married ladies, how did you know when your dress was your dress?

 Posted by on June 22, 2016

  5 Responses to “Wedding Dress Shopping with Mom”

  1. I knew it was the dress for me when I had absolutely no desire to try any more, and I didn’t want to take it off! I could have hung out in the store all day. Take your time, but also don’t overthink it, and trust your feelings.
    Not to scare you, but if it helps later- I had a big moment of panic a few days after I bought it, thinking I made a mistake. I think that had more to do with how “final” it was and how many gorgeous dresses I felt like are out there (don’t keep looking, even online!). It helped me to reach out and be honest with my bridesmaids, who were great to remind me how perfect it looked. A year later and a month out, I know it was the perfect dress. Good luck!

  2. Hi! My name is Stephanie and I have been following your blog for a while (which I love!). I am actually also getting married on June 10th 2017 and am going wedding dress shopping this weekend and also went a few weekends ago, such a fun time! I love reading your posts about wedding details because I feel like we are going through the same things at the same time! Good luck with shopping and have fun 🙂

  3. I always call myself an overly decisive person. I went to David’s Bridal with a print out of about 8 or 9 dresses I wanted to try on. I tried most of them on, plus a few more the consultant had picked out. I knew I had found “my dress” because I felt confident in it, it was flattering on me, the price was right and best of all: I could wear a normal bra under it. 🙂

    Congrats on finding your dress! Can’t wait to see it!

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