As soon as I got back from our New York shopping trip, I set up an alert on preownedweddingdresses.com for “my” dress. The stretched-out store sample I’d tried on just barely zipped up and smashed my boobs flat like I was a lady trying to join the army in the olden days (…in a big white dress). So, I figured the right size for me was probably one size up from the sample. I set the alert range for one size below and one size above my size, pressed submit, and pretty much forgot about it. “My” dress is a pretty popular style and has been around for a few years, so there were at least a couple listings on the site already. However, they were all at least three sizes below my size, and altered to fit shorter women, so I wasn’t all that hopeful that my size would come through.
Then. THEN. Then. Shortly after my local shopping trip, on a random Saturday in May (that’s, count ‘em, a whopping 15 months before the wedding), I got an email from preownedweddingdresses.com. They had a listing for “my” dress. In “my” size. And. AND. And. It was a sample from a salon in California, meaning it had no canceled-wedding bad juju (not that I believe in anything like that…) and no uncanceled-wedding alterations and/or wear and tear. PLUS, it was a sample the store had purchased in 2013 (and, according to the store, had only been tried on a few times—the store was closing and selling its inventory), so there was no store-sample wear and tear. Oh, and it was listed for half off retail price.
GIF via Mashable
Guys. In case you couldn’t tell yet, I wigged out. I immediately forwarded it to Mama H, with the subject line: “!!!!!” It seemed too good to be true. The downside was that the store didn’t accept returns and wouldn’t do escrow, so if the (beautiful, perfect) photos weren’t accurate, we were kinda stuck with what we got.
I did everything my worrywart mind could think of to hedge my bets. I spent all day emailing the owner, asking her to send more photos (which she did). I called a local salon that had told me previously they’d sell me their sample of “my” dress, to see if I could buy it locally, instead. (They said they’d give me about a third off, and?because they’d had the sample for a while, some of the detailing would need to be reinforced by a tailor. Not super compelling, comparatively speaking.) Basically, I spent the entire day with my stomach in knots. Finally, Mama H?gave it to me straight: Order the damn thing. If it doesn’t work, then it’s a popular dress and we’re still more than a year out, so we can probably resell it. Not the absolute end of the world. (My mom is da best, and has much experience with talking me down off the ledge.)
So, that’s what we did. Within 10 hours of originally seeing the posting, we’d paid for the dress and had it delivered to Mama H’s?office (so we could be sure someone would be there to sign for it). And then, I waited. By the following Friday, the dress was in Mama H’s hot little hands. That Saturday happened to be MOH A’s wedding day, and that Sunday was Mr. Hammer’s cousin’s college graduation party, so I kept busy (and tried to focus on, oh, people other than ME AND MY DRESSSSSS).
Sunday afternoon, we raced down to my parents’ house after the?party so that I could try on the dress. Mr. Hammer was banished to the living room, and Mama H?and I slooooowly slit open the box the dress came in. There was a bit of a hitch when the zipper stuck a bit, and Mama H?thought we should wait for the tailor to zip it up the whole way, but I was having none of that levelheadedness. I forced her to pull a little harder, and…it zipped up! It was freakin’ perfect. It fit perfectly. (Well, except that it needs to be hemmed and the straps are a little long. But close enough.) FMIL came over to see it, and everyone agreed that we hit the luckiest home run ever with this one. A few weeks later, I brought it to our local?tailor to make sure everything looked good and/or fixable, and the tailor confirmed that it was perfect and told me to come see her in a year.
And that was it. I can’t say I was really expecting my search to end so soon (and so long before the wedding), but in the end, I couldn’t get that dress off my mind, and the circumstances were just too perfect. So now, it’s sitting creepily wrapped up in a white sheet and closed up in the shipping box under a?bed at FMIL/FFIL’s house, safe from my parents’ cats and Mr. Hammer’s absentminded eyes.* And I cannot freakin’ wait to wear it.
The moral of the story? If you’ve found your dream dress but aren’t exactly psyched about the price (and especially if it’s a fairly popular dress style), set up an alert on preownedweddingdresses.com ASAP, even if you’re not quite ready to buy. You never know when the perfect listing will strike. And when it does, don’t be afraid to ask for more photos and/or escrow, if it’ll make you feel better about buying used. If the seller’s a salon, Google the heck out of them; our seller’s glowing Yelp reviews both addressed my concerns that I may be buying from a sketchy rando and informed me that the shop was closing and that was why it was selling everything.
Did you guys buy your dress online? (Shoutout to Miss Clownfish!) Am I missing any good tips here?
*Side note: I did a lot—a LOT—of research about storing wedding dresses before the wedding, and it seems like acid-proof boxes are the most popular option, particularly if your dress has embellishments that could pull/sag on the hanger. But the tailor specifically told me to use the original mailing box and wrap the dress in a sheet, and real-person opinions do occasionally outweigh Google World for me. But only occasionally.Tags: harwich-portwedding-dress BLOGGER Miss Hammerhead Venue: Wychmere Beach Club --> PREVIOUS POSTSymbol of a Home: The Chuppah NEXT POSTTotal Re-Collie: We Party Related Posts Dressing Myself, Part 2: The Flagship One03/10/15 @ 7:46 am Dressing Myself, Part 3: The Local One03/11/15 @ 9:58 am Dressing Myself, Part 1: The Famous One03/09/15 @ 5:29 am The Great Venue Hunt: The Ones We Didn’t Pick03/02/15 @ 6:41 am