The first is My Sister's Closet, but the only the Chandler location sells gowns. They have a good selection of about 50 gowns. The difficult part of trying gowns on at this store is that the sizes are not labeled on all gowns and in some cases the marked size is a far cry from how the gown fits- due to having been previously altered. I was able to find a gem here though.
The above photo is me in a size 4 Vera Wang that had been altered, surprisingly, to my actual height... which is well... almost 5 feet. Despite the fact that it fit like a glove and would need no alteration, I wasn't in love. It was a simple, chic dress. Which simply wasn't me. I wanted a corseted back and a dramatic look without being overdone or looking like a wedding cake topper. The sales staff at My Sister's Closet pointed me in the direction of a seamstress who had been known to put corsets in and was recommended by several patrons. But I just wasn't ready to throw money down on a gown that wasn't right.
The search continued. I ended up watching TV the same evening and stumbled across a consignment wedding show! My Luck was changing, I thought, and I contacted Pam from Almond Tree Weddings. They explained that at the moment they were working out of a storage facility- which only meant better prices to me. So I high tailed it up to Cave Creek & the 101 to North Phoenix to try on some gowns. Again I found a nice gown.
Please excuse the "head chop" but I was working with a gown that was about 2 sizes too big and a camera phone. This beautiful number was a Maggie Sottero, and although it was a little big with some simple alterations it would fit beautifully. But again, it didn't quite feel right. So I was off to hit the drawing board again.
This is about the point where I hit a mental wall and a flood of bridal emotions overtook me. Thankfully my fiance was out playing poker, and I came home and cried. I called my MOH/best friend/bridal inspiration and told her my woes. She took a deep breath and told me what I was doing wrong... but that will be covered in Part III.