Wedding Dress Shopping

It’s supposed to be a super fun experience. All the shows on TV depict women in various states of rapture after they find “the one.”

I’m lucky I first went to I Do Two to search for my wedding dress. It lived up to all my expectations. Kelly, the owner, is fantastic. She was super patient and genuinely excited to hunt through her (enormous) stacks of dresses to find the perfect one for me. It’s not easy to help someone into wedding dresses! They’re heavy, unwieldy, and involve a lot of lacing, tightening, and peculiar petticoats, each specific to the style of dress.20160107_120209

I must have tried on 14 dresses at her store. I narrowed it down to two, and then came back every day all week to try on the finalists (my mom, sister, youngest niece, and I went there on a Monday). I purchased my dress that Friday. I love it!

It’s a way nicer dress than I’d ever have been able to afford at a regular store. I Do Two is a consignment shop. If, like me, you think that means you will be buying a used dress, you are mistaken! I think only two of the dresses I tried on had previously been worn. I didn’t know this was a “thing,” but apparently lots of ladies buy two dresses and then wait til right before the wedding to decide which one to wear. Those ladies must have a lot of extra money! At any rate, it works to your advantage. I bought a dress that had an original price of $800 for 400 bucks. It was quite a bit too big for me, so I’m having it altered, but I would have had to have any other dress altered as well.

Here are some of the dresses I tried on at Kelly’s shop. (Did I mention she’s wonderful?)

Looking at these today, I guess I should have put on some makeup and made an effort with my hair before going shopping. Ha!

Like I said before, I had a difficult time deciding between two dresses. Here’s the one I didn’t get. 0104161248


I really liked the scalloped edge at the bottom. It was hard to choose, but I’m super happy with the one I bought! (Thank you to my sister and mom for taking these pics and patiently watching me try on dresses all afternoon!)

I did go to David’s Bridal after I Do Two. I felt like I should, for some reason. A rite of passage? However, by the end of my session – or whatever it’s called – I was mad. The lady put me in dresses that were 6 sizes too big, despite having dresses on the racks in my size. I don’t know what she was thinking. She said, “Oh, I guess someone put this dress in the wrong spot on the rack.” I could see that happening once, but multiple times? It’s like she thought I was lying about the size I wear. She seemed truly surprised when I was swimming in all the dresses she first pulled.

Additionally, she was unkind to my 5 year-old niece, who was beyond excited to be there, scolding her for touching plastic-wrapped dresses and accidentally stepping on the train of one I was trying on. (I got to return the dirty look when she herself stepped on said train 3 minutes later.) This niece was busily kindergartening it up when we were in Kelly’s store; between stores, my dad picked her up from school and swapped her out for her 3 year-old sister, who was beyond bored by dress shopping by then.

The saleslady at DB was also condescending about the amount of money we wanted to spend, sweeping past a dress I saw on a mannequin and admired, “Oh… that’s a Vera.” Didn’t say anything else. I was left behind to figure out that meant it was much too expensive. She then refused to show me any similar dresses at lower price points. I have a hard time believing an A-line dress with lace doesn’t exist by someone less expensive than Vera Wang. But what do I know. We left before I had even finished trying on her second round of dresses.


My 5 year-old niece with me in one of the few dresses that fit at David’s Bridal

On the way home, I told my mom, “I’m so glad we went to that consignment store first. That lady was so nice. If we had come here first -” and here my mom finished the sentence, “You would have been in tears.” Yup. Hit the nail on the head!

In all, if you’re shopping in Minnesota for a wedding gown, I highly recommend Kelly at I Do Two in Otsego. Her collection is enormous; I had a fantastic experience with her, and I can’t wait to wear my beautiful dress! I’ve never seen one like it before! Y’all can see it. On May 28. 🙂

It is raining and I am eating hot tamales.

I don’t quite feel up to trying to top yesterday’s post!  So, today I’ll use pictures:

Sertoma Camp, NC

Harness butt show-offs at the high ropes course before Lauren and Stefan's wedding.

Lauren and Stefan

Lauren and Stefan's first dance at their reception. So cute!


The hot boyfriend I picked up at the wedding.

junk food

Yes. I did send all my clothes back to MA with the newlyweds and pack my entire suitcase with American food. No more sour cream for this lady! TSA did inspect the suitcase (notice the notice). Strangely enough, they didn't inspect it on the way into the country, when it contained two bags of dried porcelain, busted up into small chunks and dry white powder.


The only good candy I've found over here so far.

cleaning porcelain

Sitting on my "breakfast bench" (where I like to sit in the sun and eat chocolate-filled croissants as large as my face), sanding one of my porcelain tiles.

poisonous smoke

A raku workshop fired their pieces today. I stink like smoke now and am glad I was wearing my mask all day for the dust from sanding; hopefully it kept some of this stuff out of my lungs too.

black porcelain

The installation sort of laid out. I have another kiln to unload tomorrow and I'm planning to mix some of the grey and the white tiles so there's a less definitive line.

A Suspicious-looking Pile


Where are you and what are you doing?  I’m waiting for pictures from this morning (unloading the kiln) to upload to flickr.  It’s taking FOREVER!  Does anyone know how to make it faster?  I don’t really understand that site very well.

Anyway, the kiln was a success and I’m signed up to load it again on Monday.  It’ll get fired on Tuesday even though I’m leaving for America that day.  That sounds so romantic or adventurous or something, “leaving for America,” doesn’t it?  It has a nice ring to it.  🙂  I’m going back for a few days for my friends’ wedding (Lauren and Stefan).  It’s going to be so fun!  I’m really looking forward to seeing them get hitched.  They have lots of activities planned for the weekend, before and after the wedding ceremony.  So, it’ll be a whirlwind, I think, but that’ll be exciting.  Plus, Lauren asked me what I’d like to eat after she picks me up from the airport and I said, “chicken,” and she said, “Let me guess, not fried and no sour cream.”  Right on the money!

The best part of my day so far (in addition to the good firing) has been receiving a belated birthday package in the mail.  The package contained a few different things, including a very suspicious unlabeled photo of a small pile lying on some carpet in the sunshine, which I think might be related to toilet-training a small child… let your imagination run wild on this one, and I think you’ll be correct…

Flickr is still only 51% finished, so I’ll put a few of my own photos here for you.  I’d love to hear what you think!  I think I fixed it so you can comment on here without entering your personal information.  (I still moderate comments before they’re published though; I get a lot of spam comments on dog-training, for whatever reason.)


Here's the kiln after firing, waiting for the saggers to cool enough to pull them out. Since heat rises and the tiles are so thin, I was able to take 17/20 of the white tiles from the shelves below while waiting.

slip casting

One of the white tiles I pulled out from the bottom of the kiln.

sagger firing porcelain

One of the saggers, right after opening it (you can barely see the tile where it's hidden under the burned sawdust)

black porcelain

a black tile, view 1

black porcelain

same black tile, different angle to the light

acorn sagger firing

experiment with acorns on top of the tile, sawdust beneath (with notes to myself)

More pictures on my facebook page.