I told you I'd do it...

Bright and early this morning, my cute roommate Morgan and I drove up to Friendship Heights to attend this...

Maybe the Captain's frugality is rubbing off on me. Maybe I'm just crazy! But really, who doesn't want a killer deal on their wedding dress?

This event was INSANE as you will see...what pictures cannot capture is the mayhem that gives it the name the "running of the brides". It literally felt like we were caught in a stampede as we approached the door to the mall surrounded by screaming brides, their bridesmaids, MOBs (mom's of brides), gay guy friends, and even dads! It was a mosh pit of matching t-shirts. For a second I thought about following through with my own MOB's suggestion to wait and meet up at the one in Chicago or Boston. Now that it's over, I don't know if I could do it again, but if I did I would definitely need reinforcements!

I hope you enjoy the line as much as Morgan and I did...
Getting excited to go in! We had NO idea what to expect. The website gave a glimpse of what was on the other side of the doors, but I really had no clue! People were so organized. Their "team members" all had responsiblities. One, we would find out, was to carry these signs around. You'll find out why in a bit.

More mayhem inside the store. When we walked in, the only dresses still on the racks were being horded like these ones. I literally could not even get my hands on a dress for at least an hour. We just walked in circles. Begging.

The "sign holders" were parading around the store, asking for their brides' dream dress size, color, style, etc. It was amazing. The hording didn't stop--it just turned into "trading". No one would let go of a dress unless you had one to give them in return. Finally, some sympathetic bridesmaid handed me a dress in my size (which I wasn't even sure what size I wore in wedding dresses at that point). I tried it on--not the perfect dress and more than I wanted to pay, but we held on to it like it was a life boat in open, rough waters. Something to trade. One dress turned into six, until my arms started to ache. I kept thinking, This is crazy, carrying around dresses I don't even want, just for leverage. The plastic bags made my arms sweat.

Eventually, cheers started errupting from groups throughout the store, indicating that a bride had found a dress! I kept getting more and more overwhelmed and disappointed. Just as I decided that this would not be my lucky day and that I should just give up, people started abandoning dresses in piles and sales people started putting dresses back on the racks. I tried on a couple that seemed like they "could" work...or at least would be good ideas to show a seamstress--since I obviously was just going to have to take my ideas to someone to make them from scratch.

Then, something caught my eye in the corner of the store. A bride named Brittany had on this dress with an AMAZING skirt. I hovered. I asked if that was one she wanted. She said maybe. She was picking between 3 or 4 dresses. I told her if she didn't want it, I wanted to try it on. Then this other girl started hovering too! and another! and another! Brittany looked at them, pointed at me and said, "She has first pick." Oh it warmed my heart! Finally, a ray of light.
Another shopper asked me what I was looking for. Apparently, her job was to scavange for her bride. She told me she saw something like I was describing against the other wall on the floor. Morgan vultured over Brittany's group for me while I did some recon. I found the dress the scavanger was talking about and it did have an amazing skirt too! But it was on the body of this cute Latina. I hovered there while she hummed and hawed. It seemed to take forever--even after she told her friend that she didn't like it--I swear it was a power play. She took her time just because I was hovering. She finally took it off and I took it over to Morgan so she could help me zip it up. It fit, but it would need an entirely new bodice and for the price of the dress, it would be worth it! But what I really wanted was in Brittany's pile of "maybes".
By this time, I was hot and sweaty and hungry and so was Morgan! I started to let my mind wander, watching and listening as cheers/applause continued to errupt throughout the store. Then Brittany picked up the dress, my dress, and started walking towards me. She said with a big smile on her face, "Here, it's yours." I was in a little bit of shock. Really? You don't want it? Oh I could cry! and I almost did. And then I saw her friend on the floor had caught the moment on video. Maybe it will end up on YouTube and I'll be famous.
It needs some sleeves, but coming in WELL under budget I went to work a happy bride-to-be!

Phew! :)


Emily Frame said...

i love this story! yay brittany!
we need to go on a hunt for that video.

Kit said...

Captain Tim has nothing on you now, girl; running reconn without walkie talkies and an entire squad, plus a successful finish and outcome....???


You captured the event in a definite blogpost to be hallmarked!

love it and love you!!!

Such great news!

natalie said...

I'm sitting here at work on a saturday wishing that i were home with family...thinking about family and wondering how my big brothers doing. course he has no new updates on his blog or fb...so i try his new fiance...and come to find a whole slew of new info...which makes me so excited...and in the end makes me cry!!!
Thank you so much for loving my brother and bringing happiness to his life. love reading your blog!! keep up the exciting wedding adventures!!!

Rapier Family said...

I love it, I'm so excited for you. That's the best story, can't wait to see the dress.

Dana said...

What a wonderful tale! -- Your mom showed me photos (on her phone) yesterday. Your gown is BEAUTIFUL, as are you! Let me know if I can help in any way.. Love, Dana

T*town said...

Babe- you are so hard core! Dress: check

Sarah said...

can't wait to see it!! shopping on a normal day makes me nauseous, i would have taken one look at that crowd and gone home. way to go! :)

Tiff said...

Looks amazing! I can't wait to see it! Sounds like the perfect story to tell your grandchildren one day!

We are here! We're still trying to finalize our plans but we are coming to DC on Thursday night for Mary Poppins and then on Saturday we are all going to DC for the day. I'll let you know when we figure things out more...maybe one of those days works for you and we could meet up?!