I held off announcing this on the blog until I'd told my bridal party (to be revealed later!) when I was in San Francisco this month. They know how crazy I can be, so they weren't too weirded out by my quick decision.
I ended up going the used route, though with some nice quirks that really sealed the deal. First, I checked out what was available in my area and in my price range using the awesome advanced search on Preowned Wedding Dresses. I knew I couldn't just find a pretty dress, buy it final sale and pay for shipping across the country. I luckily found a designer gown that was my aesthetic and my size, and within a few days of e-mailing and calendar-swapping, I took the Metro a couple of stops and tried it on.
Confession: This actually happened before my mother-daughter David's Bridal trip. You know, the time when I still didn't know what was right on me. The time when I was sans mom. Ugh.
For those reasons, I told the seller I had to think about it. She took a few photos and e-mailed them to me, which within seconds were in my mom's inbox. And she was cautiously happy, as was I.
Enter mom's last-minute business trip and David's Bridal excursion. I told her that her presence was "a sign" — yes, I'm one of *those* people — that she had to come see the used dress. Cue angels singing.
My mom's kind of singing angel - Frankie Avalon as Teen Angel in "Grease," one of our family faves.
The seller had gotten other offers, but she liked that I was local, the first to have contacted her and had cash in hand. We went, we loved, I paid. :)
Having gotten my shopping addiction from my mom, I knew it was really special to both of us for the dress shopping to be a team effort. And the fact that everything just happened to work out — the local seller, the business trip, the great deal — makes the dress so much more special for the big day.
P.S. The dress does need to be hemmed, so that's why I say "practically" in the title. Hopefully there's no stress with that.
P.P.S. The seller had her wedding outdoors in Hawaii — how great is that? What a cool story my dress has...