Yesterday morning, I met with the alterations lady so she could start the arduous task of altering my gown. It was...traumatic. In fact, so far, the whole process of alterations has simply been annoying.
I had done some searching online for someone who would specialize in wedding gown alterations, since gowns are a slightly different animals than the run-of-the-mill work. During a visit to one bridal gown shop, I'd been given the card of one lady; a Google search turned up another lady who turned out to be a complete dud. (I had e-mailed her to ask if she would be interested in helping me create a gown; after a very quick response in which she asked for details, examples of what I liked, and my budget, she didn't e-mail back for five weeks. When she did, the estimate was of course at the very highest range of what I said could be paid. I was then in touch regarding doing alterations on the gown that I had since bought; it took her more than two weeks to respond, saying that yes, she would be happy to do alterations, but we didn't need to start now, and that I should be in touch closer to May. I've e-mailed her to tell her exactly why I won't be using her services; I don't know if she doesn't realize that the lack of quick response leaves a bad impression.)
In any case, I called Maria (she whose card I had been given), set up an appointment, and met her yesterday morning. She's very nice, has been doing alterations f work for over 30 years, and certainly seems to know what she's doing. I think my dress might be one of the more challenging she's had to work on, but she did not tell me it could not be done. Despite my having bought the gown in the correct size, it needs to be reshaped: It's a bit tight around the middle, but the bodice is too big and doesn't fit well, and the chiffon coat needs to be reworked, also, insofar as it isn't shaped in a flattering way. First, some hemming has to be done, at which point she'll begin working on reshaping the gown.
I tried avoiding looking at myself as much as possible. Between the gown not fitting well at all, and all the mirrors showing how the gown didn't fit, I felt self-conscious and downright dowdy. I felt worse about myself yesterday than I had in an extremely long time. And I realized that this is why I've always made a fuss about not wanting to wear a wedding gown: I could never imagine feeling beautiful or attractive in a gown. I'm hoping Maria can do her job well and when it's all said and done make me feel less ugly.
Today we made up our minds regarding our flower vendor. We'd met with two, and it was a difficult decision; it wasn't clear cut. Phoebe Floral was overall less expensive and was a larger store with a lot of business; and Rose e-mailed us the estimate in Excel. Quite frankly, though, I liked the first vendor we'd met, Sherry from Mary B's. Sherry gave us specifics costs for everything we'd asked. When I followed up with Rose regarding different centerpieces, telling her exactly what I wanted, came back with a response that included telling me that the flowers I wanted were only available in specific colors (as opposed to the same flowers in different colors); her estimate was general, saying that the cost would be "around $30." A bit too much back and forth for my taste, and since we've already hashed out what I wanted with Sherry, it just seemed easier to go with her.
It's a relief to have big things crossed off the list. Flowers are largely taken care of, and the alterations are under way. There will be some residual niggling with Sherry, since we still have to work out aspects of the alter pieces and those bow thingies that hang on the pews, but that's minor stuff at this point.