the day i bought my wedding gown

i have a confession to make: i am absolutely obsessed with the TV show "say yes to the dress" on TLC. before i went bridal gown shopping i had probably watched every single episode of the show. on the one hand i was trying to figure out what my own preferences were but on the other hand i kinda thought that this show about the whole bridal gown shopping experience of the bride with the entire family plus BFF, plus future mother in law, plus cousin of best friend's maid of honour was so funny to watch. it was just a guilty pleasure and i swore to myself that i would never drag my entire neighbourhood with me once it was my time to seek for the gown of my dreams. 
in fact my bridal gown shopping experience turned out to be just the opposite. i had just moved to Montreal when one of my girlfriends told me about a sample sale at a bridal salon where her brother's girlfriend at the time was working. it is no secret that i am a passionate bargain shopper and that i love a good deal more than cupcakes on a sunny afternoon in a parisian cafe.
i had absolutely no expectations when my girlfriend Mizou took me there. we made an appointment and were greeted by the owner of the salon herself. it was a pretty small salon but the sample sale seemed to be quite popular because it was indeed quite crowded on that day.  i looked around and saw mothers with their daughters discussing dresses, young girls standing on platforms with their chosen dresses on and busy sales people running back and forth picking matching accessories in order to complete the look and in hopes to seal the deal.
now there is one thing you should know about me when it comes to shopping: i always know exactly what i want! i go, i see, i pick, i buy or i don't buy. there isn't much back and forth of thinking and rethinking and "maybe i should sleep on it" in my life when it comes to shopping.
i walked around the salon a little bit and saw this gorgeous dress on a hanger when the lady asked me if i had an idea what kind of dress i was looking for. i pointed my finger to that dress and said "something like this!" she grabbed it and said " that's a very good choice. it is a Tara Keely gown and so far nobody seems to fit it cause it's very petite".
i went into the dressing room and tried it on. my very first wedding gown. when i walked out the dressing room and stepped on one of those platforms i heard my girlfriend gasping. i looked into the mirror and knew it right away: i had found MY wedding dress.
the lady asked me how i felt and i just smiled at her and said that we shouldn't look any further because i had already found what i was looking for. she nodded and said "if this is truly how you feel then i do also suggest that you shouldn't try any more dresses cause it would only confuse you more". i told her that it was completely unnecessary to look because i had already made my decision. i knew that Tee would have loved to see me in a sexier, more body hugging, maybe mermaid kind of dress style but i chose against him, listened to my heart and picked a classic princess gown. i knew that i would never have a chance to wear such a beautiful gown again while there would always be occasions to wear a form fitting, sexy dress (at that time we didn't even know we were gonna get married in a castle so i suppose it was all meant to be because the princess gown matched the whole theme perfectly). 
once the lady put on a crystal belt and a long cathedral veil i started crying. i thought of my mother and wished that she could have witnessed this moment with me but my mother was thousands and thousands miles away. 
since it was a sample sale, the dress was reduced by more than 50% off its original price but i had to take it with me right away. Han was in seventh heaven. a discount AND i get to bring it home immediately?? DONE DEAL!!! later on i was told that the wedding gown was actually a wedding gift from my sister in law chi To Anh which couldn't be any more generous from her part. i also purchased an underskirt to make it even bigger and so we left after only about 30 minutes from the moment we got there. so there you have it. this was my wedding gown shopping experience: i bought the first dress i tried on  which was so not "say yes to the dress" like at all. :-)

the pictures below were taken by my girlfriend. i had originally planned on my putting my hair up for my wedding day but it was my husband's specific wish to leave my hair down. it was the only request he had and i wanted to make him happy which is why i "sacrificed" my own plan of a loose updo.