White Magnolia Bridal
Saturday was magical. First, I got to see my mom for the first time since I have been engaged so that was wonderful (she lives in Alabama), but I also had an appointment at White Magnolia here in Jacksonville, FL. Let me start with telling you how much I LOVE DRESSES so I was so nervous thinking I would either LOVE everything, or not like anything at all. To be honest I went into my appointment not planning to buy anything, just to have an idea on what style of dresses I liked/didn’t like. I had been to the shop before with my sweet fried Shelby who found her dress after a wonderful experience here, so I just knew I had to try it out. My friend Yazi connected me with the manager, Mabry, and we set up an appointment. After some emailing, my nerves had settled a little more and I invited Tillis’ mom and sister, my sisters, Mom, and Shelby to come and join me for my appointment.
We arrived and were greeted by Mabry and we started to talk about my dress ideas / the style of our wedding. I brought a few photos along to show her what I knew I was interested in AKA florals, lace, lace, and more lace. Mabry let us pull as many dresses as we wanted for my to try, I picked about ten I would say, anymore and I would have been overwhelmed :) Then we started trying! My family and friend sat on couches while I went into the dressing room with Mabry who assisted in all the trying. One of the best parts about the experience was how she got my mind off of the stress, she asked me about Tillis and about my style which calmed me down SO MUCH.
I tried on lots of styles. I have always known I wanted “tight on the top and flowy on the bottom” but really nothing more than that. I tried a few mermaid fits, a few A lines, and one ball gown just for fun. Every style had something about it I loved, and I had it narrowed down to two that I loved. One was way more fitted, and the other was a little larger with some detailing on the bust (don’t worry Tillis has been instructed not to read this so he won’t figure out what I’m wearing!) and I started to get nervous because both of these were so beautiful! and so different! We’re getting married on Jekyll Island under a mix of palm trees and oaks, so I knew I was always going for the boho look, either of these dresses would have been perfect! Mabry told me that my feelings were right on schedule and that she would ask the hard questions to help me decide if needed!
The whole time I was trying on dresses I kept seeing this one beautiful gown hiding in the back, but I didn’t want to try it until the end. Up until this last dress, I was torn between the other two beauties. Finally I got to put on my last gown, and I promise you as soon as I slipped it over my shoulders, I could feel it. I looked at myself in the mirror and had to hold back tears as becoming a bride suddenly became very, very real. Without a word I walked out to show my family and we were all quiet, THIS WAS IT. I have never felt so good in a dress, and I have never thought that something flattered parts of me better than this gown. I didn’t want to take it off. We talked about it for a minute, and just to make sure it was the one I put back on another dress to compare. Immediately I just wanted to get it back on me! That’s when you know right?!? We had a little celebration at my decision and of course shed a few tears. I came into the day with no idea what I wanted, but with some direction from Mabry and the support and opinions of my family I FOUND MY DRESS. What a relief! Always remember to wear what makes you feel beautiful, to try on some options, and to just have fun - the experience is something that will stay with you forever!
xx - Dowling
*The White Magnolia offers payment options for wedding dresses, and appointments can be made online or over the phone. I encourage you to make an appointment, and check out their instagram @whitemagnoliabridal !!!!