Ok, so I totally ripped that off from a popular TLC show that I may have watched a bit too much of while we were engaged, but it is exactly what I did!  Trying on wedding dresses was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of the whole wedding planning process.  Our long engagement allowed for time to try on all sorts of fun dresses and us girls had so much fun doing so!

Now for the details: I tried on around 30 dresses at 4 different boutiques.  I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted from looking through no less than 50 bridal magazines.  I wanted a strapless gown with a fitted silhouette and a little bit of bling.  I also wanted something unique yet classic.

I'll start with some gorgeous gowns that definitely deserve pictures even if they weren't meant to be.  Scroll down for the quest for the perfect dress!

Sweet and pretty, but just not me.

Looking back, I completely forgot about this dress but it is stunning.  It is simple, elegant and beautiful, but I wanted something a touch more fun and modern.

This is a gorgeous dress and I love the unique beaded top.  However, my hips are the widest part of my body and the vast expanse of white satin laying across them accentuated said curves a bit too much.

The princess dress!  This was so much fun to wear, but I'm 5'8 and in this dress I was both tall and wide.  Too... much... dress.

I really loved this dress!  It was modern, had great details and fit perfectly.

I love the blossom on the side and the fun pieces of fabric hanging down which gave it so much interest.

One of my favorite features was the asymmetrical hemline around the skirt.  It was so unique and gave the gown much more depth.  But, was this dress "The One?"

After wearing it around the boutique and mulling it over with my mom, Brianna and Katira, we decided it wasn't destined to be.  I love the features of the dress but since it was my wedding dress I was looking for and would be in pictures forever, I wanted a dress that was more classic and timeless.  I also wanted a dress that I wouldn't changed one thing about.  My mom knew that it existed.  On with the hunt!

An exquisite cathedral veil.  The drama and elegance would have been great with the formal aspect of our wedding but it didn't quite mesh with my vision of my wedding gown, still yet to be found...

Drumroll please... I found it, the perfect dress!  Although I must say that I did not know it right away.  I actually picked out several other dresses and then grabbed this one on a whim.

Then I put the dress on...

...and paused for a second in the dressing room and was speechless.  I think I may have found the one!  I couldn't wait to walk out and show everyone!

My mom knew it the second I walked out.  I had found my perfect dress!  (Minus the bright orange clips up the back).

This was such a special experience for her and I.  She was so thoughtful, fun, and giving throughout the entire wedding planning process.  Love you mom!

Here's a detail shot of the applique.  I love the way it secures the layers of the dress and adds a little bling bling!

The lovely ladies with me when I found the dress.  And yes, those are tears in my mother-in-law's eyes, so sweet.

The gorgeous hairpiece and necklace that Sheri so kindly bought me that day.  They were the perfect accents to my gown.

It's official!

Time to celebrate!  Poppin' champagne... this would be an example of the after-wedding-planning drinks I have referenced in blog posts past.

No, Ryan was NOT present when I found my perfect wedding dress.  But, as the perfect fiance, he did meet us for lunch afterward to partake in the celebrating.  He hasn't even seen any of the pictures of me trying on other dresses, let alone ones of "The Dress."  These have been in a top-secret file for the past year and a half!