From left to right:
F13573 - so elegant, flattering fit, a little much with the shiny fabric top to bottom
F14010 - draping and flowers are beautiful but not a good fit for our wedding
84091 - K's favorite for a "party dress," I was less thrilled by the length and youthfulness
F13185 - gorgeous! K modeled this for half the store. Nothing not to love except limited color choices
F13092 - Special edition, chic and easy, flattering and potential pregnancy-friendly (just in case!)
13128 - "meh," nothing wrong with it per se, but not a wow! dress
13291 - K's fav longer dress, pregnancy-friendly, easy to wear and shorten, limited colors
13277 - not bad but not the most flattering fit, color is okay
83312 - cute, simple, really re-wearable, full range of colors
83690 - didn't like the style or fit of the top as much as we thought we would
13291 - (same as blue one, above), much more formal in floor-length black
F12495 - again with the formal and dressy look of all black, straps could likely be removed
F14138 - K wasn't a fan but I liked it, though that top wouldn't fit anyone who's busty
Infinity dress (2 pics) - K liked the versatility, but thought it wasn't as flattering in the hips and might be more "high maintenance" than other dresses
I came home WAY more confused than when I left. Convinced we'd go with knee-length dresses, I couldn't believed how much I loved the elegance of the floor-length ones. And although I did still really gravitate towards shades of gray, those versatile black dresses were starting to call my name.
That night I sat down to discuss the options with Mr. NM and I was so frustrated that I was teary-eyed. I was so confused and I was worrying about things I'd never questioned before. My main issue seemed to be a concern that a shorter dress wouldn't look formal enough for a downtown evening wedding. The longer ones looked so much more elegant and I thought maybe that was a better fit.
Then Mr. NM said something that was oh-so-true. His exact words were, "We haven't made a single other 'elegant' decision when it comes to this entire wedding. Why are we going for 'elegant' now?" It was an Aha! moment for me. I had been mesmerized by the beauty of those dresses, but it's true that we're not really trying to have a super-classy wedding. Chic, yes. Elegant, no. Laid-back, yes. Formal, no. It helps to be reminded to plan YOUR wedding, not someone else's wedding.
I also found out during this conversation that Mr. NM plans to wear a dark gray suit and he wants everyone in the wedding party to wear something at least a little bit lighter. That probably means a deep charcoal gray color is not a possibility. So oddly enough, I'd accomplished my goal by the end of that day, even if it didn't happen quite as I'd imagined it would. I now know that we are on the hunt for knee-length dresses in a medium gray color. I think David's Bridal is out because they don't have a good range of dresses in the right color, but the infinity dress is still an option. I also went back to the drawing board to see what other designers might have to offer in that color/length combo. Hopefully Round 2 will yield some successes.
How many rounds did it take you to find dresses for your wedding party? I've never done this before, so tell me what I should expect.