After Savannah we went back to SC. It was really nice and relaxing to spend time with my parents and enjoy being in America again. After all my time away I'm always so appreciative of things back home-speaking English all the time, being close to my family, Southern culture...it's nice to be somewhere that's familiar, where you understand all the cultural nuances and where you have roots. I seriously had the best time just going to Publix or Macy's or Chick fil a, or just hanging out with my mom and the puppies.
One glaring wedding checkmark remained on our list though-finding the dress!! At this point we had about a month to go, so Mom and I started hitting up the local formalwear places. This being a debutante heavy area, there seemed to be more pageant and deb dresses than wedding dresses. Everywhere we went they acted like we were crazy trying to find an off the rack dress for a wedding a month away. Not to mention, I didn't like anything I tried on!
When I was still living in Savannah, my mom and Katelyn and I had looked at dresses and found one I fell in love with. So of course we didn't buy it ;) One day, as Mom and I were about to give up hope, we drove by a small formalwear store. It didn't look super fancy from the outside, but we had nothing to lose so we went inside. The girls there were so friendly, they had a big selection in my size, and the prices were good. Mom and I started pulling dresses to try on and suddenly, smushed in the back, was a very familiar looking gown.
I pulled it out, thinking it was too good to be true, and added it to the pile. When I got to the dressing room I checked the tag and yep, it was Casablanca 1827, the dress I had been pining over for months!
I practically ran out of the dressing room to see it in the mirror. I was still in love. :) Mom was in love. The girl helping us was in love. It was totally that "Say Yes to the Dress" moment.
I tried on the other dresses just to be sure, but nothing looked as good as Casablanca 1827. The girl helping us told us we could buy it off the rack that day, and she'd even throw in a lace shrug to go with it. Everybody was so amazed that my dream dress had been right there-perfect size, perfect color, perfect everything. It was totally meant to be, especially since usually these dresses have to be ordered SIX months in advance!! The ladies working there were so sweet and nice, it was the best bridal experience you could ask for. So if you're looking for a wedding gown in South Carolina, hit up The Castle Prom and Bridal.
We took it home to show Pappie, who got misty eyed when he saw it :) You know it's THE dress when your dad gets emotional!
With that biggin off the list we could relax a little more and focus on the small stuff like sending out invites, picking flowers, and cake tasting.
Father's Day came up and Mom and I planned a surprise for Pappie. He really wanted my brother to be there to celebrate with us, so we sprung into action. We made him think my brother had to work all weekend and couldn't come, and then told him we were taking him to a surprise location for a Father's Day lunch to make up for it. We put him in the backseat and didn't tell him where we were going. We'd secretly arranged for my brother to meet us at the SC State Museum in Columbia, but pretended like the surprise was going to see the Titanic exhibit in Columbia. As we wandered around the gift shop, my brother sauntered up behind him and surprised him. It was so sweet and Pappie was SO surprised!
We had a great time at the museum (especially the upstairs part-my bro and I loved it as kids), and then we all went for lunch at a Korean place. We spent most of the day together before we had to go our separate ways :( But it was such a fun day!
Fionn wrapped up his training and came up to SC to stay with my parents for a few days. The puppies loved kissin' on him! :) Then we went off on our pre wedding honeymoon to New York!
Next time...New York!