After I got over the Pnina dress, I started looking at more streamlined, beach-wearable gowns. And, there wasn't anything wrong with any of them, but at no point did I feel "it".
The third one is just the second one with a piece of fabric on my arm showing me what it would look like with a little sleeve because I remain unconvinced (despite the Pnina dress) that the strapless look is for me. My #1 body obsession, frankly my only body obsession, is that I hate my arms. And I know a little sleeve won't do much but I think it will just make me feel slightly better.
My favorite of the "fine but not it" bunch of dresses was this one at Pronovias:
It's a nice dress, and I think it looks good on me, but it was in the $2k range which, while I recognize is the bottom of wedding gown ranges, just seemed like too much for a dress that A)doesn't look it and B)doesn't make my heart go pitter-patter. It's a very nice gown, and I understand the wedding industrial complex says that everything must be ridiculously priced in order for two people to swear their love and commitment to each other, but I feel like I've tried on similar dresses over the years and they were like $250, though of course without the train.
So, where am I now? I think we're going to move ahead with an April 5th wedding date, which limits my gown options. I'm actually happy about that. If I focus on samples and previously worn dresses I won't spend a sum of money that I find absurd on a dress. Again, I get that 2k is "cheap" for wedding dresses but 2k is a vacation and I'd rather spend that money to lay on a beach somewhere with IC than on a dress I'll wear just the once. And I have a back-up plan just in case I find myself in March without a dress. I've seen a dress that will work, that fits me, and that's pretty great, good enough that I won't post a photo of it here in case it ends up being my wedding dress. I still hope to see something that will make me gasp an audible "wow" or get the feeling that this dress must be my dress. But if it doesn't happen, that's ok. I've got a groom that I feel must be my groom and all I ultimately care about is making a life with him.