I should probably preface this post by saying: The Hubs & I had already decided to keep our wedding on the cheap. I come from a big family & we have a lot of mutual friends, so we knew we were going to have a big reception…which meant we knew the reception would NOT be cheap. Therefore we wanted to keep everything else really reasonable. So I had already decided I was NOT, repeat NOT, spending more than $250 on my wedding dress.
(I hear scandalous gasps infiltrating the interwebs right now.)
I know there are a LOT of really gorgeous dream gowns out there. I see them on Pinterest every day. And I occasionally get sucked into an episode of “Say Yes To The Dress”
…But I can’t foresee spending the equivalent of several month’s worth of rent on a dress that gets worn for all of about 8 hours.
It’s not a matter of not caring. I wanted to be a gorgeous bride & look like a princess…but I wanted to do it on MY terms.
So, I headed out with my mom & my sister one Saturday, and we hit up a retail bridal shop. When I told the consultant when our wedding was (5 months away) she LITERALLY looked at my stomach, like she suspected it was a shotgun wedding. WTF??? And then when I gave her my budget, she winced. “Umm…we might have a couple things.”
After that, we gave up on retail, and just started hitting up consignment shops & thrift stores. Which was a LOT of fun…because you find some REALLY interesting stuff.
The next week, I hit up David’s Bridal with my bridesmaids for the $99 dress sale. The sales associate was MUCH less pretentious, thank heaven. A really sweet lady, even though I was only shopping on the $99 rack. I tried on three dresses:
(…I think we might have a winner…)
It was pretty well perfect. It fit perfectly at the waist, so that both the top & bottom were perfectly supported and it didn’t feel heavy at all (very important for a summer wedding). And then, as I was smoothing out the pleats…
About 5 minutes before trying this dress on, I had said to my friends, “it would be really cool if I could find a dress with pockets so I could carry my camera with me”. That’s flippin’ FATE right there. This dress was just waiting for ME!
Although, I did decide it needed a pop of color, so I had my seamstress add a detachable sash at the waist:
And then, of course, I needed shoes…
Flats. Gorgeous, comfy, Rocket Dog ballet flats ($25 on Amazon), embellished with a set of rhinestone brooches I found on Ebay for $2. I wear these shoes all the time now.
(PS—those were my two wedding colors—cobalt blue & leaf green.)
I had also decided, ahead of time, that that I was NOT keeping my dress after the wedding. It’s not that I’m not sentimental…I’m just practical. And I can’t make myself hold on to an article of clothing that will likely never get worn again. Some people say, “don’t you want your future-hypothetical child to be able to wear it???” Well…where’s the guarantee that I HAVE a female progeny? Or that said hypothetical kid would even like my dress? Or want a traditional wedding? Or be able to fit in my dress? I outgrew my mom’s wedding dress when I was 14, so I speak from experience.
Although… I did not foresee how difficult it would be to try to “just sell” my dress. Part of it I think is the stigma—people think that because I’m getting ready of my dress, that it didn’t work out. Another part I think is just the medium. Women want to go search for a dress. They want to go into a store & try things on, and have that “OMG this is the one” feeling, like I did. Finding your dress on Craigslist just doesn’t have that same Wow Factor.
So I took it to a local consignment store that specializes in preowned wedding gowns. As of the date of this posting, it still hasn’t sold, but still, it’s better than letting such a pretty dress spend the rest of it’s pretty lil’ life in my spare closet. Because that’s no way for a dress to live. :)
As for my bridesmaids, I decided to let them make the call on their own dress. Matchy-matchy is just not me, nor am I going to force my best friends to buy a dress they will likely never wear again—plus, only one of my bridesmaids even lives near here, the other two were in Arkansas & Louisiana, so trying to find the same dress in all 3 places would have been a major hassle. Instead, I showed the girls my shoes, and said, “go find a dress in this color that you like, that’s reasonably priced, and that you will wear more than once.” And they all did great, they each looked fabu. Note that each of these lovely ladies lives in a different area, so none of them saw each other’s dress before they arrived in town for the wedding. Then we had detachable sashes made for each of their dresses too, to tie it all together.
As for our flower girls, I found a simple, precious pattern, some fabric (eyelet over white linen, plus sashes to match us), and my mom cranked out the cutest dresses for the two cutest flower girls ever.
Tomorrow: Engagement Pics!!!