Wedding dress shopping is one of the strangest experiences. I’ve been to two different salons now with the same general reaction: The six year-old in me squeals in delight at the sight of princess gowns with elaborate sequin detail while the rest of me cringes at the same gaudy barrage of glittering taffeta. But when I put on that first white gown, modestly decorated with lace overlay of course, and stepped to the mirrors I really truly teared up at the sight. As if BRIDE was flashing in neon lights above my head. Nothing spoke more convincingly of my future nuptials than standing on a pedestal in a gorgeous floor length lace fit and flare dress for the first time. I think the attendant asked if I was alright. Oh yes, I was more than alright!
But alas, these precious gowns are a pretty penny. And I am not interested in spending 4 digits on a dress (um, neither are my parents). Perhaps I’m naive, but it feels like the wedding dress industry preys–yes preys–on our collective sentimentality and projected nostalgia for this once-in-a-lifetime event (that really isn’t so once-in-a-lifetime anymore). Though the dresses are intricate and incredibly produced I cannot fathom spending $2,600, which is what the dress pictured above cost. It’s not just that I don’t have thousands to spend. Even if I had a $10,000 dress budget it’s just not my style to spend what feels (to me) like so much.
So where does that leave me now? Trolling Etsy for something one-of-a-kind. So far, I’ve found some dresses that may be options but I’m too nervous to actually purchase any of them. I much prefer shopping for my wardrobe in person where I can evaluate garments for the way they look on me rather than how they appear on a model. So purchasing my wedding dress online is doubly hard. At least now I have a better sense of the style I like and the styles that do look good on me.
My mom recently floated the idea that we redesign her wedding dress along with my grandmother’s dress to make something really special. So now I’m searching for a seamstress I can trust with such a meaningful project. I’m praying a solution arises in the next month. According to wedding dress timelines, I’m already behind schedule – I don’t have much time left!
**Thanks to my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Lori, for making the salon appointment in Boston and to Amanda and Molly for joining me at my dress appointment–especially to Molly for taking a phone full of pictures so we could remember what I looked like. Not pictured is the shopping trip I made with my future mother-in-law (love her!) with all the really, really crazy dresses. We had a lot of fun at that one. ;)**