Thursday, May 16, 2013

On: My Dress (Our Wedding, Part 3)

I loved my dress so much that I've decided to give it a post of its own.  So this morning's post is all about my very favorite dress in the whole wide world.

The story of my dress begins in the spring of 2011.  I was fresh off of our engagement, and we decided to move forward with a wedding.  I was sitting in a class one evening, and of course my mind started to wander.  I had wedding dresses on the brain. I knew I didn't want an everyday gown. I thought I was going to go with something modern and minimalist, so I started my search during class when I should have been paying attention.  I had a couple of things in mind to help me narrow my choices:
1. I wanted a mermaid style dress.  I think that silhouette works with my figure.

2. I wanted an asymmetric neckline because they were a bit different.

3. I wanted the dress to be a bit out of the norm.  No cinderella gowns with a loot of poof. I wanted something a bit funky and sleek. Remember, I was having this wedding on my own terms.

After bit of searching, I ran across this beauty on a pre-owned wedding gown website:

This is Piccione 4165

I knew the dress was meant for me the first time I saw it.  Mermaid? Check.  Asymmetrical neckline? Check. Different and funky? Check. It was the right size and met all of my specifications.   I loved that it was primarily made out of tulle. I loved all of the ruffly things on the skirt.  I loved the ruching on the bodice.  I thought the Swarovski crystal belt gave it the right amount of bling.  I thought it was bridal but sexy!! (Hey, Hubs!!)  It was unlike all of the other dresses I had been checking out.  I liked that it was grand, but that it wouldn't make me look like a princess. No Cinderellas 'round these parts. It was grown. It was doing THE MOST, and I loved it for that.  So much for modern and minimalist.

The dress was on a pre-owned site, but it was BRAND NEW WITH TAGS!!!!!  And the best part, the seller was selling it at about an 85% discount.  We're talking a dress that costed a few thousand dollars marked down to a few hundred dollars.  Look at God!!! I instantly bookmarked it.   Keep in mind, I'd never been to a wedding gown boutique, and I'd never tried on dresses.  I sent a picture of the dress to my sister, and she liked it, but suggested that I slow down and look at some gowns in person before making a big decision.

I left the gown alone that night, but I couldn't shake it. Let's fast forward a few days to when I was hanging out with my girl Bee.  We went to see the Nate Berkus Show in NYC.
Outside the Nate Berkus Studio
We got to NY early, so we found a diner and had breakfast and then hung out in the lobby of a nearby hotel.  While hanging out, I pulled up the dress on my iPad to let Bee have a look.  Bee was a fan.  She strongly encouraged me to buy it.  She argued that it was priced WELL below what it was worth, so I could always sell it if it didn't work.  I then called my parents because they were buying my dress as a wedding gift.  They gave me their blessing.  I contacted the wonderful staff at Send in the Gowns and decided to buy the dress - sight unseen.  This dress also solidified the fact that we were going to get married at the Carnegie.  This was a grand dress, so I needed a grand location.

When it arrived, it was even more beautiful than it was in the pictures.  All of my classmates were at my house for a BBQ, so I didn't have a wedding dress boutique experience, but I did have some friends cheering me on and squeezing me into it as I tried it on for the first time.
It's taken me forever to find these pictures. I'd hidden them in a file labeled "transcription" in case my hubby was on my computer ;).  As I said before, the dress was in my size. Well, it was in my wedding dress size.  If there are any brides-to-be out there, know that wedding dresses run about 2 sizes smaller than your regular clothes.  While the dress looked great, I quickly realized that there was work to do:

Note that the dress was not completely zipping. Yikes! I decided that this was my challenge. I loved the dress. I wasn't buying another one. I didn't feel the need to look at any other dresses. This was the one, so like Tim Gunn says, I had to make it work.

Maybe I was a bit stuffed at the BBQ because I tried the dress on for another friend a few days later, and it was zipping, but it was still a little uncomfortable.

I just noticed the toilet paper in the background. I wonder what I was doing?  

So I was in love with the dress, but like many brides-to-be, I was also addicted to Pinterest and I found myself still looking for inspiration for how to style the dress. One day while pinning photos, I ran across this picture:
Picture borrowed from here via my Pinterest wedding board. 
I knew I needed that extra shoulder strap in my life.  I took my dress home to Houston, where I had a seamstress, who was a good family friend, add an extra strap at the shoulder.  This was a DIY wedding, so I sent my mom some Pinterest pics of some head pieces I'd been admiring, and she created this lovely with some feathers from Michaels, rhinestones, and some netting:
Here it is from another angle:

I also work Badgley Mischka heels (from the Bloomie's Outlet), earrings that were a gift from my sister, and my “something blue” was a sapphire tennis bracelet that Shawn bought for me on our first Christmas together.

Thanks to Cindy, my former trainer, on the day of the wedding, I was in the dress with room to spare! 

So that's the story of my magical $3,000 dress that I found brand new and with tags for $450. As the old church saints would say, "Favor ain't fair!"  (That phrase is actually kind of annoying. LOL!) Throughout all of these posts, I just want to make sure that I'm stressing that you can have a fabulous wedding that is affordable.  Given the fact that my folks were getting my dress, there was no way in the world I was going to burden them with a $3,000 dress, but that didn't mean that I couldn't have one. Be creative and think outside the box, brides to be! Even though I didn't have a Say Yes to the Dress experience, I think my dress experience was just as special. 

Any wives of brides-to-be want to tell their stories? Leave a comment. 

Until next time . . . I'm about to go try on my wedding dress. I'm really not, though.  It was my goal to get back to the size I was the day of the wedding so I could still fit it, and I'm only a few pounds off, but my sweet husband had the dress preserved so it's all boxed up and put away. 

Actually, I'm off to take Tyson to the doggy park. It's our first time, so cross your fingers for us. I'll be back this afternoon with some more wedding inspiration. 

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