Wedding Dress Shopping

Hey there! Hi there! Ho there!

I think it’s high time I posted about wedding dresses again, yes? I have much to say about the subject because I actually went shopping for this garment. And now that it’s over – I have MUCH more to say. So, let’s dish.

Thought No. 1

Wear underwear. Not a thong.

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Yes Ma’am

The night before I ran to Target for essentials like cotton candy air fresheners and Glade products. It was then that I also realized I would be basically neked in front of a complete stranger the following day. So I did what any Girl Scout would do (yes, I was a Girl Scout). I PREPARED m’self. Grabbed me some full-bottomed underwear and my own strapless bra. No, I didn’t already own one SO SHUT UP. And MAN am I glad I did. Homegirls were ALL up in my dressing room. As they neatly packed away each ‘no’ back into the plastic garment bag, I shivered in my skivvies and wished they would HURRY THE F UP.

I digress.

Thought No. 2

Keep an open mind.

While I stuck to my guns with the silhouette, I surprised myself with things like beading, material and embellishments. I went in thinking romantic, sweet and kind of ethereal. I came out favoring glam, sophisticated and well, princessey. With a twist of ballerina. Can you blame me?

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I die.

It is really important to trust your instincts. After all, we have been dressing ourselves for a while. However, shows like What Not to Wear also prove that we can’t always trust what we see in the mirror. Canadian tuxedos are also proof.

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I have learned that my body is not conducive to anything super fitted through the hips and bust. Mostly because I lack both. Therefore, it was easy to rule out SO many types of dresses (trumpet, fit n flare, mermaid, what have you).

Thought No. 3

Throw your Mom a bone.

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Nancy Palin

If your Mom has her little heart set on a flowing chiffon Greek goddess style gown – just try one on. It will do her heart good.

Thought No. 4

Don’t go to salons where every dress is out of your price range.

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Luckily, my research steered me from wasting my time at a salon where dresses start at 5K. The Cinderella inside of me would love to wave a magic credit card and don a designer gown on my big day. However, we all make choices. I choose a trip to New Zealand. Or Croatia. Or a tufted sofa from Restoration Hardware. Thus, I mentally bid adieu to Vera, Monique,  Miss Pettibone and Jen Packham. Adieu. Adieu. To you and you and you.

Thought No. 4

You can’t always have your cake and eat it, too.

When it comes to actual cake, this is completely bogus. However, whilst shopping, I quickly realized that my wedding look “vision board” (so to speak) was not cohesive in the slightest. My ideas of groomsmen in khaki and a birdcage veil received a negative reception once I transitioned from sweet little Pinterest dresses into the more dramatic stuff. While I wish I could have it all, khaki and bling simply do not marry well.

THIS:

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DOES NOT GO WITH THIS:

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you get it

Thought No. 5

It’s YOUR dress.

WORK IT Mama June

After I had found 4 strong contenders, I found myself staring into the faces of my mom, sister and future mother-in-law for some kind of strong decision. Which one should I get? Which one had the “it” factor? Which flattered my body?

And I’m not gonna lie, white aint forgiving. Mentally critiquing every aspect of my body and trying to stifle self-deprecating rhetoric was tough. No matter how many times my loved ones assured me how dazzling I looked, the innate fear of looking like a linebacker in a white dress was enough to cause self-doubt.

It’s true, it is MY dress. I will wear it. It shall hang in my closet where (hopefully) someday my kids will admire it…

Either that or  I’ll decide to pawn it for bingo money. #neversaynever.

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THE Dress

There are shows devoted to it,  stores that specialize in it and crazy-ass broads who spend as much as a manufactured home on it. Yes, ladies and gentlemen…I am broaching the ever-so-enlightening topic of wedding dresses.  Piggybacking off my last wedding related post, I felt it only natural to start with the dress, a very good place to start.  I’ll try and spare you the details of this inundating search for a garment I realize, I will only wear but once.   Let’s keep this party polite.

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And as much as I love Say Yes to the Dress, I will not be following any of their rules.

Please don’t think me a wanna-be wedding guru for trying to abolish rules set fourth by such characters.  I am in know way an expert.  However, having attended a hefty amount of weddings in my time which I think, makes me privy  to certain things at the very least.

To me,  a wedding dress should look like you.  You at your most fabulous, but still remain true to your style.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  According to my personal research, wedding dress shopping is like selecting a diamond.  There are  a multitude of basic characteristics one must consider.  With a diamond, you ponder the 4 C’s.  With wedding dresses I have broken it down into the memorable acronym,  SCFN .  Silhouette, color, fabric and neckline to be exact. These seem to be the maja things to look for in a dress.  For all the crazies, I could include train, hemline, bustle, sleeve, etc.

At Starbucks, “Can I get a fit-n-flare, blush-colored, silk organza, sweetheart, cathedral train, tea-lengthed, swarofski crystal-embellished, empire-waisted gown, to go please?”

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NO foam.

I think brides of today get so caught up in searching for the so-called “perfect dress”.  It’s almost as if our culture is encouraging betrothed women to tote around clipboards with their wedding dress checklists.  “I’m sorry but I can’t try that on. It’s Chantilly lace when clearly I asked for Alençon.”

Let’s be honest about one thing here.  Do you remember what kind of neckline the bridal gown had at the last wedding you went to?  Unless your Austin Scarlett, probably not.  What do we remember?

My guess: The way the bride looked overall.

Most brides tend to be emphatically joyous, glowing.  It’s her day and she has likely worked hard for it.  She may have allowed herself to be consumed by the placement of pearls on the bodice, or the bustle not being just right.  But does anyone notice besides her? Sadly, probably not.

It’s really quite a shame that we heap all these expectations upon our mystic-tanned shoulders.  On the other hand, it’s more than running down to Macy’s to get a dress for Sunday Mass.  I plan to employ the if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed method in my quest for the dress (hey, maybe I’ve got the name for a new blog!) and will hopefully emerge victorious.

My expectations?  I’d like to pay homage to all of the different looks I have in my head. I die for blush-colors, lace, bust-enhancing accoutrements, full ball gowns and open backs.  Oh, and I love me a sweetheart neckline.  Shut it down.  Hat tip to Miss Zoe for the vocab.

And while I have no words for the amazingly beautiful couture dresses I see floating down the runway on an Angelina-after-detox look-alikes, I’m fine with procuring myself the knock-off from David’s Bridal #noshame.

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Oh haaayy cuz + Nan

My dress bucket-list is short, much like my tolerance for satin.  But that’s a another post.  I’d like the ability to have a reasonable range of motion.  All 6 feet of me forced into geisha strutting? Not happening.  I’d also like to look as girly as possible, which may be a task in and of itself.  Masking my somewhat manish upper-half is gonna take some serious styling and I’d prefer NOT to look like Patrick Shwayze in To Wong Foo.  Ok, maybe a little 🙂  Lastly, the dress must be somewhat light. Although I love the look of heavier dresses, I will not pit out for fashion.

Let’s get to the dresses I’ve been looking at 5X per day once or twice on the internets.

*A huge thank you to Miss Claire Pettibone for constructing what I believe are the most beautiful dresses on earth. If only I could afford you…

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NO WORDS.

More inspiration courtesy of Mizz Lhuillier

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MONIQUE LHUILLIER SS13 NEW YORK 04/12/12

*All wedding related posts will now get filed away under the “wedding” tab. Brill.