Thursday, April 21

i did

Well dear readers, if all goes well, I should be able to start posting outfits again tomorrow. Yay! But until then, I thought I'd share a little history with you on how I chose my wedding dress.
I wasn't one of those girls who dreamed of the "big day" for years and knew what kind of dress I wanted since age 12. I think that's partially why I ended up with the first dress I tried on. It was so out of my league mentally, that it swept me off my feet before I could think straight.
I tried on about four dresses after that, but as they say, nothing compares to the first. I didn't know body shape, personal style...any of that. I just picked one I liked.
Unfortunately I couldn't afford it. So I settled for a knock off from some bridal warehouse somewhere in the midwest. I bought the dress almost a year before my wedding, and somewhere around the 8 month mark, the bridal warehouse went bankrupt and shut its doors with no warning or dress in my hands. You may have seen snippets about this on the news back in 2005-2006. It was a big deal. Thousands of brides were left gownless.
Not to worry, said the bride warehouse, we'll send you a dress!
I had never seen such an awful dress. It looked straight out of a 1980s horror film! Fortunately, good ol' Visa stepped in and covered our loss. I was able to get the dress via a different outlet.
Now I'm not such a fan of knock offs, but back then I was just so happy to get "my" dress. It's the Maggie Sottero Eleganza knock off. Sorry, Maggie. :(
UNfortunately I didn't know a lot about sizing and alterations, so I never had the dress properly fitted. Thank goodness for a great photographer because she was great at hiding the flaws. I also didn't even know I was supposed to wear slips to make the dress fuller, oopsie!
It was a happy day. I married my love and I was surrounded with family and friends who all wanted the best for us. I felt beautiful and happy in my little knock off dress. :) Could I ask for more?
In addition, all of our living (at the time) grandparents were able to make it, and that was worth the entire thing right there.
In my attempts at being thrifty, I eBayed all of my jewelry and my shoes, and borrowed the veil. I had tried to adorn one I had picked up at Michaels with swarvoski crystals, but the hot glue gun got a little messy on me.
I still have my dress, my shoes, my tiara and jewelry. They sit neatly in a closet just waiting for me to decide what to do with them. I've considered selling the dress or doing a trash the dress shoot. Problem is, the dress is a 16 and I'm a 6. I could save it for a future possible daughter, but I'm not super sentimental about it. If my daughter is anything like me, she'll want her own.
Most of all, I'd want our future children to realize that while weddings are special and dresses are pretty, the real value is not in those material things.

What did you wear to your wedding and what did you end up doing with it?


  1. Anonymous11:48 AM

    What a great post! You looks so beautiful and happy and I just love the lights down the aisle at the church, what an amazing setting. I'm planning on cutting my dress off at the knee and making into a cocktail dress. It may even get dyed black at some point!

  2. I knew what I didn't want. Strapless or off-white. Guess what I fell in love with? A strapless, off-white dress. I even wore gold jewelry with it and I NEVER wear gold!

    You can see photos here.

    My dress has actually been worn twice. I wore it once and then a friend of mine wore it for her wedding. Now it hangs in my closet and I have no idea what to do with it.

  3. I don't think I've heard that story about your dress (the warehouse, etc). I knew it was a knock off, but I don't remember the rest.

    I fell in love with my first dress, too. I originally saw it online and then went to David's Bridal, tried it on plus a few others, went to a boutique in New Braunfels, and then went back to David's. I keep wanting to do a trash the dress shoot, but it hasn't worked out yet. For now it hangs in a closet, but if we ever need that closet for a kid I don't know where I'll put it.

  4. Ginny3:00 PM

    Great post!! I have been married 20 years, my gown sits in my closet, thanks to my daughter requesting grandma send it to us!! It was the third dress i tried on, my husband to be was in Desert Shield/storm and had been out to sea for almost 9 moths.I was sad when he left and lost 15 pounds and I tried dresses on to cheer myself up while he was gone and had my dress a year before we got married!!! He came home safely and finally having someone to go out to eat with and numerous happy hours later, my dress almost didn't fit!!!! I was able to get my happy chunky self in thank goodness in time for our wedding. I was like you I made a hat and veil with the help of Michael's and a hot glue gun!!! It still makes me smile to see pix of us on that day!! My daughters love my dress but i don't see them wanting to wear it, which is fine with me. I look forward to seeing them in something that is more them!!! And i am still not sure what to do with that dress!!! :-)

  5. I wore a strapless, sweetheart neckline, full lace up corset, white a-line dress. The dress had detailing of stones and silver embroidery near the neckline, down to the bodice and very little throughout the rest of the dress. The centerpiece on the dress, was a center stone, dead center of the bodice, highlighted further with a crisscross ribbon detail in an x shape. I tried on over 40 dresses during a month long search. In the end, I selected a dress from a private store in my own town that my younger sister picked out. I wore jewelry borrowed from my grandmother, including the screw on (yes screw on) earrings, despite my pierced ears. I preserved the dress and gave it to my sister, after all, she did pick it out, so she liked it. My veil and tiara were from Walmart. I wore silver sandals instead of white shoes, to get use out of them in the future.

  6. Mine was 20 years ago. I lived in a small town in Montana with only two bridal stores, and I didn't fall in love with anything, so I picked the one I liked the most. It was okay, but I would be a lot pickier if I had to do it all over again. I would have traveled to other towns. I knew I didn't want long sleeves or strapless. I ended up with short poofy (it *was* 1991) sleeves with dangly beads (I should have chopped them off!). Even though they custom ordered it in long it didn't come in (two weeks before the wedding) long so they took the bottom completely apart and remade it longer for me. They tailored it to fit me perfectly and I felt beautiful in it. They really were great to work with.

  7. Great topic! I was married almost five years. I wore a pretty, knee length Marc by March Jacobs dress. It was cream brocade and was actually very flattering on me (though, like you, I didn't really realize what shapes worked for me at the time!). It was the most I'd ever spent on a dress at the time, but much less than most brides spend (around $350). I wanted to wear it was a regular dressy dress. I could, but I'd need to lose about 15 pounds to fit into it (I'm working on that)!

    To the dress I added hand-made low wedge sandals that were pink patent with an ankle strap and tan leather covered wedge, and a long, skinny pink envelope clutch (both Furla; I love Fula designs). My flowers were dark red roses and lavender from a local farm. Bridesmaids wore their own dresses. The colors of the dresses were a range of colors; chocolate brown, lemongrass green, lavender, pink! We were married in on an old farm on Ebey's prairie on Whidbey island and the casual flair seemed just right. (-:

    I still wear the sandals quite a bit in the summer and love to carry the clutch for special summer/spring occasions. I only wish I could fit into the dress; it's kind of a 1930's shape and I still love it...*sigh*

  8. Well - mine's the oldest by far...40 years...and it's still in my closet. My mother made it - white satin and lace, and I think maybe some seed pearls. She also made my veil, which was attached to a lace bow also adorned with pearls. At the time, I was probably a size 4/5. (hah! like I'll ever be able to wear it again) My mom was an incredible seamstress, and had made all my clothes growing up - I even have baby clothes that she made for me. I just don't have the heart to get rid of the wedding dress.

  9. What a fabulous story, and all the pictures are wonderful. The one of you smiling over Bryan's shoulder is just...yeah, that's a wedding, and that's marriage.

    This is a great idea for a blog post. I am coming up on my 15th anniversary this fall. Might be time to look back at my dress! :)

  10. Kristine2:56 PM

    You look gorgeous Sarah! What a beautiful wedding! I'm so glad your dress worked out in the end. I would have never noticed little things like wearing a slip to make it fuller, I'm sure no one else did either. All people see is you and your husband smiling at each other.

    I made my own dress, even though it was beyond my ability. So of course I saw all the flaws. My MIL is a highly skilled seamstress and she said "it looks very professional, you did a wonderful job".

    I'm pretty sure she was just being nice, but a great MIL is more valuable than a perfect dress.