Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wedding Dress Saga - in Hindsight

Since I only get married once (I hope), I think it's OK for me to recap the crazy journey that was to find a wedding dress!!! I really dislike German wedding dresses. I think most of them are over the top, unfortunately. Most of the dresses I tried on just overwhelmed me in appearance. I felt like a girl swimming in an ocean of overly heavy fabric and overdone details.

This was one that I liked, if I would have gotten married in a colder climate. My high school best friend loved this one! I liked the sense of movement in the fabric pattern, but I didn't like the fact that I'd have to wear a frame underneath in order to hold up the poofy shape.

Once I started looking at shorter dresses, this was the favorite one that my girls had sent me. It's simple and beautiful (with the gloves) and the cut looks like one of my existing dresses. I thought quite hard about getting a dress like this made from scratch, and even investigated costs associated with this. But, I was a little concerned that since I wasn't planning to wear a veil on the (windy) beach, that the rest of the dress would be overly casual.

Then when I found this dress, I liked it right away. There's something about the simple elegance of the dress that I loved. The cocktail style made me feel like I could walk through a party and play hostess without being bogged down by layers of fabric. But, I didn't love that the left breast was not covered in the same material as the rest of the dress. (It was of a bra material. Why?! German wedding fashion is so weird.) I also didn't cry like the girls in Say Yes to the Dress when they found their favorite dresses.

Unfortunately, when I went back to the store a month later, this dress was already sold. I bought one that was the same style, but 4 or 5 sizes too large. They had to rip it apart, re-make the whole thing to fit me, and also hand-make crinkled fabric in order to cover the left breast to match the rest of the dress.

I also liked the idea of mixing and matching short and long dresses, so I sent them this picture to ask them to make this detachable train for me from scratch. I wanted a detachable train for functionality and -- so that just in case I hated it in the end, I could still take it off.

When I picked up my finished dress (which costed only 500 Euros even including all the alterations), I was in love. (A few fittings had to occur, remember? It was too small after they resized it, and so they had to resize it again a couple of times.) I was thrilled by how fabulous my seamstress was; you literally couldn't tell that part of the crinkle on the dress was made by hand. I bought a hair accessory to match the modernness of my dress, and a single-pearl necklace to match its simplicity.

Then, because of all the health- and job-search related stress, I lost weight. I don't have a scale at home, but I estimate that I must have lost between 5 and 10 pounds from pure stress. So, I had to bring the dress back, etc etc. get it altered again so that it didn't look like a borrowed dress. In the end, it was such a relief that everything still worked out!! (Reposting final picture from an earlier post... Once I get the professional photos, maybe I'll post an update.) So, whew. If you're a bride-to-be, good luck!!! I hope you can get through the whole process with fewer fittings than me. I estimate that in all, I had to have about 8 or 9 fittings, which is well above the average for a bride-to-be and is a lot for a gal who goes shopping maybe twice or three times a year and who tends to shop like a man (in and out in 45 minutes with a lot of things purchased... Geoff shops way slower than me!).