Monday, October 10, 2016

A Tale of 3 Dresses

The majority of girls probably daydream about their future wedding dresses. As a girly girl who never 100% grew out of my 4 year old princess phase, I probably did more than most. 

Unless you were one of the privileged few actually present at our Palmyra temple wedding, you probably weren't aware that I actually wore 3 dresses on that day. Here's the story of those 3 dresses.

When I was 10, I had a major Gone with the Wind phase. Read the book (over 1000 pages long) and watched the movie (4 hours long) over and over. I remember telling my mom that I would wear a hoopskirt like Scarlett O'Hara to my wedding. She didn't believe me and said that my tastes would change before I got married. Lol nope. I definitely did wear a hoopskirt.

I wasn't sure how to go about finding a wedding dress after getting engaged. I wanted/needed a dress that fit both my fashion standards and certain modesty standards (sleeves, not sheer... which is hard to find where I live). I even considered flying out to Utah to go dress shopping, but that would have been have been pretty much impossible with the demanding full time job that I'd just started.

From my online research, my top dress contenders were:

Both dresses were from the Allure Modest line. Of course, when I went dress shopping in Wisconsin, no one carried that line. However, they did carry the normal Allure dresses. I was able to try on the "immodest" version of the bottom dress above... and I kind of started to fall in love!

After trying on the same dress at another bridal store, I was sure it was the one for me. We talked with the seamstress there at Amelishan Bridal, and she said she would be able to make the changes I wanted- adding to the sleeves and neckline, and filling in the sheer back. It was a little scary to trust someone to almost completely re-make your dress, but I decided to go for it. We also ordered extra fabric and beading from the designer so the alterations would look like they were supposed to be part of the dress.

In case anyone is nosy... the original price of this dress was $1800. Ordering extra fabric was approx. another $200. I apologize, dad, if you're reading this and that just caused you renewed pain. My perception of wedding dress prices is probably skewed because when you watch Say Yes to the Dress, $8000 is considered a good price haha

Anyways, it was fun to watch the process of my dress being customized! We ordered it in April and it arrived in July. The seamstress started by taking it all apart and removing the original bodice. Then she created a new satin bodice out of the extra champagne colored fabric we ordered. Then she used the extra lace we ordered to add to the sleeves, and added beading along the new neckline. It took about 3 months to finish... and added quite a bit to the price of the dress... oops...

Here's my best attempt to document the dress' evolution. (Click to zoom in)

There will be better (professional) pictures coming soon of the finished product, but I pretty much couldn't be happier with the way it turned out! I absolutely felt like a princess and it was so fun to wear.

Once I started going to dress fittings, I realized the logistics of wearing my ballgown were complicated. It would be impossible to fit in a car in that thing. I needed to be able to drive from the hotel to the temple, from the temple to the restaurant afterwards, and then to Niagara Falls. I started looking for just a nice skirt and top to wear, but I was being really picky about looking perfect and still bridal-ish and was not finding anything.

While shopping with my mom at Nordstrom's for her mother of the bride dress, I couldn't resist playing dress-up in a beautiful light pink evening gown, by my favorite designer, completely covered in sequins.

Of course, I fell in love with it and didn't want to take it off. Typical.

It was around this time that I invented the wedding hashtag #yomo (you only marry once)... which obviously means that sometimes you just need to indulge and treat yourself. The price tag: $350. I bit the bullet and bought it for myself.

It ended up working out really well because I got to feel so glamorous all day. I wore this dress to the temple and changed into it after pictures following the ceremony and for the luncheon. On the reception day, I changed into it once the dance party got going.

I didn't even find out until relatively recently- like in the last couple of years- that a lot of Mormon girls don't wear their wedding dresses during their actual ceremonies (they change into them afterwards and wear them when they leave the temple for pictures and the reception). You are allowed to wear a wedding dress inside the temple, but there are a lot of restrictions. It has to be completely, bright white, have long sleeves, and be fairly plain without a lot of ornamentation. Lol, not exactly a description of my dress. Mine was ivory/blush/champagne, and had more than a few sparkles.

Instead of buying a wedding dress to match those specifications, something a lot of people do is to still get your dream wedding dress and then to just wear a normal temple dress (whatever you wear going to the temple normally) for the ceremony. 

I don't even have a picture of me in it, but basically it's pretty simple, long, white, and all lace. Of course, it's a little sad to not get to wear the dress you love (at least for me it was). But the sacrifice is worth getting married in the place you want to get married in. I thought it would bother me more the day of, but on the wedding day you're mostly just happy and you don't even really care what you're wearing. Also, David thought I pulled it off so that's really all that matters ;)

In the end, you wear it for the short religious ceremony... and then you change and you're the princess for the day again. It ended up being fine, no regrets here.

And that, my friends is the story of how I said yes... to my 3 dresses. Now if only I could get TLC to broadcast on my French TV because now I'm really in the mood now.

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