Posts in the 'short wedding dress' Category
Last time I talked about dress shopping, I shared my internal conflict over this flattering but perhaps too traditional David’s Bridal dress:
If you recall, I had originally envisioned myself in a short white dress with a little bit of funk. Then I stumbled into this gown on a “just for fun” shopping trip with my mom and bestie. I tried it on and, “Bam!” I felt like a bride. Next I agonized over my simultaneous disdain for David’s Bridal and love for this dress. I pondered looking for a used dress online and many of you told me to go for it. In fact, in the days following that post, I came *this close* to buying a used version in my size off of Recycled Bride.
What I didn’t tell you last time is that all along, there was another dress…
One day, months ago, before I even took that trip to David’s Bridal, I was wandering through Etsy in search of short wedding dresses. Somehow, looking through pages of dress pictures that didn’t really strike my fancy, I stumbled upon one dress that made me pause and look closer.
It was short! And cute! And a little bit vintage but still a little bit funky! All of a sudden, I was enamored. It turned out that the dress was made by a super-talented designer, the lovely Iselle of The Little White Dress. To torture you, I’m not going to tell you which of these dresses is the one, but here are a few of her pieces.
One of these dresses (sorry, I’m really not going to tell you which one) literally made my heart flutter. I had to get more info! And that’s when I discovered THE BEST PART! Iselle is based in San Diego! “OMG, it’s meant to be!” I thought. I was hesitant to buy a dress online without trying it on, but because we now live in San Diego, I contacted Iselle and arranged a visit to her studio to try on a sample of my dream dress! Of course, I was terrified that the dress wouldn’t wow me in person and I’d be back at square one. Luckily, despite all my stress about whether it would actually look good on me, I LOVED IT. Waves of relief washed over me as I realized, “Yesssssssss! This IS the one!” Mission accomplished!
Plus, Zach and I totally stole a page out of Dana’s book and negotiated a labor exchange with Iselle, the dress designer. Although totally worth it for the awesome hand-craftsmanship of her dresses, the $500 price tag was a little high for us! So, we figured, “It doesn’t hurt to ask!” and inquired if she’d be open to discounting the dress in exchange for us helping her out with something. It turned out she really needed help building a website, and Zach just so happens to be experienced in that area!
Basically, I am thrilled that my dress-finding journey has reached a successful “end.” (Nearly the end since the dress isn’t actually made or in my hands yet.) I am so so SO glad that I held out and ended up getting a dress made by a small, independent designer, and one that fits my initial vision much better!
Has anyone else gotten a discount by offering up your labor or skills? Anyone buy their dress off of Etsy? Which one do you think is “mine?”
Ok, let me be really, really honest for a second here. Most of the time, when I look at wedding dresses, I think “Wow! Why would anyone wear that? It looks like a cupcake!” So when envisioning what I would wear on my wedding day, I was really at a loss. First, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to wear white. Eventually, I decided I did want a white dress but I wanted it to be short! A casual, barefoot, short-dress, groom-in-suspenders-and-no-jacket outdoor wedding seemed pretty us. So I started looking at white cocktail and reception dresses online.
The first one I ordered and tried on didn’t wow me.
So I sent it back. Yay free returns! Then I made a big mistake. I ventured into the most (in)famous bridal store of all time. You know the one I’m talking about. David’s Bridal. Honestly, I had no intention of buying a dress there. I’d rather buy a used or independently-designed dress and feel better about where my money is going. But my mom and best friend really wanted to be in on the dress shopping while I was still in Ohio. I too wanted to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience with them. So I repeatedly emphasized that we were only going “for fun” and to see what shapes looked good, not to buy. Also, I really didn’t expect to find anything I liked. I envisioned a whole store full of cupcake-dresses. But off to the DB we went!
They hardly had any short dresses, of course. I tried on a few tea-length gowns and they weren’t very flattering.
I don’t even remember how I ended up trying on this next dress. I wanted to try something long just for fun, even though I was pretty set on short. So I put on this dress, and all of a sudden BAM! Oh my God, it looked amazing!!! (Not to toot my own horn, judge for yourselves, of course.)
I couldn’t stop smiling. My mom and bestie were loving it. I loved the classic, slightly-vintage elegance of the dress. Here’s the kicker: I’m not the most body-confident person ever. All I ever see when I look in the mirror are the improvements I need to make. But as I looked at myself in that dress, I didn’t want to change a SINGLE THING about my body. As cliche as it is to say it, I felt like a BRIDE! “Nooooooooooooooo….” I started thinking, “You’ve got me, David’s Bridal!”
But don’t think the story’s over yet, because despite all the pros, there are several cons to this dress, and I am the world’s most indecisive bride. First of all, it’s just SO DIFFERENT from what I had envisioned. Not short, not casual; I don’t even know if I can legitimately rock this baby with my dreadlocks. I definitely can’t get super jiggy with it on the dance floor. I love it, but I worry it just isn’t ME enough.
Secondly, and this is a big one, my bestie and I are 99% sure that this is the EXACT SAME dress that a friend of ours wore about a year ago. A friend that is probably coming to our wedding. Uh oh. That’s a big no-no, right? I’m sure that she’d be cool with it if I explained the situation to her, but I don’t like the idea of people seeing me on my big day and thinking “that’s so-and-so’s dress!” Argh, F U David’s Bridal and your massive popularity!
I ended up trying on one more long dress that day.
I liked it and it was much more “me” but it just didn’t make me feel drop dead gorgeous like the last one did.
Conundrum! We left the store empty-handed, despite my mom’s willingness to pull out her credit card at the slightest indication (she’s awesome, but as I’ve said before, we’re paying for this ourselves). Since then, I’ve been stalking the dress all over the internet, looking for it used and in my size. I still have the same reservations about about it not being “me” enough and being the same dress a friend wore. But I feel like if I could find it used for a good price it would be a sign to go for it, as buying used would also allow the purchase to fit better with my consumer values and budget! No luck with that so far though.
What do you think, my wonderful readers? Should I go with the ooey-gooey gushy-mushy feeling in my gut and just buy it? Or is the fact that a friend wore it a big no no? Should I have faith and hold out for something that fits my original vision? Was anyone else totally blindsided by ALL THE FEELINGS when dress shopping?