When Eric and I were planning our wedding, I stressed about a lot of things. One of the things I stressed about most was my wedding day look.
I think that most brides get a little anxious about how they’ll look on their wedding day. For the average woman, her wedding day is the one day in which she’ll have the undivided attention of a bunch of people. It’s also the one day she’ll probably want to remember for the rest of her life. And hiring a professional photographer pretty much guarantees she’ll want to look and feel more beautiful than she ever has in her entire life.
Since this is such an important part of the wedding planning process, I’ll be devoting the next four Wedding Wednesday posts to the various decisions I made regarding my wedding day look.
I’ve decided to start this series of posts with a more detailed dress post. Although I’ve previously written about my dress shopping experience, I didn’t give a ton of details. This was mostly due to the fact that I didn’t want Eric to get a sneak peek of my dress. (He does read this blog, after all!) But now that the wedding is over, I’m ready to share more.
I had some pretty specific ideas about what I wanted in a wedding dress. On my “must have” list:
- At least some lace (though I was pretty picky about the style and type of lace)
- Unique details
- Ivory or slightly darker (as long as it looked decent against my skin tone)
- Strapless (though I would also have considered a one shoulder gown if they looked better on my body)
I also had some pretty specific ideas about what I didn’t want. Some of the things that would get an automatic veto:
- Stark white
- Shiny material (such as satin, taffeta, and possibly other materials I can’t think of right now)
- Overly blingy, over-the-top dresses
I tried to keep an open mind when trying on dresses, but I was very upfront with the consultants at each bridal shop regarding what I liked and didn’t like. I actually did try on a few dresses featuring elements I typically disliked, but I generally tried to stick with gowns that had all (or most) of the “must have” qualities.
My mom took a lot of pictures during the dress buying process. I was definitely grateful that the bridal shops I visited allowed photos because these pictures ultimately helped me make my final decision. Trying on a bunch of gorgeous dresses was very overwhelming for me, so it was nice to have the pictures to look at later when I actually had time to really think about all of my options.
I won’t post all of the pictures here because, to be quite honest, some looked completely hideous. Like I would be embarrassed for someone to stumble upon images of me wearing these gowns (even though my head was cut out of most of the pictures my mom took). Others were just blah and not really worthy of being noted here. Not to mention the fact that I tried on something like 28 dresses at 4 bridal shops. That’s just too many dresses to post here!
I will, however, post a few of the dresses that I really liked. These are in no particular order, though I will save my top three (including my final pick!) for last.
Image courtesy of http://www.allurebridals.com.
That’s obviously not a picture of me in the dress, but I think it’s kind of helpful to show a stock photo as well, especially in this case. The sample I tried on was kind of ragged (the bottom no longer draped correctly and the gown was so stretched out that they had to shove a couple of pillows into the back to hold it on), so I don’t think you can get the full picture from my personal photos.
I tried on the dress in the champagne/silver color option, and I really loved it. It was surprisingly flattering against my skin tone (I’m pretty pale, though I don’t really look that pale in these pictures for whatever reason), and it made my body look pretty good. It’s a blingy dress, but not over-the-top. The skirt was draped in such a way that it looked a bit like it had pick-ups (which, as I mentioned, I really do not like), but it fell in a way that didn’t make me hate it. And while it didn’t have any lace, it had everything else I was looking for.
See what I mean about the ragged sample? Personal photo.
I decided not to choose this dress for a couple of reasons. First, I wasn’t completely sold on wearing a big ball gown. I wore a big ball gown for my senior prom in high school, and, to be honest, this dress reminded me quite a bit of that dress. They were in no way identical, but they were similar enough that I didn’t think it would be the right choice for my wedding day. The other deciding factor? I felt like my chest was on display. I know that the sample wasn’t fitted to my body, but it still gave me an idea of what it might look like … And I really didn’t want the focus of the day to be my boobs. So I had to say no to this one.
You can see the beading a little better in this picture. You can also see the lumps created by the pillows they had to shove down my back. Personal photo.
Marisa wedding gowns are notoriously difficult to locate images of online (so there are no stock photos for this one). They don’t spend much money on advertising, so there are very few pictures of models wearing their dresses (or so I’ve read). I’m pretty sure this is the correct name of the dress, though, since my mom wrote everything down for me and gave me her notes after each appointment.
The sash was sold separately, but I don’t have any pictures of me in the dress without the sash. I also realize that readers of this blog probably know what I look like since I’ve previously posted pictures of my face, but I really didn’t want my face to pop up in a Google image search of this dress style … So I blacked it out. Personal photo.
This dress made me feel incredibly chic and sophisticated. It gives the illusion of being taller (something I really appreciated since I’m only 5’1″), and is also very slimming. It was, without a doubt, a gorgeous dress. Sometimes I still look at the pictures of myself in it and think that it would have been a great choice. But it wasn’t “the one.” It didn’t have a lot of the elements I wanted in a wedding dress, and it also didn’t make me feel amazing. It made me feel pretty, but it didn’t wow me the way other dresses had.
The back of this dress was gorgeous (as long as you can pretend those red clamps aren’t there, of course). Personal photo.
Image courtesy of http://www.watters.com.
I thought this dress was stunning. It met most of my requirements, and though the sample was a bit snug (I hadn’t dropped much weight at the time I went dress shopping), I loved the way it fell on my body.
Again, I blacked out my face to avoid having it plastered across Google image search. Personal photo.
My main issue with this dress was that it seemed to be made with a spring/summer wedding in mind. I mean, just look at the stock photo from the Watters website! It’s a beautiful dress, but it just seemed so wrong for a November wedding. It would have definitely made the top three if I had gotten married in the spring or summer, though.
This really was a stunning dress. Personal photo.
La Sposa Maya
Image courtesy of http://www.lasposa.info.
This was one of two lace gowns I really loved. The scalloped neckline and subtle vertically striped underlay were nice unique details I really liked. And the train on this dress was beyond gorgeous.
I don’t think this sash came with the dress (if I remember correctly), but I didn’t have any pictures of myself in the dress without it. Personal photo.
Unfortunately, the dress just didn’t really feel right. It was dramatic and classic and bridal and beautiful … But when I closed my eyes to picture my wedding day, I didn’t really see myself wearing anything like this. It was hard to say no to this one because it was so pretty. But, again, it wasn’t “the one.”
See? The back of this gown is just breathtaking! Personal photo.
Image courtesy of http://www.pronovias.ca.
When I first got engaged, I started looking at a lot of wedding dresses online. I wanted to get an idea of the things I liked and didn’t like, and I wanted to know what was out there. I spent a lot of time looking at pictures of dresses, but I think I spent the majority of my time on the Pronovias website.
I was in love with so many Pronovias dresses that it was kind of ridiculous. I went into dress shopping with the idea that I’d probably end up purchasing a Pronovias gown.
And I almost did.
Again, I don’t remember if the sash came with the dress or not, but I don’t have any pictures of me without it. This picture is unfortunately a little out of focus, but you can at least get a general idea of what the slightly too snug sample looked like on my body. Personal photo.
This dress was a dream. It made me feel like I was floating on clouds with the romantic, flowy skirt. The lace was beautiful, and the train was gorgeous without being as dramatic as the La Sposa Maya. If the dress had been altered to fit my body, it would have been a great choice.
But something just didn’t feel right. I thought a lot about the dress, looking at the pictures of myself in it over and over again. I worried that maybe I was too attached to the idea of wearing a Pronovias wedding dress that I was focusing more on the designer than the dress itself. I didn’t get any excited feelings when I had the dress on. It was just a pretty dress. Beyond that, I felt like it was just a “typical” wedding dress. It was beautiful, sure … But it looked like pretty much every other lace gown out there. It wasn’t special enough for me.
This dress is obviously gorgeous … But it just wasn’t for me. Personal photo.
And finally, my dress.
Image courtesy of http://www.watters.com.
I think I mentioned this in my previous post about dress shopping, but I’ll mention it again. I tried this dress on at the second bridal shop I visited. It was a dress I had pinned on a “secret board” on Pinterest, and I was so excited that I would actually get to try it on. When I first pointed it out to my mom in the bridal shop, she wasn’t very enthused. She said it was a nice dress, but it wasn’t as pretty as some of the others that were hanging nearby.
I was determined to try it on, though. And I’m so glad I did.
Again, I’ve blacked out my face due to the dreaded Google image search. I have the same sash on that I was wearing with the Marisa dress as well (a sash I will be writing more about in a future Wedding Wednesday post). Personal photo.
I loved that this dress incorporated everything I wanted in a wedding dress: it was romantic and flowy, had some lace detailing, had some beading (but no over-the-top bling), and had some nice texture with the sash I added. It was also a darker ivory, strapless, and had a very unique skirt. It was perfect.
I didn’t want to take this dress off. I cried when I saw myself in the dress at my first appointment, and even cried again when I made a second “just to be sure” appointment. Even though I struggled with the final decision, I knew for sure after the second appointment that it was the right dress. I felt so beautiful. And coming from someone who never feels beautiful, that’s saying a lot!
The sample didn’t fit that well, but I wanted to show off how gorgeous it was in the back. Personal photo.
I never regretted my decision. Yes, I still see wedding dresses that I think are gorgeous. Yes, I still sometimes look at pictures of myself in the other wedding dresses and think, “What if I’d chosen that one?” But you know what? I’m glad I didn’t choose anything else. I got so many compliments on my dress on the wedding day. Everyone told me how unique and beautiful it was, and how it was very “me.” And while I wasn’t wearing the dress to receive compliments, it was nice to know that others also thought I made a great decision.
I can’t wait to share more wedding day photos on this blog to show how everything came together!