My hunt for the perfect wedding dress started a few months ago. I bought every bridal magazine that I could get my hands on and I indulged in hours of wedding porn on websites like Style Unveiled, Rock and Roll Bride and Offbeat Bride. I ripped out the pages and saved photos of the dresses that I thought that I would want. I was all over the place! I thought that I wanted something empire waist goddess like or maybe I’d look great in a mermaid dress or what about a tea length vintage inspired dress?! I had too many ideas and so I ordered 5 dresses from Nordstrom.com and had them sent to my house. I ordered a sexy white satin Calvin Klein slip dress, a fun purple tea length strapless, a black Mad Men inspired slinky dress and two other forgettable white dresses. None of them were ‘the one’ and so I sent them all back.
From trying on dresses that I got at Nordstrom.com I learned a few things: I might wear white after all, I want my dress to be fun, sexy and I want to be able to wear bold jewelry. My best friend started sending me links to dresses because so much depends on what I choose to wear. I didn’t think that’d be true, but it so is! The decorations, what my bridesmaids will wear, what color bowtie Nat and her attendants will wear, the flowers, etc!
I decided to kick my dress shopping into high gear! Yesterday I went to Haight Street to try on vintage gowns because that’s really the direction I thought that I’d go in. There’s one problem with being me and fitting into vintage dresses – MY RIBCAGE! I know better than to try and force a zipper in a vintage dress! I went to four different stores and tried on about 25 dresses and I left empty handed! I remembered that my sister got her wedding gown at a little bridesmaid shop down on Union Street in the city, so I called for an appointment. They said they could fit me in at 2pm, so I headed down there.
The good thing about a store specializing in bridesmaid dresses is that I’d have tons of options if I wanted to wear color and I wouldn’t be spending over $1,000 on my dress because it isn’t an official ‘wedding’ dress. I hate the wedding industrial complex and will continue to thwart it throughout our process.
The name of the store is Bella Bridesmaid and they have dresses in there by two designers I really like – Lula Kate and Jenny Yoo. I had a lot of anxiety about going into the shop because all of the dresses to try on are a size 8 and I am NOT a size 8. I am also super tattooed, so I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable by a judgmental shop girl either! The girl who helped me was Julia and she was very nice. She was super knowledgeable and helped me pull about 12 dresses to try on. Since I couldn’t zip all of them up she’d hold the dress closed for me, so that I could get an idea of what it’d look like on. I ended up really really liking two of them – one was a sweetheart neckline magenta dress by Jenny Yoo and then the other one was this adorable little number by Lula Kate.
When I put on the yellow ruffle dress a huge smile appeared on my face. What do I love about this dress? The dramatic ruffle at the top, the fabric is super shiny/expensive looking, perfect poofy skirt, tea length, plenty of cleavage will be within my view (my partner’s one request when picking out my dress) and it has POCKETS!!!
Did I have the “Say Yes To The Dress!” moments in it? Nope. I didn’t cry, I wasn’t all emotional, I didn’t naturally feel like ‘a bride’ in it, but I did know that it was truly ME and that I’d look damn good in it on my wedding day. My best friend had told me that she didn’t have that magical ‘this is my wedding dress’ moment either, so I’m glad that I didn’t go in there with any huge expectations.
Here’s a few more photos of me in my dress – they had it in the store in yellow and purple – I’ll end up ordering it in off white and it should be ready in about 4 weeks – yeah!!
My partner finding a suit will be another blog post down the road, but I feel happy that I found my dress and now I can focus on other fun things – jewelry, shoes, hair accessories and helping my bridesmaids find the dress that makes them happy and fits into our color scheme. The dress is going to cost me about $300 and since I’m in between sizes for the bust/waist I have to order a larger size and get it tailored later. I wonder if the tailoring will cost as much as my dress? We shall see!
All Photos by me!