The Wedding Dress Post

I bought my wedding dress last Friday!!
But let’s back up, shall we?
Ah, the wedding dress. The supposed focal point of the entire day. I started off not believing in this. I kept telling myself that I would find the perfect dress on my own terms, from whatever store I wanted, and that it was my sole decision. I quietly bought a dress online after a month of being engaged, sight unseen, received it alone, and loved it immediately. It was very much my style – elegant, feminine, whimsical, romantic. It wasn’t bridey at all, had few embellishments, and was downright cheap at $200. I didn’t want to make a big deal about dress shopping. I’m self conscious enough about my body as is, the last thing I wanted to do was draw any more attention to it (despite this body-positive post on A Practical Wedding that I read almost daily).
In July I semi-reluctantly agreed to go dress shopping with my mom and sister. I waved a hand at the thought, knowing I was confident with my original choice, “dress shopping” only for posterity. That was where everything came to a screeching halt. I tried on several dresses at the shop, received constructive and helpful input from everyone involved, and then ended up conflicted. Of course. Here are the things that changed my mind, in order:
1) The shop. I went to Camilla’s in Arlington, MA which I cannot say enough amazing things about. Read my Yelp review, you’ll understand.
2) My mom and sister’s opinions. And by that I mean their honest opinions. They pointed out all of the flaws in the dresses I tried on. It sounds harsh but it was more helpful that way. I knew each dress was pretty, that’s not really the feedback that was going to help me buy a dress. Objective opinions on fit, style, shape, price point, and modernity is what I couldn’t see myself that they pointed out.
3) John’s opinion. He expected something bridey, extravagant, show stopping. I didn’t know!
4) My own deliberations on what I wanted to look back and remember about the dress. I struggled for a long time with vanity vs. practicality, timeless vs. timely, comfort vs. function. I gave it a lot of thought.
5) The dress as a concept. The dress is a concept in a way much like the venue or food, etc. These things dictate a very specific level of elegance and style that accompany your wedding day. It’s unavoidable. And is very important to me.
5) The dress itself. The Second Dress is quite bridey, I mean, it is definitely a wedding dress (lace, beading, a train). It’s dramatic and beautiful. It creates a silhouette to die for, I couldn’t believe that it was my body in this dress!
So, in the end, I returned the original dress. (A surprisingly painless, and downright pleasant, return might I add). Here it is:
And I purchased the Second Dress! No pictures here, sorry all. But I can tell you some things: it’s a Maggie Sottero dress, it’s both modern and vintage feeling, it will be freakin’ snug (because it is corseted), but it is blindingly beautiful and I cannot wait to get married in it.
In the game of wedding planning there are two extremes: lambasting tradition and blindly accepting tradition. I knew I didn’t want either but in a way wanted both.  As we plan our wedding I realize everyday that it’s the biggest learning experience I’ve ever had. There are just things I don’t know, that I need help deciding on. I’ll say it again, I have no interest in being a bridal island. That doesn’t mean I’m admitting defeat or shirking my own individuality. It just means I have open headspace and that I don’t doubt myself.
And it also now means I can now spend my time thinking about shoes or things to wear on my head when I wed….

Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

12 thoughts

  1. YAY! That’s very exciting. :) I think sometimes we get too influenced by what other people think your day should be and sometimes get lost in that when making choices for the wedding, whether we like to admit it or not. We already talked about this, but we definitely had opposite experiences. I felt so much pressure to have a dress with a train and this and that… when I knew with the wedding we wanted, plus knowing how I am, it wasn’t what I wanted. Yet I still went and bought the one that I thought everyone would love and that I *thought* I loved. I hated it. So I cried about it but then realized, “Okay, this is MY wedding, and I’m going to find the dress that feels perfect to me.”

    I put the one I ended up wearing for my day on and knew that it was it. I actually felt beautiful in it. I wasn’t settling for something that other people would approve of; it was something I felt like a wedding goddess in, being flowy, etc. It sucks when you have body issues and shopping for a dress, trust me I know… but as long as you feel perfect on your day (and trust me, you will look absolutely STUNNING), that is what matters in the end.

    I learned so much from our wedding and planning it, and more than anything else, in the end I realized how much love we were surrounded by and how many people (like you and John!) came out of the woodworks to make our day the special day it was.

    I’m so excited for you two because I can see how it’s both of your vision and I lovelovelove weddings like that… I can’t wait for it! :)

    1. Of course. It’s like in the end of course this doesn’t matter but in the beginning it does. If that makes sense? Thank you for your support and talking about it and just being open about your experiences. It ALL helps so much.

      1. No totally, I get what you mean. And honestly some of it does matter! Well, it does and it doesn’t, haha. It’s hard to explain.

        And of course, I know how it can be at times when you feel like you have no one to talk to or no one GETS what your going through… but then someone who’s been through it gives some advice that you can’t get from the wedding blogs or anywhere else, and it eases your mind.

        ANYWAY, still awfully excited for you guys and I can’t wait to see the new dress. :)

  2. I wore a Maggie too, and I loved how it fit and flattered my shape. I hope yours is just as awesome when you get the real thing in!

  3. oh man! so exciting! i’m 99% sure my old (&favorite, long time) roommate got married in a maggie dress – she had seen it and fell in love with it. we went to all kinds of shops but in the end we had one place order it for her and it was the best. you just know, but getting out there and trying different things makes it all happen!

    and, of course given my somewhat ‘alternative’ lifestyle (ew) i know for a fact that corsets are one of the most amazing things. if you’re ever unsure about your sillouhette these will change your mind! plus, like i told a friend who recently married her long, long time partner – you will have that total happy bride glow on your wedding day and you would look radiant in anything. true story!

    1. I’m so glad you responded! I was thinking of you when I was doing extensive corset research. There are a lot of amazing people doing custom orders on Etsy and other places online, amazing stuff.

      Even though the sample Maggie dress was not my size the corset worked magic. I couldn’t believe I had never tried one before. AND! Almost shunned the corseted wedding dress because I thought it too was too traditional and not unique looking at all. I’m glad I was wrong. Secretgoffwedding!

      1. i swear i just embarrassingly squeed alone on the couch at “secret goff wedding” XD

        i always HATED trying things on – actually i still do! – but one thing i have learned from my mother that i begrudgingly admit is that it looks way different on you than it does on any hanger. i’m open to anything but i always have to bring a crew with me to get me to put it on :D

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