My journey to the perfect wedding dress was an interesting one for sure! I had a pretty good idea what I wanted. I have a collection of classic movies and love the intake look. Loved lacy and romantic, but most importantly I wanted a champagne color. And I LOVE illusion necklines (very 1950’s). My friend Kate had gotten engaged a year after me and was ready to do her shopping (I was holding off for more weight loss). We were all so excited! We got to David’s Bridal one afternoon. And she came out in some great dresses. But, she quickly got to “the one”. We all knew it. She looked stunning. It was very simple, kind of an old Hollywood look to it. We were at the store for little over an hour and then off to a celebratory lunch!
After sharing this great experience with her, I thought “WOW, this should be pretty easy!”. I had already been looking online, I had a good idea of what I wanted. So, a few months later it was my turn. We go to the first store. Absolutely beautiful dresses! Tried on many different styles to get a feel for what looked best (which actually surprised me a little). I finally tried one on that was an absolute 180 from what I had planned. A beautiful Maggie Sotorro dress (style was called Mona). One shoulder, asymmetrical, soft white organza. Just stunning and I felt amazing in it. My heart sank when we discussed price. They were very generous and gave me a great deal. After the whole shabang I was looking at $1000. Now, I’m not clueless when it comes to wedding gowns (and designer ones at that!). I know that this is not uncommon, in fact a good deal for the designer! But, this was not a $20,000 wedding, not even a $10,000 wedding….this was a FBF wedding! Could I really spend 1/3 of the budget on my dress?! I went to other shops hoping I would find something I liked as much if not more. But, nothing! I discussed it with my fiancee. I even (brace yourselves) showed him photos of all the dresses I tried on that day! He loved the dress also, and said I looked beautiful in it. I told him how I felt and the price. With and sharp intake of breath and being the best man ever said “if that’s the one then we’ll make it work.” I love him more and more everyday ladies (even after 7.5 years he makes my heart melt everyday!).
I knew there was a big bridal sale coming up a week later. So, I said if I don’t find anything there then I will know that the other one is “the one” and I’m a savvy gal who can make the budget work! So, I go to the sale with his aunt and cousin to help me. They help me scour the racks of dresses. And while in the dressing room his cousin (who had also just gotten engaged) asks me what I thought about a “peach colored dress?” Peach colored? She brings in this beautiful lace CHAMPAGNE colored Casablanca gown! The only problem, it was a halter. I hate halter on myself, it is NOT a good look! I try it on and yes, the top is horrible. But, I love the rest. I had seen this dress online and loved it. I go back and forth on it. We take a frozen yogurt break so I can think it over. She helps me think of things I could do to change to the top to fit my style. Finally I decide. This is everything I had wanted and at a much better price! It was 50% off bringing it to $400 after tax! This was it (minus the alterations)!
I combed the internet looking for a seamstress up to the task. And I found Dora Baker! She was amazing. She looked at the inspiration photos I had and we discussed the details. I met with her many times for fitting and to see the progress of the dress. She was amazing and took very good care of my vision at an extremely good price (only $200!). After all the hard work my vision became a reality! There were still a few minor things I would have changed given time, but I was still so very happy with it!
Here are some photos for you to see the original and the changes.