Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Evolution of a Wedding Dress

I'm forever grateful not to be planning my own wedding anymore, but I never tire of building weddings in my head. I never found The One, in terms of my wedding dress, though I had been dreaming of wedding dresses since I was quite young. My fourth anniversary with Jonas is coming right up, so I thought I'd do a little wedding-themed post and chose to look back on some of my dream dresses from various periods in my life. You'll find a lot of links sprinkled throughout that you can follow to see second-tier favorites or dresses that inspired me along the way.

The first dress I fell in love with was from Reem Acra's Spring 2006 collection. They even made a Barbie with this dress! I have the oldschool paper-copy ad saved and everything! The only detail I'm not crazy about (then or now) is those swirls on the front of the skirt.

I didn't start really looking at dresses again until I was engaged, and I settled on this dress by the Spanish design house Pronovias (2011). This dress went perfectly with the wedding theme I was planning for my real wedding, but the whole thing became too stressful and I called off the wedding (not the marriage). I decided I just wanted to go to the courthouse instead, but as it happens, our county courthouse in Santa Barbara is incredibly beautiful and my mom talked me back in to having a very small wedding. The only available size left in the US was a 14, and it was in New York, so that wasn't very practical.

I never found anything I liked in Bridal shops (I'm a professional pain in the butt), so I decided to build my own dress through a service in China. To keep cost and confusion down, I chose something really simple. I wanted to wear pants or something colorful that would show my personality or at least show off my legs (just being truthful...) but that was a little too wild for some of my immediate family (and fiance), so I decided on a sheer-skirted dress, which was very fashion forward at the beginning of 2012. ;) The image I worked off of was this 1999 Vogue editorial - the dress is Chanel.

The whole dress cost me $180 (including international shipping) plus about $50 in alterations.  It still didn't fit in the bodice after alterations and it was almost impossible to sit down in. I actually requested that the netting have swiss dots, but that wasn't an available fabric. I also changed the neckline to make it less 90s. I wish I'd splurged a bit on the quality of the dress and got some beading  or something other than mosquito netting. I loved the look of my cape-train, but again, it was the absolute cheapest sari I could find. Here's me in my custom wedding dress.

If I had to pick today, I might wear this ensemble, by Amsale (I love every dress in this spread, a true rarity!). I'm going to call 2016 as the year that Bridal HATS make a comeback. So Bianca Jagger, amiright?!

But more practically, I would wear vintage (one of a kind and generally cheaper!). I think Shop Gossamer has incredible dresses, including ones you can rent. Edwardian (1910s), 60s and 70s are my favorite vintage eras. I think I would strongly consider a dress with floral elements as well.

You can see all the bridal looks that I'm fond of on my Pinterest board Best Dressed Bride.

I'm not as attached to my wedding dress as I used to be - and I wasn't all that attached to begin with - but I still have it and I wonder about whether I should upcycle it or try and alter it again so that it will fit my post-baby hips. It would make a fun outfit for a special anniversary!

What kind of dress did you wear? Would you wear something different if you had to choose again? Where is your wedding dress now?

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 5


  1. Fun :) I chose a dress that was ultimately comfortable. Besides a low back strapless bra, I didn't require any special undergarments. It was simple, wrapped at the waist, and halter style. Chiffon with beading. Super lightweight, and easy. We did pics before the ceremony and then I even took it off inbetween and then put it back on at ceremony time! We got married in 2005 and styles have definitely changed. I don't know if I'd wear something different, because Caleb says it's the most beautiful dress he's ever seen :) but I do love the styles now and everything is so creative, it'd be fun to look again. It's in my closet!

  2. Oh and it was on the sale rack, so my dress, veil, shoes, and bra cost less than $1,000. Which for most wedding looks, is nothing!


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