Friday, August 24, 2007

My $100 Wedding Dress

Mr. Lollipop, I probably don't need to tell you that you should wait to read this one until after the wedding.

I bought my dress almost exactly a year ago today. I wasn't supposed to buy my dress when I did; I had only been engaged for a month. I was planning on a long, slow fight trying on dozens and dozens of dresses until I drowned in a pool lace and beads and tiny, fabric-covered buttons. We took a trip to the local David's Bridal store because it was convenient and would be a good place to establish a baseline before moving on to more expensive stores. We wanted to know how I looked in a strapless vs. a v-neck dress, or an A-line vs. ball gown, etc.

I find David's to be a hit or miss place. The staff can either be personable or grumpy and the dresses can be poorly made with cheap materials or pass for a much more expensive gown. It all depends on the store and the timing. Somehow we managed to get both right.

I went to the store in Robinson Township that day with just my mom and one of my bridesmaids. Through a stroke of luck we managed to hit the $100 dress sale. I tried on my first two gowns and both were not quite right. It turns out that both v-neck and strapless dresses make me look like a space alien.

The third dress was a little different. It was more conservatively and elegantly styled than most of the dresses in the store and was made with higher quality fabric. It was part of one of the store's premium lines, but it was marked down as a discontinued dress and carried a price tag of only $100. Magically, it fit and was free of stains or flaws. Bingo.

I tried on a few more dresses, but none measured up. I bought my dress off of the rack and took it home that day. My mom paid for it reasoning that she could sell our find on eBay if we ran across something better.

So, I went to other shops and tried on other gowns and looked at every wedding dress picture on the Knot, but I couldn't find anything I liked that wasn't grossly over-budget, like this, for example.

It was a relief to be under-budget in one area of the wedding; it meant that we could forward the surplus toward a nicer reception while remaining debt-free.

Once a month I take out the dress and put it on and I'm happy with what I see in the mirror. This month was the last time I would put it on before the wedding, so I took a few pictures.

Somehow I look completely different on camera than I do in a mirror, and unfortunately I noticed that the waistline beading doesn't exactly hit me in the right place.

Part of the distortion is that I'm not wearing my heels in this picture, but the waistline falls completely differently on the model in the catalog picture. Stupid catalog. Oh well, it's too late to do anything now, so I'll just turn to the side for most of our photos. See? Much better.

I do like the beading, though. One of the figures even looks like a Nagoya Castle dolphin.

posted by Alison 8/24/2007 12:23:00 AM : (3) comments : splink

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