weddings be crazy the dress Lisa Przystup garance dore photos

5 years ago by

Where our new contributor, Lisa (in the photo), tells us about finding THE dress.

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I am not one of those girls who has been planning her wedding since she was this big. I am one of those girls who stockpiled issues of Vogue and Mademoiselle and funnily enough,  J.Crew catalogs, which means that I have been planning my closet since I was this big.

So when I got engaged all my friends assumed the dress would be the first thing I bought as soon as that ring slid onto my finger. My friend Alexis told me that she imagined me in Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s wedding dress. That impeccable, perfect Narciso Rodriguez white sheath of a dress. Which I took as a compliment because if she imagined me in the dress that CBK wore that must mean she thinks that maybe I reminded her of her??? Which means I can officially stop trying. 

But the thing was that I really, really, really, really, really had no desire to start wedding dress shopping. I mean, think about the absolute pain in the ass that is swimsuit and jean shopping. Now multiply that by a gazillion (and one). In each scenario you’re looking for something to make you feel perfect about things (your butt, your boobs, your body) you don’t feel perfect about. Now imagine that none of the dresses are going to fit you because they’re all sample sizes and you have to just imagine how the dress is going to fit you.

No. Thank. You.

I’m going to spend the most money I’ve ever spent on anything ever and I am going to use my imagi-freaking-nation?

So I put if off.

Meanwhile my mother tried to “discreetly” get an idea of what sort of dress I was thinking of by asking me questions like “Is it going to be beautiful?” Mom. C’mon.

Although I didn’t really want to start looking I did know that I wanted either some sort of amazing silk, bias cut gown from the 1920’s and 1930’s OR some sort of Victorian slightly gauzy and sheer with embroidery and eyelet dress. And I knew I didn’t want to find myself sitting on silk tuffets with all the women in my life squealing over gowns until I finally found “the one” as I cried my mascara into little black rivers on my face. I really just wanted a reason to buy a ridiculously beautiful dress from a designer that I would never otherwise be able to justify (Phillip Lim, I’m looking at you).

I thought I’d just go to Barney’s or Bergdorf’s or Net-a-Porter or some amazing vintage store and find one in my size, love it and buy it. And I wanted something that I would feel comfortable and like myself in, NOT some pile of ruffles and layers of tulle and pleats and feathers and  sequins and 1 million buttons and corseting and a mile long train. I wanted simple, classic, elegant, silk (this is the diatribe I announced to anyone who asked me about my dress and to anyone in general really).

I realized I had to start looking. I started by shopping online (low-commitment, anonymous, easy to do when you’re avoiding deadlines) and I found a dress that I was totally not expecting to like at all (one word: lace) at BHLDN and I was CONVINCED it was the one. One of the only places in the city that had it was Kleinfeld, one of the biggest bridal boutiques in the city and home to the show “Say Yes to the Dress.”

My best friend beat me there, as I wash rushing to get there I got a text that said “This experience is going to be bananas,” so I went in with my defenses up and list of “don’t wants.” I didn’t want any padding, I didn’t want any of those weird chicken cutlet things shoved into a bra two sizes too big for me. No trying to convince me what sort of bride I absolutely was not. I was there to try on that one dress and one dress only. And I did. And I didn’t like it. I felt completely un-me in it. I halfheartedly tried on a couple more (three more to be exact) both silk and beautiful but…meh. I left dress-less. 

You know that thing when you try on ten different outfits before you go out and have a panic attack and then just put on the first one and suddenly everything is okay? That’s what happened with “the dress.” When I first started dreaming (remember that silk bias cut beauty?), a friend had recommended Johanna Johnson and her studio was my last stop. I walked in dubious and left with a solid top two. The first was a simple slip of a silk dress: low back and thin straps and affordable. And I liked it, I really did BUT I’m freezing when it’s 60 so…and there was also the issue of what mom would say. The second dress was beautiful and I felt like Lauren Bacall (classic and beautiful). It really did feel special. But was it $$$ special? I mean, no item of clothing is four figures special (at least for my income bracket). I decided on the latter and immediately after I felt an amazing sense of relief, which was then immediately followed by the seven stages of grief: 

 
1. Shock and denial: I am not that bride and, Jesus, this costs a ton of money

2. Pain and guilt AKA  buyers regret on steroids: as soon as I uttered the security code on the back of my card I felt a terrible ball of anxiety form in the pit of my stomach and immediately started thinking of ways I might sell the dress on the black market or ways I might make a ton of money in a short amount of time that didn’t involve taking my clothes off.

3. Anger and bargaining or how the f*ck did I just spend that much money on a dress??? I felt irrationally irresponsible (like that time I did all those Jell-o shots). We had been cutting corners and pulling from all our restaurant friends and musician friends and creatives and DIY-ing the rest of the wedding, how could I justify spending that much money on just the dress??? (Please: no chorus of “But it’s your big day!” “It only happens once in your lifetime!” “Think about the photos!” “It’s totally worth it!” blah blah blah).  I mean, it’s just a freaking dress. Then I started bargaining: mentally reallocating funds and mentally shuffling finances  around like a kid moves the  food they don’t want to eat around on their plate.

4. Depression, reflection, loneliness: Yep. All of it.

5. The upward turn: Pep talk from bestie and looking at the most beautiful images of the dress online helped (a little).

6. Reconstruction and working through: vis-à-vis many glasses of rosé.

7. Acceptance and hope: I bought it. It’s mine. It’s beautiful. Maybe I’ll win Powerball?

 
How was your wedding dress experience? Did you know when it was “the one”? Or did you just settle?

71 comments

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  • Maggie June, 3 2015, 9:42 / Reply

    Lisa, that is pretty much the same thought process I went through with my wedding dress shopping. Couple all the things you said with so-called “friends” who can’t stop pestering you about “Choose a dress that will look best in photos, nothing else is important”… Online shopping was my first stop – but sadly most of the dresses I liked were so damn expensive! And after putting off the dress shopping for as long as I could, couple of months before the wedding, I buy a magazine while waiting for the train, skim through the pages and my eyes land on the most perfect little white Vera Wang dress (how basic of me, eh?). Fell in love, tried it on in the shop in London, cried a little bit when i saw the price tag and finally bought it; scandalising the shop assistant in the process, since the dress was meant more as a bridesmaids rather than a wedding one, hehe.
    p.s. my now husband’s outfit for the wedding was more expensive than my wedding dress, so that might have also helped in easing my internal guilt, heh!

  • C’est pas évident de trouver sa robe de mariée parce qu’on a toujours une idée très précise de ce que l’on recherche, avant les essayages. Mais quand on les essaie, on se rend compte que la coupe dont on rêve ne nous va pas forcément bien!
    Pour ma part, j’avais très envie d’une robe en dentelle, bohême, champêtre des créatrices Delphine Manivet, Laure de Sagazan, toute en dentelle, mais ça ne m’allait absolument pas! Du haut de mon mètre 52 et avec ma morphologie finie, on avait l’impression que j’étais malade et que j’allais tomber! J’ai fini par prendre une plus classique, bustier, très simple (je ne voulais pas de strass ni de tulle etc) avec beaucoup de volume!!! Pour le moment, elle est commandée mais je ne l’ai pas encore! Le mariage est pour Août!!!
    Bonne soirée

    Le monde des petites
    http://www.lemondedespetites.com/

  • i purchased 5 dresses, all online. the one i decided to wear was purchased on sunday, received on tuesday, dry cleaned and hemmed and picked up by friday and worn for 6 hours on saturday. from bhldn. sometimes i regret not doing the whole crazy trying on dresses thing but more often than not i’m just glad the whole wedding planning is over.

  • Je me suis mariée plus tard que la plupart de mes amies (33 ans, ça n’est pas non plus très vieux…) et quand j’ai dû choisir une robe, j’ai trouvé que j’avais passé l’âge de ressembler à une princesse et surtout je ne voulais pas avoir l’air déguisé (c’est le danger que chaque mariée frôle à tout instant !).
    J’ai quand même tout essayé, dans tous les magasins “mariées” de la capitale, entourée de mes 3 soeurs ainées. Un jour on essayait des robes de mariées tartes à la crème au Printemps, on n’était pas convaincu, c’était triste et hors de prix, dans des matières épouvantables, désespérées, on s’est perdu dans les couloirs… pour finir chez les créateurs.
    Là on a vu des 10aines de robes blanches sensas’. J’ai fini par en essayer plusieurs chez Galliano et je me suis dit “en fait, quelle sera ta prochaine occasion de porter une robe de ce genre?” et bien à vrai dire, jamais, je le savais. Alors j’ai été dans la boutique Galliano et j’ai choisi une merveilleuse robe de cocktail blanche sublime.
    J’ai été accueillie merveilleusement bien alors que je n’avais jamais passer le seuil d’une telle boutique, j’avais l’impression de vivre la vie d’une autre, ma robe qui coûtait un certain prix m’a coûté bien moins chère qu’une vraie robe de mariée et je savais en plus que je ne porterai jamais plus de créateurs de ce genre-là. J’ai été tellement heureuse ! C’est mon meilleur souvenir de ces mois de préparation !
    Pour la petite histoire, après les retouches, je suis sortie de la boutique avec ma robe emballée dans un immense sac Galliano, on était le lendemain de la ‘big affaire’ Galliano. En sortant, certains me regardaient de travers quand d’autres me félicitaient, c’était surréaliste pour une fille comme moi qui n’avait JAMAIS été là auparavant, on me prenait pour une fidèle parmi les fidèles!!!

  • HappyLilly June, 3 2015, 4:06

    J’aime beaucoup ton histoire de robe de mariée. Et le plaisir sincère que tu as eu à t’acheter une robe “inhabituelle”. J’ai ressenti ça quand je me suis acheté ce formidable sac à main qui vaut mon salaire.

  • I knew going into wedding dress shopping that I was not going to have an emotional connection with the experience like I had seen on TV and movies. I went to 3 shops and was not enjoying the process. I felt pressure like no other from women in the shops and friends and family to find THE DRESS. I finally gave myself a few weeks off and surprisingly through Instagram found a dress designer I loved, found where she was sold in the NYC area and two weeks later purchased a dress from her. My dress decision was made 50% based on the fact that I was sick of trying on dresses and 50% based on the thought that this was about as good as it gets in terms of a dress for me. It was comfortable and in the aesthetic that I desired. I didn’t take one photo of me wearing it, which drives all my friends and family nuts. It makes me happy.

  • Oh man, I can only imagine the panic! I cannot wait to see what you took home – I know it’s a beauty!

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    http://www.littlewildheart.com

  • Clara B June, 3 2015, 10:18 / Reply

    J’ai cherché pendant des semaines… et rien… Je voulais quelque chose de confortable et dans une matière naturelle. Pas de blanc, ni de crème… un look minimaliste… à deux jours de la date… panique! J’avais hésité de consulter les modèles de robes proposées par une designer qui a son atelier à quelques rues de chez moi… je rentre… fouille dans ces modèles de robes de soirée de collection antérieur … mes yeux sont éblouis par un modèle long en velours noir… absolument magnifique. Les petites mains ont fait les ajustements pour la date… soit 48 heures… dernier essayage à 18 heures de la date… et me voilà heureuse et je vous assure que malgré la couleur.. je n’avais pas du tout le look cruella… j’étais moi et heureuse de marier un homme extraordinaire!!!!

  • Caroline June, 3 2015, 10:21 / Reply

    euh, on peut voir la robe ? je suis curieuse de nature ;-)

  • GRAVE ! haha ;)

  • I choose ‘good enough’ approach (no search for perfection!) and the searching and buying process was fun, relaxed, playful and creative. Something I really recommend – stress level 0 and it all worked out perfectly!

  • Bienvenue Lisa !

    Je ne suis pas encore passée par cette étape, mais par contre je partage ce mélange de sentiments lorsqu’on fait un achat très impliquant (comme par exemple dans mon cas un perfecto). Je n’imagine pour l’achat d’une robe de mariée…. !!

    Amélie
    https://charlesrayandcoco.wordpress.com/

  • When I knew I was getting married in 2004, there were two dresses I saw and liked. One was a Karen Walker orange dress I saw in a magazine, which was not available yet. The second was a Marc Jacobs dress. Neither wedding dresses per se. I was living in the bay area, called the Marc Jacobs store, and asked if they had that dress in a size 8. “Size 8! [Laughter] We don’t carry anything over a six! [More laughter].” I felt like shit and my rebellious side was nurtured just a little more in that moment.

    One day soon after I was strolling down College Avenue in Berkeley, and found a white 50’s party dress that had one strap, this silver bedazzled wonder womanish waist line and a puffy white, short skirt. It was 200 bucks. That was the dress! I got married in Las Vegas, and everything about the wedding was unconventional (including the fact that my family was not supportive of the union), and a random, cheap dress that was awesome just felt right.

    As with so many other experiences in life, it’s all about trusting our instincts. I’m happy you found something you love! No regrets!

  • J’ai fait faire la mienne sur mesure!
    Je voulais qu’elle soit unique et que ça ne me coûte pas les yeux de la tête.
    Pour les curieuses, voici ce que ça donnait ;) : http://bonnie-garner.com/2012/09/15/my-wedding-dress/

  • Totally settled and ten happy, prosperous years later the $300-so-so-dress still does not matter! Our friends still talk about how fun our wedding was.

  • I haven’t gotten married yet — or engaged for that matter. But I do think about my wedding dress and I definitely know I’ll have problems in the fit department

    http://hashtagliz.com

  • brittni June, 3 2015, 11:44 / Reply

    what? no photos?!

  • Lee Ann June, 3 2015, 11:51 / Reply

    Thirty-plus years ago … bought a wedding dress I thought was drop-dead gorgeous. Think mid-80s. Uh, huh, right. Looking at photos now, it was gorgeously hideous!

  • Kerstin June, 3 2015, 1:06 / Reply

    Twenty seven years ago, I couldn’t afford much of a dress. And I was the anti-bride, to boot. So on the last hour of the last day of Filene Basement’s crazy annual wedding dress sale, I reluctantly walked in with my sister. Within minutes, we found an elegant Christian Dior bridesmaid dress, high-quality white satin, streamlined style with spaghetti straps for $89. I put it on with hundreds of people milling about (no dressing rooms) and knew it was the right one when a woman walked by with her boyfriend, pointed to the dress I had just put on and said to him, “that’s what I want to look like when I’m a bride.” Boom. Sold. I never really thought of it as the dress to end all dresses, but it was perfect for my body, my budget, and our wedding venue. Plus, I get to say to the end of my days “always a bridesmaid, never a bride!”

  • Stephanie June, 4 2015, 6:55

    I remember the FB wedding dress events! I worked there as a college student and that event was such a scene here in Boston.

    As for my dress, 22 years ago, I lucked out when vacationing in VT of all places, first dress I tried on was perfect. It was in the store window, a super simple dress with a great drape, made by a designer I hadn’t heard of before, Nicole Miller, for $150.

    Lisa, thanks for the fun post!

  • Wow! All those emotions! I plan to make it a very simple ivory dress which is not meant to be for a wedding but just looks so gorgeous not to be! Hope I can find it without tearing my hair out!

    Best wishes for a beautiful wedding in that gorgeous gown!! xo

    (=’.’=)
    -Lauren
    adorn la femme

  • Pleeeaseee,show us the dress !

  • Where are the white jeans from? So cute!

  • Love this article, maybe one day I will find the Prince who goes with my Dreaming Dress hahaha! or better to find the Dress after hahaha!

    Bisous from France,
    Sand.

    http://www.taimemode-fashionblog.com

  • MissPimpin June, 3 2015, 2:02 / Reply

    J’avais déjà pas envie de me marier avec tout le toutim, mais là, suis juste convaincue de JAMAIS m’embarquer dans cette galère; y’a vraiment rien qui a l’air cool ou marrant à ces préparatifs
    Cela dit, suis comme tout le monde, tout ça pour quoi ? SHOW US THE F—— DRESS !!!

  • You’re absolutely right. What a nightmare getting a wedding dress! I’d always found weddings a bit embarrassing. To me there is something annoying about celebrating love or any kind of intimacy publicly. I don’t use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. because I had never had the courage of showing “how happy I am” or “how good my scramble eggs look” to the world. So buying what to wear for my wedding was taken more as an opportunity to indulge in some kind of crazy expenditure than a way to impress anyone. Few days before the day, I went to Printemps to see what dress from Comme des Garçons I could buy. It was 2003 and CDG wasn’t as popular and that easy to understand as it is today. There were nods, fringes, quirky cuttings, and tons of fabric hanging here and there. I really wanted to have something from Rei Kawakubo and remember my wedding because of her and quite not the opposite. It was all too expensive. I ended up wearing an Gingham light apricot coloured victorian cotton blouse with a bow around the neck and white brocade trousers from Alexandre Hertchcovitch, an ensemble wore once by Isabella Blow to show her love for Brazilian designers. More than 10 years after I would change anything about my wedding outfit, even the pale pink shoes from Karine Arabian are still great to wear today, they look like the popular round-toe Valentino’s. From my experience, the best is to enjoy who you really are on that day. Polish your everyday looks and you will get something you will always love.

  • la robe la robe ! la robe ! la robe !

  • vanessa June, 3 2015, 2:52 / Reply

    beh du coup…. ça fait rêver…
    on a pas le droit de te voir dedans ??

  • laurla laylor June, 3 2015, 3:50 / Reply

    Thank you. For once and honest portrayal of what it is REALLY like for most women finding the dress! Thank you for acknowledging the less sexy stuff e.g. the price!!

  • Natacha June, 3 2015, 5:07 / Reply

    Totally agree!! The same 7 stages went through my mind – I had gone to maybe 5 different stores and at most i’d gotten a “yeah, maybe?” feeling for a couple. Then I tried on the Charlier Brear 1920.2 and I went “oh hey this looks good, i don’t look like a porn star (i have ginormous boobs), i feel really really pretty in it AND i’m comfortable – WIN” :)

    … and the result was pretty great (although finding the right bra was a total nightmare): http://www.mattandlenaphotography.com/2014/08/15/natacha-manuel-supper-moon-destination-wedding/

  • I purchased my amazing and quirky poplin shirt dress from local designer brand (NEHERA actually) one day before the wedding..no biggie

  • I needed two dresses (long story short: my parents decided I must have a wedding in my home country… with two months notice). So double the anxiety.
    I picked one dress off the rack which I loved.
    For the ceremony, I fell in love with a very simple, elegant and understated made-to-measure dress, in an unexpected fabric. I loved the simple lines, and how clean and pure it was. When my sister and mother arrived in Australia to view the dress, they clearly hated it “As long as you like it, I guess”; “It’s not going to photograph well”; “I suppose if you lost some weight”; “Maybe lots of accessories will help”.

    I tried to stay firm, but after two weeks of agony, I changed the dress (thankfully no cloth had been cut, so no penalties) and I ended up purchasing a dress twice as expensive, but more recognisably bridal. It made my MIL cry when she saw me, and I liked it enough. Lol.

  • the moment i got engaged, i started buying tons of wedding magazines – i had a certain style in mind but couldn’t complete the picture so i needed help. when i finally completed the puzzle and designed the dress myself (inspired by details from a monique lhuillier gown and a reem acra one), i had it made by an old local seamstress who had been making gowns for my mom, aunts and grandmother for years. the outcome? it was everything that i imagined it to be! unfortunately, plans changed — instead of a church wedding, we had a simple civil wedding ceremony in my home country so i didn’t get to wear my dream wedding dress. when i moved to europe with my husband, we decided to have a church wedding. luckily, i brought the wedding dress with me! six months later, we had a beautiful church wedding at this tiny, old chapel (yes, very much like that of JFK, Jr. & CBK’s wedding church)…minus my dream wedding dress! you see, i was six months pregnant and had to wear a silk wedding dress for pregnant women, which i purchased online the last minute – like a week before the wedding (as you know, the baby bump grows bigger every week and, of course, i was still hoping i could squeeze my growing belly inside my dream wedding dress). seven years and two babies later, i still have my ‘dream wedding gown’ hanging in my closet, unused and untouched. someday….i know. perhaps in our 10th wedding anniversary? or silver wedding anniversary? :)

  • Virginia June, 3 2015, 6:09 / Reply

    For my first wedding I had the wrong idea of what dress I wanted. I tried all styles! I ended up being really lucky, found a store that had a sale. The only issue was that the dress had sleeves and I wanted sleeveless. The owner had a seamstress and did it all for a specific price (twice what I had budgeted to spend ;)) but I looked incredible! The marriage did not last but I looked amazing.

    For my second wedding, I did not feel it was proper for me to have a wedding gown and thank God my fiancé did not want me in a wedding gown either or I would have had to do wear one. I ended up buying a very beautiful champagne cocktail dress for the intimate wedding. It was an afternoon affair. It was perfect!

    There you go…two weddings, two dresses. It is all about how you want to feel, about the moment.

  • Ahhhhh! What a great post.

    I planned my petite wedding in 2 months, so last minute. Ordered my dress (VB) from Net-a-porter (and after 3 returns b/c none fit right, a little bit of stress there) I was done.

    Congratulation’s on both acct’s, on the dress, and the marriage.

  • If you should pick any dress for your wedding….let it be comfortable. Happiness, not suffering.

  • Virginie June, 3 2015, 7:18 / Reply

    I was married five days before my son was born and wore black, not because I was being rebellious, but because it made me look thinner. It wasn’t fashionable or acceptable to be unmarried and pregnant at that time, and I knew everyone at City Hall was trying to act like they didn’t notice my huge belly. After the ceremony I was offered a gift bag which contained a mini-box of Tide, a sample of dish detergent, and a romance novel – married life staples. Diapers would’ve been nicer – I didn’t need any more romance. I still laugh when I think about that gift!

    I’ve helped with many *real* weddings since then, and I think pleasing yourself is more important than pleasing friends and family. Ditto for the hairstyle and make-up. If you love the dress and look beautiful in it, the price won’t matter in 25 years – just skip your daily Starbucks for the next 1300 days!

  • My wedding drees experience was actually pretty great. I chose it from the Pronovias catalogue and sent the code to my fiancé who is studying abroad in Madrid, he went to the store, got it for me – with the strict command of not peeking – and he’s flying it in tomorrow! I am so excited…for both! :)

  • My criterion :

    Something for one time use is an awful purchase. So need to be repurpose-friendly.

    One visit to the tailor later, its reusable for dressy occasions. Vola !

    Mine was pink.

    – Archana.

  • Samantha June, 3 2015, 9:00 / Reply

    I compromised on many things for my wedding (did our own invitations, didn’t have fancy cars, did my own make up etc) but not on the dress. 21 years later , I still don’t regret the beautiful dress I bought, and I still have it in my cupboard and it is still as beautiful as ever!

  • Congratulations! I was married in the 80’s and I was thrilled with my raw silk cake-topper dress. Of course, now it looks dated but I’ve been married for almost 24 years so it must have worked its magic.

  • I got married in 1999. I designed my own wedding dress and a workmate at the time recommended a friend of hers who was a dressmaker to create it. It was just a sleeveless column dress with a boat neck. The back had small buttons down the middle and a little train. It was made out of raw silk. It didn’t photograph particularly well but it looked good in person.
    We didn’t spend a huge amount on our wedding but still managed a tasteful day which many people said they really enjoyed.

  • Pamela June, 3 2015, 9:55 / Reply

    I’m getting married in 3 weeks and my dress while I loved it when I bought it and it was way more than I was planning to spend, I don’t like anymore (and yes, I ordered a JCrew one and a while lace number from Free People first, but the fabric just looked cheap to me, so they went back and I headed to the bridal store).

    When I think about it, I feel like I’m going to be in costume on the day of my wedding, which I’m not like that at all in normal life. I have a very set and well known style that will not be represented. Last week, I put myself on the waitlist for a white dress from reformation, which is “the one” I’m sure. But it probably won’t come in time and I’ll be stuck in my white, lacy, long, beautiful, so-not-me dress (with the chicken cutlets to make fake boobs). My final effort is going to be to see what I can do with it in a DIY manner, but it wasn’t cheap and it’s all I’ve got so any “alterations” are going to have to be minor.

    In the end, it’s just a dress and it’s just a party, so I’ll get over it.

  • I did not think you would allow swearing on your blog, let alone a word that would be offensive to a religion when used inappropriately. As a long time reader of your blog, I’m offended and disappointed.

  • Jackie June, 3 2015, 11:16 / Reply

    thanks I love this! I was married 25 years ago when dresses were big and hideous. I shopped all over for something simple-silver white raw silk and satin no tulle no beads no sequins and no drop waist seam pointing at my lady parts. not a needle in a haystack. Try a needle in a whole field of haystacks. Saks, Bergdorfs, Vera, and yes even kleinfelds. So sad no clean lines. Now remember there was no internet Pinterest curated wedding sites. We just simply trudged up and down the streets with tears from bridal magazines. The most delightful and beautiful was at Amisale. Her atelier was 9th Ave in the 40’s serenely looking over the Hudson. I felt like I was having tea at a girlfriends not in search of the elusive great white wedding dress. Her process was charming soothing and impossibly long not fitting into my timeline. after this tortuous journey my mother pulled out “my friend owns a bridal shop downtown.” Bam. Her name was Wanda and she was a bridal master. She listened closely to my every word. Showed me some beautiful fabrics and sketched what she thought I wanted. I had 3 fittings in 3 months and the last was the the day before the wedding, when I took a step and the entire skirt ripped from the bodice straight from a B movie. All the seamstresses laughed at my terror and said of course we don’t sew the final seams till the day before. What if you changed your mind? I waited in the shop till the last seam was

  • Venezia30123 June, 4 2015, 2:59 / Reply

    Oh gosh, can remember June 13 years ago: i started to search (first week of september was the date).I met two UK friends,usually i shop alone but here i needed moral support,and we started everywhere in London.
    I wanted a colored dress.Not a white one.
    And believe me 13 years ago it was a nightmare to find.And also the sale had started:no big choice in the old collections and the new one wasn`t already in.
    After two exhausting days running between Selfridges,Harrods,vintage stores,etc…. we went to Browns because my girlfriend needed something there.I found immediately a wonderful marked down Carlos Miele cocktail dress for the registry office but what to do about the long colored thing i had on my mind.
    And than i saw it: a Dior/Galliano bias cut floaty pink chiffon 30s style perfect….but not marked down….way to expensive…beautiful dress.
    Friends:you have to try it.Me:no way,can`t afford…okay ,i`ll slip it just over.
    Whoom:unfortunately it was perrrrfect.
    Thinking:probably you buy it.No are you nuts?But it`s the one.Nooo,be sensible and don`t ruin yourself completely money wise.
    Asking sales assistant :will it be later in the sales.She asked the manager.Reply:No Dior on sale.
    Desperation. Depression.
    Okay,will think about it.
    Than stepping into a taxi(feet were hurting from running around) .BFF said i am calling right now Dior in in LA.
    There was sale.Yes the dress is existing for 50 % off.Dior:We will call you back if we can find the size in the US.
    Nope.Sold everywhere out.
    More depressions.
    Time is passing by:mid-August.3 weeks left.No colored dresses in sight.Black evening frocks or white bridal ones.Two options ,but not for me.Online was no option cause i travelled that time too much.
    Coming to Zurich,which was at that time not the most fashionable place on earth,Dior shop:maybe ….
    There it was: the same Dior gown i tried on at Browns, one left,MY size,70% off.Still a fortune but it was the ONE.
    And than sold to me.
    And i felt the total cool(even it was boiling hot that day) princess on my wedding day
    It`s still a complete dream in my wardrobe.Over the years worn on several black tie events.And sometimes i just slip it on for me at home.

  • Dear Lisa, first welcome and thanks for sharing your experience with us! I had to get through this tough and rough phase too but eBay had been my savior this time! I was getting married on a beach in Thailand and so I was supposed to find a dress that would be suitable for such climate (I am talking humid hot and humid) and when you live in Paris it is not necessarily the easiest kind of dress to find… But I went through the fittings in many shops (my favorite was Delphine Manivet) but it was just so disappointing and frustrating because none fulfilled the profile… And then I remember a Chloe summer campaign (the year before, with Freja and Arizona) with long silky effortlessly cool no back dresses and it struck me: it was the perfect dress and you know what? I HAVE FOUND IT ON EBAY, right size, right price (-50% off, but still…) and the canadian lady (bless her good heart and too cold weather to wear that dress) who sold this beauty was so cool and kind and understood my concerns about buying online such a dress for such an occasion but everything went perfectly right and I was able to get married in the perfect dress for this perfect moment of my life…

  • The same! I’m looking the wedding dress right now, and only one month to go to the wedding. Can’t find the only one. Nice but too expensive if it’s custom order. Ready to wear dresses from bridal shops is not my cap of tea at all. Russian wedding taste is quite special.

  • This was hilarious. Fab read. Never been wedding shopping but sounds like what it would be like anyway.

  • My wife to be and I were looking for two nice dresses but since there were going to be two brides we didn’t want to go overboard. Besides we are casual outfit wearers and we didn’t want to look disguised, if that makes sense. We wanted to splurge on food for the big day and the honeymoon, so a design dress was never in our minds. Everyone that knows me was surprised because I love fashion and they thought I would go crazy for a really special and expensive wedding dress, but when I pictured our wedding I saw myself wearing something sweet and simple. My wife to be thought the same.
    And then we discovered JCrew and we found two perfect dresses. But JCrew wasn’t selling nor shipping to Europe. So we had our dresses delivered to a friend of a friend in Chicago. And then he sent them to Spain, where we lived at the moment. Finally we took them to a tailor that used to work with opera costumes and I knew because of my job (I produced operas at that moment). He add a few touches to make them more personal and voilà. We had our wedding dresses. We didn’t even try them before. We chose them online and those were the ones. And we loved them.
    To be honest, the dress never worried us. And it’s surprising because I’m obsessed with fashion, but I don’t know, it never was that important. I wanted to look good, of course, but I focused on preparing a great lunch and party for our guests. And the we had a spectacular honeymoon, so we were really happy with our choices.
    And now JjCrew is huge in Europe and we get to say that we wore JCrew wedding dresses and everyone thinks we are super cool… Which we are not, but in our big day we looked the part!
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  • Your 7 stages are how I often feel when I have a big important meeting/job event coming up and I do that with my job outfit; or a big social event! But I know I’ll feel it even more for my wedding dress! Like many of the responders here I imagine that I might go custom. I’ve had maybe 4 dozen custom items made for me in the past and I think the wedding dress might be another place to go custom, so that I’ll get the look and quality I want at a much lower price. On the other hand I have good luck scoring e.g. $5K dresses for a few hundred dollars (rare I know but I’ve done it in the past) so maybe that will be the route. TBD! I appreciate your story very much because it resonates with how I shop. Like others, can’t wait to see the dress!

  • I also bought a cheap wedding dress! I only had three weeks to plan my wedding which was prompted by urgent visa issues. I’ve never been into marriage so didn’t care that much, it was just a piece of paper and an opportunity for a huge party. Though I still needed a dress. It was late August and the weather was hot but all the shops already had their autumn/winter collection in so no luck finding a summery dress there. I ended up going to an Arabic wedding dress shop and found a lovely long red dress with white cherry blossom flowers which looked great for 50 euros. And I’m still happily married 12 years and a kid later!

  • This sounds so similar to my wedding dress experience, I was determined not to wear a ‘bridal’ dress. And searched for weeks maybe months online, net-a-porter, Barneys etc. I was convinced I wanted simple, classic silk (something CBK actually) eventually I stepped foot in a bridal shop to just to get an idea of what I liked and didn’t. I ended up buying the first dress I tried on, which is long sleeve lace, and more bridal than I intended but it’s perfect. I did nearly faint when it came time to pay, but that was quickly fixed with a few glasses of champagne.

  • For heaven’s sake we need to see the dress. So many words, not enough pictures.

  • I wasn’t sure if I found the dress. It was in another town me I asked if I could take a picture and the ship owner said no pictures, you’ll remember how you felt in it if it is the one. And she told me that you “can’t get the bride out of it” in the store when it is the one. I wanted to hang out there all day in the dress. I tried it on in ivory and ordered it in white (winter wedding I didn’t want to clash with the snow) and I panicked when I first saw it in white. I was so worried it looked cheap instead of timeless like it did in ivory. But I tried it on a few more times, got it altered and still LOVE my dress.

  • I always said I would get married in Dries van Noten, and so I did. I remember when I got engaged , I got my outfit during my lunchbreak !! It seemed so laid-back and easy back then .. (we speak 1992)
    When I look at the pictures of that outfit today, it still looks amazing !

    The style lasted, the marriage did not.
    I remarried in 2006 and opted for a real wedding dress the second time around ; maybe I just wanted to experience the purchase of such a gown.
    The only thing I regret, is that I didn’t try on more dresses, just for fun !

  • Stephanie C. June, 4 2015, 3:44 / Reply

    Considering I got married 7 years ago when I was just 22 (I swear I’m not a red neck) my perspective on the dress has really changed. I first bought a cheap, affordable Nicole Miller sheath very a last Audrey Hepburn. It looked very good on me, but was very simple. Feeling generous, my fiance offered to get me something fancier, giving me his credit card and I went to David’s Bridal with my mom and best friend. And of course I found a cupcake of a dress that was wildly more expensive and brought tears to my mom’s eyes, and was just the fanciest thing I have ever worn, etc. All in all, when I look back, I would have chosen the simple sheath now- that’s more my style. When I see pictures of myself, I can’t help recalling my Greek Fat Wedding, but at the end of the day, the story ( and the journey I’ve made with my husband) speaks more profoundly than any dress, so it’s all good. ;-)

  • I’m with you, Lisa! I lived in a tiny town in New Zealand with shall we say, limited options, and together with my lack of desire to find ‘The Dress’ I put it off, then fell into a black hole trolling online until I overdosed and needed a detox. I tried on precisely zero dresses before buying my wedding dress, and that is because I bought it online from an Australian designer I had never heard of (Kirrily Johnston), on sale and in the last size available. I prayed fervently that it would fit, that I would like it, that I wouldn’t get stung by customs! Thankfully all 3 were true, it was too good to be true and so obviously, meant to be. It was perfect, and better yet it wasn’t a ‘Wedding’ dress, which was exactly how I wanted it. Congrats on your purchase, the hardest part is over!

  • I never wanted a traditional wedding knowing that when I meet someone I want to spend the rest of my life with, we would elope. My husband and I did just that. I had a very little time to find the dress but I wasn’t panicking. I have this theory that when I need them, the right clothes will turn up. I saw a beautiful Ralph Lauren dress (not a wedding dress but a white evening one) on a US site and promptly had it shipped from the States. It arrived 2 days before the wedding. It fitted perfectly. I had no back up plan so I don’t know what I would have done if t didn’t fit!
    Ana
    http://www.champagnegirlsabouttown.co.uk

  • so where’s the dress?

  • Je savais que je voulais une robe à la coupe impeccable et épurée type trapèze trois trous années 60/70 sauf que dans l’esprit de ces années-là, je ne trouvais que de l’ultra-mini et il n’était pas question de montrer mes fesses à mon mariage !
    En élargissant un peu la recherche et surtout, en demandant à ma meilleure amie et témoin de poser un regard extérieur sur les choses et mes premières idées, elle a cliqué partout sur le net et aussi, proposé d’évaser le modèle. Et dois-je avoir honte de dire ça ? C’est sur Aliexpress que j’ai trouvé mon bonheur ! Une petite robe à l’encolure large et au buste ajustés qui marque la taille et tombe en jupon juste au-dessus des genoux. Un fond de robe uni en satin surmonté de dentelles ajourées, le tout d’un blanc immaculé. La retoucheuse l’a remise à ma taille et pour deux cents euros, le tour était joué :-)
    Voilà le périple ! Donc, la recherche de la robe de mariée, je dirais : longue, inquiétante, fatigante mais pour la sensation de soulagement quand on a trouvé et ce jour unique : une belle expérience !

  • Ah la fameuse quête de LA robe… En ce qui me concerne, j’avais une idée plus ou moins précise en tête : robe fluide, simple, un peu bohème…mais pas de bustier. Bref, rien de très compliqué… a priori ;-)
    Alors nous voilà parties, ma sœur et moi, à l’assaut de toutes les boutiques de robes de mariée ! J’étais à la fois impatiente de voir à quoi j’allais ressembler et stressée de ne pas trouver “chaussure à mon pied”! (d’ailleurs, en parlant de chaussures, mes grands pieds et moi avons eu quelques difficultés à nous chausser, mais bon, passons! )

    On enchaîne donc les magasins et là, je commence à me dire que j’aurais mieux fait d’apprendre à coudre ! Je ne m’imagine dans aucune des robes !
    Une vendeuse me propose malgré tout d’en essayer quelques unes : why not?!
    J’ai pu rayer de ma liste le côté “bohème” que j’avais en tête car j’avais vraiment l’impression d’être en chemise de nuit ! Manque de tenue et effet pas top du tout !
    La vendeuse insiste pour que j’essaie une robe “meringue” ! Je joue le jeu et là, un gros fou rire ! J’avais vraiment l’impression d’être déguisée, ça ne m’allait pas du tout !
    J’essaie ensuite une robe assez structurée de Jesus Peiro, à l’opposé de ce que je recherchais, et contre toute attente, je suis un peu bluffée… c’était pas mal du tout ! Mais après réflexion, je me dis que pour un mariage fin août, ça risque de faire un peu trop hivernal…. et je reste accrochée à mon idée de robe fluide ;-)

    Retour dans une des boutiques du départ et là, je trouve ma robe : fluide mais avec une certaine tenue, simple mais avec un dos blousant… je fais remplacer la ceinture à strass par une ceinture à plis plats et bingo !
    Enfin, pas tout à fait bingo puisque les essayages ont été laborieux ! Je vous épargne les détails, mais pour faire court, ils devaient simplement refaire la robe après avoir pris mes mesures et basta… Mais quand j’y suis retournée pour l’essayer, (la fille m’avait dit qu’on couperait la robe à la bonne longueur ce jour-là), j’ai eu de grosses surprises : du haut de mon 1,83m, j’ai réalisé qu’ils avaient radiné sur la longueur puisqu’il n’y avait absolument rien à couper ! J’ai donc dû choisir des chaussures adaptées pour éviter l’effet “feu de plancher”! Et puis, tout était cousu de travers, je n’avais pourtant pas demandé de robe asymétrique ! J’avais aussi la respiration coupée, je demande donc qu’elle donne un peu d’aisance à ce niveau mais selon elle, ce n’est pas nécessaire ! ( “Ce n’est pas un tee-shirt non plus…” dixit la modéliste).
    J’avais également de petites manches et impossible de lever les bras à plus de 30°! Elles me coupaient tellement qu’au bout de 2 minutes, j’avais des marques toutes rouges… Réponse de la modéliste : “c’est le modèle qui veut ça”! Bah voyons…
    Finalement, après 5 ou 6 essayages, et grâce à l’intervention d’une modéliste compétente, j’ai finalement pu repartir avec ma robe ! Le parcours du combattant ! Je n’avais pourtant pas un profil compliqué et quand on voit le prix de la robe (ce n’est pas très élégant de dire ça mais bon…) le service aurait pu suivre !
    Heureusement, ça se passe bien dans la majorité des cas ! Et puis, j’ai eu ma robe pour le jour J alors tout va bien !
    Bons préparatifs à toutes celles qui se marient bientôt, et plein d’ondes positives à toutes celles qui recherchent l’âme sœur ;-)

  • Oh my, you cannot talk about a wedding dress and not show it. You can give a photo of a similar one or photos of the details, but no photos at all seems like talking about a painting and not showing it at the end.
    So, that being said, I went through the whole “say yes to the dress” madness myself and it all started at home with internet browsing and saving in a special “W” file all the maybes that added up to about 300 hundred photos. And, geesh, was I confused after all this?!… I also tried doing the old fashioned visit to a wedding dresses parlor and after 10 dresses I felt like life had no meaning, there was no joy in the world, the sun had died and “winter was coming”. A bit of drama, I know, but I really didn’t take to being fitted into princess dresses that would just make me look like a potato. When I was just getting used to the fact that I would look like a white fat fantasy at my wedding and there was no way around it, I got an email from a friend working in fashion who sent me to have a talk to a designer, Irina Marinescu. She kindly advised me to delete THE folder, to forget everything i had gone through and just go talk to her about myself. And that I did. In a low voice I admited that I don’t see myself in a princess kind of dress, although maybe I could pull that off, and that I would preffer a simple, vintage looking dress, made from poplin and with shirt cuffs. She started drawing and I felt more and more relaxed about my choice: it seemed to be a sketch of my personality: straight, simple, funny, classy but not boring. And two weeks later, I had my dress. Now, 3 months into my wedding I am all zen about my wedding dress and can freak out about all the other things I still have to do!

  • I would like to see photos of the dresses mentioned

  • I went straight to APC and bought a fabulous tartan short wool dress and never regretted it- because there was no way i was gonna do shitty shopping and because no wedding dress can be ME.
    Play it low ;)

  • Anne-So July, 9 2015, 5:46 / Reply

    Oui tout de suite. La robe Prospere de Delphine Manivet. Je l’ai vue en photo (j’habite Amsterdam), 3h de Thalys, 10 minutes d’essais et c’etait parfait. Cette robe etait faite pour moi!

  • Coucou Lisa! :)

    Ah le mariage… :D Toutes celles qui sont passées par là te comprennent!! ;) Moi y compris!

    D’ailleurs, voici une vidéo qui j’espère te fera déstresser et rire: il s’agit d’une mariée qui panique à quelques minutes du grand saut! :) :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pgdu5jr5a3Y

    A bientôt! :)

  • I am entirely convinced that my wedding dress shopping experience was unlike most girls’, in the sense that I did not really want to wear one (much to everyone’s chagrin). I am someone that spends most , if not all, of my time with horses .. And to me, being in a dress for more than one or two hours is comparable to having my teeth pulled. So, what I did was troll the interwebs until I found something I liked (Prenovias (I KNOW), non-bridal..yep, it was GREY). The dress was unbelievably, if not annoyingly simple, but I didn’t hate it, and that’s what mattered.
    So after a month of being unable to get my hands on it in ANY of the Prenovias stores, I had my best friend go to the store in Dubai, pick it up and send it to me!
    The white wedding dress was just not for me. My husband wore an off-white dinner jacket tho, so … I guess that counts for something.

  • I’m feeling the exact same way about wedding dress shopping… I’ve been engaged since June and haven’t tried on anything. I am planning on going to a few bridal boutiques (to please my mom) but I much rather invest in a ready-to-wear dress from a designer that I believe in, and wouldn’t normally be able to afford (The Row, Pheobe Philo for Céline… you get the idea… ) But as a fashion designer myself, I might end up designing my own. Only time will tell! Best wishes on your nuptials!!

  • Thats right I went straight to APC and bought a fabulous tartan short wool dress and never regretted it- because there was no way i was gonna do shitty shopping and because no wedding dress can be ME.
    .

  • Do you have a plan for wedding? Do you surprised by the high price of wedding dresses? Come to http://www.jadegownshop.co.uk to have a look. It will not make you disappointed.
    gatsby dresses

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