Since I started sharing my wedding by discussing shoes, I figured talking about the dress would be a logical next step. Because weddings are all about logic, right? Hells no. They are about fighting your inner crazy.
But lucky for me... my dress process was easy-peasy because I tried on one dress. And then I bought it. But there is more to the story... and so begins my longest blog post ever.
A few years ago, I fell in love with
While I'm not 100% modern when it comes to fashion, I do like fashion forward versions of the classics. So when Jenny Packham came on my fashion radar a few years ago, I knew she was designing for someone like me.
I started doing some dress stalking and fell in love with the Saskia dress. It had the pouff shoulders, classic details, cleavage-emphasizing cut, and comfort fit. This dress had everything I wanted. I loved it. And the only thing left to do was find it.
This all happened before the amazing Duchess of Cambridge started rocking Jenny designs... and her dresses were hard to find outside of the UK. But with a fortuitous convo at a friend's bridal shower, I uncovered a trunk show in NYC.
So with my Mom and two of my super bridesmaids in tow, we went to a wedding salon in NYC's Garment District and tried on the dress. My ladies popped the champagne (this was a pretty no-nonsense bridal salon... so champers in the purse was necessary) and waited for the show. I came out of the fitting room and said "Yup... this is it." They all nodded and said "Yep... it is so perfect for you." We toasted. We hugged. And then we got ready to roll on outta there for more champers.
The sales lady was in a state of shock by my shopping approach and was
There was another bride to be in the salon while we were there, and she provided a hilarious ying to my yang. She was in her early 20's (no judgey judge... just a different place in life than a 30 year old) and had been at the salon for hours. She had set out to try on every dress they had... doing a dance in front of the mirror... and playing with crazy-ass bridal accessories (what won't they try and sell you when you're a bride?).
When I came out for my moment of "Ahhhhhhhh," she was slow dancing with an invisible groom in front of the mirror. The only thing that broke her gaze from... her own gaze in the mirror... was me clapping my hands and saying "Our work is done here, off to The Carlyle." I left this poor dove truly befuddled.
Weeks later, after reading one too many wedding blogs (a.k.a. the most dangerous things in the world in the weeks leading up to your wedding!), I second guessed my one-and-done dress decision. Should I have taken a move from Tiny Dancer's playbook and tried on more dresses? But at my first fitting with the world's greatest bridal consultant, Elie at Rizik's in D.C., I knew I had made the right choice.
I love my dress. I loved wearing something so me on the wedding day. I loved the things about the dress that might make someone else cringe (pouff puff shoulders)and being true to my sense of style. And, most importantly, I loved the way my husband looked when he first saw me walking towards him that day.
My advice about picking out your wedding dress is simple... trust yourself. If you love a look, find a way to make that look work for your body and then wear the hell out of it! Don't buy into the hype about having a "The skies parted and I saw God... and my wedding dress" moment. This is real life. This is a big purchase. Buy something for YOU. And find a wedding consultant who gets you and makes you feel comfortable. She will be your Sherpa up the fitting mountain before the wedding and having a comfort with her, as you stand there in pasties, is really important.
PS - "Say Yes to the Dress" is like watching "Nightmare on Elm Street" before dress shopping. Don't do it! Those people will haunt you.
All photos are the work of Tec Petaja... world's best wedding photographer.