1.16.2013

Saying Yes to the Dress

Alright, let's be real up in here.  Even though we just got engaged a few days ago, I've been looking at dresses for years y'all.  I look at wedding websites often -much more so than the average person- simply because it's my job to know what's going on in the wedding world.  And in viewing post after post after post about weddings, I can't help but be drawn to two things: the desserts and the dresses.  I mean, are you really surprised by this?  I fantasize about fashion and new outfits on a weekly basis and bake up dessert dreams nearly as often.  Don't act so shocked.

But there's a big difference now.  Before, I always viewed the dresses in an "Ooh, that's pretty!" way, not an "I want to wear that on my wedding day" way.  Now, it's like I'm looking at dresses in a whole new light.  Suddenly frilly frocks that seemed so cute before are too girly.  Sleek figure-hugging gowns that were once so chic are maybe a little too sexy.  Nothing is quite right anymore. 

And don't even get me started on everyone's worst nightmare: falling victim to a looks-great-now-but-really-it's-horrific fashion trend.  I know you know what I'm talking about.  Just think back to that moment when viewing old wedding photos where you thought either "Ooh, look at that dress!" as in, "What a beautiful timeless gown!" or "Oh, wow... look at that dress..." as in, "What an unfortunate sign of the times..."  Like with pretty much any wedding dress from the 80s, for example.


Even the beautiful and elegant Princess Di fell into the 80s poof trap with that unfortunate Victorian duvet cover she wore as a dress.  (I don't care if it was the most envied dress at the time, I still want to cuddle up underneath it and take a nap.)


Then there are the gowns that are timeless, classic, elegant, yet still stylish and on trend.  Princess Grace's is a perfect example.

No doubt the Duchess will look just as timeless and elegant in 50 years and Princess Grace does today.


If you've gone through this process, how did you decide what dress was your dress?  And if you haven't, what will you look for when you do?


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27 comments

  1. "Nothing is quite right anymore." - welcome to the world of Bridezilla ;-) Only joking, I don't think you're the type. As for the dress, I think you'll simply know when you see "the one". As with many other things, I rely on my gut feeling and "knowing" when I see it. Good luck! xo

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  2. i also, haven't, but i think it's good to compare the dresses you are looking at to those worn by brides in the 40's and 50's - looking back at them, they truly look classic and beautiful. so i think focusing on certain materials, simple details and being a little more covered up can help one pick a timeless dress. just my two cents - good luck with the search!

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  3. I think I would choose my wedding dress in a second! There are things that are truly beautiful, you can call them timeless, I call them art. Like a nature. Are red roses ugly because they're not latest fashion? I don't think so. :)

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  4. I'm also in my wedding planning throes {actually did a post on my venue today}, but the dress is my last worry.

    To me the photographer is most important!

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  5. I loved the dress I wore, but I never worried about how it would look in 20 or 30 years time. I assumed everything else in my photos would look dated no matter what. My mother wore a very simple wedding dress she made herself, and it doesn't look dated at all. But everyone else-their hair, their outfits, their makeup, their CARS looks so very, very early 80's. As a kid, I always just thought, "they look so HAPPY!" With that in mind, I searched for a dress in a flattering silhouette that looked like something I'd wear to a fancy party.

    BUT, I am VERY particular about the types of dresses I will and won't wear, because I spent an insane amount of time figuring out how to dress my body, AND my wedding was a small affair, originally planned to be outside in a park but actually done in a restaurant, which meant there wasn't a lot of pressure for me to match my outfit to the level of formality of the venue/event. (ie-everyone's millage may vary.)

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  6. Current trends that will look hideous in 15 years are ruffles, feathers, and huge roses created out of fabric (I'm looking at you, Vera!) I thought I "knew" what I wanted-- non-strapless form fitting lace, but my budget prohibited those :( I ended up going to a couple of sample stores and tried on dresses until I found one that felt amazing on me, the first one that I didn't want to take off even though it wasn't what I had pictured. It wasn't necessarily my dream dress but it was beautiful and it worked! My advice is that it's impossible to choose what you like by looking at pictures. You have to try actual dresses on to see what looks good on your body. You may be surprised by big things like the sillouhette that you thought you had pre-conceived opinions about. Also, for me there was NOT an epic Say Yes to the Dress moment where I just "knew" I'd found the one, and I was kind of stressed about choosing my final pick because you know there are endless options out there. But ultimately I agree with Megan that the photographer is most important, because they'll make everything look good :) Good luck!!

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  7. "That duvet cover she wore as a dress.." LOL

    This is one of the things you'll never know how you truly feel until you try them on. Go to different stores (a few, but not a lot) and try different styles! Not to forget, the whole experience of trying on dresses with your girl friends is very fun!!

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  8. I actually found a dress just days after getting engaged, but I ended up not wearing that one.

    There was a big sale at David's Bridal the weekend after we got engaged and I was so excited to be a bride, so I went with my mom, sister, and grandma and I found a dress that I convinced myself I liked because it was only $100. My grandma bought it for me and I thought I was good to go.

    But then at the fitting, they wouldn't alter it how I wanted and I had a little break down because I really didn't like the dress after all but felt bad because my grandma bought it for me.

    I ended up talking to her about it and she said it was alright and I found a new dress just 5 weeks before I got married, it came in 2 days before my wedding and I picked it up from alterations right before our rehearsal dinner. That dress ended up being perfect for me and what I'd imagined all along.

    I guess the moral of my story is: don't jump into anything before you're sure, whether it's just so you have a dress or because you'll save a lot of money. Be sure, then buy :)

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  9. I can't really give advice on this subject as a single girl. But I definitely can't wait to see what dress you decide on. It will be gorgeous for sure!

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  10. When I got engaged I thought for sure that I wanted a dress that was simple A line with those button things doing all down the back. When I went into the dress shop, I think they knew me better then I did and told me to just try on this really sparkly one...I tried the simple but just had to get the sparkly one that I didn't think was me at all looking at pictures! Try everything on! You just never know.

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  11. Oh Stephanie, I can't say I've ever shopped for or looked at wedding dresses in that way but I look forward to seeing the types of dresses that you start looking at.

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  12. Found my dress in the party dress section of Nordstrom. It was about $150. It cost almost as much to alter, but was still a complete bargain. I loved it then, love it still!

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  13. I struggled with this too... All the dresses I liked on paper looked hideous on me. Okay... maybe not hideous, but not flatter at all. I tried on every type of dress imaginable, and I finally found the one that I felt beautiful in and flattered my body type! I can't wait to find out what dress you choose! AND congrats on being engaged :):)

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  14. This is the exact reason I wore a sun dress to my wedding! It was the middle of July and I knew that I didn't want to deal with trying to find "THE DRESS" so I went with something simple and elegant. In the end, I'm still incredibly happy with my choice. It was perfect for my outdoor wedding, I wear it on date night and I still fit in it!!!

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  15. OMG! I just read your post from yesterday! EEEEK! Congrats friend! Amazing news! I just went wedding dress shopping with Kirby (I think she found hers...so gorgeous), but yes Princess Di's dress...yikes! Love the ones that are simple and elegant!

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  16. LOVE Princess Grace and Kate! The dresses are definitely timeless, and that is so important, IMHO! Great post.

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  17. Yikes...those 80s dresses are super scary!!!

    I actually worked in a bridal gown shop for many years, so I saw it all...the brides who knew exactly what they wanted and got it, the brides who knew exactly what they wanted and were disappointed by how it actually worked out and so ended up going for something completely unexpected, and of course the brides who agonized over 100+ dresses before finding "the one".

    I think in experiencing the experience through others truly helped me to form a strong opinion of what I wanted for myself. I knew I loved vintage-y, non-traditional, some sparkle & absolutely no pouf ...AND the biggest part I knew was that I had to find the dress on my own or only with select friends and family who truly understood me & my style (aka, my mom & my bestie - though, I ended up venturing solo because they live out of state). Believe me when I say this - too many people will cloud your judgement. When shopping for your gown, you will want to stray away from bringing a bunch of people. Everyone - I mean EVERYONE - wants to give their opinion. Keep it simple. Flip through some images as it is a great way get an idea of styles you like, but trying dresses is the real deal to get to know what is flattering and what feels authentic to you.

    Truly, the experience is different for everyone. Trust me on this, though - you will know when you know :)

    Okay...wow! sorry for the novel...see, even I wanted to give my opinion ;)

    XO Brynn

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  18. The process was almost too easy for me. It was the first dress I tried on. I left and browsed another store for about 15 minutes and decided to go back and buy that one. One of the easiest decisions I made related to my wedding!

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  19. I researched my options online and in magazines before setting foot in a store, to get an idea of what styles I liked. When I went shopping, I searched for something that fit my ultimate dream style, a few that fit in the current trends, and some that I assumed I'd never wear. The key is try it on! You'll fall in or out of love with something:-) Just go with the dress that makes you feel YOUR very best! xoxo

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  20. I have NOT had to partake in this because I am NOT on the path to marriage at this time. BUT...

    If I were looking it would be simple and it would have lace. I've always loved lace and when Kate came out in her little ditty of a dress, I drooled.

    I would like to think less is more in reference to embellishments, sleeves, glitz, train and veil. But that's just me.

    Can't wait to see what you've got :)

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  21. Honestly, for me it wasn't really a process or anything.... I just, put it on, and looked in the mirror, and I KNEW. xo

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  22. I'm a bit behind on your blog due to not really being able to see and all, so first of all, CONGRATULATIONS! So happy for you! Second of all, dress shopping will turn even the sanest person into a crazy nut job. I tried on 60 dresses. SIXTY! I found my dress early on, but I was so terrified of dress regret that I tried on about 50 more just to make sure.

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  23. Your hilarious...I love the "Poof Trap". But your so right...Princess Diana's dress was the highest fashion at the time. I've never been married or engaged yet so I can't really help but I've heard you have to try on 100 dresses before you find the one OR it really just happens like in a blink of an eye and you know it's the one! Good luck girl! =)

    Ergo - Blog

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  24. argg i can only imagine how STRESSFUL that is!! i'm not engaged yet but pinterest is really enabling me with already picking out options, and i feel little blips of stress creeping in here and there when i think about just settling on one. my mom's wedding dress is definitely one of those ones that fell victim to just being trendy in the 80s haha, i'm talking about MASSIVE puffy shoulders. i want something very woodsy and boho. i want my wedding to feel like a family celebration and not so...formal and circusy

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  25. oh goodness stephanie please don't say yes to the first dress or that headpiece. i might stop following you if you decide upon that enormous piece of fabric, just kidding but please don't. enjoy the process don't feel rushed and trust your gut instinct. even if you need to and know it is the dress for you, wait a few days go back later and try it on again and see your reaction is it the same as the first time you put on that gorgeous gown?? but overall all enjoy it!!

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  26. My dress was empire waisted and covered in Swiss dot lace. I am confident one of our daughters could wear it if they wanted to someday without it dating them. That being said, I think looking at classic silhouettes and fabrics go a long way.

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  27. I got your comment back and I'm SO curious to see what kind of dress you choose now! I feel like we have super similar visions in what we're after so i'm excited to see what you find :D The places I have already cruised around (it's so hard not to plan so far in advance haha) haven't caught my interest so I'm totally going to be coming back to see your adventures!


    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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