My Wedding Dress Saga

November 17, 2017

All professional photos by Gina Zeidler (she's the best and even keeps fancy hangers like the one above in her car!)

I had a lot of ups and downs with my wedding dress and wanted to share the story (because I couldn't for so long!) in case anyone else can relate. I did end up loving my dress on the day of my wedding but there were moments of doubt and frustration that led up to that beautiful day. 

We're told that our wedding dresses need to be perfect and that it's the most important item of clothing you'll ever wear. That's a lot of pressure for one dress! I'm here to tell you that it's not the end of the world if your dress isn't *perfect*. So here is my wedding dress saga...and yes, that may sound dramatic but it certainly was a journey😜

I went wedding dress shopping almost a year ago when I was home for Thanksgiving. I brought only my mom and sister because we've all seen enough Say Yes to the Dress episodes to know that bringing an entourage never ends well. The dress I chose just so happened to be the very first dress I tried on! I know, I know. I didn't have my mind set on any particular kind of dress but I had a few photos to show the stylist just as a general idea. I knew I wanted straps or sleeves of some kind because I wasn't about to be yanking up a strapless dress all night long, and I knew I didn't want anything too fitted because I wasn't about to go on some crazy wedding diet either. We started at Posh Bridal and I actually had a photo of my dress as one of the inspiration photos not knowing that the shop even carried it! I had liked it in the photo but not well enough to track it down. 
It was much to my surprise when I was told they carried that dress and asked if I wanted to try it on. I agreed with no expectations. Like I said, I didn't know exactly what I wanted but after trying on my dress it became apparent I wanted an a-line dress with an illusion sweetheart neckline, beading, an open back and a decently sized train. That instantly became the one to beat. I tried on seven more dresses at Posh to be sure. Here are a couple just for sh*ts:
Actually really liked this one but it was super booby and also strapless which was one of my two dealbreakers.
We had another appointment the next day at Flutter. I pretty much knew I was going to pick the first dress but held off so I could go to the second place and be sure. I tried on six dresses at Flutter but we all knew they weren't right. Here are a choice few (why do I look so mad in all of these pictures?):
Looking at this last one I really like it now but I knew I would feel like I had to lose weight to feel comfortable in it, which again I was not about. So we headed back to Posh to seal the deal and take these awesome pictures ;) I loved it so much with the veil and everything.
Now, I feel like I have to say that overall my experience with Posh was not a good one. I loved my stylist and had a great time picking out the dress but that was where the warm fuzzies for them ended. You can maybe tell that the dress I tried on in store was blush and the one I ended up wearing was ivory. That gave me a lot of anxiety to order the dress in a color I hadn't seen in person but I did it anyway. They sent us on our way saying my dress would be ready in June. 

Fast forward to April when I knew I would be home in June for a friend's wedding. I figured that was perfect and hopefully my dress would be ready by then so that I could see it in the ivory and do my first fitting. I emailed my stylist asking if it would be ready and she told me that it was scheduled to get to the store in May so we should be good. As June approached I never heard anything more from them. So about a week before I was going to be home I emailed again to confirm if it had come in and never heard back from my stylist. So I called the store and they said there had been a shipping delay and it wasn't in yet and they weren't sure if it would be there the weekend I was going to be in town. 

I was livid. I understand they couldn't control the shipping delay but I had to be the one to reach out to them to find out about it. It was pretty unprofessional. Everyone I talked to didn't sympathize at all and I was extremely frustrated. I didn't book my trip home specifically to try on my dress but I easily could have and they'd assured me months before that it would be ready by then. What ended up happening was that they called me an hour before I had to head to the airport to go back to CA and told me the dress was ready. 😒

My mom went and picked it up from them after I had gone back to California and I had to plan a super quick weekend trip in August to go home for a fitting. My mom sent me these pictures so I could see the color of the dress and that's when I started to get worried. To me it looked like the top and bottom were two different colors. 
August rolled around and I was finally able to see my dress for the first time nine months after ordering it and...I didn't love it. The colors did look different to me and the top felt like it had too much going on with the lace, the beading and the illusion neckline. I went to my fitting hopeful that getting it to fit properly would ease some of my worries. My planner also made me feel better when she assured me that in photos it would all just look white because dimension on white dresses doesn't photograph that well.
Here's the thing: at this point I didn't love my dress but I also didn't hate it. I never considered looking for a new one because it was still perfect other than the top front #particular. I loved the open back, I loved the skirt and I loved the train. I just wasn't wild about all of the beading and such on the top.

Fast forward to the week before the wedding when I arrived home to do a fitting and allow time if additional fittings were necessary. It was definitely looking better because the seamstress had taken out a layer of tulle underneath and it fit a bit better. I was worried though because it was pretty uncomfortable. It's a heavy dress and because of the open back the whole weight of the dress rested on about an inch of fabric on each shoulder. 

I went back to the tailor a few days later and it looked great but I was still very uncomfortable so I thought it was too tight. I made the poor woman take the dress in and then out and then in again. She finally showed me that it fit even though it felt really tight. It then dawned on me that my dress was just really uncomfortable😂 It was heavy and so the weight on my body made it feel really tight. There really wasn't much else to be done though. I just had to accept that it wasn't the most comfortable garment, but I'm guessing most wedding dresses aren't!
Then came the big day. I put on my dress and absolutely loved how it all came together when I had the whole look with hair, makeup and the veil. I was hoping this is what would happen and thankfully it did. I was so wrapped up in everything and just on a high that honestly I didn't care or notice how uncomfortable it was. Except for that time that I gave so many hugs in the receiving line that the mesh illusion neckline dug into my skin so hard from raising my arms over and over again that it literally cut me! I kid you not I now have a scar from my wedding dress on my shoulder. I kind of love it though.
As you can see, my dress and my road to the altar was filled with highs and lows. Ultimately, it didn't matter that it wasn't 100% perfect and that it was uncomfortable and that it literally scarred me (still can't get over that). I ended up loving it and feeling like the most beautiful bride in the world.
I absolutely love love love how the photos turned out and can't imagine having worn anything else. Since there was so much going on with the dress I decided to keep it simple and only wear earrings for jewelry. My only other accessories were my veil (which my sister made!) and my Manolos that I may have bought before I even picked my dress. So, like I said, it was a process albeit with a happy ending.

Hope you enjoyed this little story and have a great weekend!

xo Catherine 

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