Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bridal Style

The Sweetest Thing  
Styling My Wedding Dress To Make It My Own 

When I first tried on my wedding dress, I knew it was the one.  It was exactly the fabric I wanted (pure white Chantilly lace) and the shape I wanted (strapless, form-fitting with a train).  I fell in love with it instantly.  However, there were a few details I wasn't so sure about.  The Melissa Sweet gown had a dusty rose silk sash around the hip area that flowed down the back of the dress.  It was beautiful but I had always imagined my dress being all white.  I thought about keeping it but ultimately, I knew I'd regret it later.  

The makeup tips each day from celebrity makeup artist Kriss Blevens of Kriss Cosmetics are in the main bridal section here.

All Wedding Photos Below by:  Studio One

Here are the changes I made to my dress to make it my own:
1) Added a Crystal Sash:  I had my seamstress remove the dusty rose sash and eventually found a sparkling crystal sash at another bridal boutique (Madeleine's Daughter in Portsmouth, NH, which was extremely impressive).  It was just more my style.
2)  Changed the Neckline.  When I bought the dress the neckline was straight.  I had always wanted a gown with a slight sweetheart neckline, so I had my seamstress alter it.
3)  And, of course, the dress was about a foot too long even with heels.  It's incredible just how long most wedding dresses are.

In finding a dress, I think you have to be true to your style.  My dad accompanied me on my first (and what turned out to be my only shopping trip) and we saw exactly what happens when too many people get involved.  A bride-to-be stormed out of the fitting room arguing with her mom about dresses shouting the stereotypical line, "It's my wedding, my dress - not yours!"  I also don't think there's an exact price you can equate with wedding style.  I know brides who have spent $100 to $200 on their dresses and look absolutely stunning and I know brides who have spent what some spend on an entire wedding and looked equally as stunning.

The original Melissa Sweet dress with the pink sash.

The new sash from Madeleine's Daughter in Portsmouth, NH

Other Things I Learned:  
Seamstress:  I did not use the seamstress from Priscilla of Boston where I bought the dress.  First, it just wasn't convenient.  Second, I have always had more luck working with an independent seamstress recommended by friends.  In my experience, they've always been much more timely and have cared about the fit a lot more. (But I am sure other women have the opposite story, so you just have to do your research.)
Sample Dresses:  I bought my Melissa Sweet gown at a sample sale in Boston, which means the dress had been on display.  The dress was in mint condition, so it didn't bother me, and I saved thousands of dollars - more than $4,000 off the original price to be exact!  (I also couldn't get this dress made anymore, so this was really my only option for this particular dress.)   One of the best things about buying a sample dress is that you can take it home that same day; you don't have to wait several months for it to arrive at the store. (I opted to have it hand cleaned rather than having Priscilla ship it out for cleaning for $500.   I was worried it would be damaged because of the delicate lace, which turned out to be a valid concern based on other reviews.) 

Veil:  I also didn't buy the veil and dress at the same location.  Priscilla of Boston wanted a small fortune for the veil.  I looked and looked and finally found a cathedral length veil with delicate lace on the edges that matched the lace of my dress exactly at David's Bridal.  The one thing I wish I'd done is weigh down the edges of the veil.  I always pictured walking down the aisle with the veil perfectly flowing behind me as it does in pretty much any bridal movie you can imagine.  That didn't happen; the veil pulled towards the center rather than flowing out to the sides.  If that's the most of my worries, I certainly can't complain!!
Shoes:  Although I wouldn't change the shoes I wore because I loved them, they were unbelievably uncomfortable.  I had blood blisters all over my toes on our honeymoon.  I should have taken the shoes off or switched into more comfortable shoes after our first dance was done.  The things we do for shoes...


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