Spoiler Alert: If your name is Mr. Jenny Bryde, then you'd better get your nose out of this blog today! I'm going to be sharing top secret dress information!
I'd like to start off today by saying that we have so many amazing bridal salons in our area that really take that extra time to find the right dress for the right bride. I'd like to say that as brides, we can be classified as special-needs customers. We are picky. We ooze anxiety out of our pores. We sometimes cry and pout until everyone around us wants to cry and pout as well. And through all these delightful little nuances of the bride in search of her dress, we have fantastically supportive staff at each of our local bridal salons to help us out.
Now that I've said all that, I'm going to tell you a little story today about my hunt for the perfect dress. I happen to dislike clothes shopping. I rarely go looking for new clothes with anyone because inevitably I pick something up, carry it around for two hours, and then decide against buying it after all much to the dismay of those whom I've dragged along with me and the sales staff who have been there to witness my little dance that leaves me leaving the store empty handed.
I think I do this because with a wedding, honeymoon, and new roof that we are saving for, I ultimately make myself feel guilty for buying things that I don't absolutely need. (I know that my mother is probably cringing as she reads this post as she is the queen of all things shopping and disappears for "errands" each weekend. My father long ago stopped asking what was in the bags or why UPS comes to our house every other day. But apparently I did not inherit that gene...or I am stifling it right now...)
So you can imagine my apprehension as our wedding was coming closer and finding my dress. Some people spend thousands on their wedding dress, and you only get to wear it once...unless you play dress up each week secretly in your house...or dress as a bride each year for Halloween...or use it as a night gown... I set an amount in our wedding budget for my dress and was bound and determined not to go over...until I met Lucinda. I found the Jcrew Lucinda wedding dress early on in my initial dress hunt. Bingo! I knew that's what I wanted. The description on the site says, "A classic ball gown design in softly rippled cloqué fabric with a full-bodied drape and a very festive rustle." How fun does that sound? I didn't know what a festive rustle is, but I wanted one!
Lucinda ball gown from Jcrew
And then I saw the price tag which was about two and a half times what I wanted to spend on my dress. Could I justify the extra money for my dream dress? I thought on it and decided no. I couldn't devour our nest egg even for Lucinda. So I continued my search for other dresses. Months went buy, but no dress made me stop in my tracks like Lucinda had. A friend made a suggestion one day that maybe I could have my dress made. Wh-wh-what?? I'm a smart gal, and I hadn't even considered this. The light at the end of the tunnel was there, and I made a mad dash for it. I started investigating what it would take for me to have someone make me a Lucinda replica but within my price range.
I found my dress maker through Etsy.com. If you have not visited Etsy, you may want to block out about five hours or so to sit and look through everything they have. Warning...very addictive! Etsy has pretty much everything you could ever want to have handmade or if you are looking for vintage materials and items. Different artists set up e-shops on the site and can show all their wares for sale. It is really an amazing site! There is also a section of the site called the Etsy Alchemy shop where you can put in a description about something specific you are looking for or want made, and vendors can bid their best price and ideas for you to consider. So that's what I decided to do for my dress. I wrote an Alchemy entry looking for a seamstress who could make me as close of a fit to the Lucinda dress as possible. I had many people respond, and their prices and offers were as varied as could be. I interviewed a few and asked for references, and eventually went with a seamstress in Chicago.
It was a gamble, but one that I was willing to take. I was so nervous for my first fitting! I was afraid she was a fraud or wouldn't be able to make my dress exactly how I wanted it. After my first meeting with her, all my fears were laid to rest. So far I have had two fittings of the muslin mock up of my dress, and I couldn't be happier! She is a master at what she does, and I'm so happy to be working with her. Here are some pictures of the fittings so far...
Keep in mind that I don't have my crinoline layer on at all and that this is the muslin mock up not the actual dress yet. I have my first fittings of my actual dress coming up next month, and I am very excited! It was such a relief to find a path that leads me to getting the dress that I love. What did you do to find the dress of your dreams? Please share!