Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Dress

The B.W.D..... (Big. White. Dress.)

Its one of the first images that pops into my head as soon as a wedding is mentioned, it's a pretty big deal.
It will be in all of your photos, you may look back and cringe (*cough* 80's shoulders) or it could be elegant and timeless and be passed down from your grandmother.

It didn't take me long to begin researching which dresses I like (and by that I mean, I started before we got engaged *guilty*).

Luckily we live in Wellington and there are numerous wedding stores here.

I had a few things in mind, it needed to be white, but what shade? Ivory, eggshell, cream, platinum?

I liked the full skirt look - although the mermaid styles were more flattering than I had anticipated.
What sort of detailing? I'm not a fan of over-the-top bling (plus its scratchy). So what else can be added to make the most expensive dress I will (probably) ever own, look stunning?

Dress Silhouettes
Dress Neck-lines
Alas, I liked a few, I really liked one but it wasn't love. I knew I could do better. Trying on these dresses did however give me an idea of what styles and detailing I was after. Something with lace, a bit of beading, with a soft full skirt.

It wasn't until we traveled to Melbourne in August 2012 that I found THE ONE.

Melbourne has a whole district essentially dedicated to weddings. Shop after shop, and block after block of Wedding dress, bridesmaid dress, suits, accessories, cakes, and invitation stores.
One of the stores we ended up going into was a small wedding dress boutique that I had found online before we went. They stocked JLM Couture dresses that are not available in New Zealand, and I had been drooling over the "Lazaro" and "Jim Hjelm" dresses for a while.
Chris was with us at the time, being content with his kindle and astounded by how much people spend on weddings, but he wasn't going to be allowed to see this. Nope, as soon as I spotted this dress we made him leave. We assured him we wouldn't be long. Ninety minutes later... he was still sitting in a cafe across the street, sipping his water, reading his book, and in that time I had only tried on the one dress, and it was finally LOVE!
I didn't cry, I didn't get goosebumps but I knew when I could see myself walking down the aisle in it, and then everything else started to click into place. If I had this dress we could do "this" with the tables, and "that" with the flowers. Tammy was there to offer her support and advice (not that she was very critical of the previous dresses) but she was impressed with this dress too (especially the train and detailing).

Now, being a "designer" label, this dress was going to be WAY out of my price range ( a casual $4000 or so) and even if that was in the budget (I can dream), I couldn't justify spending that much on something I was only going to wear for one day.... not even that, try half a day.
Yet, finding this dress had set the wheels in motion, and over the next few weeks I scoured the internet for per-owned dress websites but to no avail. I was, however, able to find a store that would replicate this exact dress for me. All the reviews I had read raved about their products, salesmanship, and price.  So after much thought, a bit of stress, and every finger and toe crossed I ordered it from Bridal Dream Dress.

Two months later I got an excited call from Mum. One very large box had been delivered to her place addresses to ME! She opened it as I waited with baited breath on the phone, all I heard was "Ohhh wow", "Oh its pretty!" but I still didn't know what it truly looked like. So she sent me photos, and after 2 months of worry and uncertainty, I was finally put at ease. As far as I could tell it was very similar to the original, and for a fraction of the price. I was a very happy bride-to-be.

This is what had inspired the pearl and lace decorations we had around the reception venue, on the tables, the seating chart and my accessories. More on them later....

I had ordered this dress slightly bigger than I was. I wasn't going to go on any crazy diets to lose 2 sizes in as many months. The dress was going to be made to fit ME and MY figure, the figure which Chris likes just the way it is (Awwwe!). Therefore, we had the dress taken in (a couple of times), as I ended up losing weight unexpectedly - Thanks to working at Zealandia!! Jan McVicar was the seamstress and I cannot rave about her enough, she did a wonderful job.

All that was left, was to wear it on the day....

Ross Herbert Photography

Ross Herbert Photography

The dress was made of Ivory Tulle with an Alencon Lace sweetheart bodice. It had ivory pearl and sequin beading at the waist, and belted with a ivory ribbon. Along this ribbon hung satin flowers. It had a the chapel length train with Alencon Lace appliqu├ęs and satin flower details.

The dress ended up being what tied the whole thing together. Once I had the dress, everything else started to make sense. The same thing happened on the wedding day itself. I had been a wreck for the last two days, I had been a bundle of nerves while getting hair and makeup done... but as soon as I put on that dress, everything else fell into place. All the nerves fell away and I couldn't wait to get down the aisle and marry my husband!

Ross Herbert Photography

  • Do your research, find the styles that you like, not just that suit your body but suit your personality.
  • An entertaining way of doing some "research" is watching "Say Yes to the Dress", I got addicted to this on Youtube and adore Randy.
  • Usually the rule is: Don't try on dresses you can't afford, but I cant say I followed that rule.
  • Only take a small group of people with you to try on dresses, anymore than 3-4 can be too many opinions, and make the whole process more confusing.
  • You don't have to buy on the spot, go home and think about it first. 
  •  Be open to trying on a range of styles just in case they look better on you than on the hanger.
  • When it comes to alteration, its easier to get something taken in, than to get it let out.

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