Wedding Wednesday: The Dress

We all know how important the dress is for a bride....shows their personality and taste, makes them feel like a million bucks... yada, yada, yada.

That is a lot of pressure and precisely why I was NOT excited to go shopping for one.

You see, Daisy (aka Janessa) and I have been formal dress shopping before. Daisy is *cough cough* selective when it comes to important clothes decisions. We both had no illusions at the challenge before us.

On the brighter side, it is always wonderful spending time together.

So on the first Saturday after becoming engaged, my mom, Daisy and I headed out to the local bridal shops, determined to savor the moment.

I was excited to have my mom come along. This brought back memories of the time we went shopping for my own wedding dress......


circa 1987

My mom had been tipped off about a lady who rented custom designer-type dresses which she herself sewed out of her home. It was like a secret underground wedding dress cartel that you learned about only through a gossipy mom network across picket fences. The rumor was that the dresses were amazing, and so were the prices. This place was three hours away in Tremonton, UT. But, we justified, if the rumors were true, it was worth the trip.

We found the address (WITHOUT a GPS!). It was an older, run-down looking home in a humble area of town. A candycane thin lady with curly hair three times the size of her head and dark red lipstick opened the door and welcomed us in. She led us through a narrow hallway which then opened up to a larger area. "Here we are," she said, pointing to the showroom. We stood frozen in awe... the site took our breath away!!

There...among the the kitchen / dining / living room area.... were piles (literally) of ruffled, bejeweled, dazzling wedding dresses, strewn about. Some of the dresses were hanging on makeshift racks, but most of them were splayed out on the floor, heaped onto chairs or sprawled across the kitchen table right next to a mustard bottle and the crusty remains of a turkey sandwich.

There were several other girls and moms gingerly tiptoeing about trying to find a rare section of bare floor to step on while looking for treasures.

"Let me tell you how it works," said the owner. "We will make you any dress you want. You can pick a pair of sleeves you like from one dress, the bodice from another and the skirt from another. Or we can design and make you one from scratch if you have a picture. Or you can rent any dress we have here as is, and we will alter it to fit you perfectly."

It was like playing with real-life paper dolls.

My mom and I said, 'unbelievable' silently to each other with our eyes and began carefully sifting through mounds of dresses to find my perfect one (or pieces of one).

It wasn't long before I fell in love with a dress full of sequins and a cascade of fluffy ruffles down the back. It was perfect except for the sleeves, which we picked from another dress. I was measured, and we paid $100 while the lady scribbled my name and dress request in a worn-out notebook. In 2 weeks, my dream dress was ready for pick-up, hopefully without a mustard stain.

my wonderful grandma and grandpa Gee!


circa 2012

My mom, Daisy and I arrived early for our fitting appointment at Lauren James Bridal. We were greeted by our personal shopping attendant who explained the pricing structure and the way the sizes were organized. She then left us to browse while she hovered in the background waiting to carry Daisy's selections to her large, plush dressing room. Once gowned (with the help of the attendant), she stepped out into a spacious room with a pedastal and floor-to-ceiling three way mirrors.

Wow. Wedding dress shops had come a long way.


Neatly hanging
Protected in plastic
Completely separate from condiments

We felt a little spoiled.

And then we got a little giddy.

Because we found the clever dress pictured below. It is a long flowing dress for the reception....THEN, you can unzip the dress (where indicated below), and strip away (always something a groom likes to hear) the bottom three tiers of ruffles... and voilah, a short party dress for dancing!! We laughed and schemed and planned a grand stripping act during the reception to the tune of....

And then Daisy realized she didn't like the top of the dress.

Daisy tried on several more... ruched, mermaid, strapless... pretty but not perfect.

Then we went to another shop called Boulevard Bridal. We ALL loved this first dress she tried on!!

Until she tried on this one.....

THE one

and then........it was unanimous! Mission accomplished.

It is a little reminiscent of Pippa Middleton's dress, don't you think?

This dress totally fit Daisy's style: classic, simple, classy and clean lines. Although all of us, including Daisy,  were surprised she chose an all-lace gown. That was a fun and unexpected twist.

photo by justin hackworth

The dress is two distinct pieces... a satin underlay with a completely separate lace overlay.  It is from a designer whose name I can't remember (sorry, if you are someone who cares about knowing that.. )

It was the easiest, most successful (daisy was so, so happy) dress shopping trip we have ever had. A good omen and a great start for the rest of the wedding preparations, plus a fun, fun day.


Want to cast your vote? Which wedding dress do you like best on Daisy? Have you had a hard time finding the perfect dress? 

Thanks for reading another installment of Wedding Wednesday.
Until next time,

Ms Fish


Next week Wedding Wednesday: attire

1 comment:

LGH said...

Jenni, this was so fun to read....both shopping trips were so memorable. And, now, I just have to say this, I still think YOUR wedding dress is - by far- one of the most gorgeous ever (for it's day and age!) You looked so stunning in it also. And, of course, I think Janessa's dress is amazing and just so perfect for her. You both rocked your important days!


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