Outfit Down the Aisle
Welcome to bride week on the blog! My professional wedding photos are finally here, and I am so excited to share them with you. This week we will have outfits, bridesmaids and groomsmen style, and reception decor. I also want to touch on a lot of issues with the wedding industry, being a fat bride, DIY, when to stop looking on Pinterest, anxiety, offbeat weddings, and trying to keep a low budget, your sanity, and your vision of your special day in tact. So look forward to that!
Now- the dress. I think picking out my wedding dress was one of the hardest parts of the entire wedding for me. I love fashion, and I love wearing so many different things. Yet this article of clothing was, well, permanent. You only get one dress to get married in. That was heavy for me! I thought it was really important. I knew looking back at pictures that I wanted to truly love what I was wearing for the rest of my life. Luckily, I accomplished it. But it was the 3rd dress I purchased.
I went to David’s Bridal first. I don’t know if that’s typical everywhere, but where I live it is. Either way, it can be a good place to get your feet wet and explore everything wedding. Unfortunately, it may completely turn you off to the whole thing. When I went to DB, I got help from a girl who was about my size. I thought maybe this would make some difference in my experience, but it really didn’t. The people there work on commission and it shows. I got bullied into a dress I hated by the people at DB and my mother (who meant well, but looking back it kind of hurts my heart a little.) Not only was I told by several people that DB was the only place I would be able to find a plus size wedding dress, but because I am 5’11”, I was also told it was the only place I would find stuff long enough. NOT TRUE AT ALL. I wish when I got engaged that there had been shows like Say Yes to the Dress Big Bliss and Four Weddings. Those, along with Offbeatbride.com completely changed my entire view on weddings. Before that, the big white wedding day was giving me crippling anxiety attacks. Thank God for those wonderful people of the world and corners of the internet that remind you it’s best to always do you!
I remember buying that DB dress out of desperation. I remember no one crying or saying what a beautiful bride I would be. All I remember is frustration and lots of bridesmaids dresses with wonky zippers that we all had to fight to get our money back on. I remember being told there were no other choices and feeling like I hated my body and needed to lose weight so maybe I could do something with this sack of white satin and beads. Not exactly the experience I was hoping for.
Months down the road after lots of wedding porn on Offbeatbride and Pinterest, I decided there was no way in hell I could wear that gross thing on my special princessy day of love. No way. So I ordered a knock off dress from China for $150 with my exact measurements. It was tea length and precious online. Minus the weird raw edges and cheaper material, it was actually really cute when it came in! But there were all these weird round circles on it that were supposed to be soft vintage polkadots around the waist. I tried to make it work but it was starting to feel like I was never going to get “that feeling” about a dress. Which seemed so tragic to me because I love clothes so much.
Enter- Alfred Angelo. There was one across the street from my mom’s work and I dragged my fiance in there just for fun. They were so helpful and fit me in on a moment’s notice. I tried on a bunch of dresses that were long enough, fit me, and were simply beautiful and not over priced. Holy moly! I found this dress and I felt like an angel. I felt so beautiful and perfect. My size didn’t matter. My height didn’t matter. None of it did. I felt gorgeous. I brought my mom back the next day to show her a few dresses. I put this one on and she cried (which is a big deal for my very stoic mother.) I knew it was the one.
So, long story short- wait until you get “the feeling.” Try on so many different styles. I never thought this would be THE dress for me until I put it on. Do not settle. Do not let anyone talk you into something you do not want or doesn’t feel quite right.Don’t let people talk you out of budget. Don’t work with people who make you feel crappy about your body and like you have to settle on something that just fits you. There are so many options out there and you deserve to feel the most gorgeous you have ever felt on your special day. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
Dress, Hairpiece, & Viel: Alfred Angelo
Bracelets & Earrings: Macy’s
(Photos courtesy of Abbi Conroy. Make-up by Thomasina Moyer)