Going Far & Away with Allure

I returned my original wedding dress because my groom saw it. It wasn’t just because he was superstitious. I really wanted him to be surprised when he saw me too. I think it adds to the fun of a wedding–him not knowing exactly what to expect when you enter the room. So I was happy with my decision. And I knew my superstitious man would be happy with my decision!! So it all worked out in the end. And no, I didn’t take a picture of myself in my the new gown! I didn’t even try it on again when I went down to the store to make the switch. I just didn’t want to risk anything!!!

After that it was pretty simple. I totally feared the alteration experience, but for no good reason. Blame this too on my “Say Yes to the Dress” watching. In reality, it was really like playing dress up. How fun is that?! Everyone was so nice, all the brides and their families were so excited.

RK Bridal also offers alterations so I stayed with them. There policy is that they charge a max of $300, nothing more, no matter what needs to be done. Thankfully I didn’t need much–really  I could have worn the dress out the door. They didn’t need to alter the length or the size…well, okay, one thing they did need to resize…the bust. They had to take them down a notch…or two! So for $175 I had soft cups added so I wouldn’t need a bra, which was super awesome because it has a low back, and the boning took down on the bust. It was pretty simple and not at all anxiety inducing like I feared.

One of my tips for trying on dresses as well as for alteration appointments is to wear boy short nude panties. I even kept a pair in my purse near the end when I was getting super stressed out so I wouldn’t forget them. I don’t really like being nude with strangers so having a good pair of panties with full coverage made me feel more comfortable. Even when my top was exposed.

At each of the three appointment–spread out over four months–I took it as an opportunity to try out hairstyle ideas and try on my newly purchased accessories to make sure they matched. I was in between four hairstyles from the get-go so I went to each with a new hairdo, it was pretty fun. Nothing professional but it definitely helped me visualize what would look good with the dress before my hair trial. My main contenders were a side ponytail, a loose relaxed braid, ballerina bun, and a side chignon. My first appointment I cut the idea of long, loose hair. I quickly realized that with a pretty neckline my hair would look better up, especially mine that always falls flat.

It was great having the alterations at the store because RK had a billion veils and hair feathers to try on with the gown. This is where I fell in love with cathedral length veils (more on the creation of my veil by the supremely talented Mrs. Hot Wings).

Did you have a good time at your alteration appointment? What are your tips for other brides-to-be?

*all images personal photos.

With This Dress I Become Superstitious

Image from Maggie Sottero Destinations. RD1044
My Mini BFFs *Personal Photo

On Valentine’s Day my two nieces accompanied me to select my wedding dress. It was four months in the making–about half a dozen appointments. I was ecstatic to take my two helpers with me for this occasion.

It was monumental to me!

When we entered RK Bridal I explained the store’s concept: I’ll put our name on the list, then pull dresses off the rack that you like. When they call our name a clerk will help us try them on. “It’s more of a self-service bridal salon,” I say. Their eyes widened as they eyed the thousands of white dresses hanging on racks! It was like going through Barbie’s closet with the 10 and 13 year old girls. It was just too much fun for us all.

We searched but couldn’t find the Sottero Destination gown we initially came to the store to try on (RD1044). One of the first we pulled was a Maggie Sottero gown with a champagne sash and middle beaded accent. Then we asked the clerk about RD1044 and added it to the pile. The last dress we added was an Allure with a heavy sweetheart neckline and a low dipping back. When my named was called and my little assistants and I were escorted to the room. My shop attendant quickly feel in love with the two girls as did the entire store. Little did they know that these two girls have a fashionista as a mama and talk the terms “empire” and “gossamer” as if it was their native tongue.

The two final selections were exactly the first and the last that we chose: the Sottero’s “Vanessa” and Allure’s Far & Away “922.” Both were chiffon, empire waisted, babydoll dresses. The Vanessa was more polished while the Allure a bit more destination wedding. I really liked both! But it was 1:30 pm and we were due at Saja at 2! So we hailed a cab and went speeding off to the appointment.

Vanessa. Image from Maggie Sottero

I tried on the three gowns that were my original final contenders and they quickly feel flat. They were gorgeous but they didn’t feel special enough. And the girls were way underwhelmed. It never felt so right to leave Saja and drive straight back to RK Bridal.

I could have picked either one but then with the nieces’ seal of approval, we decided the Vanessa was the one. And with that we got our pictures taken so we would always remember the day and my new dress!

When we got back later that night the girls wanted to show their uncle pictures of their day in NYC and then this is when my groom saw me in the dress! This may not be a big deal to some girls but my man is superstitious! He quickly looked up from the iPhone he was staring at an said with shock, “I think I just saw something I wasn’t supposed to!” Later that night he asked me “Isn’t it bad luck to see you in your dress?” I said, “Yes. I’m going to have to get another!” with a bit of a teasing humor. And with these words I was doomed: “Maybe that is better. We don’t want to start off with bad luck!”

For two days I couldn’t decide what to do. I even posted a poll on Weddingbee. 95% of people said I should just keep the original dress. “Pretend that it was a different one, he would never know.” “Don’t pay attention to the crazy superstition, it is modern times now!” All these thing made me feel better about the situation but in the end I felt I would be lying to my man. If it was important to him…and he is a superstitious guy (driving on your birthday is bad luck, don’t bring a pillow outside or someone will die, don’t go to sleep with your hair wet or you’ll go blind, etc.) then it had to be my superstition too!! So with that dress I became superstitious.

Image from Tom's Bridal. Allure 922

With a few frantic phone calls and an in-person visit to RK I changed my dress to my other favorite–the Allure 922!

Do you believe in the superstition? What would you have done?

Saja Gowns with Watery Eyes

Well I said I had two requirements: to feel beautiful and for the dress to cost $1500 dollars or less. But I quickly realized that I didn’t want a typical gown. I liked the “bridal alternatives,” the “destination gowns,” and anything made from chiffon. They were ethereal and appealed to my bohemian sensibility. So after seeing beautiful pictures for Saja gowns I quickly made my appointment.

Image from 100 Layer Cake

But then this is when the happiness stops. My best friend backed out on me the day before the appointment and I was feeling really sad that no one from my new family was interested in going to bridal dress appointments with me. I really wanted my own family to come with me since I thought these dresses were surely going to be the one. But they were 2,500 miles away on the opposite coast! So I went into the appointment feeling very low. I didn’t even ask any of my other friends to come with me when my other friend backed out. I was just depressed, wishing I could share this experience with my mom and sister.

Then the abrupt clerk hit me where it hurt within 5 minutes into the appointment. “You really should bring someone when you come to these appointments. Why didn’t you bring anyone?” Never did I feel so hurt…I felt as if I had no one…no one was available, no one wanted to come, no one was as excited about me for this. My eyes were welling up as she led me into the dressing room and I told her “No one could come.” And then she pressed the point further. “Well try these on now. Then come back when you can bring someone. Really, no one could come? You need to get a friend’s opinion who knows your style. Who do you know who knows your style?” I took a deep breath and told her “I know my style” and pulled the curtain shut with a bit of a New York attitude.

And there were three that I really, really liked. They were effortlessly pretty.

And if they made me feel pretty even while I was feeling so low then they certainly were possibilities. The wide-strap one made me feel long and lean, the strapless one had beautiful draping and had my favorite blush color, and the leaves on the other one seemed Grecian which I liked (although it was two sizes too small and didn’t look great actually on). And all under $800, so that could definitely could work for me.

When my fiance and his friend picked me up at the store after the appointment they could read that I wasn’t feeling myself. Asking me, “You didn’t like any of them?” I replied, “I did. I just didn’t have fun.”  I remember thinking, wedding planning was making me feel so lonely. But without giving it a second thought, and in the company of my some of my favorite people, I emailed my mom and sister pics of the dresses. And then did nothing related to weddings with the two boys and had the best time!

Did your moods ever get the better of you during one of your bridal appointments? Did you ever go at it alone wishing you were with an entourage?

A Bohemian Wedding in Oregon

Image from Once Wed.

One of my purposes in creating this blog is to helpfully arrange bohemian-style weddings. So it is great when, in my everyday Internet searching, I find a real wedding that fits the bill.

This wedding in Portland, Oregon is so spot on it is wonderful. The perfect mixture of casual simplicity with eclectic elegance. I love the feathered necklace and earrings with the texture & airy dress. The setting is straight out of a nymph fairytale with the coastal fog rolling in, the wildflowers in full bloom and love in the air.

For more images stop by the sites Frolic or Once Wed.

Beaded Flower Headpiece

Image from Style Me Pretty. Agnes Lopez Photography.

I love this headpiece! And guess what: It is made from a $12 piece of fabric and beaded flowers that were from a display in a store. This is why art is great. And designers are fabulous! A lot of props for this winter theme, rustic wedding with lots of glamorous details.

Check out the rest of the photoshoot on Style Me Pretty.

Youlin New York

Image from Youlin New York.

I love the back of this dress. I have been looking for dresses that have this type of detailing on the back. The back of a dress is very important. Especially for a wedding when so many people will be watching you from behind. The touch of color, the beautiful fabric, the leaves. It is great!

I would love to add some visual interest such as a series of flowers in my hair for a bold statement. One flower is beautiful but three makes an impact. The gown delicately mimics the placement of the flowers. Very chic, very tropical, very cool…

Image from Brides.com

Check out  more bohemian wedding dresses from Youlin New York on Brides.com.

Image from Brides.com
Image from Brides.com

My First Wedding Dress

Genevieve. Image from Project Wedding.

The Genevieve by Elizabeth Fillmore was the first wedding dress I tried on and fell in love with. The second was the blush lace colored Georgina.

Georgina. Image from Project Wedding.

There is something about Elizabeth Fillmore that is a Bohemian Bride’s dream. These dresses, for me, were swoon worthy. Drool worthy!

But, again, the price of a dress is one of the most important factors for this Boho. And my budget is not “$$$$-$$$$$.” When I see these symbols on the wedding gown directories my eyes bleed. But gals, your wedding is only once right? Well, I can live through you.

Check out Elizabeth Fillmore’s site and weep, get inspired, or simply buy the dress!

Sarah Seven – Stylishly Romantic

Etsy is a great place. A few months ago I stumbled on the designer Sarah Seven. I thought her work was amazing! Oh how I would love them for my bridesmaid dresses! I love the soft colors, the hip styling, their femininity.

Oh Joy!

Then yesterday I found her main website.

Now, I see there are some longer gowns. Bridal gowns…

Image from Etsy. Sarah Seven.

J-Crew Weddings: #1

After attending a bridal fitting at J-Crew, I came back with four favorite dresses. This is my #1 choice (I think) from the batch.

The Chiffon and Organza Dune Gown
PROS:
1. Flow–It is made from amazing, fluffy fabrics. Pleats around the waist band add fullness which could be a lot of fun as I twirl on the dance floor.

2. Romantic–It is very feminine. The asymmetrical row of petals runs up the bust for added whimsy. Perfect for the gal who loves flowers and all things romantic.

3. Fancy–It is fancy enough that I would feel that it isn’t a dress I would wear everyday.

4. Destination Appropriate–It is perfect for an outdoor, destination wedding.

CONS:

1. Fullness–It makes me look a little wide because of the flowy, fullness in the hips and bust. Doesn’t every bride want to feel slim!

If this dress was chosen it could dictate the theme of my wedding to embrace the pink, peach and deep rose colors. I would select ruffly flowers in pinks and peaches with sage green accents. Bridesmaids dresses in deep rose.

So what do you think, Boho Brides?