Wedding Dress Shopping

Wedding Dress Shopping

I’ve had a wedding board on Pinterest for a long time. I mean, who doesn’t have one? Girls who don’t have boyfriends; women who are already married; big, burly, lumber-jack men; everyone has a wedding board on Pinterest. I’ve been pinning wedding dresses for over a year; since well before I got engaged. That’s not weird.

Anyhow, I knew I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress. Let’s be honest here, you all know how much I hate things that aren’t useful, and what’s more useless than a $1,000+ dress that you can only wear once? Not much. No offense to anyone who’s into spending as much as a car on an article of clothing, but that’s not my cup of tea and I think it’s silly. So I came up with some criteria for my dress:

  • It has to be reusable–something that’s not so obviously “wedding” that I can use again
  • I have to look good in it
  • It has to cost less than $300
OR
  • It can look wedding-ish
  • I have to look good in it
  • It has to cost less than $100
Apparently my criteria isn’t realistic when looking at actual wedding dresses, but I’ve found quite a few bridesmaid dresses that I like, and that would be acceptable as wedding dresses if they were in ivory. I really hate the princessy-poofy stuff, so something simple but pretty is what I’m looking for. The first two photos (above) are obviously bridesmaid dresses, but I liked them. They were nice, but not great. I felt like I could do better.

Just to see if ivory would be good with my skin tone (I prefer champagne, but it blends too much with my skin) I tried on a real wedding dress. I understand why women become bridezillas. These dresses suck. They weigh a ton, you can’t walk in them without tripping, they’re hot as hell, and they cost as much as my car.

(The lady helping me was super-nice, I liked her. I’m sorry if she sees this post, it’s not her fault I don’t like wedding dresses!)

My mom liked this dress. I was angry the entire time I was wearing it. The flowers bothered me, but surprisingly the shape looked pretty good. However, still couldn’t walk properly in it. Made me feel antsy and claustrophobic! What if I needed to run away from zombies? I’d die. That’s what. It was perhaps non-wedding enough that it would be reusable, but at $1,500 there’s no way I’d use it THAT much.

I really like this dress, but can’t figure out where it’s from. I feel like I could look awesome and run away from zombies at the same time in that dress. Also, a little 1920s/1930s styling? Awesome. It probably is some one-of-a-kind vintage piece or something though. And if it’s not it probably costs a fortune.

Anyhow, I think I’ll have to keep looking for quite a while to find a dress I like. I’m open to recommendations. I do think we’ve figured the venue out though! Pretty excited about that.

What did your wedding dress look like/what do you want your dress to look like?

27 thoughts on “Wedding Dress Shopping

  1. The wedding dress is a pretty tough thing to find, I’ll admit! I bought a dress from Jessica McClintock online, it came and fit perfectly so I was thrilled. The dress was called Katie I think, you can Google it 🙂

  2. I think I’m one of the few girls in the world that hates the idea of having a wedding (don’t hate the idea of marriage) so wedding dress shopping sounds like a nightmare! Good luck finding the perfect one!

  3. I had such a balls time wedding dress shopping (for many of the reasons you stated) that I decided to make my own dress it was just a simple sweetheart strapless with an a-line skirt, the material we used came from the family stash so was therefore free and I bought a belt from forever new to ‘jazz it up’ – only downside I lost heaps of weight before the wedding and we couldn’t take it in enough so it was miles too big :/ you can see it here: http://dreamingofstepford.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/garden-wedding.html

    But on a side note have you thought about shorter dresses? like a sheath? definitely wearable again and like Sherry from ‘Young House Love’ you can easily dye it later on down the track 🙂

    Good Luck!!

  4. I got my wedding dress for mega cheap (compared to it’s original cost) because it was a design from 2006. Given, I still paid close to $800 for it, but my mom was pushing for my dress to be beautiful so we splurged. I have a very weird figure and finding one that worked was hard enough. I’m also the only girl in my entire family (all brothers and cousins) so it had to be girly.

    My advice would be to go to botiques and ask to see what’s older and marked down. Sure it may be “out of style” from what’s present but in reality it still might be a super awesome dress.

    Also, you can look at places like Macy’s and other fancy dress stores. They often times will have a small bridal selection to look through, though the styles will be very limited.

    and finally of course, my dress:

  5. If you think they’re hard to walk in… try going to the bathroom in one! I’m pretty sure the reason you have bridesmaids is to hold your dress over your head while you pee.

    The dress from the wedding with ex-husband.
    The front: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikkiana/221343308
    The back: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikkiana/221360517

    I loved the dress when I got it… I look back on pictures and think, “Holy shit was that not flattering at all! It smooshed my boobs in a way that made me look fat instead of busty!”

  6. Yeah, I wanted to go to the courthouse to get married, but my mom made the point that it’s a celebration and a joining of two sides, so I get the point of a wedding… I just think that too many people turn it into being about the wedding and not being about the marriage.

  7. Yours looks very pretty! I can’t sew or I probably would make my own.

    I was originally planning on a shorter dress, like these:

    but my mom thinks a longer dress is more appropriate. I kind of like the idea of a longer dress that covers my feet so I can wear flats–which I pretty much have to do no matter what I wear as Anthony is only about 3 inches taller than I am.

  8. Your dress is so pretty! If I wanted to do the full-on wedding dress I’d want one similar to yours! I just don’t feel like “me” in those kinds of dresses. I do appreciate the awesome built-in corsets and stuff they have though! haha

    I think I’ll have to plan a trip to Macy’s or somewhere… The problem is that I’m really picky about dresses. I don’t like strapless, it has to cover my back or look good with a little bolero over it, it can’t be too girly, I don’t like all the petticoats, and I prefer something a little vintage-y looking. Yeah, it’s not possible! haha

  9. My dress was a fairly simple sleeveless dress, but to give it a little sparkle I had my mom add this beautiful lace (yet again a simple lace design) panel to the side & bust.

    Not everyone is as lucky as I was.

    My mom is an amazing seamstress that does her fair share of sewing on the side. I knew from the time I was a wee little girl that if I ever got married, my mom had to make my dress. She made her own wedding dress, so I wanted her to make mine.

    I was able to find bits & pieces from a couple of patterns that I loved, which she was able to put together perfectly. We bought all the fabric when it was on sale or we had a 40% off coupon. I won’t ever wear the dress again, but when you spend about $200 on all the wedding attire (bridesmaids included) you can’t really complain.

  10. Aw man, my mom and I both HATE sewing, so I think that one is out. I’ve thought about doing some simple white dress and adding some appliques or something because I might be able to tolerate that much sewing, but I’d probably mess up the dress (knowing me).

    Maybe I should just crochet it. hahaha

  11. Crochet it? That could be totally awesome!

    If my husband & I hadn’t been so busy working on other projects for our wedding (handmade invitations, wedding favors, tossing bouquet, etc.) then I was going to do a little knitting or crocheting for it.

    At one time my husband was considering wearing a kilt for the wedding. If he had, I was going to knit a pair of kilt hose for him. But later he decided to just go with a nice & simple tux.

  12. I think I’d be too impatient to crochet lace…. Think a granny-square dress with chunky yarn would be acceptable? lol

    I would like to do some handmade touches for my wedding for sure! Just not sure what yet! I’m thinking eef cake toppers would be fun, but maybe too weird… Uhm, not sure if you know, my cartoon character eef is what I mean! http://eef-ink.com/

  13. I really like that second wedding dress….the flowery-ness is kinda weird, but I like it. have you tried looking at any thrift stores? it’d probably be even more stressful to search for a dress in thrift, but it’s your best (probably only) bet if you want something less than $300. if you ever need a shopping buddy I’d love to go! I know where a ton of good thrift stores are.

  14. I think I found one I like, but I’d love to go thrifting just in general! Anthony doesn’t like thrifting.

    Okay, here’s the plan! Thrifting/outfit photos/some sort of drink and/or food. When are you available? haha

  15. Thanks! The links didn’t work :/
    but if you were after a vintage type dress (re comment reply below) Etsy is super awesome! and pretty cheap if you know where to look, I think if I got married again or had a vow renewal that’s where I would go and afterwards it would make an awesome dress up for the kids 😉

    like this one: http://www.etsy.com/listing/103786823/70s-gunne-sax-lace-wedding-dress-vintage
    or this one: http://www.etsy.com/listing/78780336/1940s-ivory-wedding-dress-with-braided

    good luck!! I’m so jealous 🙂

    also if you are looking for wedding DIYs, though in Australia I am working with a wedding stylist at the moment and we incorporate lots of DIY into the weddings we do, there is an upcoming wedding in November that I am organising for a friend and I will probably be blogging about it so keep an eye out 🙂

  16. Oh, I deleted the pins. Duh. That was dumb. I was cleaning off my board of pins I don’t need anymore. Forgot I linked to them anywhere. =
    This is one of the ones I tried to link to: http://www.billlevkoff.com/style/bridesmaid-dress/323

    I’ve been looking allllllllllllllllllllllllll over Etsy and can’t find anything I like that’s in my size/price range. Seems like anytime I find something I like it’s $1,000+ or super-tiny. It’s just too frustrating! =[

    I’m excited to see what DIY’s you do! That sounds fun!

  17. I think I would have liked that dress without all the flowers on it… it’s not so obvious in the photos, but they stuck out really oddly and anytime I moved they got bent. The overall fabric was pretty nice though, I liked the texture.

  18. Craigslist. I bought my dress from Craigslist.. and it was Perfect, and a fraction of the cost. I found the dress I wanted in a bridal shop & then found it on CL.

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