Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Twosome Tuesday: Wedding Dresses

Wedding dresses can range from $99 to infinity in price.  Many shops have dresses starting at $1000, but we don't have that kind of money for one dress, much less two for the princesses getting married this summer.                                                                                                                                               
Non-bridal wedding gown options
on Nordstrom.com
#1:  Princess Sassy felt stressed to find a dress that didn't cost a fortune... Which she defined as anything over $300, or preferably, $200.  We searched for suitable gowns not necessarily made as wedding dresses, online, and for consignment shop options.                                                                                                          
Sewing one wasn't out of the question, but with the price of patterns and fabrics these days, it's not necessarily a discount type of option either.  Also, the princess has learned from previous experiences, that it's a riskier bet that it will be 'THE perfect gown' in the end, when you start from scratch.                                                                                                                      
She was hesitant to try on anything out of the price range she'd decided was reasonable, fearing she'd fall in love with a dress she couldn't afford and to which others would pale in comparison.  But we needed to get an idea of what worked, and what she would truly love when on her form, which is never an especially easy fit.                                                                                                                                              
I can show you this one...
It's the 'Runner Up'
After several disappointing trips to a chain bridal shop, nicer department stores, and a big city consignment shop, we trekked to Gown and Glove Bridal Consignment 3 hours away.  It was well worth the trip, as this shop had mostly new dresses, many, many styles per size, and all for half of retail, or less.  3 of the gowns she tried on fit well, were styles she liked, and were stunning on... All so much better than any she'd seen in our previous travels.  They were priced within $10 of each other, so price didn't dictate the decision.  One ivory lace masterpiece was just barely the winner, but definitely a marvelous choice.  We didn't quite hit her $300 goal, but a decision made just 2 days prior enabled us to move budgeted funds from invitations to gown, and even covered the cost of a beautiful veil.                                                                                                                                                        
The gown she chose could possibly be shortened to become a very elegant and timeless cocktail type of dress.  She laughed that it could be her once-a-year anniversary dinner dress...but it very well could.  The corset closure, which helps a dress fit different shapes of brides, will enable it to flex with any minor changes in size or shape she may experience through the years.                                                                                                                                     
If you're in the market for bridal gowns (or even prom dresses), and might be within a day's drive of Bellingham, Washington, Princess Sassy and I could confidently and strongly recommend Gown and Glove Bridal Consignment.  Great selection, and Sue and Stephanie are such special and helpful people!                                                                                                                                                        
#2:  Princess Bossy found her first "The Gown" at a bridal boutique near where she works.  She was trying it on "just to see" if the style was what she'd like and fell in love.  She felt for a few days that she had to have that one... But at $990, it wasn't a decision she was prudent to consider more carefully.                                                                                                                                                           
This Vogue Bellville Sassoon
evening gown combined with the
top/back of the Butterick dress
would recreate the dream gown
After a couple of days, she relinquished the dream of having that particular gown, and looked into making her own.  She had made several dresses, including prom dresses for herself, so was undaunted by the idea, even though boning and other more complex fitting techniques weren't tasks with which she was very experienced. She bought 2 patterns to combine in order to fashion a dress similar to the one she'd tried on.  She looked seriously at taffetas and laces, but the total was adding up, the job itself was starting to look too large, so the patterns were returned.  She'd decided to start over.                                                                                                                                                                   
Next she found a lovely evening-length dress with lace skirt and taffeta top that seemed suitable for her small, elegant wedding.  The $158 price tag was acceptable.  That plan went by the wayside, too, though, when she found a new and unworn gown at a consignment shop when visiting Texas.  It is fairly plain, but elegant, and has 'the bones' of the original dress she loved.  Her future mother-in-law, with her at the time, was very gracious in purchasing it as a gift for the bride-to-be.  This enables Princess Bossy to use her wedding dress budget to have it tailored and styled, adding lace and reshaping the neckline, to match her particular vision and make it unique, which is important to her.

How appropriate that Twosome Tuesday fell on this day... Our 26th wedding anniversary.  Happy Anniversary to my Huggy Hubby!
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