Saturday, December 15, 2012

THE DRESS

Photos: c/o Andy Petek

The dress.

You may remember back in September when I mentioned that I bought my dress online. It was a high-low dress, had capped sleeves, and was made of chiffon. It was really pretty... but it wasn't me. Not only did it not fit well, but it also was a very summery dress... and I just wanted something that was different. I think what really sealed the deal was that I tried on that new dress for my mom, and her reaction was, "Oh... that's nice." Obviously, it wasn't meant to be.

We didn't have lots of time to do the whole "dress shopping" thing. The wedding was only a month and a half away, and I needed to find the dress—and fast—in case alterations needed to be made. My mom and I started looking around online and couldn't find anything close to what I had in mind. I knew I wanted sleeves, lace, and a bottom half that didn't poof out like a cupcake. We found a couple options, but they were way out of my price range. I really tried to work around a modest budget for our wedding, and spending more on a dress than what I spent on the entire rest of the wedding just wasn't going to be an option.

My mom threw it out there, "Well, why don't you come try on my old dress." That dress. Ha. We both giggled for a moment. That dress, from my parents' wedding in 1981, had been preserved after their wedding and had been moved all over the country (six states) with us in a big gold dress box. In fact, it lived under my bed in almost every house we lived in. We decided that I would go try it on, just for kicks. If anything, that would at least give my mom a good reason to get it out of its old box and donate it—something she had wanted to do for years.

We pulled it out of the box and the first thing we noticed was that it was not as "bright" as normal wedding dresses. Despite being a faded ivory, it also had water damage on the lace detail of the Austin-Powers-poofy sleeves. The ruffled wrist of the right arm was entirely orange from the water damage. Nevertheless, I hauled it back to the bedroom to try it on.

As soon as I emerged from the room, my mom and I had a good laugh for a few minutes. I hadn't been able to zip it because the zipper went up too high, so when I came out it was like a big, ivory sack with orange sleeves. My mom zipped it up, and it was a perfect fit. In fact, I don't think it could have fit the contours of my body better. The bust, the hips, the waist—it was snug, but not too tight, in all the right places. It was also the ideal length for my 3-inch heels. I turned around to let her see it, and when she gasped, I knew it was the dress.

Two days later, we met with the alterations lady who ended up making just three changes to the dress. She cut off the bottom half of the sleeves below the elbow (and where the lace detail stopped), tightened the remainder of the sleeves to fit my arms, and added a hook so we could bustle the dress. The only thing we weren't able to fix was the warped zipper... however it ended up looking like it had been bunched on purpose.

On our wedding day, I felt beautiful. I wore simple pearl studs, a pearl bracelet, and some champagne glittery shoes. It was so simple. I did my makeup with matte eyeshadow, using cream, light pink, plum and charcoal gray. I was really particular about doing my own hair and makeup, and it didn't take me as long as I thought to do either. That day, everything just worked.

As I walked down the aisle, holding my father's arm, wearing my mom's 31-year-old dress, looking at my mom with tears in my eyes before I ascended the steps to meet Daniel, and finally getting to see my Daniel, standing there with a smile meant only for me, it was one of the best moments of my entire life... on a day that I will never forget. 


Wedding Week posts:
THE GUESTBOOKTHE HAIRTHE FLOWERSTHE DRESSTHE WEDDINGTHE HONEYMOON

44 comments:

Mackenzie @ Life of a Pint-Sized Mama said...

Aunie, what a cool story and such a sweet moment for you and your mom! That's even better than a dress you picked out from a store. You look amazing!

Amanda @ tales from a FAR said...

Most gorgeous bride ever. and i'm not even kidding. That dress looks like it was MADE for YOU. Amazing.

Tracy Jensen said...

What an amazing story...and GORGEOUS dress. You looked beautiful! Congratulations.

bailey j said...

Wow - I absolutely love this story! My mothers wedding dress is YELLOW and looks like a nighty. She also wore it while very pregnant - prob not gonna happen for me. I love that you wore hers though, so sentimental and you look absolutely stunning. it really is perfect!

Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out said...

Aw, what a special memory for you and your momma. I am sure she loved that. :-) (And the dress is BEAUTIFUL!)

Kristen @ KV Confessions said...

I love your dress so much! Even more special that it was your mama's. How sweet!

Michelle said...

WOW! You and the dress are absolutely beautiful! :)

Joanna said...

Wow Aunie! The dress looks gorgeous! and how special that you were able to wear your mother's dress. Beautiful.

Elisha said...

It's SO pretty! I love the lace!

millimowze said...

Congratulations!! That is absolutely wonderful to hear Aunie. It would be awesome if you could post a pic of your mom in her dress on her wedding day next to you in yours :-) I would love to see that.

Lynette Hoyle said...

Congratulations on getting married! I was married September 15th of this year, and it was lovely. :)

I too bought one wedding dress, realized it wasn't going to work, and found another one about a month and a half before my wedding. My husband actually found it, and begged me to try it on because it was beautiful and only $180, and it fit like a glove and needed no alterations! Must've been a God thing.

Your sidebar "about me" thing is hilarious, btw. I blog, but I don't cook and I don't DIY. I just get dressed in the morning, occasionally blog about that, and whatever else I feel like. :) Now following, btw! :)

Lynette @ lynette marie

Kimberley Tobin said...

Beautiful story, beautiful dress, beautiful bride!

Because of Jackie said...

You look so timeless and elegant, like a princess! I'm so glad you went with your gut on changing the dress, I ended up regretting mine and didn't change it. (Which, funny enough doesn't bother me 8 years later!) Anyway....YOU look amazing and I love that you wore your mother's dress:)

Niki Caron said...

You are STUNNING! The dress is absolutely beautiful! And so are you :)

Amanda said...

Absolutely beautiful!! && how special is this that you wore your moms dress :) I love it!!!

lily white english rose said...

you look absolutely stunning!!! and i love that it is your mums dress, that is so beautiful :D
http://ww.thelilywhiteenglishrose.blogspot.com

Sidney said...

Beautiful story and the dress looks gorgeous!

Aleksandra said...

Beautiful photos!

Blake @ Steady 360 said...

That dress is so beautiful (and so are you!), and it's so sweet that it's your mom's!

Katie said...

You look gorgeous. How special that you got to wear your Mother's dress!

amanda&graham said...

Oh my, I would NEVER have guessed that was an 80's dress!!! It looks so beautiful on you and I LOVE that you got to wear your Mum's dress :) Fate :)

Ps. I also did my own make up at my wedding, something that usually can cause stress, yet went perfectly on the day. My hair got rather trashed in the wind during photos and yet again, did exactly what I told it afterwards and I managed to make it look perfect again for the reception in mere minutes! Unheard of for me! Isn't it lovely when things just work on your big day :)

Alexa said...

I got chills reading your story, imagining the moment you realized it was THE dress!

For our wedding, my dress boutique sewed a blue monogram inside with initials and the wedding date. My mom worked with them to use pieces of her veil and my grandmother's wedding gloves to add to the monogram, and it was a complete surprise to me. It felt so lovely and special :)

Southern Living, Our Way {www.alexaandglenn.blogspot.com}

Pharr Away said...

Just beautiful...the story, the dress, everything!

Cody Doll said...

When I saw your dress I knew that it fit you. I think it makes you soooo gorgeous. That is the most amazing story about a wedding dress! How cool is it that you need a dress and that you end up wearing your precious mothers dress. I think that is so amazing. Defiantly bought tears to my eyes.

Congratz again,
Cody
solemnsound.blogspot.com

Daliene said...

How lovely to wear your mother's dress. Unfortunately my mom is VERY short and her dress would not fit me no matter what alterations we did. lol You look beautiful!

Brooke @ Covered in Grace said...

My goodness! How beautiful. You look amazing Aunie. Congratulations!!

Iris said...

Beautiful, beautiful vintage looking dress!!!

Iris♥ -The Blue Birdhouse

Pamela said...

Aww this is SO sweet!! Do you have a picture of your mom in her dress? Would love to see it!! It looks absolutely stunning on you!

Allyssa said...

I absolutely love your dress! You look amazing! I love that it was your mother's too.

Emily Finta said...

The dress is amazing and you look super pretty! Congrats again! :)

anna lizbeth said...

so special! love that it was your moms dress!

Whitney said...

You just brought tears to my eyes! I would have been honored to wear my mother's dress, but unfortunately it was loaned to her. The dress looks beautiful on you!!

Halie Renee said...

Wow! What a beautiful dress and a beautiful story! I am in love with the fact that it was your mom's dress, and then you wore it as well. My mom wore my grandmother's dress, and they both looked beautiful. I wish that I could do the same, but they were both way too tiny when they were married... But your dress is gorgeous, and it looks like it fits *you* perfectly.

Amanda @ Eloquent English said...

Oh my gosh that is so cool!!!! I love that you got to wear your Mom's dress! My mother's was like a light mint green, I passed on that. lol

Kelly { Messy.Dirty.Hair.} said...

Simply stunning! You look like a classic old school movie star. Just gorgeous!

Rebekah said...

That is so awesome that your dress was your Mom's! You look amazing.

Erica said...

Absolutely gorgeous! You even brought a tear to my eye :)

Priya said...

I love love love that you wore your mom's wedding dress! Such a special thing for both of you! Oh, and it looks gorgeous by the way (and totally unique). Loved reading all your wedding week posts :) it def deserves a week!

perfectly priya

Alison said...

I love the simplicity of your dress. And what a special experience for you and your mom to wear the same dress! My mom rented her dress, so... :)

Andiepants said...

Congratulations beauty! The dress is stunning on you and the fact that it was your mother's makes it just that much more special! What a delight it is to find such a family heirloom!

From the other posts I see that you and hubby have had a wonderful time! Merry Happiest of Holidays!
Can't wait to read more...

xoxo
Andie's Traveling Pants

Janna Renee said...

You are breathtaking and the dress was PERFECT! It must have felt so good to wear your mother's dress <3

Stephanie Davey said...

Did you ever post a pic of your mom in her dress? Just shared this story with my mom after we were discussing what I should do with my dress (keep it or sell it) and I was hoping I didn't miss the post if you did put it up :-)

Martha said...

What a beautiful dress! It was really "mean to be". You look so pretty!

Annelise Rowe said...

I forgot! I need to do that... thank you for reminding me!!

AddThis