Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Wedding Dress Story - Link Up!

Hey! If you're writing your own "My Wedding Dress Story" post, grab the button over there in the sidebar. It's over there on the right! Just highlight the HTML text, and put it in your own post in the HTML editor. Then you can have a cool button to show everyone you're playing along!!

Dum... Dum... da Dum....
Dum... Dum... de Dum...

The day many little girls dream of and plan for years in advance. The day when they say "I do" to their Prince Charming, in front of a crowd of family, friends, and other people, all of which are either dying to be the bride (because she looks so gorgeous) or be the groom (because he's marrying someone so gorgeous).

I mean, isn't that the way all weddings go down?


When I met Texan Papa, we got engaged quickly. As in, met on September 27th and engaged on November 25th. Of course my parents were skeptical but the upside was that THEIR LITTLE BABY WAS FINALLY GOING TO BE LESS OF A FINANCIAL BURDEN STARTING A LIFE OF HER OWN!!! I could almost feel the weight off my dad's shoulders once I'd walked down the aisle.

Since I was the baby of the family, my dad was really excited to throw a big party for his last child's "send-off" into the big bad world. He literally gave me a blank checkbook for buying wedding stuff. I was 25 so I guess he felt I was responsible enough to handle the details on my own.

My wedding was not exactly what I expected it to be, although it was pretty close. I did feel beautiful and I did feel like the queen that day. The setting was outside (which I always wanted), in May (but I'd hoped for April, when my parents were married - close enough), and it was on the formal side (I'd hoped for volleyball in a sandpit and a BYOB picnik potluck.) We actually had a sit-down dinner with filet mignon, vegetables, potatoes, cheesecake, and wedding cake too. So... not so much with the beans and potato salad. I think my dad thought I was crazy when I suggested something "less formal".
When it came to buying a wedding dress, I didn't know what to look for but I already knew my own style: I'm a bargain shopper. I'd never once paid full price for a prom dress. I usually bought them out of the clearance catalog from JCPenneys. I guess I just always had good perspective about my wedding dress, in that: I knew it was MY day and people were there to celebrate me and my new husband, and if I was wearing something pretty and tasteful that it wouldn't matter if it cost $100 or $1000 or $10000. I knew that only a few people would look closely enough to find out if the fabric was satin or silk or whatever, and would it really matter? Because, the people I invited to my wedding loved me, and I loved them, and I couldn't imagine anyone I cared that much about actually criticizing me. Anyway, if they did, I probably would never know because they'd say it behind my back and I wouldn't hear them anyway. Here's what I ended up getting:


I actually took Texan Papa with me dress shopping. I had previewed a few dresses but when it came to the final selection, he helped me decide. We didn't care too much about tradition and on the day of the wedding, we actually took all the group photos BEFORE the wedding. He saw me in my dress & everything. I actually have a snapshot of me, in my dress, helping him get his cufflinks on. I think it's so sweet and memorable.

Anyway, I bought my dress for... $330. Now that was back in 1998 but I can't imagine the dress would be too much more than that today. I just got it out the other day. I'd had it stored at my parents house for a long time and they gave it to me a few years back. I was always afraid to open the box (OH-MY-GOD-DON'T-BREAK-THE-SEAL-ON-THE-WEDDING-DRESS-BOX-FOR-THE-LOVE-OF-ALL-THAT'S-GOOD-AND-HOLY!!!) but when I did I saw that it wasn't sealed or preserved or anything... just lying there, clean and nicely folded. I peeked at the tag: yep, just as I'd thought, 100% polyester. I kinda cringed; I guess I COULD have splurged a little bit. I mean, it was my ONE DAY and all. Even when I picked out my dress and told my dad how much it was, he was shocked. He told me he'd expected me to pick something out that was three times as expensive. In some weird twisted way, I felt proud of myself for saving money on that. Yea me! I'm cheap when it comes to my own wedding! I can make myself feel special at bargain basement prices!!

And yes, by the way, I *did* make my own veil. With one plastic hair comb and some crinoline. For $6. Which turned out to be a good think because our dog chewed it up before we'd been married a year.


When I'm watching reruns of "Say Yes to the Dress", I think about what I'd pick if I were getting married today. And, as I look at the wedding dress I *did* pick, I realize it's exactly the same. What I'd pick today is the same as what I picked 13 years ago. My dress was white, with an empire waistline, and an A-line skirt. The train in the back detached after the ceremony. It was sleeveless with a high neckline that went straight across my collarbone, and a low back. The only thing I'd probably change is that it had a BIG OBNOXIOUS BOW in the back, but that kinda hid the hooks where the train hooked onto the dress, so I don't know what I'd use instead...


I remember, after the wedding, looking to get my dress cleaned and hearing all these horror stories about women who take their wedding dresses to cleaners and the disreputable owners would tear the wedding dress up, folding it and sealing it so that only a small part of the dress was visible, and taking the extra fabric to use for... heaven knows what. GAH all those urban legends. Then again, maybe there wasn't a high demand for 100% white polyester...

And, here's a fun photo of me, "relaxing" before the big day.

I was just chillin' with my posse, waiting for the day to start. All of a sudden my dad bursts into the room and says, "Are you coming or what? Everybody's seated!" We were like, "Oh shit! Here we come!" and we came scrabbling out of the room and the music was already playing. Not a very grand entrance, to be sure!

Now, link up with your story! I'd love to hear all about it!

(Please forgive the quality of these photos. I wanted to use snapshots only, out of respect for our professional photographer in St. Louis. He did an AWESOME job and he was so friendly and professional. Please look him up if you need a budget photographer in St. Louis).

Texan Mama


GunDiva said...

I knew I'd regret not linking up, but now it's bedtime and I intend to get some sleep tonight.

However...being a bargain shopper, you'll appreciate this. I bought my wedding dress at Ross for $20 or so. It was just a white dress, nothing fancy, but fancier than the jeans and boots I swore I was going to wear to my wedding. Instead, RockCrawlinChef got a wife in a white dress and cowboy boots. :)

GunDiva said...

I just had a thought...can I hook up a day late (Tuesday) and combine it with True Story Tuesday? That way I can play along with both you and Rachel.

The Laundry Ladies said...

Love the story and the photos! And I just realized we are the same age... I got married in 1998 and I was 25.

Amy said...

Fun story! Thanks for sharing it.

Gigi said...

I LOVE your wedding dress! Really. The one I bought (for about the same price) and ended up never wearing, was pretty in an over the top early 90's kind of way - but yours is so elegant and timeless looking.

Jen said...

Awesome dress story.

I failed on this assignment. I was much too lazy to go and dig out all my photos.

Sorry. :(

Jennifer said...

Luckily I already had my dress photo scanned or I totally would have failed at this assignment too, but I'm glad I did it because it was fun. I only paid about $400 for my dress and I thought it was beautiful and I felt beautiful in it and that is really all that matters.

Aunt Crazy said...

I love your dress!!! It is very classic. I think I paid $179 for my dress.

Karen said...

This was fun. I loved reading your story. My wedding was 36 years ago and I barely remember the details. LOL


Crystal said...

OMGosh you are so freakin'cute! I wish I had a scanner or digital wedding photos. I would have loved to join in on the party! :(

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (I know! A little late!) Luv ya girl!!

Megan said...

You sure got engaged fast - great job making the right choice quickly! And I think you looked fabulous in your dress, so there are no regrets to be had!

Life with Kaishon said...

You are so beautiful : )