Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

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Holy Dress Nightmare, Batman April 1, 2011

Filed under: bridal party,the dress — clln @ 1:09 am
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If you’re getting married, chances are that no matter how calm you are, someone has called or will call you a bridezilla. Many people noted that I was very easy-going in comparison to the stereotype of brides to be, yet even I was called a bridezilla. My diva-like crime? I calmly pointed out that the return address label on the invitation envelope should go in the upper left corner after one of my friends stuck it on the right upper corner (where the stamp has to go.) Bridezilla just seems to be a buzz-word that everyone is quick to use the minute any bride has a request, no matter how reasonable. I stumbled across this article from the New York Times about a “bridezilla” today, written by the woman who was accused of being a bridezilla. What a nightmare! Is it unreasonable to demand that you get a clean dress? When you’re paying $1000, I shouldn’t think so! But this does happen, and it hit close to home.

My now mother-in-law had a lot of trouble with the seamstress who was altering her dress as well as her daughter’s (my now sister-in-law and my bridesmaid.) They had delivered both dresses to the seamstress at a local bridal store (where my SIL’s dress was purchased, but not my MIL’s) a couple of months before the wedding, but they weren’t ready for the final fitting until two days before the wedding. When my MIL went to the seamstress for the final fitting, she spotted a discoloration. The seamstress denied seeing anything there, she rubbed at it a bit, she tried to clean it and it looked the same. She admitted that she had no idea what it was. My MIL was extremely upset. With the amount of money she had paid, she expected her dress to come out clean and fitted in a timely matter, but that wasn’t the case. Not thinking anything could be done for the strange discoloration, I tried to assure her that no one would notice it as it was on the back and she’d be moving around all night.

In the end, that seamstress wouldn’t do anything for her and I couldn’t comfort her. She took it back to the store where she’d purchased it (another bridal store) and the seamstress there immediately identified it as the stain of oil you’d use to lubricate a sewing machine. This was odd as the jacket didn’t require any alterations, it shouldn’t have been anywhere near a sewing machine and definitely not near oil. Also, if it was a stain from a tool of the trade and this second seamstress identified it so fast, how could the first seamstress not realize what it was?

Now for the happy ending: the seamstress at the other bridal store was able to remove the stain within a few minutes and the jacket was back to being one color. My MIL looked great and felt great about her outfit. This worked out well just in time for the wedding, as it did for Kathryn Kefauver Goldberg when she got the second dress she writes about in her article. Unlike Kefauver Goldberg, we didn’t have to deal with legal proceedings afterward. So the moral of the story is, just because a seamstress works at a bridal shop doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the best. You know who altered my gown and my other bridesmaids’ dresses? A friend who just graduated from fashion design school and does a few alterations on the side of her new job. She did amazing work, my gown fit fabulously. My MIL tried to warn me against using someone “inexperienced” for my alterations, but look how her professional alteration went. I’d seen my friends work (a dazzling couture collection of evening gowns for her final project) so I knew I could expect greatness. If there’s any way that you can ask to see the work of your seamstress/tailor, definitely do it. Or better yet, get a recommendation from someone you trust.


November Rain, 2011 June 3, 2010

When I first got engaged, so many girlfriends asked what wedding theme we were going with. I was still basking in the giddiness of a surprise proposal and hadn’t even thought about it (apparently everyone else has this pre-planned.) To combat this question, I decided to tell people the theme was November Rain. Yes, that November Rain. Guns ‘N’ Roses’ epic. The song that is becoming stuck in your head right now. This one:

I figured people would be so stunned at the idea of the short-front, long-back dress and Axl’s jacket that they wouldn’t be able to come up with any further questions and we’d be free to take our time coming up with this theme (or not coming up with one at all, as we’ve been doing.)

Turns out I’m not the only one who remembers November Rain‘s music video. Check out this Reem Acra dress from the Spring 2011 Collection:

Reem Acra dress from the Spring 2011 Collection

Modern twist on a music video classic. So, if you want to recreate the November Rain wedding, here’s your modern chance. Are you planning on recreating any famous weddings? Like this dress? Share all of your thoughts in the comments!

P.S. When I was first describing the dress as “short front, long back,” all I could think of was a mullet. An unfortunate comparison, yet hilarious.


My dress fits! May 27, 2010

Filed under: the dress,Uncategorized — clln @ 2:36 am
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I’m excited to announce that I won’t be flashing the guests at the wedding. I went for my second dress fitting this past weekend and my dress stays up! My MOH’s cousin’ girlfriend, who happens to be an amazingly talented recent fashion school grad, is doing the alterations. I actually modeled some of her work for her final project and I was blown away so I trust her completely with the alterations on my precious dress.

But that’s not all! She’s working on a fabric flower made of the excess material she removed when she shortened the dress. Sadly, the Martha flowers just weren’t working with the dress. The voile material I made them out of didn’t have the same sheen as the taffeta so they just don’t look elegant enough. Emily’s designs were covered in beautiful fabric flowers and she even created stunning headpieces for the line she made for her final project, so I have no doubt that the flower is going to look amazing. What’s even better is that it reuses scrap material and saves me from buying a brooch. I’ll still use the Martha flowers for my hair, the colour is the same as the dress and the lack of shine will be less apparent in my hair.

Best news of all is that my dress should be ready by the end of this week! The hem just has to be sewn and the train needs to be bussled. Excited!

Here’s the part where I’d normally post a photo of me in my dress. You’ll notice there is no photo. A friend of mine was bugging me to see the dress and then I realized I don’t have to show her. i don’t have to show anyone. If everyone has seen it, the “wow factor” will be diminished on the big day. Most importantly, I don’t want my FH to see it before the big day. You understand.


Fashionable Fabric Flowers February 28, 2010

I was lucky enough to be asked to help out with a photo shoot for a friend-of-a-friend who is in a fashion design program. I got to model a dress from the beautiful line created by two very talented young designers. This has given me so much inspiration for the wedding. Without giving anything away or posting any photos (the line must remain a surprise until they present it at a fashion show in April), I’ll just say that I’ve been inspired to use fabric flowers.

My wedding gown needs a little something. It’s a modified A-line dress with a dropped waist that starts about mid-thigh (is that right? Have I learned the right jargon from Say Yes to the Dress?) and it needs a little embellishment where it starts to flare out. I had originally considered a brooch, but after seeing the use of fabric flowers, I’ve now decided on my embellishment. Luckily, my MOH helped to make many of the fabric flowers used at the shoot, so I have an expert to help me make them.

Also at the shoot were flowery headpieces and fascinators. I decided a while back that I didn’t want a veil, now I think a fabric flower on a hair clip will be a great alternative. I wish I could post photos of their exceptional line, I’m sure you’d agree!

Since I can’t post the photos yet, I can give you a link to Martha Stewart’s photo gallery of fabric and paper flowers. I’ve been looking at this for inspiration for weeks now, trying to figure out how to incorporate them into the wedding. They’ll last forever so they can be made in advance, they’re unique, they’re cute, and while I haven’t priced out the supplies, I imagine they would work out to cheaper than going to a florist for centerpieces. I love love love the pom-poms! Or how about any of the following for a little dress embellishment or hair accessory?

Martha Stewart fabric flower boutonnieres

Or here’s an example of a fabric dahlia as a dress embellishment:

A Martha Stewart fabric dahlia on a wedding dress.

This will probably cost me less than most brooches I was looking at, it will make a bigger impact, and I like that it adds a personal, homemade touch to my dress. Perhaps some of the bridesmaids will want to wear one in their hair as well. I’m excited! We’ll see how excited the bridesmaids are when I reveal that there’s yet another project to work on. I’ll post photos when we work on them and maybe my photos from the photo shoot once the line has debuted.