If you’re like me, you love watching reruns of “Say Yes to the Dress” on repeat. I’m fascinated with what goes into the decision of what to wear on your wedding day, and so in the spirit of all things bridal, I’m sharing my dress story with you today!
Everyone approaches their Big Day differently, so the fashion and style decisions could not be more different for different brides. For me, this was a time to splurge and not let “sales” be an influence because I am usually SO frugal when it comes to shopping! And ultimately my top priority was to make amazing memories, so I wanted to feel comfortable in what I was wearing so I could concentrate fully on the important stuff that day.
I started my dress journey with an initial visit to a local bridal salon, The Collection. I tried on several shapes and styles to help narrow down what I was looking for and posted about my experience here. Right away, I felt fluff and structure were both too over the top for what I was looking for. I didn’t want tulle, a big skirt, a corset, or underwire. I narrowed my focus to laid-back boho style for my wedding day, but then many of the boho-type dresses I tried on had empire waists or no waist and looked terrible on my figure. Thankfully, my wedding dress met a good halfway point. Without a single piece of boning or corset, it managed to have a great shape, while maintaining the unstructured vibe I wanted.
I found my dress during my second appointment at The Collection. It was an Inbal Dror trunk show, and so my dress was approx. dress #6 that I tried on. I had that bridal moment but then went home, panicked that JJ wouldn’t like it, and spent several more months shopping. I went to 4 salons and probably tried on 30-40 dresses. But I kept coming back to the same gown in my head!
As soon as I knew it was "the one," I called my bridal consultant and made a commitment. Inbal Dror is an up and coming designer in the States (already huge in Israel) and each gown requires 37 measurements and is custom made. The runway sample I tried on took some serious imagination, and I made some changes - raising the neckline quite a bit, and making the back a “V” shape instead of a rounded shape. I couldn’t wait to see the final result!
The day it arrived, we realized we had a lot of work to do because I had lost 12 pounds and 2 dress sizes after we ordered it. The alterations were difficult (the dress has no seams!) and it took many rounds to get it right. As the wedding day approached I was nervous about whether we could fix it, but the seamstress at The Collection was a pro and when I picked it up it was absolutely perfect.
I didn't tell anyone which dress I picked, and kept everything a secret until our wedding day. I knew that my dress wouldn’t be popular with everyone; there isn’t a single dress on earth that would please every person – and ultimately I preferred for it to be edgy versus a crowd pleaser. I did a dress reveal with my bridesmaids (pictures below) which was so much fun - I highly recommend it!
If there’s anything I can share with future brides, it’s go with your gut. Don’t worry too much about what anyone else thinks. The best advice I got was “your groom wants you to be happy and confident and he’s less concerned with the style you choose” and that advice can apply to anyone in your life. Also, while I love a good sale, I hope you can get something that you truly enjoy wearing. One strategy for staying on budget is selling your dress after the wedding – just keep in mind that something could happen to it like a tear or stain, so proceed with caution.
I'm still in disbelief that I got to wear this dress on my wedding day. The end result was perfect for me, and I felt like the luckiest girl alive to marry my husband, and wearing this dress was just the icing on the cake. My wish is for every bride to feel that way on her wedding day. It’s your special day, and the most important thing about your dress? Wear it with confidence and have FUN!
Dress & veil - The Collection
Hair & makeup - Annette Rose
Shoes - Badgley Mischka
Watch & necklace - his family heirlooms
Tennis bracelet - My Stella & Dot
Earrings - Macy's
Wedding bands - Reeds Jewelers
Flowers - Bluegrass Chic
Bridesmaid Robes: Sunset to Sunrise
More bride & groom portraits here.