August 2, 2008

on the story of my dress...

The wedding-dress comeback!

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to break out my wedding dress. Because, you know, it's not like I had anything else to do. (i.e. clean the shower that I say I'm going to clean every week but somehow always manage to put off because cleaning the shower makes me physically angry) Anyway, I pulled down the box in the garage that I had ceremoniously shoved my dress into when we moved into the duplex, and found it packed neatly inside. Aside from being a wee bit wrinkled (what do I expect when my idea of safekeeping is shoving a wedding dress into a cardboard box?) it was in great shape. There were a couple spots on the front of it from the reception (or perhaps our detour to Taco Bell on the way to the hotel from the reception) - but, otherwise, it still looked great.

I ran inside and held it up in front of me. I squinted at the dress. I pondered the width of the bodice. I assessed my current girth. I internalized whether or not I was going to throw a fit if I couldn't fit into it. (It's a good thing that I didn't do this several months ago. Because after not being able to zip up the dress, I would have most likely been seriously upset and driven straight to the Salvation Army and left it there in a fit of self-loathing. Or just shoved it back into the cardboard box. One of the two, definitely.)

Luckily, it fit.

It took me a few extra seconds to zip up the top of the bodice but it did go all the way. Then, I immediately fell in love with my dress all over again. I scared the hell out of my husband when he came home from work, but it was worth it. He's all, "Um, what are you doing?" And I'm all, "Don't I loook beeeauutifulll?" I even went outside to move my car in it. Because I apparently wanted attention. Badly.

But, really. I love my dress. I want to wear it all the time now. Like, all the time - you don't understand. Heading to the gym? Put on the dress. Dinner at El Torito? Put on the dress. Cleaning the shower? Aw, who am I kidding. I'll never clean the shower. (Honestly, though, I really want to do some sort of a photo shoot in my dress. Just for the heck of it. And because I didn't have a really great wedding photographer, which is a little sad.)

To get the full picture, let me share with you my dress story:

I must preface this by saying that I was certainly a girl who grew up thinking I'd end up with a huge puffy wedding dress that bore a striking resemblance to a pile of white frosting. However, when the time came to actually plan my wedding, and I started looking into the cost of things, I had to sort of figure out what mattered most to me. And when it came down to it, the dress wasn't at the top of the list. I know for some brides, finding the perfect dress (no matter the cost) is the ultimate goal. For me? I knew that I was going to feel beautiful no matter what I ended up with. And I certainly wasn't willing to fork over $3,000 for my dream dress. (I'm one of five marriageable daughters, remember? Money was certainly a huge part of the equation.)

Since my mom and sisters were states away during my wedding planning mayhem, one of my aunt's was kind enough to cart me around while I was looking for a dress. We heard about a Jessica McClintock outlet in the area, and figured that should be our first stop. We began browsing the racks, but nothing really stood out to me. Even though I was being a cheapskate, I really wanted something that stood out to me. Before we left, I went and took a quick look at the super-mega-clearance rack. There were several tacky, sequined gowns in the mix, and then I saw it. At the very end was an ivory, strapless gown. It was one size too big and had a broken zipper. And it was ten dollars.

I called my aunt over, and we laughed over the prospect of a $10 wedding dress. Can you imagine? How silly would that be? Har har. Then we looked at each other and knew I had to try it on.

They say that often times, the first dress you try on is the on you end up with. In my case, this is true. My broken-zippered, slightly large, clearance-priced, $10 dress was the one. As I saw myself in the mirror, I saw visions of the dress in all it's perfection. It was one of those "Charlie Brown and his Christmas tree" moments. And my aunt and I decided that we truly couldn't pass up this dress, even if I ended up going with a different dress later on. So, I did it. I purchased my wedding dress for the price of two Carl's Jr. value meals.

It took a few alterations, and it was perfect. (The alterations were priced entirely too high, but what can you expect with anything wedding related? It's madness.) On my wedding day, I felt beautiful, as I knew I would.

My only regret is the fact that I trusted the wedding coordinator with my cleavage. In some of my wedding photos I'm all, "Um, busting out much lately?" I should have known, though. Considering that at a certain point, the wedding coordinator looked me straight in the eye and said, as her hands dove down the front of my dress, "Don't worry. I know what I'm doing. I used to do Renaissance fairs." Hence the startling amount of cleavage I didn't know I was capable of. On my wedding day. My apologies to the children.

So, that's my wedding dress story. I expect all you other married ladies to share with us your dress story. And go ahead and find your dress and admire it in all it's glory. The poor thing doesn't get nearly enough air time.


  1. What a great story! Mine was 'last season' so it was majorly discounted. And it was the second dress I tried on :)

  2. That is such a fun story! I hope that when I get married and am dress shopping I can find a dress with a great story too. And I will definitely wear it around the house for years to come. :)

  3. That story is awesome! And um, how cute is your house? Seriously.

  4. I'm glad you were able to please your inner cheapskate. But a $10 wedding dress??? That's insane!!

    P.S. Your house is beautiful.

  5. Love the dress!! So awesome that it was only $10!!

  6. i love finally hearing the story! you've made mention of the $10 wedding dress, but it's such a cute story!

    i'm like you, there is NO WAY in heck i'd be spending 3k on a DRESS. i mean, i'm all for looking pretty and all, but it's a dress.

    you still look amazing in it!

  7. I didn't realize you walked around in it! You nerd. Hahaha.

  8. I love that story! So perfect.

    You are adorable.

  9. $10?!?! That is the best wedding dress story ever! So hilarious! I love it.

  10. Wow! That is one nice $10 dress!!
    My mom made my dress, and we went shopping knowing that, and just went to get an idea of what I wanted. I didn't end up finding the one that I loved so we pulled things I loved from different dresses.
    I knew I wanted a lace dress but there were none in the stores when I wanted one. So I was lucky that my mom was able to make my dress the way I wanted it. I must have been ahead of the times though because when I went dress shopping with my older sister this year there were lace dresses left right and centre.
    Sorry for the long comment!

  11. So...Mark and I got married at the courthouse in a very nonchalant manner. My wedding "dress" was a khaki skirt and a black button down shirt.... looking back on it now, I would probably wear a different shirt - but I completely love the skirt and wear it quite frequently.

    Sometimes I wish that we had had a more conventional wedding - with a white dress and flowers... but there's something special about getting married under the stairs, in front of a mural of native americans in the courthouse....I'll post pictures one of these days....

    Your dress is beautiful - much akin to what I would have had - and Congrats on fitting into it!! That's something to be proud of! *Sorry for the long comment...

  12. What a fabulous wedding dress story! One day (perhaps on my anniversary) I'll post my wedding dress story!

    You do look great in your gown! What a steal. :o)

  13. That is so awesome!! I've posted how I got my dress for free (unless you count a serious ego beating as payment), but we did have mine altered as well (seriously altered.. it completely changed the look of the dress). The alteration was actually reasonable for mine and the woman who did it was so sweet it counteracted my horrendous gm-in-law. But we had to have mine cleaned beforehand because it had gotten dragged across the gm's flower shop and all dirty, and that is what ended up costing more than the alterations.

    btw you rock for wearing your wedding dress. I'm definitely picturing you cleaning in it like here

  14. Aww, your wedding dress looks absolutely stunning & I love it even more finding out that you spent 10 dollars on it (!!!).

    You gotta love Jessica McClintock. I got my first homecoming dress at one of their mega blowout sales. This dress is absolutely stunning... fit like a glove, & was 15 dollars. :] & like you, I wish I had a reason to wear it -- my homecoming dress, I mean. I put it on once & wished I needed to go somewhere that required a ball gown. Sigh, to no avail.

    You've already seen & heard the story of my wedding dress. =] It's one of my most favorite things to tell.

    PS; you have a beautiful house! Every picture you've taken it looks like you're in Ikea. You decorate it so well...

  15. how hilarious, I can't believe you got it for $10 what a deal. I was impressed with myself for getting my dress at for $400, I definitely agree that dresses don't get as much use or attention as they should- so you go girl for wearing it around. And kudos for still fitting in it.

  16. holy cow! ten bucks, that is fantastic! and i do have to agree, that i too bought the first dress i tried on, it was perfect.

  17. My dress was a little more than $10 but I absolutely loved it. I really felt like the most beautiful girl in the entire world. It was the first dress I tried on, and I fell in love at first sight. I tried on like 50 more and just couldn't get over the first one. Loved it!!

  18. I still remember that dress hanging in your bedroom at your grandparents house, and I was shocked beyond belief that you found it for $10. I also remember lecturing you to keep trying things on, just in case. I was so glad that this one worked out though! You looked amazing. And yes, I remember that freaky lady shoving her hands down your dress to fondle your boobs. Holy crow. You should tell the story of your crazy wedding day!

  19. I wore my aunt's wedding dress. It was FREE! And absolutely gorgeous. She'd had it altered and it fit me like a glove.

    I'm lucky she was also petite and short like me. :)

    It was totally the first dress I tried on, as well. It was such a relief! A free dress!

    I'm all about the bargain shopping. :)

  20. it's so beautiful!! I cannot believe that is was only $10. Wow, what a BARGAIN. I can just imagine how happy that made you and your little bargain-obsessed self (by the way, I am not poking fun at you, because I am EXACTLY the same way). You look just lovely.
    You totally made me want to go try mine on and take picture now too, but I am almost positive that it would not fit me at this point. :( But, I have a goal for after this baby is born, and then you are all going to see me in my wedding dress! :)

  21. I love that you were wearing your wedding dress around the house -- you are so cute! And the dress looks stunning on you! I love how simple and classic it is. How amazing that you got it for $10! That's too cool. And omg, so hilarious that the wedding coordinator gave you lots o cleavage. Oh man! I'm sure your man liked it!

  22. I can't believe you found that for only $10! Such an amazing story!!

    I would love to be able to fit into my dress again...I'm too scared to even try right now! Props for wearing it around with no fear :)

  23. okay that is an awesome dress story, i only hope i can be so lucky when my time comes, haha. and i love the dress, it's gorgeous on you :)

  24. you are TOO CUTE! My dress is at my parents' house in some kind of archival box. Boring!

  25. Oh my god! I love this story! I'm also really jealous because I want to have a wedding dress story!

  26. This was such a cute story! I will have to blog my own dress story someday though it's not nearly as cute as yours. It only took me about 10 minutes to find my dress. Hm, that pretty much sums up my entire dress story. I should rethink the blog post.

  27. first of all, that's awesome you got out the dress, put it on, and kept it on long enough to enjoy it again. also, that dress story rocks! thanks for sharing!

  28. Wow, $10. That is awesome. I just found my wedding dress and it was the first one I tried on as well. It is definitely beautiful.


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