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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wedding: Shopping for THE Dress

A Cup of Tea and a Chat - Let's Talk About Weddings

Why hello lovelies! Quite some time ago, I started a "Wedding Wednesday" series where each week I shared some stories, inspirations, pictures and all that jazz. The series fell by the wayside as I was planning a wedding with no idea when it would be, when Jesse would be here and where we'd have it. 

Right now we're just 80 days away from the big day - so it's time we start talking weddings again. 

The lovely Kate, sent me an email this week reminding me that whilst I'd written about trying on my Mum's Wedding Dress, I'd never written about how I found my own wedding dress - so here we go!

Finding my dream dress - A-Net's Enchanted Dream, Lafayette Louisiana

My Wedding Dress journey started at a very cute aqua coloured building in Lafayette Louisiana. A few months earlier I'd found a dress online and had fallen in love. I dreamt about it, I though about it, I searched for it. 

Someone I was following had pinned a picture of the dress and it just happened to be on the home page as I opened Pinterest one day. I immediately saved it to my computer (versus pinning it so that no one could find out) and went on a search. 

At the time there was no where in Australia with that exact dress - and knowing that we'd be leaving for Louisiana soon, I decided I needed to find a store which stocked my dream dress. 

A-Net's Enchanted Dream popped up and I quickly emailed the girls to see if they had it in stock. They did! 

I booked an appointment for whilst we were in Louisiana, hoping Jesse wouldn't mind driving us all the way to Lafayette because I needed to try on this dress.

Finding my dream dress - A-Net's Enchanted Dream, Lafayette LouisianaFinding my dream dress - A-Net's Enchanted Dream, Lafayette Louisiana

Luckily, he didn't mind. We arrived at the store and I fell in love. It was the gorgeous mix of vintage, rustic, country, shabby chic that I love and there were hundreds of gorgeous dresses laid about. 

I'd hoped that my Mother In-Law, Marilyn, would be able to come with us, but unfortunately one of our nieces was in hospital and she was minding the other three girls and couldn't come with us. I knew if one of the girls was there, Jesse would know exactly what the dress looked like in about 0.034 seconds. 

So my Mum, Jesse and I walked into A-Net's Bridal where they quickly put Jesse out on the porch so I could try on my dress. We headed to the back dressing room which had a gorgeous old lounge, a hugeeeeeeeee ornate mirror and a gold Persian rug on the floor. The room itself made the process so much more special - it was grand and grown up and oh so exciting. I knew this was the same room that hundreds of other brides to be had found their dresses and the feeling was quite overwhelming. 

Finding my dream dress - A-Net's Enchanted Dream, Lafayette Louisiana

They brought in the dress I'd fallen in love with and another dress that was somewhat similar but white versus ivory (the only detail you're getting, sorry loves :P). 

I held the dress in my hands and fell even more in love. The fabric was lush - it looked even better in person and had so much detail. As I stepped my feet into the dress, my heart started pounding. 

I didn't look until my mum had zipped me into the dress and when I looked up into that big ornate mirror, it felt like someone was pushing right against my chest. My chest was tight, I had a lump in my throat and I knew I was right. 

"Wow Kristy... you were right" my Mum said. 

But whilst I had somewhat of a moment, it wasn't the moment. There was one thing that wasn't right - just a simple addition that would make it perfect. 

I was still very much in love and the girls at A-Net's assured me that my one little change could be easily made to make it perfect. I left the bridal salon with details in hand, knowing that I could order my dress from A-Net's and have it shipped to Australia if needed. 

Once we were back at Jesse's Mom's House I showed her the photos - and all she could say was "Oh Kristy, it's so pretty.. it's so beautiful... it's perfect... I wish I was there"

Continuing the Search for a Wedding Dress in Sydney Australia

Before I knew it, we were back in Sydney. We decided we should look at other dresses here in Australia before we decided that was the one as I had only tried on two dresses. I gathered my Mum, my sister and my beautiful Aunty Lyn and we headed out to Bridal Stores to look at dresses. 

I'd found a version of the original dress I tried on in Louisiana which had the slight change I needed - and I was sold.. It was the dress and I knew it without ever trying it on. We headed to one of "Sydney's Best Bridal Stores" which stocked the designer of the dress I'd fallen in love with - unfortunately not the dress.

Unfortunately that experience wasn't a good one. I tried on several dresses of different shapes just to get a feel for what I liked and didn't like - but my dress was still what I kept going back to. 

The woman who was helping us was rude and pushy and made me feel incredibly self conscious - all things you don't want to be feeling when trying on wedding dresses.

They could order in my dress but the woman was so rude I left knowing there was absolutely, positively no way I was ordering my dress from them - not even if it was my last option. 

I returned to the internet, searching for somewhere I could buy my dress online. A risky move? Yes. But the only affordable option I had. 

I found one place, researched it and found it was indeed genuine - even speaking to other brides who bought their dress from the same store. But the day I went to buy the dress? They no longer stocked it. They told me they wouldn't be bringing it in again and I was devastated. I called my Mum in tears, thinking I had no chance of getting my dream dress as the pushy lady at the Bridal Store told me it would be "too late" by that date. 

Luckily, I stumbled across one other site which could order in my dress. It was a risk - a bigggggg risk - but one I was willing to take. I hadn't spoken to any other brides who had ordered with the company and I didn't know if it would be all that they said it was. It was a business, based in the US which shipped worldwide through their online store - and they had sent me the papers from the designer which showed they were a genuine stockist. 

I took a risk and I ordered my dress.... and then I waited. I ordered it in a size up from what the evil Bridal Store lady had suggested as her measurements seemed wrong. As I have a bad habit of ordering clothes too big, my family thought it was a bad idea - but I stuck with my gut. 

The day my wedding dress arrived

A few months later after a bit of pushing to ensure they were sending it on time, the dress arrived - allbeit a few weeks late.

The box my wedding dress arrived in
The tiny box my
wedding dress arrived in
The box arrived via courier and my heart pounded. In fact, my heart dropped when I looked at the Barbie sized box. I freaked out when the box read: Polyester Bridesmaid Dress. 

"Mum! My dress is not polyester?! How can it fit in this box?! It's way too small!" I cannot tell you how I felt when I was opening that box. It was a horrible feeling of fear, dread, anxiety, sadness, worry and so many other emotions - I was scared out of my wits. 

I carefully cut the tape to open the box - and I spotted the first glimpse of the fabric. The fabric I had held all that time ago in Lafayette - and my heart started to sing. This was the right dress - but how the heck did they fit it in such a small box? Did I order the Barbie size? 

I pulled the dress from the box and it was the one - and it was in my size. We hung it up in our spare bedroom, with the door locked in case Jesse came home and we called my Aunty Lyn. I didn't want to try on the dress until she was there so we planned to head to her house that afternoon with the dress. 

trying on your wedding dress for the first time

The first time I tried on my dress, I didn't have "that moment". In fact, I went home doubting my choices. 

Why? I was having a super bad day - and it was a silly day to try it on! I urge all brides to be that the first time you try on your wedding dress, please make sure you're in a good mood! I was sick, suffering from a bloated and super sore stomach and I was in a foul mood. 
Totally not a good idea! 

After trying on my wedding dress
The second time I tried on my dress, I had that moment

Nieves had come to do my hair and makeup trial for the wedding. I felt good and I felt confident and I was so ready to try on the dress. 

I put my dress on and I walked to the full length mirror in my sister's room. I looked up for a single second and I burst into tears. Happy, joyful tears. 

Every single doubt I had washed away in a second. I had spent so many months wondering if I could ever look "like a Bride" because I just didn't feel like one.
Trying on that dress with my hair and makeup done, all of a sudden I saw myself as a Bride - and it was an incredible feeling. My Mum started crying and Nieves called out reassurance that "don't worry Kristy, it's waterproof!". I wished my Aunty Lyn was there but she was away overseas - so she'll just have to wait until the morning of the wedding when we're getting ready at her house - and I know there will be plenty of moments. 

I absolutely, positively cannot wait to show you all my dress after the wedding <3 

But tell me, 
If you're married, was your dress the first one you found - or did it take you a while? 
If you're yet to walk down the aisle, tell me about what you think your dream dress is! 

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  1. I got married a lot later than you.
    I was 45 & as a seamstress & costume designer I had designed & made a lot of wedding dresses & thought i knew exactly what I wanted.
    1930's long bias cut ivory dress.
    But when I was in Italy, just before my bloke proposed(he was meeting me in Paris, I was pretty certain it was going to happen), on the spur of the moment I bought 5m of the most delicate ivory silk organza. Something you could never make a slinky bias cut dress from.
    The previous year I had designed a production of Grease & fell in love with all the 50's dresses & suddenly I was looking at circle skirted, below the knee, cinched in waist with lace bodice. Me in a lace bodice? No way!

    I searched Rome, Florence, Prague, Paris & London for the lace, but nothing was just right. Then I found it at one of my 'go to' fabric stores in Hawthorn, tucked away & the back of a display cabinet. Genuine 1960's lace, delicate & the perfect matching shade of ivory.
    I finished it with vintage lace (from my Great Grandmother's stash) made into a belt that I hand beaded & vintage glass buttons (from my blokes Grandmother's sewing kit.) I wore a blue floral frilled petticoat & red satin shoes.

    1. What a lucky find! Your dress sounds absolutely amazing - oh how I wish I could sew and make my own dresses! (Handsewing is as far as I get as I'm terrified of sewing machines ;P)


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