Chapter Ten* …My Wedding Dress-Tent

I know it’s been a little while since I posted the last chapter, but I hardly have time to breathe these days, let alone sit down and write. But, I promised a friend last week that I would post the next one before the week was out, so here I am. :)

I last told you about choosing our wedding invitations and the “joy” of drafting our guest list. Once the invitations were chosen, there was really only one big task left–the dress hunt.

Now you may be wondering–what?!?! Only one big task left? What about the photographer? Cake? Flowers? DJ? YES. And I promise I didn’t leave anything out… but I’ll explain that later.

Now I am not really a fussy “girly-girl”. I hadn’t been planning my dream wedding since age 6–to be honest, I hadn’t ever thought much about it until it started happening. I knew that I needed a dress, but it certainly wasn’t really high up on my priority list. Weird, right? I have a confession: I did not try on a single wedding dress in a shop. Ever.

Well, when June hit, I knew I needed to find something. I was on a tight budget, and wasn’t terribly interested in paying $1000 for a dress that I was only going to wear for a few hours then stuff in my closet for the next 50 years. So, I started looking at styles on the internet and decided that I wanted something simple and fun, but elegant at the same time. And then I found it–it was BEAUTIFUL. A floor length, white satin, Oriental-inspired dress. No frills, no bigness–it was just simple and pretty. Just what I wanted, right?

And here was the best part: I could order it right then off the store’s site! It was an American store, so it was really the best option, right?

Tip: Never, ever buy your wedding dress off the internet.

I showed my mom who also loved the dress, so she helped me take my measurements and we put in the order. I was SO excited…I couldn’t believe how EASY it had been!! I knew friends of mine had taken MONTHS to find their dress, and I had found mine in half an hour. I was a wedding superstar.

We ordered it by some express shipping option that guaranteed that I’d have it, well, expressly. haha! And so, I waited, and waited… and sure enough, after a few days we got the notice that a parcel needed to be picked up. I was SO excited. My wedding dress! My mom and I ripped through the packaging and then there it was… my beautiful white satin Oriental-inspired dress.

Let’s pause for a second here: anyone who has seen my wedding pictures knows that I was not married in a white satin Oriental-inspired dress. Here is why:

As I gingerly picked up the dress out of the box and held it up to the light, my mom got a funny expression on her face. I was concentrating more on her than on the dress, so I said,

Me: “Mom! What is it? Don’t you like it?”

Mom: “Oh, of course I do! Just… doesn’t it look a little, well, big, to you?”

Me: “What are you talking abou…”

I turned to get a better look at the dress… which was more like a tent. I held it against my body and saw that it was not just big, it was huge. I was able to put it on over top of my clothes, and my mom probably could have fit in there too! haha! My mom immediately retrieved the confirmation sheet which confirmed that we had input all the sizes correctly. I immediately de-tented and got on the phone with the company who assured me that they had indeed sent me the size I had asked for.

As my mom and I looked at the dress-tent in the box I had no idea what to do. I briefly considered altering it, but the alterations would have probably cost more than the dress itself. I also thought about returning the dress and trying to guess at another size, but that seemed too iffy and the company wasn’t terribly helpful. So, in the end, we decided to repackage it and send it back which left me at square one, once again.

By now it was the end of June and I had less than 2 months until the wedding and I had no dress. But, as with most things to do with our wedding, a solution practically fell into my lap. Shortly after the wedding dress-tent fiasco, a friend of my mom’s asked her how the planning was coming along. I’m sure my mother shared with her my wedding dress-tent woes, and this saint of a woman brightly offered an amazing solution: I could borrow her daughter’s dress.

Never in my life had I ever even thought about this option–in fact, I didn’t even know it existed. But it worked out PERFECTLY. My mom came rushing home and tentatively suggested this option to me, and I was more than willing to at least look at the dress. So, she set up a time with her friend, and off we went to see the dress.

It was not at all what I had originally thought of–it was big, had beading, and a train, but it looked pretty on the hanger. So I thought, it couldn’t hurt to try it on, right? Well, after I squeezed myself in (her daughter was a little smaller than I was, which sent me on the “wedding dress diet” haha) and looked in the mirror I knew that this was my dress. It was not at all what I imagined, but it was perfect. :) And, to be honest, in the end I liked it SO much more than my original wedding tent-dress.

My mom’s friend (and her daughter) were more than happy to loan me the dress, and it was absolutely 100% free. We cleaned it, and touched it up a bit, but other than that it was a HUGE cost-savor, and now I don’t have to store a big box in my closet for the rest of my life. YAY! haha! (I am aware that there are other options for old wedding dresses available… but you know.)

I’ve included photos below this that shows you the back of the dress–no closeups until I actually get to the wedding day post, so you’ll have to wait! And would you like to know the coolest part about the dress? It was SO “Shop Girl friendly”…see all those detailed buttons? It was actually a ZIPPER. SERIOUSLY! But that’s not even the best part… my dress had a decent sized train, as you can see in the second picture. Are you ready for this?? …it was VELCRO. I kid you not. As in you could remove it without all the hassle and take SO much weight off your dress (wedding dresses are often quite heavy, in case you didn’t know!).

And so, although I didn’t get to wear my beautiful white satin, Oriental-inspired dress-tent, I was oh, so happy with this one. :)

(You can click on pictures to enlarge them)


Shop Girl*

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