Tag Archive | alterations

Obligatory How I Found My Wedding Dress Post

Since I kept Evie (remember how I named her?) a secret from all of you until after our wedding I figured it’s only fair to explain how I found her, and most of all share photos of our alterations journey together!

To recap, I bought her at the Wedding Shoppe, Inc., back in June of 2012 with Mom Sword, Sister Big Eyes, Auntie B, and BM L Dawg in attendance. There were some tears and I had the “this is the dress” feeling so I considered it a successful day! After a week of disappointing appointments and knowing I was heading back home to Chicago in two days, I was so thrilled to have found my wedding gown!

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Iain's camera 188

This dress is the epitome of glamorous in my eyes.  It’s sexy on top and fit for a princess on the bottom.  It’s dramatic and a little crazy (like me) and it was actually really easy to wear all day!  It was very comfortable and my favorite part was lifting up the bottom of the dress and feeling like I was being swallowed up by the ruffles.

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Naturally everyone wanted to get in on the lifting of the ruffles, or make fun of me, either way I didn’t mind.  I’d found my dress!  So you can imagine my surprise and frankly, disgust, when I first tried it on again in October.  It was so wrinkled and ill-fitting (hard to tell in the photo below), and it was far from glamorous.

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This is one of the few pictures taken from my first fitting and there’s no need to go into all that again.  You can tell by my face in the mirror that I am NOT happy.

Fast forward to my fittings with our family friend L, a five-pound weight loss, a steamed dress, and you’ll see me as a happy bride-to-be!

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We ended up taking in the sides where it hit my legs and everyone warned me that dancing would be difficult but I’ve always preferred my clothing to be body hugging and I’m here to report I danced the entire night without a problem in my tight fit and flare gown!  🙂

The second fitting (first time looking at alterations) was where we discovered the veil I’d borrowed from Mrs. Archer didn’t match my ivory dress at all (I was so sad)!  Luckily, L had a bit of ivory tulle lying around her sewing room and she ended up making me the beautiful veil you’ll see in all of my photos.  We did something a bit different by making a small poof at the top of the veil to sit behind my tiara. I can’t wait to show you guys the way it looked in the professional photos!

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I chose to do a three-point bustle.  It was pretty simple (or so I hear), the most difficult part being finding where the hooks were located.  The best part about having a jagged, ruffled bottom was that I could bustle my gown for our rainy pre-ceremony photos without wrinkling my dress, which was then un-bustled for the ceremony and then bustled again for the reception.  Phew, that’s a lot of bustling!

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Sister/MOH Big Eyes practicing the bustle days before the wedding!

Sister/MOH Big Eyes practicing the bustle days before the wedding!

I practiced walking down the hallway and family friend L told me to remember to keep my head up anytime I was walking, she said it’s so awkward when brides stare at the ground the whole time worried about tripping on their dress.  The many layers of my gown made walking tricky at first but by the end of alterations it was the perfect length.

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Wedding planning trip in Feb- final 005

I could stare at the back of my dress forever but alas it’s time to say goodbye… for now… I am so incredibly LUCKY that I get to do a wedding gown photo shoot with my sister after her Big Day in June. I can’t wait to wear Evie in some warmer weather and take some cool shots next to my lovely sister.  And don’t worry I’ll definitely be sharing our Rock the Frock Sister Shoot with the hive!

(all photos personal)

Did you go through a love/dislike process with your wedding dress too?  How did your alterations go?  Who else is obsessed with RUFFLES!?!

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It Fits!!!

You know what I’m talking about, my wedding dress.  My wedding dress fits and she fits well.

This is a big.deal.  Last time I tried on my dress I had a meltdown.  Needless to say, I had some nerves going into this appointment.  Fortunately, the whole atmosphere of this appointment was different.  We have a family friend doing the alterations (we’ll call her L) and she takes appointments in her home.  A home I used to play in as a kid.  It was relaxed, casual, and took place in the late evening.  My other appointment was fast, impersonal, and took place at the end of a Friday when everyone (understandably) just wants to go home.

Plus, I had a new bra.  The main reason my dress didn’t fit the first time was due to the bra they sold me when I purchased my gown.  I really did LOVE my consultant from the Wedding Shoppe, Inc. but she didn’t know bras at all, and I was sorely misguided.

So this time I went to a bra specialist at a store called {intimacy} in Chicago.  This place was amazing!  I scheduled an appointment and explained to the girl exactly what I was searching for and she brought me two options, one of which was perfect.  Going this route was a bit pricier than buying from a department store or even a bridal salon, but I’ll be able to wear the strapless bra again, and it’s worth the price to avoid pulling up the top of my dress all night.  Plus, because it fits tight to my body instead of adding unnecessary bulk, it makes my dress fit even better and that’s priceless to me.

My modesty left me long ago so for those interested, here is my miracle bra.

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But a good bra wasn’t the only reason my dress fit better. Below is the face of relief.  It’s not a pretty face, but it’s a real face.

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Hive, it’s amazing what 5 pounds can do.  Do not underestimate the 5 lb weight loss.  Things shift, your face is less swollen, and overall you just feel better.

I know I’m never going to be a size 2, I know I’ll always be curvy (thankyouverymuch), and I have zero delusions about drastically losing a ton of weight for just one day.  But you can eat less, eat better, and feel better for your wedding if you so desire.  We all want to look our best on our wedding day, we want to love our photos, and we want to feel amazing, and in my opinion that’s worth some lifestyle changes.

For me, it’s not about exercise.  My back doesn’t allow me to do the things that most people do to lose weight.  My most recent weight lose was done by portion control, lots of fruit and veg, and tons of walking.

I am also trying to focus on working out my arms and getting rid of my arch nemesis, upper back fat, but I do this by way of resistance bands and planks in my own living room.  I don’t go to the gym anymore, I was advised to avoid running at all costs, and even my workout DVD’s stay on the shelf these days because they aren’t worth the nerve pain they shoot down my legs.  For me, it’s more important to be able to walk down the aisle pain-free than to look skinny.

That said, it is possible!  (And no one eats as many desserts as me, trust me, no one.)  Due to a stomach bug post-Christmas, I’ve managed to lose almost another 5 lbs, much to the chagrin of family friend L.  🙂  We’ll see if I can keep it off now that I’m eating normally again.

(all photos personal)

Anyone else lose a small amount of weight but notice a big difference in how their wedding dress fits?  Evie and I are buddies once again.  I’m getting so excited for March!  How are your fittings going?

…What a Weekend Baby: Miss Sword Has a Meltdown

This is the last installment in my series (my apologies if you’re ready for me to move on by now).

That said, if you want to read what else happened during my “My Wedding Dress Doesn’t Fit and I Feel Crazy But My Shower Rocked, What a Weekend Baby” posts, then you can catch up now!

First, I showed off my White House Black Market shower dress, then I booked a florist and forced Sister Big Eyes and Mom Sword to make tartan fabric boutonnieres, and finally I shared all about my shower!

As I’ve already shared the good, it’s time to progress to the bad and the downright ugly.

My dress, lovingly referred to as Evie, arrived in late August, but I wasn’t able to schedule an appointment to pick her up until October.  NO PROBLEM.  Mom Sword and I showed up at 5 PM snagging one of the last appointments of the day.  I was a wee bit hangry which put me off to a bad start but BM L Dawg had encouraged me to skip on a  pre-fitting snack and I’m glad she did!

This is what I looked like before my appointment:

This is what I looked a mere ten minutes later:

Evie didn’t zip up Hive.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Here’s the whole (ugly) story:

When I first ordered my dress I was encouraged to buy a strapless bra that would be sewn into the dress to keep the MN twins in check.  Well, both bra and dress were in my room when I arrived so I put on the strapless bra first and slipped into my gown.

But when the girl tried to zip up my dress, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.  She tried really hard but there was no way it was going to zip up to the top.  I feel like I’ve lived through every bride’s worst nightmare and I’ve come out a better person on the other side (said in a sappy, melodramatic voice).

The thoughts running through my head were, This isn’t happening to me!  MY dress is a size bigger than the sample dress which FIT LIKE A GLOVE.  Could the sample have stretched out that much?  Damn my huge boobs, back fat, and wide Scandinavian rib cage!  Damn them all!  To make matters worse I was having my monthly girl thing and I’m sure the extra bloating wasn’t helping my case.  Ugh.

The panic started to set in as the girl helping me went to get the alterations lady.  Mom Sword was sitting quietly on the couch feeling terrible for me, and that’s when the tears started to fall.  There was no way I was going to ask them to take out my dress!  When the alterations lady arrived she suggested we try it without the strapless bra saying that it was a terrible bra with really weird cups that were most likely adding to the problem.  So we went bra-less and relief upon relief, Evie zipped up!

But it was too late to stop the meltdown, because things got even worse.  As I stared at my dress it struck me how wrinkled disheveled it looked.  In my hangry, fragile, and period-driven state, I was starting to doubt why I’d chosen this dress in the first place!

Then I noticed A FLAW.  On the right hip of my dress a small part of the ruched fabric was puffing up.  It looked like there was extra fabric there or that it had been stretched or pulled because while the left hip lay flat, the right side looked like crap.  Of course the alterations lady didn’t believe  me at first and kept trying to calm me down instead.  I’m sorry, but I hate being told to relax, it’s my pet peeve!  I’m an emphatic and intense person, and people have been telling me to me to relax my entire life and all I wanted was some compassion, not someone glossing over things and making me feel like a freak for getting upset!

Anyway, she started to say that a good steaming/pressing would fix the problem on the right side.  On the exterior I was trying to be understanding but on the interior I was getting even more upset!  It’s a flaw!  How could she not see it?!?!  I begged Mom Sword for some support but Mom Sword doesn’t know dresses all that well, and said from far away it wasn’t visible, but as she got closer she could see the imperfection on the right hip.  Just when I was beginning to feel like I was in a dream and clearly imagining things, the alterations lady said she’ll pin the fabric in question down and then sew it, and we’ll be able to pick up the dress in a week’s time.

Excuse me?  Does this mean you’re agreeing with me?  She even went to steam the dress to show me how the wrinkles would come out (they were so bad), and my guess is IF she could have steamed out the flaw, she would have, but it looks like she couldn’t.

When we went to the front desk to schedule the pickup they asked when I could come back and I said, “I can’t!  I live in Chicago; I won’t be back until December!”  We decided Dad Sword and MOH/Sister Big Eyes would pick up the dress the following week.  I asked Sister Big Eyes to try it on for me so she could assess how it looked even though she hadn’t been there to see the flaw in the first place.  It was my best option!

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I’m happy to report that the dress was picked up this past weekend and it looks beautiful.  I wish I could say I was 100% happy now, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve fallen out of love with my dress.  I just feel so annoyed with myself for barely fitting her, and I’m frustrated with the delicate fabric and its haphazard look.  I’m sad that I didn’t smile very much when I was wearing her, I’m pissed I started off on such a terrible note, and I’m angry with society (and myself again) for all the pressure I feel to love my dress.

I love my groom more than anything and that’s all that matters, right?  My relationship with Evie is a work in progress, like any relationship I guess.  In the end it was a bit of a blessing that she didn’t fit me well, because if she was too loose, I’d have gotten overly comfortable and relaxed. I would have become less diligent about what I ate, and I might not have had a good fitting come December.

While that whole experience was really difficult, I feel like I learned a lot.

1. Don’t go to your appointment hangry.  Or bloated (although there’s not much you can do about that).

2. Try to look your best so you FEEL your best.

3. Set the expectations bar super low.

4.  Keep in mind that EVERYTHING is super tight and tiny in the bridal industry.

5. Remember your groom loves you for the size you are, and that size is not just a good size, it is the right size for you in that moment.

Mom Sword even got me to chuckle during my meltdown because she started laughing hysterically at me when through my tears I asked her to get a few photos for the blog.  I knew this would be a good story and I want to make a real effort to share the not-so-good parts of wedding planning as well as the sunshine-y moments.  So yea, I was thinking of Weddingbee during this moment:

The good news is I am going to have a family friend do my dress alterations and that already makes me feel more comfortable!  Evie is currently hanging in a closet in my parent’s house and I’m hoping our next meeting goes a lot smoother!  🙂

(all photos personal)

So, that’s my story.  What’s yours?