I had wedding dress appointments set up for Dec 17th for everyone to attend, but it was morning of Black Friday when my parents kinda convinced me that the 3 of us should just go take a look. So I thought, "Okay, I probably won't find it, but I'll go browse." I wanted to start looking early, because being in the industry in addition to being a wardrobe stylist, I wanted something different so it was going to take awhile for me to find it...so I thought. As a stylist, I know what looks good on people when it comes to body shape, but no clue for myself. I'm short, have hips, and have a thick Puerto Rican body <--for all my Hispanic readers, you know what I'm talking about! I knew that a dropped waist would be great on me, because I could show off those hips. I really wanted something with 3/4 sleeves or cap sleeves since I'm not too confident in my arms. However, I wanted to try a ballgown (nothing too poofy) as well. I had found this dress on Pinterest in which I absolutely fell in love with! It just seemed like ME: classic, but had a trendy look to it. See below. Again this is from Pinterest so I'm not sure who makes this dress otherwise I would be giving props and credits to this designer all the way!!
Some things I knew I didn't want was a mermaid or trumpet dress since they're hard to sit in, walk in, and with me having thick Puerto Rican thighs, it just wasn't going to happen. I wasn't for strapless, but if I had to get it I would. I knew I didn't want taffeta, because it's such a stiff fabric and it won't stay NOT wrinkled. I knew I didn't want a lot of beading or something flashy. And I didn't want something heavy, because being small, well, you get what I'm getting at: #shortgirlproblems. I knew I loved lace and how classic it was, as you can tell from the picture above. I knew that I wanted ivory, but not the ivory that looks yellow. I wanted more of the champagne looking ivory and I was fine with the blush color, just as long as it wasn't too pink.
How did I decide on all of this? Because my venue was made up of more cream's and neutral colors. I also know how tan I get in the summer and those colors look great with my skin tone. I originally wanted white, but like I mentioned my venue was more neutral. Remember in a previous post when I said that the venue was the key ingredient to planning everything and how it sets the tone? It does even for a wedding dress believe it or not ;) I also knew that with the styles I was interested in, the lace, and the shape of the dresses would work with the venue too!
Another BIG thing I knew is that I didn't really have a budget for a dress and by that I meant that I didn't know what I was comfortable spending. I knew I wouldn't want to spend over $2,000, but I also didn't want to spend that much either. I would be fine with spending a few hundred. I just had no clue. I thought, "Why don't we shop cheaper for now instead of going to the bridal stores first since they'll be more expensive?" I didn't want to find a dress that was super expensive and then not be able to get it because of the price. A LOT of my brides have made that mistake. It's better to go cheaper and work your way up, unless of course the sky's the limit for the dress, then by all means go for it! So I decided that we would go to Bride To Be Consignment in Bloomington first just to get ideas.
I started to go through the racks and I actually felt bad because the bridal consultant came up to me and asked what I was looking for and I told her. However, I added on that I was a wardrobe stylist and an event planner so I knew what I wanted to try on and didn't want to try on. So basically I was telling her that she wouldn't need to pull anything for me. I felt like I was rude, but I didn't want her to waste her time :/ Whoops! So if that consultant is reading this blog right now, although I told you I'm sorry and said I'm not trying to be rude already, I'm saying it again.
So I quick searched through the dresses like you wouldn't believe. It was probably the fastest shopping spree you would have ever seen (haha, that kinda rhymes)! My dad was actually laughing at me, because I kept saying, "No, no, no, no, no" while I was shifting through the racks. Either they were too yellow looking, the fabric was wrong, had too much beading, etc. I found 2 and then I saw one on the end of the rack when I turned the corner. I was like, "Oh this is pretty and it looks kinda different", but I was on the fence. My dad said, "Just try it on." So I grabbed it. Now we were at 3 dresses. I saw another one that I had seen before, so I grabbed that. Now we were at 4.
Hint: With consignment stores, you can't order the dresses in your size, it's "as is." Also, with the sizes, DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED! I don't know why this is and I haven't looked it up because I just already accepted the fact, but if you're a size 6 in a party dress you will NOT be a size 6 in a wedding dress. You're looking more at a size 10-12. That's the truth. It's just the way wedding dress sizing is. So for the brides out there, please do not feel "overweight" because that is ridiculous.
So I tried on 2 dresses, which if I remembered correctly they were both Maggie Sottero's (one of my favorite wedding dress designers). They just weren't it. I tried on the 3rd dress which was another Maggie dress and there was something about it - this was the one that was end of the rack that I was on the fence about, but my dad quickly changed my mind. My parents both started to cry. I tried on the 4th dress, which was on the one I had seen before, and it was too much like the other dresses I have seen in the past. I went back to #3 and sat in it for another 45-55 minutes (I felt so bad for the bridal consultant - I've been in her shoes before and it can get frustrating and restless). I just couldn't decide. My parents kept telling me that it was my dress and continued to cry. I looked at the price tag and although it wasn't expensive, it was more than I was expecting and comfortable with.
The fiance and I had chatted before I went and talked about how we would buy it so I was trying to get a hold of him at work to give me the credit card - yes, I decided it was "the dress". My dad looked at me and started to cry and said, "I know we can't help you in other parts of the wedding planning financially, but I want to do this for you. Please let me buy it for you. It will make me happy." I will never forget that moment. My parents aren't well off by any means, so I didn't want to stretch them too thin. I wanted to cry because I didn't want him to pay for it. We sat there for another 10 minutes and I finally gave in - plus it was a Maggie Sottero dress, my favorite wedding dress designer, so it was meant to be, right? ;) I could see how much it meant to him. Still bugs me to this day, but what are you going to do.
Another thing that bugged me was that I didn't get emotional when I made the decision like my parents did. I also didn't get "the feeling" when I bought my dress. It was getting to my head, and still does to this day. Was it because I'm in the industry so I've seen all kinds of dresses? Was it actually, "the dress"? I kept apologizing to my parents, which that made me emotional more so. They said it's okay, not everyone gets "that feeling." Leading up to the dress shopping, I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I just wanted to buy it and be done with that portion of the wedding planning. This was me thinking, an event planner, wedding planner, wardrobe stylist! Why though? I talked with my parents again and they said, "It's fine! Not everyone has the same feelings," once again. I was calming down slowly but surely since that advice was coming from my parents, but I still think about it till this day that I feel so bad for not getting emotional with them. I didn't want my parents thinking I wasn't appreciative or what have you. In the end, it's okay to not have "that feeling". So if any of y'all feel this when you go dress shopping, just know..it's okay :)
So obviously I can't show y'all my dress as much as I want to. The fiance doesn't read this blog unless I read it to him, but you just never know. So y'all will have to wait and see when I post the pics after the wedding and honeymoon. Sorry, not sorry ;)
So bridesmaids dresses. So a little obstacle popped up. Remember a few posts ago about the colors we wanted and I was inspired by a specific floral arrangement on Pinterest? Well, I was basing my bridesmaid dresses off the floral arrangements and what color I should pull out from it. We knew that we were doing a light navy blue for the guys, so we wanted to make sure that the 2 colors complimented each other. Well, I never received photos about the floral arrangement (that will come in a later post). So I had to just choose. Yes, we have tons of time, but we also are super busy in the summer and we want to enjoy it. We don't want to be hunkered down doing wedding planning stuff. Personal goal is to be done with almost everything in April. Anyways, back to my bridesmaid dresses. So I thought of doing the dark purple and then there was burgundy. As y'all know from my past post, I LOVE burgundy in the fall. So I looked at everyone's skin tones (being the wardrobe stylist I am) and I just decided that burgundy just looks good on everyone! Whelp, that was easy!
Another thing y'all know about me is that I don't like matchy-matchy stuff. So one of my fashion staff members went shopping and found a bunch of burgundy dresses in all different styles from Lulu's. If you don't know about Lulu's, you must! I chose online stores instead of a bridal shop because all my girls are on budgets and I didn't want them to spend a fortune. It's just a dress. I also wanted to go online because most likely they would look like dresses they could wear again. Some might be able to dress them down and be casual in the spring time or summer while some might be a bit dressier so they can save it for another wedding or an event (ooo that's a good blog idea for my fashion company, how to reuse dresses or fancier items for everyday wear). Here is what she found:
As you can see, there are different shades, different textures, different sleeves, etc. which I'm okay with. Some brides would hate it, which is fine. Brides can do whatever they want for their wedding, it's THEIR wedding ;) The dresses will also look good on everyone's body shapes. The only ones I'm probably not going to move forward with are the 2 form fitting ones. I love them, but the sizing worries me. That has to fit like a glove since they're form fitting. It would be a lot of buying and returning until we got the correct size. You have to look at the midsection, the top, would it have to be taken in, taken out and by that I mean in only certain areas so it would end up being custom fit to their bodies. Too much work for my girls since they are all busy with their families, jobs, etc.
With the chiffon dresses, it's just the top that you have to look at the size since that's the only form fitting part. You can also see that I chose long dresses. Why? Because not everyone's legs are going to be perfect the day of. Some might have bruises, cuts, etc. I don't want our photographer to have to go through everyone and photo shop them. If your bridal party has awesome legs, meaning they never have bruises, scratches, or cuts, then go for it!! Love short dresses.
Hint: decide if you want the short dresses to be all the same length in the pictures or if you want them hitting a certain point on the girls. Just know if you choose option 2, the lengths will be different since everyone, just assuming, will be different heights.
So I sent these dresses to my bridesmaids and they let me know what they liked. Now I just have to print them out and see who likes what on paper, I'm a visual person can you tell? ;) I made it a deadline to decide on Feb 1st. I also gave the girls the option to go shopping, take a pic and send it to me. Sounds like no one is going to shop since these are steal of a deal dresses and my fashion staff member already did it for them. Easy peasy. I'll let you know what we went with on another mini post.
So on to the groomsmen. So as you know I wanted the bf to be in light navy blue. I just love the color and he looks HOTT in it ;) So I looked through Pinterest (surprise, surprise) to see what other people did for their suits when they had burgundy dresses. This is what I found and I knew I had to have the whole ensemble (is it weird that I got "that feeling" for the grooms suit, but not my dress?!? #Weird):
Groom suit: Just changing out the solid maroon tie with one that has small white polka dots on it to add a little texture
Groomsmen suit inspiration: No patterned shirt just a plain white shirt, maroon tie (patterned or not patterned, TBD), and a maroon pocket square
Try finding a wool vest though that isn't too high where the tie barely shows. We went shopping and either 1) the vest was too high like I mentioned, 2) they didn't have a wool vest, like I mentioned, 3) they didn't have a light navy blue suit to rent, 4) they had light navy blue suits to buy, but we knew that his buddies wouldn't want to spend more than $200, 5) the fabric was a "spring" type of fabric so a wool vest underneath would look weird, and 6) they didn't have the suit in a slim fit (I'm going for a more trendy, clean cut look). It's hard to find affordable suit that demonstrates all these elements.
So right now we are sitting with no suits picked out. This is exactly why I am planning early so I'm not freaking out closer to the time. Can you imagine what a bride would be feeling right now if it was about 3 months away from the wedding? CAN'T. EVEN. At least we know what we want, it just comes down to 3 things: Availability for renting this color, the fabric, and the wool grey vest. I'll keep y'all posted on this one too! But just so you have an idea of the ensemble and our shopping adventures, here's a sneak peek:
(See the vest? Ugh! It bugs me!)
So when you get to the point of your wedding dress or the bridal party's suits/dresses, just ask yourself: What are the body shapes you are dealing with? Can the guys wear slim fit or no? Are they bulky or slim? Are the girls tall? Do they have a mid-section? How do their arms and legs look? Is it going to be hot out or cold? Going for casual, trendy, dressy? What works with your venue? What body shape are you? What fabric works with your venue and your theme? There's a lot to think about, but it's all for a good cause ;) And this is exactly why we incorporate wardrobe styling in some of our wedding planning packages, ha!
So I think that's about it guys. This is a pretty lengthy blog post, whew! I'll be doing mini posts about what we decide on and why. So stay tuned!
Need help finding and deciding on your wedding dress? Need help deciding what to wear to your rehearsal dinner? Or maybe you need help when it comes to deciding on the bridesmaids dresses and/or groomsmen suits. Not only are styling services included in our full wedding planning and partial wedding planning packages, but we can offer it a la carte. Check out our fashion company at MHstyeconsultants.com or email us at MH.firstname.lastname@example.org
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