Sam and Mark's Super Happy Wedding Funtime

Say Yes to the Dress

Posted on: June 15, 2012

When I was really sick last year I stayed home and watched every episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” available on NetFlix. Wedding dresses are a little silly. And brides who spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a dress they wear once, these women, these families, are effing crazy. But I watched them tear up and cry and hug and bridge generation gaps and have these moments that they would remember forever. And thanks to the power of television, be able to relive any time they felt like it.

And I cried with them (I had the flu!) and I laughed with them and I was so happy for them for finding this thing that brought them such emotion. And I was happy for myself that I would never, ever spend that much on anything. I was to practical. Too realistic. Too unsentimental for such trivial nonsense.

In the old days (of western culture),  if you were a a regular person, your wedding dress would just be your best dress. This was in a time when dresses were worn daily, so women had a best dress.  If you look to the past, the only people who wore gowns (and few were white) were nobility and they were showing off. Weddings were land deals and political maneuvers and you needed to put your money and power on display. Prominently.

Clever advertisers in post WWII America sold us on the idea of a big white ball gown. Just like De Beer’s sold us on forking over mad cash for a crazy diamond ring. The big white dress is a new thing. So getting all teary-eyed over tradition is just non-sense.

And yet anytime I’ve seen a friend in a stupid big white dress, I tear up.

So now that I’m faced with the prospect of getting my big white dress, I feel decidedly uneasy. Part of me thinks I should just find a really pretty dress, screw the word wedding, and be done with it. A nice party dress. Something I could wear AGAIN some day. Then there is another part of me, some weird twisted part of me that says no to this. This part of me is insisting I should forgo practicality and get a dress that screams (in my own special way) Wedding Dress. A dress I’ll only wear once. A dress that probably costs more that I am comfortable spending.

This is, of course, further complicated by my size. Most party dresses in my size are for older women on cruise ships. While, this may in the end fit the theme of my wedding (more on that later), I don’t think it fits my personal style.

These dresses scream “Isn’t that lovely, Mertyl?” and “I love shrimp cocktails” and “My what a fabulous buffet!” (Though, I do kinda like the gray one.) Overall, this is not what I want. I want a pretty, fancy dress, but these… these just are not right. I want something fun and fabulous and that doesn’t look like I pulled it off the “Mother of the Bride” rack at David’s. I’m the BRIDE, dammit! If I’m going to thwart tradition and avoid the this:

(though, it is lovely, isn’t it?)

Then I want to look really cool doing it. And chic. And young.  There, I said it, I want to look young. And like a bride. But a bride NOT in a wedding dress.

Practicality is probably not going to win this battle. Size will make it exceedingly difficult. And my own refusal to not wear a wedding dress but yet a wedding dress, is probably going to invoke some sort of stress spasm that may or may not require medication. In the end, it will be a gut feeling. Something will pull me and I’ll say “yes, that is it, that is the one.”

And I’ll probably get all teary-eyed and ridiculous.


11 Responses to "Say Yes to the Dress"

You would look beautiful in a potato sack (and those are much more economical). But I feel your pain. Also, it’s totally ridiculous, in my mind, that society has us brainwashed into thinking we need to go strapless (i saw a good article on this on, btw) Have you thought about getting something bespoke. You know, I was a costume design major, I could help you with sketches, inspiration pics. I feel like I know your style (classic) pretty well. xoxoxoxo

You are so, so, so wonderful. I think I showed you Plan A. But if I did not, I will when I see you. Which will hopefully be soon. If I end up not doing that one, then you and I are going to have to have a very long discussion involving A lines and silk. Plus I need your brain on some decoration ideas- once I have pictures of our venue, which should be sooooooooon. Think octopus playing violins and beluga whales in flowery hats.

Yay!!!!!!! I love decorating!!!!! I finally gave into pinterest 😦 Like, in an obsessive way. I love plan A. And actually, I think that the grey dress you have picture, cut to tea length, and in the color of periwinkle you want, with maybe some kate middleton-esque lace along the neckline, would do the ultimate trick. but i’m just thinking aloud. on a blog.

I like pinterest. But work blocks it so I’ve all but given up on it. I was going to try to use it to put together ideas, then I didn’t. Maybe I’ll pick it back up now that I have a venue and something more specifoc to work with.

I’m with Sarah — I was so, so happy that I had a friend design/make my wedding dress. It was really a reflection of me and we knew it’d look just right, and wouldn’t be cookie-cutter. Have you checked out Dolly Couture? Dolly has some gorgeous designs that can look more or less bride-y based on how you style them and they work well on a variety of bodies because of their super classic silhouettes. Plus, I think she can work in nonwhite fabrics if you want something off the white path. (My fave design of hers is the Beverlywood, for what it’s worth.)

And again I’m with Sarah because strapless is SUCH A PAIN IN THE NECK. This is why I insisted on a dress for straps at my own wedding. This lady wanted to DANCE and did not want to deal with any hateful contraptions (“the strapless bra”).

PS – People are funny about weddings. I love the idea of women not wearing white as brides…but when it came to brass tacks I wanted a white dress because it fit in my image of a wedding. Then I mentioned to Mike that I’d be wearing a tea-length dress and he was HORRIFIED that I didn’t want to wear something long. How funny that he had an image of what his future wife would wear, down to the length, but he did, and why shouldn’t he? It’s just the way our culture works on us, you know? (For the record, he came around on the tea-length dress and loved my gown so much.)

First- That *is* the exact dress I will most likely be wearing. In blue. You have excellent taste.
Second- wedding dresses are WEIRD. I keep thinking that they are ridiculous and yet, I still can’t give up wanting to wear something special. And a step above a special party dress. And I KNOW it is a damn racket, but it still pulls me in. Getting away from the visions of wedding are hard to do.
Third- A long white gown is torture. A long white strapless gown? Are you kidding me? I don’t want to dance (I’m just not a dancer) but the idea of wandering around in something like that gives me the willies (plus, though I am not a dancer, I totally am a dancer and I do enjoy the spontaneous happy dance, and those dresses are not made for spontaneous). I don’t have the figure for one of the sleeker versions, and even if I did, I’ve just never liked floor length things. They are beautiful, but not me. Even fancy me wants a little more swish.

I’m glad Mike came around because your dress was gorgeous. And the two of you looked absolutely perfect together.

The idea that someone I know might wear the Beverlywood fills me with glee. You don’t even have to get it. Just knowing that you even considered it is enough. Isn’t it dreamy?

(PS – If you need a crinoline recommendation, should you go with a Dolly dress, I loooove the people I worked with and I tried on several of them so I can give you a full report on poofiness levels vs length etc.)

Yeah, I just didn’t want to fight with my dress. Fighting with clothing is NOT PRETTY and you wanna be pretty. I was so fortunate to work with my friend; she was tremendous. Thank you for your sweet compliments! I’m not much of a girl so I brought up the idea of donating my wedding dress to one of those charities that helps out low-income ladies, or on one of those dress giveaways on budget wedding blogs…but Mike forbade me. He’s probably right that I should keep it since it was made just for me…and I also kind of love that he’s so sentimental about it. 🙂 I DO wear that bra I bought ALL THE TIME, as it turns out, and I use my hankies. Every time I blow my nose I remember my wedding! (ew?)

Yay to glee! I think the idea of not fighting with your clothes really hits the nail on the head- it isn’t fun, it certainly isn’t pretty. Who wants to spend a day uncomfortable when they should be celebrating? Not me!

I also might steal this hankies idea.

Also, i’m just gonna say it, i think most white, strapless wedding dresses are tacky. not all, but most. (this does not include any of my friends’ dresses who are reading this, i swear). kate middleton (with sarah burton for alexander mcqueen as her designer) is leading the way back into classy!

I am very pro classy. Very. 🙂

Kate, I agree! Strapless bras are for the birds! I also think SPANX suck. Just ask Dana, mine slipped down to my knees at Todd and Lindsey’s wedding, and she had to walk me into the bathroom. Awesome and mortifying at the same time.


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