Wedding Wednesday- The Dress

February 15, 2012

I am starting a new "segment" on my blog titled "Wedding Wednesday" where I will profile different aspects of my wedding planning and give DIY tips for brides who are trying to plan an elegant soiree on a budget! I found many blogs with this type of advice very helpful when I was planning my wedding. I hope you enjoy it!

The perfect wedding dress is every girl's dream and I am lucky to say that with a little creativity, a little stress, and some thinking and planning, I was able to have perfection for less!

I started looking and thinking about THE DRESS practically the minute that I got engaged! That week many friends brought me over wedding magazines as little engagement presents and it was in one of those magazines that I saw THE DRESS in an ad. 

I knew I didn't want strapless and I wanted lace and I wanted something that had some weight to it as I was getting married in a church and in the winter. The form fitting beachy style was never my taste- full skirt all the way! So this ad jumped out at me right away. Lace- check. Non-strapless- check. Full taffeta skirt- check. I researched some bridal stores in Calgary and found the dress (Designer- Watters, Style- Escalante) at a small boutique downtown. The very next weekend my mom and I were off to find the dress. 

It was the first store we went to and the first dress I tried on and just like on all the wedding dress shows, I said "YES" to the dress almost before even looking in the mirror. It fit so well and it was just beautiful. There wasn't one thing on it that I didn't like... except the price tag: $3300 not including tax and alterations. Yikes! I knew there was NO way I would be able to buy the dress. 

We were in Calgary dress shopping for the weekend and decided we'd better try on a few more dresses just for the fun of it, but my mind was racing trying to think of a way I would be able to get MY dress. I tried on a few more at 2 other stores, but nothing compared to the Watters Escalante. I found some websites on the internet that were advertising knock-off prices- about $350 for THE dress recreated in China and shipped to you. It was tempting, but the reviews were mixed, so I decided against it. 

My mom kept saying that she was sure we could find a good seamstress to sew the dress, but I wasn't convinced. We looked up and found a small bridal fabric store called Olga's Fabric Lane and went there after an afternoon of discussing and pining after THE dress. Low and behold, 2 very helpful ladies rushed to our sides when we walked in the door and looked at the grainy black and white photo of the dress we had printed off the internet. We had this picture of the back and the front: 

One of the women was the owner of the store and the other was the cashier, and a Russian woman who worked as a seamstress from home in her spare time. Gala, the seamstress, told us with confidence that she could sew the dress without a problem and she had pictures of other dresses she had sewn. The other woman spent a lot of time with us and helped us through the dozens of bridal silks and laces they sold at the store. 

We settled on the fabric, signed our lives over to Gala and the deal was done. She took me into the store's staff room and took my measurements, kept the fabric and the internet pics of the dress and told us we were to contact her in about 3 months. 

We drove away from the store excited, but I was very nervous about it as we really had no idea what to expect. 3 months later we showed up at Gala's house for the first fitting. It looked like the dress, but to my eye, NOT CLOSE ENOUGH! I thought she had sewn seams down the front of the skirt and I was really upset that they were so visible, but trying not to show it. Gala promised that it would look differently when the dress was properly pressed, so I trusted her. 

Can you see the seams down the front?? Eeek!

After another 5 months of agonizing over the dress it was time for us to finally bring it home. When I tried on the final product, it was JUST stunning, JUST like the original dress except BETTER. The lace we chose sparkled in the light and was the focal point of the whole thing. 

The skirt hung beautifully with a long train that bustled seamlessly into the layers of fabric at the back.  Gala changed the location of the zipper from the original dress to the side under my arm, instead of going straight up the back through the middle of the lace, thus making the whole back one large piece of sparkling, intricate lace. 

We couldn't thank Gala for her sewing masterpiece enough! She really knew what she was doing!

The final cost of my dress was $1500: $500 for the fabric and materials and $1000 for Gala. If you think you can't afford your dream designer dress, think again. Find a seamstress in your area and see what she can do for you. You might be pleasantly surprised! 

PS- We all know I am pretty much obsessed with Kate Middleton... BUT just to clarify. I had my dress BEFORE I saw hers. The night before the Royal Wedding I had a dream that she had the same dress as me and everyone thought I had copied her. Well, hers was pretty darn close! I shrieked when I saw her dress and after the wedding SO many people commented that my dress was like hers. I have to correct everyone and tell them that no, hers was like mine!!!!

1 comment:

  1. SO gorgeous!! keep the DIY stuff coming! I need all the advice I can get! :)


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