Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wedding Dress Wednesday - Searching for "The One"

While at home this weekend, I tried on my aunts' wedding dress. (Yes, that's appropriate pluralization; more than one of my aunts wore this dress.) I liked it a lot. My mom expressed reservations about whether the cut flattered my figure, and I could see her point. Do I love the lace at the neck enough to make up for the fact that the skirt makes me look a  little thick about the middle? (Sometimes I think I do. From the waist up, this dress is everything I want in a wedding dress.) Besides, Mom said, "when you watch Say Yes to the Dress, they say that when you put on "the" dress, you and your loved ones just know, and it overwhelms you. I don't get that from this dress." I told her that was all propaganda. You can't take your dress-buying (or dress-borrowing, as it may be) cues from a show designed around the wedding dress industry.

For generations, didn't people get married in their mothers', sisters', aunts', or cousins' dresses? Or in pretty dresses they already owned, or in dresses they could afford? Back when getting married was simpler, women got married just fine without searching for "the" dress.

Or did they?

Over the course of the weekend, I heard stories from relatives who got married 15, 25, or 50 years ago, and they each had stories - though not in so many words - of looking for and finding "the" dress.

An aunt, who got married in the late '90s said that she went to one dress store, and tried on 3 dresses. The first two had been suggested by the saleslady, though she liked a different one. When she tried that one on, she loved it and she bought it.

My mom, who got married in 1982, said that she had liked the look of her aunt's wedding dress in pictures, asked to try it on, and knew as soon as she did that she didn't need to try on any more dresses.

My grandmother, who was married in the '50s, told me that she got her dress in a warehouse. Some friends from work had connections, so she was able to go to the warehouse to see dresses before they were distributed to stores. "As soon as I saw it, I liked it," she said. And that was the dress she got.

Now I'm torn. I really hadn't thought that I would try to find "the" dress. I would find a dress that I liked and that was flattering, knowing that there are probably hundreds of dresses out there that would fit the bill. I would not buy into the wedding dress industry-sponsored propaganda. I would not seek it far, seek it wide, seek it low and high. I would try on a couple dresses, pick the one I liked the best, and I would have a wedding dress. My wedding dress shopping would, ideally, hearken back to the simpler days of wedding planning. And now I learn that even in the simpler days of wedding planning (my grandparents' wedding didn't have RSVPs; they just planned to have enough food in case everyone they'd invited showed up) brides sought and found "the" wedding dress. Is my attempt to mirror days gone by actually a romanticized attempt to invent days that never were? What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Here's the thing: When I spend my time actually trying to plan a wedding, I end up with no time to write about planning a wedding.

Back soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Decisions, Decisions: Reception Venues

Once I had been disabused of a few not-quite-realistic ideas for the reception (you mean we can't fit 200 people on my parents' back porch?), I didn't have a lot of specific ideas or desires for the reception. Just someplace nice, you know? My parents went to see a couple venues while we were still in DC, and there was one that my dad was apparently ready to make a deposit on right then. (Mom convinced him that maybe Ben and I should see it before any final decisions were made.)

While we were in NY so I could go to Michelle's bachelorette party, we scheduled appointments to see several places. We spent only a few minutes looking around the place my parents had already liked, went with my parents to speak to second venue, and the two of us went alone to third.

The one in the middle we did not like at all. While the dated look might not have been a deal-breaker for me, the funny smell and the bug on the table definitely were.

The other two were pretty similar, and we ended up going with the larger one, simply because our families are, well, large. And we even have friends, too. Trying to be simple or not extravagant is more or less a moot point when you're up to your ears in relatives, but we wouldn't have it any other way!

The reception will be at The View on the Hudson, which has . . . wait for it . . . a beautiful view on the Hudson! (The other place we really liked, which was in Nyack, several miles upstream, actually had almost the exact same view from the opposite perspective.)

Next up: Wedding bands, photographers. Does anyone know how to choose wedding bands or photographers?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wedding Dress Wednesday - Sterling by Augusta Jones

Yikes! I didn't realize just how much Wedding Dress Wednesday would be missed if I skipped it one time! Sorry! The weekend before last we had barbecues, and birthday parties, and more birthday parties - not to mention some gardening, and homework, and we went out to eat, and so even with a holiday weekend I was busier and more tired and had less time for browsing wedding dresses and blogging than I usually do. But, I'm back, and hoping to be able to blog about some of the other wedding planning we have going on.

Earlier this week, my mom and my sister send me a link to this dress, which I just love!

It's Sterling, by Augusta Jones. At first glance, I think it's gorgeous, although it's hard to formulate a coherent opinion when the website doesn't show the model standing. (Why, if you were trying to show your wedding dresses, would you not show the model standing?) I'm also not 100% sold on ivory. Does it look like you're trying to make a statement when you get married in something other than a white white? I don't want to unintentionally make a statement. (And yet, I kinda like the color . . .)

I do love the details, especially the lace and the scalloped pattern on the sleeves, which, it strikes me now, is very similar to the pattern on my grandmother's dress. (Dear Ben, Don't click that link. Love, Kathleen)

I think Mom and Anna have a pretty good idea of what I like in dresses! (or at least, in what I like in pictures of dresses. Maybe I should try one on one of these days?)