Damsel in Dis Dress

Other than the semi-regular dreams of wedding disasters that I keep having, everything for wedding planning was going fairly well.

Until now.

The dress. Or should I say dresses. The damn dress decision is distressing me. I need a deputy decision maker. Or a distraction.

There are two dresses that I’ve found. Both nice. Both make me look incredible. Both are similar in price. I can not decide.

Dress One is definitely more “traditional bridal” in fabrics and structure, though it’s still fairly unique in styling and a bit more dramatic than the average gown I’ve seen (and I should know – I swear I’ve tried on every damn dress in existence) in terms of styling and embellishments. It’s going to be hot and heavy in terms of wearing it for hours, but thankfully won’t require any extravagant or involved undergarments (if I were so inclined, I could probably wear nothing under it at all and still look great).

Dress Two is what designers are calling a “destination-style” gown. Tropical weight fabrics and much more informal styling. My Grandmother thinks it makes me look like Grace Kelly. The more modern among us would say it makes me look like J’Lo from the back (in her very, very best days). In fact, while the front has a very flattering line, the back of this dress is really what it’s all about (and isn’t my backside what people will largely be staring at for the first part of the day?). This dress will definitely lead to something “hot and heavy,” but be comfortable to wear all day and well into the evening. The seductive styling and sheer fabrics though, will require a modern miracle in foundation garments and double-sided tape to keep all my bits at a tasteful level for everyone involved.

Also, complicating matters, they are at different stores about 45 minutes apart – making it very hard for me to try them on back-to-back and have a reasonable means for comparison. And of course bridal salons don’t let you take pictures, so any images I have were taken clandestinely with half-done-up dresses in changerooms. In dresses where the sample-sizes are either too-big or too-small (or both, in different places, thanks to the awesomeness of being pear-shaped).

I’m so torn, that (as ridiculous as it sounds) I’m actually considering the budget busting move of getting both, and changing halfway through the event. My justification is that after the wedding I could totally have the train removed from the second dress, get it dyed a colour other than white, then keep it an evening gown. Because I totally need an evening gown, I wear them all the time – there was my prom, and my high-school boyfriend’s prom… and… well… nothing since then, but a black-tie affair could really leap up at any moment, right?

Clearly this issue has driven me completely batshit crazy. Save me from myself internets, talk some sense into me and start dispensing some sane advice. Before this dress decision dilemma drives me to drink.

UPDATE: (Sept. 1/07) Yes, I have made a decision. No, you do not get to know what it is. You’ll have to wait a few months for the pictures!

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17 thoughts on “Damsel in Dis Dress

  1. Sue

    You know until I saw this written it didn’t occur to me, but your wedding is in March in Tofino. HARDLY tropical. I’m not sure what your current plans are insofar as being indoors/outdoors, but if you do want to be outdoors at all, chances are you’ll be needing some kind of wrap or outer layer, ESPECIALLY with the lighter dress. So… add the weather factor into your deliberations, maybe it’ll tip the balance? Oh also – there is no way you’ll get around to dying and using that dress for anything, m’dear. Dying dresses is expensive and hard to do well, and if you DID have a black tie event to go to, just TRY to convince me you wouldn’t want to go shopping and get something that is a current style at the time of that particular event. Uh-uh. You’ll be shopping.

    Now, you could always SELL the dress you don’t use (or both of them for that matter).

  2. jen

    My first thought when you said the 2nd dress would need double-sided tape and special lingerie is that it may not be as comfortable as the 1st dress. You don’t want to be worrying that you’re showing more than you want and readjusting yourself all night. πŸ™‚

  3. Beth

    You can’t take pictures in bridal stores? That’s total BS! You should tell them it’s for your blog and you’ll post a link to their store if they let you take a pic. And if one says “yes” and the other says “no”, then go with the store that lets you take the pic. That’s a nice, completely arbitrary way of deciding.

  4. peechie Post author

    Sue: the plan is for pretty much everything to be indoors (because yes, it’s damn cold in Tofino in March, and – as my Uncle so delicately put it – I’d rather not turn my husband-to-be into a eunuch), but the dress might look just plain out of place considering the fright temperatures.

    jen: that was my biggest concern. That, and the moment I forget to stand up straight, all the photos are going to show is belly-jelly city.

    Beth: it’s not so much the salons, as the designers. The problem they’re trying to avoid is having people try on a dress and take it to a seamstress to have it recreated. It’s also part of the reason most salons remove any identifying tags showing the designer and/or the name of the dress. Sadly, I don’t think any promises of link clout will change that.

  5. Mel

    I think if you’d be willing to dye the second dress and it will require lots of fidgeting (which you won’t want to do before every photo op) you may as well wait ’til you next need to buy an evening gown and get it or something like it then – you’ll also pay a fraction of the price if you can manage to buy it in non-white.

    I also agree with jen that you should go for comfort, and be practical as well as budget-conscious. I don’t think you’ll want to have to spend a half hour or so mid-wedding day trying not to mess up your hair & makeup getting another dress over your head anyway πŸ˜‰ You’ll want to be at the party!

  6. donna

    Weeeeird… I have a whole folder of pictures of wedding dresses from both my wedding planning, and my old roommates wedding planning… granted, that was 8 and 10 years ago, but has it really changed that much?

    I say take the pictures, and if they tell you off for it, tell ’em to fuck off, it’s your wedding and you’ll photograph if you want to. πŸ™‚

    Anyway. I have no other suggestions, but … wanna buy my old dress? πŸ™‚

  7. Hannah

    I say try on the undergarments and doublesided tape and go dancing in a different dress for an evening, and see if it drives you crazy. If you’re comfortable enough to dance in it for an evening, go for the second dress. If you’re ready to scream and bite people’s heads off, go for the first dress.

  8. knemesis

    Maybe I’m thinking of this a little weirdly: but which would want to see when you’re 80? Do you want to see something traditional, or do you want to see how freaking hot you were when you were young? These are photos of an event you will have with you for the rest of your life. Do you look at your parents’ photos or your gradnparents’ photos and think about how wonderful they look, or how dated?

    Also think about are you wanting to make everybody in the wedding (the priest, even? or whatever, you probably know what it’s from) a woody? I know a lot of brides who simply don’t think that something so revealing or sexy is what they want to say on their wedding day.

    So.. I guess I’m trying to say what do YOU want to say, and what do you want to see when you’re old and feeble and remembering the day you married the man you spent the rest of your life with?

    … *whisper*: buy them both.

  9. col

    i think what everyone has said so far makes a lot of sense, so the only thing i would add is that i don’t think you should buy two dresses! i think that’s overkill, even if you really love them both.

  10. peechie Post author

    Mel: I am definitely thinking comfort – and thanks for the donation link, I’ve been wondering what to do with the dress afterward.

    Derek, Hannah: after hearing of the horror story of a friend who spent the better part of a year looking for underwear to go under her chiffon dress, I’m definitely taking the underwear issue into consideration.

    knemesis: honestly? While I always envisioned looking at my wedding photos and seeing how stunning I was, my first thought on the pictures of the second dress was that it’s got the potential to look a bit hoochie for the solemnity of the occasion. And I’d like to think I have ample opportunity to get pictures of my hot young bod for quite a few years to come.

    col: I wouldn’t actually buy two dresses – it seems pretty insane. According to what I’ve seen on wedding boards though, it’s not actually terribly uncommon.

  11. Kim2

    Well, you certainly wouldn’t be alone if you ended up with both: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070826/ART04/70825017

    I have to agree with the comments about the tape and the dancing though, for the less-structured dress. The last time I was a bridesmaid the dresses were strapless and we tried the tape and everything, and I still was pulling the thing up all evening on the dance floor. I looked like I was constantly groping myself. I wouldn’t buy it unless you’re certain you can actually enjoy your reception in it πŸ™‚

  12. erin

    I’m all about comfort, myself, and the choice between no underwear (or a small thong or whatever) and crazy control foundation garments would be the deciding factor for me. I say go for the first dress.

  13. Riann

    Also consider ease of use of the toilet. Will you need your bridesmaids to be in the stall with you so you don’t pee on your dress? Can you wriggle out of your control garments with relative ease? I ended up taking off my dress every time I had to go, which was actually faster and easier than it sounds.

  14. Crissy

    Take the undergarment situation into serious consideration, for sure.

    If you really can’t decide, my vote is for you to go with both. After all, if you’re THAT torn between the two, it seems like the most logical decision. And, after all, you only get married how many times in your life?! Go for it, get both!! I almost did the exact same thing (the only reason why I didn’t was because I’d had to have lugged it across the globe – to Italy – and back!).

    Do it! Do it! πŸ˜€

  15. Kyndra

    I’m so enjoying living vicariously through you planning your wedding. Although I don’t want to do one again myself, I did so enjoy the planning of it all.

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