Thursday, February 14, 2013

the dress.

The thought of recreating my mother’s wedding gown was the farthest thing from my mind when I launched into planning my own wedding. Over three years ago, when my sister was married, I met Charla Bjostad with Pleiades Bridal in Richmond. She specializes in recreating and revitalizing old gowns and wedding pieces into new, modern trends (isn’t it fabulous that someone does that?). When my sister wanted to wear my mom’s veil for her wedding, I took it to Charla and asked her to remove this big helmet looking thing from the lace. In Mom’s defense, it was the late 70’s! Naturally, Charla did an amazing job.

The week we became engaged, Phil’s mom and I sat on her bed down in Florida, and began to peruse the net for dress inspiration. I knew that I liked thin, form-fitting and simple with lace. I also knew that I did not want a strapless gown. Perhaps something along these lines:

Incidentally, for those who are worried, Phil knows all of this and yes, like the perfect fiancé would, he reads these posts!

The other thing I knew, sitting on that bed in Florida, was that my budget for this gown would be very small. My theory has always been that when I got married, I would just keep things more simple. The reality is that Phil would find me beautiful in a brown paper bag (just as your fiancé would find you the same!), so spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on a custom, couture gown wasn’t going to happen.

Armed with a strong sense of what I liked, I took to a local bridal salon to make sure what I had envisioned for months was, honestly, what I wanted. As is very often the case with many brides, I was wrong! I wasn’t even close. I fell in love with a more traditional bridal style, one that mixed my sophistication (to know me is to know how I love a good pencil skirt and blazer!) with the feeling, that I never knew I had and never knew that I would feel, of wanting to be a truly princess-y bride!

Of course, then I heard the price of the brand new 2013 gown that I loved; my bubble burst.

Not to be deterred for long, my wheels started turning and I made an appointment with Charla. My mom, my sister and I stormed her office with Mom’s old gown from the late 70’s (curtain skirt, high collar lace neckline and all). What could we create with this gown? 

Isn't my mother simply gorgeous?

We showed Charla our inspiration and started piecing together ideas, and voila! I now (almost) have a completely custom gown. It is a mix of whimsy, both contemporary and vintage. About 80% of the dress is my mother’s gown. Charla had to cut and create other pieces from new material, but she repurposed about every last inch of that original dress. Without giving away any secrets that Phil might read here, I can tell you that it is truly perfect.

I plan to pair my perfect gown with sparkly gold Kate Spade flats, which I will wear ALL NIGHT, and the veil that my sister and mother both wore at their weddings. It will be exactly the dress that I wanted; custom and amazing. I’m keeping the whole look simple with stud earrings and nothing else, and for the reception, I’m creating a gold hairpiece to complement my killer gold shoes!

We’re getting so close, and the excitement is building! I have more to share about the “crafty” side of our wedding – so come back and check in with me soon!

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