Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where I Introduce The Flock

Big News: I’m getting married! Next September. One of my best girlfriends commented once that, if she won the lottery, she would make her husband marry her again every week so she could plan a new wedding. I stated that this sounded like absolute torture and, if I ever got married, she could plan the whole thing. She knows my taste: tell me the date and send me a bill. My fiancée and I got engaged in France and announced it with a Facebook status change (it was cheaper and, well, more amusing than calling everyone). By the time we were back in the states she had much figured out. I have very few parameters:
  • I want it on a Sunday due to Jewish tradition and also helpful that it's cheaper.
  • I want it in the early afternoon, say, 1:30. I don't want to feed people a meal, just dessert and alcohol. I'd like it to be done early enough so that we can have some lower key fun after.
  • I don't want to buy a bunch of Made in China garbage that people were screwed in the making of and will get thrown away after the wedding.
  • I want a band, preferably mine.

And that's pretty much it.
I am blessed with the best posse a girl could ask for who are doing all the frou frou décor stuff that would make me want to gouge my eyes out. I generally prefer crafts that have a practical, old lady purpose, like making coasters out of rags.

I consider myself a power thrift shopper and think that  instead of finding The Dress, I will find multiple dresses and then choose later which one(s) I'll wear. I just threw out there that maybe I'll bring my discards to my wedding to use as props/costumes for the photo booth, and everyone I've mentioned this to thought this was a fun idea. So now I also have a reason to buy vintage bridesmaid gowns as well. I’ve also thus far been able to acquire gowns from each decade from 1940s-2000s, so I have this fun “Collect Them All!” thing going.

Now on with the show!

This one isn't exactly a contender, but it's a wedding dress I already own, so it's being included in the Flock.

I bought this one before I was even engaged - about a week before - as I couldn't resist the style. Plus I figured it was good to be prepared, just in case I became engaged to Mr. Darcy. 

This gown was purchased during half-off day at the Salvation Army by my office, a recurring theme in my life. It really is quite beautiful - it was obviously hand-made for someone. And I love the fact that it is so modest, except for the major amount of cleavage.

This one is my first modern-looking dress:

I already had the blue jacket. The dress was a different half off day find - It has never been worn & still has the bridal shop tags. It looks nice enough on, but it's not necessarily "my style." I don't care all that much for strapless bridal gowns, but I thought it would look nice paired with a bolero or something. Or maybe I could shorten it to just below knee length and wear it for my reception? It was too great of a deal to pass up though. It is quite pretty on its own for a more modern bride.

This is the first dress I've tried on thus far that really felt like "me":

Purchased on eBay for a whopping $15.50, this is also "new old stock" from a bridal shop. No internal tags. My only problem is that neckline: I don’t like sheer tops any more than I like nothing there: I think it looks weird. It needs a solid neckline. Right now I’m leaning toward taking off the flutter sleeves entirely, taking the neckline down to the collar bone and adding a Peter Pan collar with the satin from the sleeves. Also would prefer the sleeves to have a puff shoulder and short, with the satin banded at the bottom. And those are all real buttons in the back:  the rest of the dress closes with a zipper. I seriously think it’s from the 80s, but you would never guess it. It’s a really good cut for me: it has a dropped waist, which is good for me since my torso is so long, but that lace panel in front comes up to the natural waist. And the butt bow is perfect, very 20s-30s, and the ends of the bow go to the floor.

I tried on this dress at an antique store ages ago, but couldn't justify the expense. I mean, I could justify the purchase in general, because who doesn't need to dress like a Disney princess? But at the time it was something like $45? It was marked down to $15, my magic price.

Apologies for the grainy photos. 1940s satin gown in ballet slipper pink. 8 kajillion buttons on the back. Needs some love. It is quite darling, I think. Might make for a nice reception outfit.

I troll craigslist here and there: my fiancé and I just purchased a house, so right now I'm looking for furniture and things and it is an obsession as much as my thrifting. I saw a listing for a vintage gown, no price listed. I started emailing with the person who listed it and it turns out that the original owner from the 50s is still alive and donated this dress to their non-profit for their yearly sale.

The front has little bows on it - my coworker commented that it looked like they were handles for the bluebirds who are supposed to be carrying my dress. The back has a detachable train with lace detailing that matches the lace on the dress.

Another of my half-off day escapades - this time I found a dress that is almost certainly not a contender for my actual dress, but at a price of $4.99, I couldn't leave it there. 

The real find of the day was that veil - it was half off, so a total cost of $3.49. As it turned out, when I looked at my receipt later they forgot to charge me for the dress. So it was $3.49 for both. 

I tried it on and I couldn't really determine if I am supposed to wear it over my face. It feels a bit like a burka, if so. But hey! We could always trick my fiance into marrying my homely sister with it!

And, while I'm at it, what would have been dress number seven if it didn't cost $89 (25% off that day, but still):

It was pretty va-va-voomy. I think I'd have to wiggle down the aisle.

I bought another dress on eBay. This dress looks SO perfect and SO EXACTLY what I want, it of course doesn’t fit.

1960s era gown - I now have all decades from 1940s-2000s represented. It's in beautiful condition and is the first dress I've purchased that has the original train AND veil..

Though the one thing my gowns all have in common is that none of them are indicative of their own period: I have a 70s prairie revival gown, a 90s Regency gown, a 60s gown that looks like a Shakespearean costume. It's a relatively slim skirt with a detachable train - what the train lacks in length, it MORE than makes up for in volume. But my poor fiancé had to help me into it: those mutton sleeves don't allow for much movement. He tried not to look while zipping me in...
I swear to you all, I DO NOT go out looking for dresses. I thrift shop the same amount I did before, I just look at the wedding dresses now where before I never did. I think I have a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants body: I am the size every woman in Ohio was when she got married. Or something.