Image: One Love Photo


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Friday, August 13, 2010

#63: The Life And Death of My Wedding Dress

Part 1: Conception

At one point my wedding dress was a mere twinkle in my eye. It was a daydream. Hell, it was a wet dream.

So I reached out to vintage wedding dress designer Dolly Thicke of Dolly Couture and shared my ideas for a short and relatively casual gown. She drew this up for me:

I was so in love with the fun and flirty goodness of this dress! But then I went to David's Bridal and tried this on:

And I was in love. Again. But this time it was with the feeling of twirling around in a classic long 'n lace gown.

Knowing that there were other fish in the sea, I shopped around the Internet for more inspiration. (Remember?)

Many e-mail conversations later, Dolly created a new sketch based on my modified wish list:

When I saw this image it was like meeting my baby for the first time via a printed sonogram photo -- tears welled up and I let out a loud happy sigh. Amazed and elated, it was a moment of perfection.

Part 2: Giving Birth

I was indecisive, fickle, and painfully detail-oriented when it came to my gown. So even though it was quite lovely when it arrived at my house after 8 weeks of production, I felt that it was not (yet) all that it could be.

So Dolly (as wonderful as she is) took back the gown, sent it to the Intensive Care Unit, and nursed it to perfection. It arrived a few weeks later and fit like it was made just for me. (Oh yeah, it was!)

Part 3: Life

My dress lived a full life. I wore it through joy, laughter, frustration, exhaustion, and big love:

               Photo of my nephew giving me a flower just before the start of the ceremony

Part 4: Death

After the wedding I kept the gown on me for as long as I could. I didn't want to let go.

But in life you are only temporarily given family, your spouse, your children, your pets, and yes...even your wedding dress. We are to care for them to the best of our ability until our destined time with them is through- our mission complete.

The hem of my dress now carries dirt from the ground on which it danced and joyfully traveled. It has a story. But the story ends with the gown being put to rest in the same white garment bag in which it arrived. It's the circle of life, folks.

Farewell, oh beautiful wedding gown! I created you in my imagination. I endured much pain to bring you to life. I implored the help of others to help you grow. I showed you the world. But now it's time to say adieu...

(Dramatic much? Perhaps. But just wait until you form a special bond with YOUR gown...because then the love I have for mine won't seem so psycho.)


  1. What a lovely post! The picture at the end is just stunning (but then you knew that).

    "But in life you are only temporarily given family, your spouse, your children, your pets, and yes...even your wedding dress. We are to care for them to the best of our ability until our destined time with them is through- our mission complete."

    Not always - I have every intention of keeping my red dress as a formal gown to wear in the future!

  2. That's awesome, Jenna! The story of your dress is something I would love to feature on the blog if you're open to it. Of course, this would ideally happen way after your big day (and perhaps after an occasion in which your dress is worn for a second time.) No pressure, but the invitation is open. :)

  3. Gorgeous! In response to your inquiry, I am a Dolly Bride, or rather, will be in November. I can't wait to see more photos! Your gown and you are beautiful!

  4. Gah, I love this! I'd had dress doubts all the way up to putting on The Dress on the morning of our wedding, but when I did... BAM! Evaporated. I think I actually felt more gorgeous as the day went on and my dress gathered more dirt, crinkles, and the hem tore with each time it was stepped on (many), since I felt like the dress was somehow soaking up all the goodness of the day. (Really really weird, I know!) By the time I took off the dress, I was more in love with it than I'd ever been in the salon, when it was pristine, etc.

  5. You look hot girl! Dolly did a magnificent job x

  6. Oh, my.

    That picture of you at the end with your nephew is absolutely breathtaking. Stunning. Glorious. And your dress.... Just WOW.

    I know what you mean about having a relationship with the dress... Right now I say I'll either sell or donate (via A Practical Wedding!) my dress; it's practical and sustainable.... but I'm notoriously sentimental, and I wonder how I'll feel on the other side of things.

  7. @ mkonieczki - Thanks! Can't wait to see you in YOUR Dolly dress. :)

    @ Sharon - Same here. I totally had dress doubts all the way up to the wedding itself because there's so much darn pressure to look the best you've ever looked (and will ever look) in your life. That's a lot for a single dress to live up to!

    But like you, on the morning of I felt that the dress was so me - that it had traveled with me throughout the planning process, that I hand selected it. And based on the nature of that "relationship" we shared, it was a special garment to me. While I was wearing it at the wedding I didn't feel like the most beautiful I had ever looked before...but I felt like me. :)

    @ Moz - Aww, shucks. (Blush!)

    @ Sarah K. - Thank you! I think donating your dress via APW is a terrific idea. I love that APW inspires a pay it forward mentality among its readers.

    But I hear you on the notoriously sentimental thing. I'm struggling with what I should do with my gown now that the wedding is over. Donate? Save it? Sell it? I think my emotional response to each of these options would be different. I'll be posting about this issue soon.


Babbling about weddings is so much more fun when people babble back. :)

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