Image: One Love Photo


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

#96: What does your wedding dress say about you?

"I want to look back at my wedding pictures and say, 'Oh my gosh, what was I thinking?!'" 
~ Bleach blonde boobalicious bride on Say Yes To The Dress who bought a sparkly, see-through, corset top ball gown with a scandalously deep plunging neckline.*

Why does a bride make such a big fuss over her wedding gown choice? I've got 2 answers for this. The first is pretty obvious: 

Societal pressure for women to prove their worth through their physical attractiveness + the Wedding Industrial Complex = Bride who feels she MUST find the perfect outfit!

And second reason? The gown has an important role in the wedding is because it's a symbol of a woman's identity. It represents her values, lifestyle, and personality. So it's no wonder women put so much thought into what she wears on her wedding day; it is a chance to make a statement about who she is, what's important to her, and how she wants to be perceived by her community.

There are 3 categories in which the significance of a dress can be examined:

Based on the design of the dress, the bride can identity herself as sophisticated, sexy, simple, fashion-forward, fun, traditional, sweet, unique, sassy, or bad ass. She can even communicate her personal interest in periods in history, subcultures, and hobbies. It's actually pretty amazing how much a garment can "say" with no words.

Selection Process
A bride's values are reflected in how she goes about choosing a dress. Her decision making process says a lot about her. Does she value making decisions with the support of loved ones? Is it important to make decisions independent of other people's opinions? Whose opinion is most important to her?  Would she choose something for yourself if no one supported the decision? Would she wear an inherited gown? Does she want to make a statement about her relationship to the Wedding Industrial Complex by purposefully NOT getting too caught up in finding the "perfect" dress?

How and where was the dress made? Are these important factors? Are her moral/ ethical standards applied to not just her own actions but those who have provided goods and services to her?

I'll end this post with a bunch of photos of me in my gown (because you know, I loved it and all. And who doesn't like sharing photos of things that make them all giddy?).

What does my gown say about me? Aesthetically I wanted something (1) sweet, romantic, and timeless  (2) form fitting around my wide hips because, you know, a girl's gotta appreciate her curves, right? (I am fertile. Hear me roar!) I also designed every inch of this dress, which was SO important to me. I'm sort of obsessed with identity formation, reflection, personal growth, and creativity, so designing my gown was an obvious choice.

And now here it is, a 360-degree view of my pretty little masterpiece:

                                         Mom, Me, Big Sis

                                      A farmer's tan and his wife

                                 Yes, that's a cemetery in the background

                               Ruffles galore!: My vintage style bustle

                                                 Hips! BAM!

Your turn. What do the aesthetics, selection process, and production of your gown say about YOU?

*I kind of LOVE the boobalicious bride's attitude. She could care less what will look good 25 years from now because she doesn't live in her head and get anxious about what hasn't yet happened. Pretty fearless, no?  


  1. I loved this post! And I agree with Boobailicious. When I first started looking at dresses, I worried about picking something that would become dated too quickly. Then I realized that pretty much anything would be dated one way or another (even a vintage dress is subject to this, because there are a different set of trends running through what vintage looks come back), and that it would be hilarious to look back on my dress as kind of goofy. It was a huge load off!

  2. I think my dress says/said...
    I can be beautiful confident and sexy no matter what size I am
    I'm traditional, yet still like to stand out
    I can get all dolled up every once in a while and still feel 100% ME
    I don't have to "play small" I can celebrate me and all the greatness that I am :)

  3. I get the search, lady. LOVE your dress, you definitely captured that sweet and timeless quality! Great work, it looks beautiful on you!

  4. @ hitchdied - So very true. No matter what you'll always look slightly ridiculous (or slightly retro cool, depending on the decade) in old photos. No use trying to escape it!

    @ Steph - You definitely accomplished the look and feel that you were going for. :) Love that you don't feel confined by any one label that you put on yourself.

    @ Lizzie - Thanks, lady! Can't wait to see you what you pick out for yourself.


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

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