Friday, July 23, 2010

Did you pick out your dress?

The top question I've been asked - Did you picked out your dress?
After this weekend, I can finally answer - Yes, and I've ordered both of them.

Finding a traditional, long wedding gown was relatively easy. There is an enormous amount of online resources assisting future brides in finding their dream gown. After a few hours researching online, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted before stepping foot into the first boutique. Thankfully, the dress silhouette that I loved online looked great on me and I could immediately narrow down my search. My entourage of my mom and bridesmaids accompanied me to a variety of bridal gown shops, from the small boutique to the nation wide mega store. After five stores and two weeks of searching I had ordered my first gown.

Outside Forget-Me-Knots Bridal in San Francisco

No every dress at French Connection Bridal Salon fit my style.

But can I dance in this thing?

It was decided before Q and I started looking for an engagement ring that a swing dance number would be mandatory for our wedding reception. As we've gotten more into swing dancing our appreciation for the dance has changed. Instead of solely being amazed with big flashy moves, I've become mesmerized with feet. No, I haven't developed a foot-fetish; I've fallen in love with footwork technique and their addition to the dance's overall musicality. Here's a video of one of our instructors from Camp Jitterbug demonstrating her fancy footwork.

Long gowns look beautiful flowing elegantly around the dance floor during a foxtrot or waltz, especially during the Viennese waltz. But swing is flirty, energetic and allows for a lot of personal styling. I didn't see the point of continuing to work on my footwork styling if it was going to be hidden behind a curtain of taffeta, lace, or silk. With this in mind, my long traditional wedding gown was not going to work for our swing dance number and I would need to find a short, flirty reception dress. There's a small market for reception dresses so I had to consider alternative routes.

And the hunt for a short, flirty dress begins...

Option 1 : Short wedding dress
  • Pros: With their growing popularity in casual and outdoor weddings, more designers are creating a line of short wedding dresses. Many of the designer dresses have the lace detailing and sparkles that help a bride stand out from the crowd.
  • Cons: These dress' price tags aren't a whole lot cheaper than their long counterparts. The selection in the bridal stores is limited. Most boutiques carry one or two dresses (if any) and larger bridal stores carry up to a handful of different designs.

Option 2 : Bridesmaids or prom dress ordered in white or ivory
  • Pros: Typically this option is cheaper than buying a short wedding dress and there are a lot of styles to chose from.
  • Cons: They tend not to look as formal as a short wedding dress. I don't want to run the risk of looking like a rude guest that wore white dress to someone else wedding instead of standing out as the bride.

Option 3 : Convertible gown
  • Pros: Changing in between dresses during the reception would be a breeze. There's also the potential of saving money buying one convertible dress rather than two individual dresses.
  • Cons: It's difficult finding a store that carries convertible gowns. The short dress conversion tends to have a slim skirt profile and may be difficult to dance in. The long dress conversion tends to have a limited variety of skirt profiles.

Option 4 : Hemming a traditional gown
  • Pros: Since the dress is originally designed as bridal wear, the dress has the bridal details of lace and sparkle that would help me stand out as the bride.
  • Cons: In order to keep costs down, it was suggested to buy an off the rack clearance dresses. The selection was very limited.

Final Decision
My search ended with the purchase of an responsibly priced short wedding dress. I felt that the lace and sparkly applique on the dress would help me stand out at the reception as the bride. Now I need to find a cute pair of bloomers....just in case ;)

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