When I got engaged on Christmas Eve 2011, I had a vision of a dress in mind before he even dropped to his knee. I wanted something unique, flattering, and special, of course. I knew I wouldn’t find what I was looking for on a rack at David’s Bridal. I started scouring the internet, although I knew my chances were better online, I was extremely apprehensive about buying my wedding dress online.
Buying a wedding dress without so much as seeing it in person, let alone trying it on, would be a huge risk to take. But I still wasn’t finding anything up to my standards. Finally an idea popped into my head – my best friend was married two years prior and had these wonderful bridesmaids dresses handmade from a woman on etsy.com, a craft type online marketplace. I didn’t think she made actual wedding dresses, but the bridesmaid’s dresses were so beautifully done, I thought I’d at least check her out.
To my utter surprise, I saw she did make bridal gowns…unfortunately none caught my eye. On the very last page, in the third row, second column, I saw a picture of a young woman in a dress in a small icon. I clicked on it to enlarge it and there it was – my dress. I contacted the dress maker right away to see if she would even be able to do it, she would have well over a year to complete the job.
Then came the moment of truth…the price. For a custom, handmade bridal gown, I knew we would be talking thousands. Even when I browsed on David’s Bridal, most reasonable dresses started at $1000.00. When the seamstress wrote me back explaining it would be $750.00 plus shipping, I about lost it! And yet it gets better. Her and I e-mailed back and forth and back and forth. She needed measurements, I wanted to change a few things, she needed payment, I questioned the materials used…and that’s when the bright idea hit me – if she is using strictly recycled material anyway, what if I sent her the recycled material? What if I sent her my mother’s dress along with my fiance’s mother’s dress and had her turn it into a dress for me? I dared to ask her the question.
She replied stating that she would absolutely love for me to send her the material because then she doesn’t need to worry about finding it. So I sent it out to her. Once there were no more words to be spoken, I had to wait. I was able to pick what time I wanted on her schedule, but because I tricked myself into thinking I would actually loose weight, I chose the last available time. Eventually she sent me pictures of my completed dress to see if I wanted anything changed. I did not, I fell in love with it and couldn’t wait to get it!
My fiance was with me when I got home from work to find a notice on our front door asking me to pick up a package at the post office. I brought the box home, carefully cut it open, and delicately removed the dress from the box. My fiance helped me hoist it up and over my head. It fit perfectly. The dress was tight, lace, doily material up top, and loose, miscellaneous strips of fabric filling out the skirt below. I twirled around a few times, then asked my fiance to un-zip me. That’s when I realized there wasn’t a zipper! I never thought to ask, I had just assumed there would be one.
I also noticed there was a little bit of excess room in the chest area that needed fixed. I ended up taking it to a local seamstress and paying under $10 to fix the front. Compare that to finding a dress at David’s Bridal that every other bride this season would be wearing and spending over a thousand dollars and you can’t. There is no comparing. In two weeks, I was wearing a custom bridal gown made up of my mother’s and my fiance’s mother’s wedding dresses to get married…and all for $750.