Post # 1
This is my first post, though I’ve been reading weddingbee since I first got engaged.
Okay, the panic: I consider myself a very practical, frugal girl. I’m not into sparkles or frills, and I’m morally opposed to spending a ridiculous amount of money on a dress that I’m only going to wear once.
I asked my grandmother to make my wedding dress for me. It was hugely sentimental for me, as she sewed my mom’s wedding dress, and every other married woman in our immediate family had their dresses sewn by her. She’s not a designer, just a seamstress, so the process of finding patterns and discussing what the dress would look like was a little bit difficult.
I tried not to be naive about it. I know that a dress made by my grandmother with fabric bought at a fraction of the cost of a couture wedding dress is not going to have the same WOW factor as a dress from a proper bridal shop. I enjoyed the process of the dress being made, as each part came together and I had my fittings I had a lot of hope that it would end up being exactly as I wanted it.
But… I recently had my final fitting, where I finally got to see all the pieces together and… I was just really underwhelmed. It wasn’t as flattering as I thought it would be. It didn’t look bridal, or even formal. I felt a little bit like a kid in a school play dressed up in a brides outfit.
I don’t really know where to go from here. I suggested some changes to try and make it look more like I envisioned, but I’m worried about being too honest because I don’t want to hurt my grandmother’s feelings. I’m hoping that how I feel about it will change once the changes are made and the wedding day arrives, but I find myself online every day looking at affordable/second-hand dress sites. I don’t really even know what I’m looking for. I think I started off with a clear practical idea of what I wanted, and then got sucked into Pinterest and Instagram and now all I can think about are the stunning dresses I see on there and I think about my handmade dress at home and I just feel sick.
Any words of advice, bees? How important is it, really, that the dress has that ‘wow’ factor for you? Will this churning feeling in my stomach disappear closer to the day?
Post # 2
- Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull
apracticalbride : I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way 🙁
Do you have any photographs of your dress?
Perhaps a few tweaks could really elevate it to something more in line with what you dreamed?
Post # 3
If you truly dont like the dress and feel like you wont be confortable on the day of your wedding…here is my suggesiton…there are many sites to get very inexpensive dresses. ASOS has a bridal section, MODCLOTH and a I can give you a few others but I just have to think about it…to early in the morning.
Be honest with your grandmother…she knows you best and will completely understand. She too was a bride once and knows the stresses. Take a piece of the dress your grandmother made and ask her to make it into a small bow or perhaps a a cut out heart and have her embroider yours and your fiancees name and your wedding date on it. Then have it sewn inside the gown…where it will be forever. This way you still have your grandmothers creation a part of the day.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2017 - Carnival Cruise Ship 'Paradise'
apracticalbride : Can we see the dress?
It may not be as bad as youre thinking and maybe some fresh eyes will help you see where little adjustments can be made to make it what you want.
Post # 5
I’m sure I’ll be in the minority, because some of you bees are cold blooded when it comes to your weddings… But there is no way I’d have my poor grandma toiling away over a dress and then decide at the FINAL fitting, “sorry grandma, I don’t like it. Not wearing it”. I’d never treat my grandma that way… I’d just be underwhelming on my wedding day before I choose to do that.
Im sure there is something that can be done with this dress. It sounds like you chose a design that isn’t flattering for you, and your grandmother’s craftsmanship isn’t the problem. Tell her that you picked a bad design and you want to make some changes to the dress. Maybe add a layer of lace over the entire thing w/ an extended train. Or wear a tulle shirt over it. You didn’t give any details about the dress or post any pics, so I don’t know exactly what to suggest. Also did you try the dress, as is, with accessories? A veil makes every dress feel more bridal.
Post # 6
I agree that it’s impossible to judge without pictures. I agree with ReeluvsRo. I wouldn’t get another dress, because the fact that your GM made that dress for you is extremely sweet and sentimental.
Post # 7
Could you post photos? Maybe it just needs a few touch-ups.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2016 - Beach
Do you have pics? Is it possible for you to wear it for the ceremony and a few pics then maybe wear a 2nd dress for the reception? It sounds like your Grandmother worked really hard on it and would probably be a little hurt but I would suggest being honest and talking to her about the idea of changing into a reception dress after the ceremony.
Post # 9
I think you should wear the dress. It’s hard to say without seeing it, but try adding a fancy belt, jewelry and a kick-ass veil and see if it’s workable.
You can always purchase a party-dress for the reception that you’re excited about, that could be the best of both worlds. Good luck!
Post # 10
At the end of the day it’s just a dress. It doesn’t have to be the most amazing thing that makes people gasp. But obviously you want to be happy in it. Show us pics, bees are great at this kind of thing!
Post # 11
I would try my hardest to salvage grandmas dress. How sad for her to spend so much time on it I would imagine she would understand if you wanted something else but she would prob be sad inside. I also understand you wanting something else, but most things can be easily changed to be more interesting or expensive looking. Please post pics of the dress and some dresses or things you like that are inspiration for you so we can give suggestions!
Post # 12
Can you maybe take the dress to a different seamstress for suggestions or tweaks? Perhaps a fresh look from someone else might be just what you need to get the wow factor. Or a pretty sash or darling shoes?
I’m sure you’ll be a gorgeous bride on your wedding day!! No matter what you decide.
Post # 13
Hi bees, I didn’t talk about specifics for the dress because to be honest it wasn’t really about the dress – more about how I was feeling about it. I am definitely not cold-hearted enough to discard the dress now for another one. I love my grandmother very much and I know this means a lot to her.
Here are some pictures of the dress (taken very hastily just before the final fitting, so the back of the dress is pinned closed in this picture – also I’m not wearing a petticoat here so don’t mind my undies 😛 ).
I definitely love the neckline and the fit of the skirt. The front of the dress is a lot better than the back. I feel like the front is very flattering and then all of a sudden I turn around and the back makes me look like double the size. My main issues are:
1) The fit of the sleeves at the top is very loose and not that flattering
2) The back is a lot looser than the front, and I would have liked to show more skin at the back
3) Everything looks a little dishevelled though I’m hoping a good steam clean will help that.
Changes… I’ve asked her to make the sleeves tighter and the back lower. We’re also thinking about making a structured petticoat so that the skirt has more shape to it.
I’m not sure how much this will solve, but we’ll see. I think part of the problem is that I’m quite alternative and don’t really wear white that often, so I felt very strange in this dress. I’m thinking some colour might make me feel better about the whole thing? Maybe a dip dyed skirt?
Anyway. What do you bees think? I’m a no-fuss girl, and wanted something relatively simple, but I still didn’t really feel like this had enough of a wow factor for a wedding dress. I am feeling a little better about it today than I did a few days ago when I first wrote this post.
Post # 14
For reference, here are the pictures we were working off of for inspiration:
(first one is from Stone Fox Bride and second one is from Free People)
Post # 15
I think it has huge potential. For starters I love the neckline and the lower half of the sleeves. The fabric looks beautiful. Very flowy. I think all the alterations you wish to make are spot on. Bet you when it’s all done you will feel quite different.