I do get what you mean about the custom dress. My mom and I are super close. I bought mine at David’s and she’s looking at stuff at Sax. It bothers me a bit, because she played a big role in where I bought my dress. I did pay for my own dress though.
My journey? We went to Davids super early in my engagement. We were just out shopping, and my mom dragged me into the store. I originally had a budget of like $400 because I hate spending money. I also have expensive taste. We left, and I had some ideas, knowing I liked mermaids, and I needed to loosen the purse strings.
We made another appointment at this great second hand store. I raised my budget to 1k including alterations. The dresses were in great condition, but I was trying really hard to say yes to one. I realized they had nothing I liked, and that if I did buy one, I’d just be buying because of the great price. I had the plan to make an appointment in a few weeks when more stock came in.
My mom took me to David’s (again). Background: she’s got cancer, and I think she was so adamant about me getting the dress early because she’s worried. Every time we complete a wedding task she says “good, I don’t have to worry about that”. She booked my shower 13 months in advance. I get it, and she needs to do whatever she needs for herself. I like getting stuff done early too. SHe liked Davids because they let us cruise the racks, we didn’t need an appt, and I could try on so many styles in my price range.
So at David’s, she mentions my stepfather didn’t like the photos from stuff I tried on, saying it was “hoochie” (a mermaid). So now she hates them too. I tried on a ball gown, the popular Vera Wang with the split front, and loved it. Came back with my bestie, who loved it too (she hates mermaids). Bought it. Regret sets in at about November, and I bought it in August. It’s going to be 300 dollars to alter it. The bustle is going to take 45 minutes to put on. My fiance is going to think it’s too big Etc. Etc. I tried to defeat it.
Two months ago I saw on David’s that a dress I had loved, but never tried on, was on sale for the price I paid before. Go in with my mom, she hates it. I hate it too — it looks boring. I realized I love mermaids, but they need a super dramatic and voluminous bottom. I try on this new lace gown they have. It’s super pretty, but I feel bored, and it’s 1200 dollars. And they’re saying 300 to alter. My mom is throwing money at me, saying she’d pay the difference. My thought? If I were spending 1500 on a dress, we wouldn’t be in this store. Keep going, and I ask the sales girl for this other gown I had liked before, but again, didn’t try on for the price. It was on sale, same price as what I paid before. They let me switch it out! (ETA: It’s now on sale for $400, half of what I paid, but oh well).
So I went from this:
What I learned — I thought I loved ethereal, beaded, BHLDN style gowns, and when I put them on, I hate every one. A lines remind me of my prom dress. If I don’t have a tight fitting bottom, I feel frumpy. I like structure. I’d rather the shape and texture speak, than embellishments. The ball gown was like this, but it was too big. And if you look in my closet, I realized, this makes sense — I have no a line dresses, no tops with beading, all my jeans are straight or skinny, and I have a lot of structured blazers.
My dream dress is a 5k lazaro another girl posted a few weeks ago. It’s not going to happen. The constraints on my dress selection are a result of my own choices (career choice and frugality) and stuff beyong my control (cancer sucks). It bothers me that I am “ok” with an 800 dollar purchase, but that’s the wedding industry, I guess, and if my mom was feeling better, I would have been dragging her to trunk shows every week.
If I were you, I’d look through your closet and see what type of clothes you’re buying, and try to translate that into a gown! That’s the advice I have. Sorry for the novel.