Seeking… “The” Dress

If there is one “pretty thing” I love more than paper, it would have to be fashion, hands down.  So of course, the hunt for the perfect dress and the perfect wedding day style began as soon as I said “I will.”  While I had a general idea of what I wanted (well, more what I didn’t want: no beads, no beddazzle, no pouf), I still figured that I’d hit up several bridal shops before finding my dream dress.  Little did I know…

I can’t remember exactly where I first saw pictures of designer Lela Rose’s gowns, but it was love at first sight… her designs are so organic: the perfect mix of modern and vintage.  I had to give them a go!  At that time, there was only bridal salon in TX that carried Lela Rose – the oh so fabulous Warren Barron in Dallas. I had just begun a particularly difficult quarter in my last year of law school, but when I heard WB was having a Lela Rose trunk show, I rounded up my maid of honor, my mom and my aunt and we made the trek up to Dallas.

While Lela’s designs were truly gorgeous, it was hard to get a feel for how the dresses really look with a designer size 2 encasing me like the skin on an over-stuffed sausage. So the owners, Elle Warren and Ceclilia Barron (the two realest women you will ever find in a bridal salon) pulled some other dresses for me. There were many gorgeous options…

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{from author’s personal collection}

and then, there was a Vera Wang… a wispy number with layers and layers of chiffon – it was soooo comfortable and so dreamy. I felt like a nymph in Midsummer Night’s Dream. And then they put the veil on my head…  I cried, the dress was so beautiful and modern and different.  It was the best I’d felt in weeks!

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{from author’s personal collection}

Without a second thought, at my first bridal salon appointment, we signed on the dotted line.

And then… panic set in.

This was not the gown I’d envisioned myself getting married in… but maybe it was better? It was so different! It was so fashionable! It would be amazing… right? right? RIGHT? I was embarrassed, a total wreck – I’d already signed the contract, and I was not going to be one of those crazy brides who re-thinks every decision she makes. And I really was NOT going to be one of those girls who says “oops! I fell in love with another dress – guess I now have two! What to do, what to do!”  I’d never understood those girls… Why did you get carried away and buy something you weren’t 119% in love with?  Or why are you so wishy-washy?

Yeah, karma’s a bitch.

All of a sudden, I understood those Two Dress Brides.  You imagine your wedding day for years before it actually happens (or at least i did) – Who will be waiting for you at the end of that aisle?  And what will you be wearing when he first sees you walk toward him?  It sounds so cliche, and way more “1958” than this modern gal likes to associate herself with – but you want it to be your own version of perfect.  This is a moment you’ll remember forever – there will be pictures that your parents will frame, and that your children and grandchildren will look at.

ummmm, PRESSURE, much?

And then it hit me – maybe this wasn’t the moment to take a page out of Vogue… maybe my inner-fashionista had gone a bit too far with this one. After all, there’s something to be said about tradition – and feeling like yourself on the day you marry the person who loves you for yourself.

So I did what any rational, adult, professional woman would do.

I bawled.

I bawled on the phone with my mom. I bawled on the phone to my dad. I bawled to my maid of honor right before our 7:45 AM class began.  I bawled on the phone with the girls at Warren Barron. But there were no tears when I went back to WB, two weeks later, and found the dress that made me feel like the most beautiful version of myself I had ever dared to imagine in all those silly little girl wedding fantasies… There were only huge goober-grin smiles.  With this dress, it wasn’t about being “the perfect, modern, fashionable bride” – it was about being Kate, on the day she married Evan.

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Lovely, “lesson-learned” prose aside – the dirty details on my dress:  Designed by Angel Sanchez, The Dress was made of silk organza, with panels of inlaid lace.  The shape was slightly dropped-waist and I  loved that it showed off my curves without being binding!  I was so comfortable all night long which was one of my dress requirements as I love to boogie!  My veil was also Angel Sanchez – a double-layer mantilla style that I wore for the ceremony.

Some of my favorite photos {by SMS, of course!} of The Dress:

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Up next… How “The” Dress became “The” Look!