Saturday, February 11, 2012

On The Dress

While watching a recent episode of My Fair Wedding (yes, okay, I watch a few bridal TV shows), at the moment when star David Tutera gasped at the notion that a bride world ever even think of buying a wedding dress online, Ross (yes, he watches, too) looked at me and said: "Well, I guess you screwed up."

Okay, so I'll admit it. I did buy my gown online. Only, it came with a return policy that the bride in question was apparently without. And also, my gown isn't a gown.

I never saw myself as the pouffy white dress type. Pure white only makes my pale Irish/Eastern European complexion paler, and at 5'2" with curves, a ballgown would make me look like a Barbie cake and a mermaid or trumpet dress would probably make me look, well, something like this. So I wanted something a few shades off of white, and I wanted it short. Not Mary Quant short, but something that wouldn't make me look shorter than I already am. And something that, as a bonus, would allow for fabulous shoes. I'll still look like a bride, but I'll look like me as a bride, rather than me as the kind of bride TV and bridal magazines tell me I should be.

Here's the best thing about my dress, though. Other than the fact that it will be far more comfortable than a traditional gown. Other than the fact that I'll feel like me. Other than the fact that it flies against all of the wedding-industrial complex ideas of what a wedding dress should look like: my dress cost me under one hundred dollars.

I originally purchased my dress on ModCloth, a really wonderful site from which I buy a lot of my clothes. But I wasn't sure about the size, and when I saw the dress also posted on the Nordstrom Wedding page, I decided to buy the back-up size there and just return whichever one fit me less. (A process which I undertook with the help of a seamstress.) Nordstrom won, and a day or two after the original dress was bound for ModCloth's HQ, I saw an ad on one of those wedding blogs you see here on the right, telling me that Nordstrom's bridal sale was on. I clicked through out of curiosity and saw my dress, the dress I'd purchased from Nordstrom less than three weeks before, on sale for 50% off. And when I called Nordstrom, they happily refunded me the difference. (Nordstrom is world-renown for their customer service, so I wasn't surprised by this ... but I was really, really happy.)

Bottom line: I was able to save a ton of money (a thousand dollars or more!) and get a wedding dress that felt like the dress I should be wearing, because my general distaste for the way we, as a culture, feel about how the bride should look and how much money she should spend to look that way. And I bought it online, David Tutera.

[Photo via]