News to brides-to-be. Even if you know what you’re looking for, wedding dress shopping can be hard (and time draining). You have to consider many factors. What is your style? What is your budget? What is your timeframe for ordering? Then, there’s deal-breakers, like if you can move in the dress and how it will complement your body.
I love all things old. For my wedding, I envisioned something reminiscent of the era in which both sets of my grandparents married. Not fond of paying full-price for clothes or traditional retail shopping in general, the thought of my family gushing as I stepped onto the dressing-room mirrored stage and into the gown of my dreams was not my idea of a wedding fantasy. Any other brides with me?Follow Native Gypsies’s board Native Gypsies Wedding Dress Inspiration on Pinterest.
DIYers can design their own dress, or recreate a thrift store find. True vintage lovers can rewear their grandmother’s dress (or one from a vintage store that is old enough to be your grandmother or great-grandmothers). While all my favorite clothes are loved for the second time around, I wasn’t sure about wearing a stranger’s wedding dress (without knowing the story of their marriage). And both my grandmas were barely 100 pounds when they married, so I didn’t count on either dress fitting. Time to go shopping.
The options on the internet were overwhelming. I scoured Etsy and Polyvore for a dress. My friend of over two decades, Kathie Linder, is the editor and owner of Central Minnesota Brides magazine, and she helped me narrow down what I was looking for. She showed me pictures of gorgeous boho dresses, two piece sets and gowns with vintage appeal.
We shopped new and nearly-new dresses at Encore Consignment and Bridal Boutique. Kathie knew the owner through her work in the wedding business, and she told her how I love older dresses. The owner hesitantly took us (while warning us it’s not retail space) down into the old, unfinished basement to dig through the dresses she often donates to charities. We’re talking 80s poofs and taffeta wedding dress hunting (as we ducked our heads under the basement ceiling beams to dig through the no frills dress racks). It was exactly what we were looking for. Perfection. The owner just smiled as we dug through the lot and made plans to cut and paste dresses together, so to speak.
My sewing skills are lacking as of late, so instead of upcycling a dress into my dream Cinderella ball gown, I purchased a dress online with antique charm. Once I saw red carpet designer Stello‘s gown, nothing else compared. With long sleeves and a high neck, it had the same 1930s era charm as my grandma’s own long sleeve silk wedding gown. Stephanie Stello and I corresponded back and forth about the victorian lace dress, and while my family had some reservations about my buying a dress I’d never seen, I felt confident ordering from the company that dresses Beyoncé! My made-to-order dress arrived in under a week (note: impressive). I was in full-swing with harvest on the farm when the package arrived (which my mom had to sign for since I was in the combine). Later that day, my dad let me off the farm work early to get cleaned up and try on the dress for the girls in my family. Instead of the boutique dressing room stage, it was in my parent’s farmhouse kitchen. The dress fit just right, and we all laughed at my good fortune.
When you want your wedding to have an age-old romantic feel, you have to wear something old, new, borrowed and blue!
My mom lent me her light blue pearl earrings (a gift in the 60s from a friend who was in Asia for the military).
A pin I wore in my hair was originally my grandma‘s broach (which I glued to a hair clip).
The rest of the accessories were new, but had a Great Gatsby feel.
The feather and lace garter was from IngenueB. She customizes them by your size, so you can ensure the right fit. The package even came with a hand written note, wishing us a happy wedding day. I made DIY flower girl garters for my three nieces (which were adorable, but nothing like IngenueB’s Great Gatsby garter)!
The back necklace and bracelet were purchased from Elegance Bridal and Prom Boutique. The professional, young girl who waited on our group mentioned the “backlace” (back necklace) and said it’s not typical, so most the brides aren’t interested. Since I had a backless dress, it was exactly what the dress needed. My brother-in-law informed me that I giggled my way through the wedding ceremony, where the backlace swayed back and forth every time I laughed.
Even the wedding ring my husband gave me has an historic, hand-crafted feel. See my post on the DIY-ish designer ring to read about the art of lost-wax casting.
My dress and accessories were paired with more natural, classic hair and makeup. Get tips on natural bridal makeup from my recent post.
The wedding decor and venues set the stage for our little, old-fashioned, vintage romance wedding. We loved the whole day (flaws and all) and wouldn’t trade it for anything. And that’s exactly what you want after your wedding is over (for it to feel like a representation of you and your spouse, and to be both be completely satisfied- and likely exhausted). Happy wedding to you.
*Thank you to Chuck Hunt and the Register for sharing our wedding story.