The wedding dress saga
August 27, 2008, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Green, Wedding

It is very easy to get caught up in wedding planning and the whole idea of what a modern wedding is supposed to be.

Case in point: I went wedding dress shopping with Jake’s mom, Jake’s sister-in-law, and two of my friends a few weeks ago. I am not happy or proud to admit that we went to David’s Bridal first (big box stores are definitely not my thing). Surprisingly, I found a dress that my entourage and I really liked. It was on sale for $700. They did not have the dress in my size, so I had to try on a dress that was a size too big. In order for them to order my size (which is considered to be a special order), I would have to pay for it in full. The sale supposedly ended on August 23rd and the dress supposedly went back up to it’s original price of $900. The sales women were very pushy about this point and the fact that I should buy, buy, buy, now, now, now.

One of my friends and I went to a smaller bridal store across the street after wrapping things up at David’s. I found another dress I liked there. The price on the tag was $850. I didn’t even bother to ask if it was currently on sale.

I sent pictures around to friends and family and got mixed opinions on the two dresses. I decided I should shop around a bit more before making a decision. I found two more dresses I liked online. One was by the same designer of the dress I liked at the small store, so my guess is that it would be around the same price range. The other was a “couture” dress that goes new for $2,000, but is currently available used on eBay in my size for $600.

After talking some more with some of my friends and stressing out about the whole dress thing, I came to the realization that, while all of these dresses are gorgeous and I would probably be happy with any of them, this is not what I want. I do not want to have to shell out $600-$900 on a dress that I will only wear once. I do not want to buy a dress that was made in such a way that destroys the environment and is made under questionable working practices. None of these things line up with who I am fundamentally and certainly would not be a good foundation for a celebration that is supposed to be based on love.

So, I’ve refocused my energies and am now trying to only consider organic, used, or vintage dresses. A sister of one of my friends owns a vintage clothing store and she currently has about 10 wedding dresses. I’m planning a trip to visit her store to see what she has. I want to hit up all the used and vintage clothing stores in town and if I still don’t happen upon a dress I like, I will search fervidly online.

This is my wedding, after all, and it should be representative of me (and Jake, of course, when he decides to jump in and give his two cents about the wedding). So there, media driven and consumer obsessed American culture- I’m not buying it.

3 Comments so far
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Good for you! You should read ‘One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding’by Rebecca Mead if you’re interested in how the bridal industry really plays off the (supposed) day you’ve been dreaming about since you were a girl.

Comment by Teresa

I had to laugh at your comment: “…Jake’s too, when he gets ready to put his 2 cents in.” I’m probably one of the few women in the world, whose husband actually planned the wedding. I was too busy trying to finish by bachelor’s degree and stay alive, so my mom and fiance planned the whole thing. But this is very rare, so I imagine your hubby-to-be will be happy for you to decide everything and just let him show up on your big day! My super frugal sis-in-law paid $50 for her wedding dress because she got it on sale at a major retailer right after prom season. It was supposed to be a party dress, but no one knew the difference. BTW, best of luck on the dress hunt.

Comment by Reesa

Teresa- I just got One Perfect Day from the library and am loving it so far. Thanks for the suggestion!

Comment by Sarah

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