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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Wedding Gowns (45)

Thursday
Dec292011

The Best of the Best 2011, Day 3

Not surprised that this post is one of the most popular this year. It caused quite the ruckus over on Wedding Wire, as did my response.

Something I’d like to point out here though I feel I may have said it before, but without clarity. I’ll try again.

I do not like David’s Bridal. I had more than one bad experience while I was dress shopping and wedding planning. I find their marketing tactics cheap. I find their customer service model to be obnoxious and not at all helpful to bride sanity. The quality of their gowns compared to most other gowns is sub-par and quality is important to me. This is MY opinion based on MY experiences. I do not believe this makes me a snob or a bitch or a horrible person, contrary to some of the things said about me.

However, I have spoken and interacted with a huge number of brides who have been elated with their David’s Bridal experience. I have featured their weddings right here on this site. I do not think buying a gown from David’s Bridal makes you cheap or stupid. If your gown makes you happy, that’s what’s important.

My effort in this post was education. I wanted brides to understand the difference in quality, design and construction so as to help them make the best decision for themselves. I tried to come at the topic from all angles. Perhaps I failed? At any rate, here’s the second most popular post of 2011.

David’s Bridal vs. Vera Wang

Original post date February 1, 2011

So everyone's heard the news, right? Vera did the unthinkable. She crossed the couture line and walked straight into David's Bridal. I believe there was an audible *gasp* in the wedding community. The tweets and posts were blowing up my Google Reader, that's fo sho! I had an email exchange with a designer friend of mine about it. Even The Candyman had an opinion.

You can look at this in few different ways, plus some I'm sure I can't think of.

  • From the standpoint of a stylish bride on a budget: HELL to the YEAH! I get to wear Vera Wang and not break the bank!
  • From the standpoint of a stylish bride NOT on a budget: My "real" Vera Wang is way better.
  • From the standpoint of a designer dress boutique: What the hell is Vera doing? She's sending my customers to David's Bridal! That BITCH!
  • From the standpoint of David's Bridal: $$$$
  • From the stand point of Vera herself: $$$$

OK, maybe it's not that cut and dry.

Personally, I question the move. You have a high end, coveted wedding gown designer. She's appealing to the masses by making her line more affordable and available. One one hand, I feel like she's "dumbing down" her incredibleness. The moment you move from couture to ready-to-wear, you've cheapened yourself. She's cheapened her end product. On the other hand, she's made her incredibleness available to women who don't have $6K+ to blow on a gown. Had this happened when I was wedding gown shopping, I might have faced the horridness that I believe to be the inside of a David's Bridal shop, just to see what they looked like.

And what about those brides who do spend the $6K on a Vera Wang gown? Do we take those people into consideration? I think if I had a gown that cost me that much money and another bride could get similar for a mere fraction of the cost with the same brand name? I think that might piss me off. I don't know why. I don't think it would be the right emotion to have either, but I still think I would be at least mildly irritated. In all honesty, I think that would just be the snob in me being a big ol' bitch. It happens.

Now, if I were a designer boutique owner person, I would be pissed. PISSED! Sample gowns are not cheap. Running a luxury item business in this economy is not easy. Vera just made it even harder for these guys to eke out a living. These are shop owners who have supported her line for years. Yeah, I'd be super-pissed.

David's Bridal? Now they get some style cred above and beyond Oleg Cassini (*insert snarky comment here*). They get traffic into their stores. Win-win there.

Vera? She gets massive bucks. I'm sure her sales are not what they used to be because she's the supplier of a luxury item when the economy is in the Tinkletorium. She's probably protecting her own income. No one can fault a person for that, right?

What I think I am struggling with the most is what many people don't get: the DIFFERENCE between a Vera Wang gown and the David's Bridal White line by Vera Wang. Trust me, there will be a difference.

Fabric: Silk, satin, crepe de chine versus polyester. The major contributing factor to inexpensive gowns is in the choice of fabric. Synthetic fabrics have come a long, freakin' way in terms of aesthetics. Most everyday people walking around on the street cannot tell the difference between a poly blend and the real deal.

Beading: Hand-beaded versus pre-fab appliques or machine beading. Get close enough and you can tell.

Construction: French seams, built-in corsets, boning, lining, covered buttons/loops versus serged seams, standard fitting, zippers and little to no lining.

Here, let's compare:

 

Vera on the left. David's Bridal on the right at $1200.

 

Vera left, David's Bridal on the right at $1000, $58 for the sash.

 

Vera on the left, David's Bridal on the right at $1200, crystal sash is $148.

 

Vera on the left, David's Bridal on the right at $600, with a crystal sash at $148.

 

Vera left, David's Bridal on the right at $800 with a $58 sash.

I could keep this up all day, the comparison of her couture line to David's Bridal. There are little differences, as a designer and seamstress, that I can see right away. On the first dress? All those layers on the DB version are most likely more symmetrical and easier to construct. Vera's original gown is much more random and artistically created. It's literally harder to make and takes mad fucking skills to accomplish. The top of the Vera gown most likely has a built in corset so that the sucker can be fitted to your torso and NOT MOVE AN INCH, while still being comfortable as all hell. The DB version? I'm going to guess it's lined and that's about it. Alterations on the DB gown will most likely be easier and less expensive to do too. The fit on a DB gown will definitely be different than on the real deal.

My first inclination is to say, "Hey! Just go try on one of each and see how you feel!" DO NOT DO THIS. If we've learned anything from "Say Yes to the Dress" it's NEVER EVER EVER try on a dress you cannot afford. Just don't do it. For your own sanity, please just don't. Why? Because if you do, you'll fall in love with it. You'll start to see the differences, the detailing, the weight of the fabric. You'll see how good really great designs fit and look and feel. It's a lot like flying first class and then having to fly coach. The comparison spoils you for life.

But the great thing is that there are designers out there that give you a little bit more of everything: fit, style, fabric, construction, all without breaking the bank. My Mikaela gown was $1300, as much as these new David's Bridal dresses. Overall, the thing that I "lost" on my dress was the overall construction. There was an issue with one of the straps, my pre-made bustle failed at the end of the night (I ripped it out dancing) and I needed serious bust alterations (*ahem*). I did try on gowns I couldn't afford, but I knew what I was getting myself into. Happily, the designer gowns I tried on weren't The One so I was able to shrug off the comparison quite easily. This is not something I'd chance to an inexperienced gown shopper.

But what do you, as an average bride (sorry, I don't mean YOU are average), care? Most people will just think you look beautiful in your dress. After you walk down the aisle, you'll still be married regardless of whether you wore Dior or Casablanca. You need to find The One and it can be done on a budget. I tried on over 100 gowns. That's right, over 100. It wasn't until I put on my Mikaela gown that I felt anything that I can only describe as "right."  It felt good. It felt right. I felt like me, cranked up a notch. I felt beautiful. I felt elegant. My photographer's wife cried when she saw me in it. My friends who I had dragged to various appointments all slowly nodded when I modeled it for them. I didn't want to take it off. That's how you should feel about your dress. Personally, I don't think that feeling comes with a particular price point attached to it.

So what's your take on the Vera thing? Does it even matter?

Thursday
Nov102011

Dear Pan X.

I got a shit-ton of hits this week from Wedding Wire from a bride who decidedly did NOT like my post on Vera Wang’s White line offered at David’s Bridal.

Here’s the comment:

Soooooo just had a friend trash my dress because it isn't a "real" Vera Wang dress. She likes this blog http://www.thethirtysomethingbride.com/imported-20100102151706/2011/2/1/davids-bridal-vs-vera-wang.html Which is the thin [sic]I blame for this situation. I really do not like that blog, because the blogger is such a snob all the time while pretending to understand and sympathize, even support brides on a budget. I hate dress snobs. You can afford Vera Wang made of 100% silk? Good for you. Now leave me alone to enjoy my polyester dress in peace please. This is one of those girls who spends $400 on a Coach Wallet she really can't afford, because God forbid she pay bills if she has to use a cheap wallet.

Thought I'd reply here to a few accusations tossed my way....

First, if you don't like me or my blog, I am way OK with that. Lots of people don’t. If you don't think I'm supportive of brides and the choices they make, I'm OK with that too. The great thing about being human is that we get to make decisions about what we read and don't read, do and don't do. It’s good to be human, no?

As for being a dress snob - perhaps I am. I've attempted, over time, to explain the differences in the price of gowns so that brides who might not know the difference between the quality of a DB dress and designer dress don't become overwhelmed and/or feel inferior about about their dress choice. It appears that what I think I’m doing and how you feel about that are not one in the same. Please note that it is not my intention to be a dress snob. I will admit that I am a quality snob, but that’s not limited to dresses.

However, I do feel somewhat personally attacked. Some of the things you said in your comment lead me to believe you’re not a regular reader, so I want to clarify simply because  like a lot of people, I’m insecure and don’t like to be spoken about negatively.


For the record:

  • I could not afford a Vera Wang dress. My original budget was $800 for my gown. I ended up with a Mikaella gown that cost me $1300 before alterations. The ONLY reason I could afford the dress was because my mom slipped me an extra $500 on the sly because she knew I was having a hard time finding a gown I loved in my price range.
  • As I’ve mentioned many times before (though you may not be aware), I am a seamstress and designer by trade and training. The reason I talk about the differences in the gowns is to educate; to explain why one dress is more expensive than another. If you don’t care, that’s fine. For me, it pisses me off when I see cheap dresses being sold at any price just because of the label on it, hence my Vera Wang White post.
  • Now, as for the bit about the Coach wallet and paying my bills? Um, screw you. Yeah, I said it. And everyone who might be supporting Pan X. and her comment and rant on dress snobs? THINK for just a minute about how a comment like that might make you FEEL. Screw the bits about the dress snobbery- that’s just superficial fluff in the big-life-picture. What if, for the sake of her comment, that I am reckless with my money? What if I have regrets a-plenty about the money I’ve spent? I certainly don’t want to see that and have it thrown in my face, deserved or not. Would you? HOWEVER, you Pan X., could not be more wrong about me and the state of my financial affairs, as if they were any of your business to begin with. I learned a long, hard lesson about finances when I was in my early 20’s and I paid for it, literally, for years. Since then, I have NEVER purchased a product (other than my house) that I could not pay for in cash. Ever. Whether that thing be a $400 Coach wallet (for the record, nope) or the 2 for $15 t-shirts at Old Navy (for the record, MANY times). I have a credit score that would make your head swim and I helped my husband increase his over 100 points with smart financial planning. We paid for our wedding ourselves without going a penny into debt, our assistance amounting to the $500 my mom gave me. I have been unemployed for a year and have JUST dipped into our “big” savings account to help us along. I can be unemployed for at least another 13-14 months before worry sets in. Why? Because I planned. Because I saved. Because I never lived beyond my means. Because I played it smart when everyone else I knew was throwing money around like it was confetti. Because I work hard for my money.  And you know what?  I’m PROUD of this fact. So do me favor, OK? Before you go talking about people and assuming certain things about their personal lives, dig a little deeper (or just ask). All that crap is somewhere on this blog, you just have to read.
  • Lastly, instead of blaming me because I choose to put my thoughts, experience and knowledge out there regarding the differences in the DB Vera Wang and the real deal, I might consider your choice of friends. People who say that kind of shit to each other are generally insecure or unhappy about something. I honestly don’t think this is about you, this blog, your dress or Vera Wang. I think this is about the “friend” who said a mean thing that upset you. And for that I’m sorry. No one, and I mean no one should be made to feel bad about their choice of dress, or anything associated with their weddings, despite what this blog, your friend or any other website might tell you. Period.

I wrote all this here only because it wouldn’t fit in the comment section on Wedding Wire.

Friday
Nov042011

Dear T30SB: Strapless Gown Slippage Advice

I received the following email recently and thought that the answer might be something all brides could use a little help with:

Found your blog while researching the Wtoo Liane gown used in one of your blog entries.  Any idea of what under garments the bride wore underneath?  My daughter is getting married later this month and is experiencing some anxiety with dress slippage.  She is a size 2.  Thanks in advance for any info! –Merry

Well Merry, you have a very good question here that I’m certain many brides could use some assistance with. You didn’t mention your daughter’s cup size, but since she’s a size 2 I’m going to go ahead and assume her rack is as petite as she is.

The key to avoiding strapless gown slippage is all in the alterations. Your seamstress must know what she’s doing. In order for the gown to fit snuggly in the boobs and to remain in place, the fit around the waist needs to be exact. Particularly with the Liane gown (a ruffled-skirt ball gown shape), the weight of the dress is meant to be carried on the hips. If it’s snug around the waist and your daughter has hips, the dress won’t go anywhere.

That isn’t to say that the bust line doesn’t need altering. That area should fit too, but the top of the bust line should not feel tighter than the waistline. If it does that’s where the overall weight of the dress will fall, causing slippage.

Also note that during the course of the day, the dress will stretch a little – as do all clothes as you wear them about. Plan on this. Make sure the gown fits tight at the final fitting, but not so tight that you seriously can’t breath. Slightly uncomfortable is OK, you’ll be able to breath later, I promise.

Larger busted gals: be wary of having your gown fit too tightly under your boobs versus your waist. Don’t use your gown as a support system for your massive rack. Your strapless bra is your support system. Again, the tightest spot is where the bulk of the weight of the dress will fall and you want that to be primarily at your waist, so the gown doesn’t slip down over your hips.

If your gown laces up the back, make sure those laces are tight. Have your MOH adjust them pre-reception to help keep the dress fitting like  a dream the rest of the night.

Let’s say you have your gown altered and it fits like a dream. Then let’s say you’re like me and without trying, you drop 5 pounds the week of the wedding and now your gown is too big. What’s a bride to do? Bring back up.

By back up, I mean boob inserts. I like to call them chicken cutlets. I wrote about mine here

image

Photograph by Jonathon Campbell Photography

Guess which size I wore? Yeah, I went for the bigger ones. I needed all the help I could get. My dress also had sewn in bra cups so I could go sans bra. I don’t suggest this on a strapless gown though. There are 800 billion strapless bra options out there. If you’re not sure which bra will work, buy a couple you think work and feel best. Keep the tags on, try it on with your gown at your fitting and return the ones that don’t work. Check with the store’s return policy first, but you really shouldn’t have any trouble with this. Inserts will be much harder to return, usually because they are sold in a way that you have to destroy the packaging to get at them.  They aren’t terribly expensive and will be worth the boob-headaches on your wedding day.

Last but not least, double sided sticky fashion/lingerie tape with help keep the gown from moving around and showing nipple – as a last resort. DO NOT RELY ON THIS TO HOLD YOUR DRESS UP ALL NIGHT. Fashion tape is used mostly to keep fabric in place, not as a support system. If you’ve never used fashion tape before, do a little research. A make-up artist gave me some once to use on a model for a TruLu Couture fashion shoot and that shit was like super-glue. It ruined the piece I used it on because it simply would not come off. Think about how that might feel on your skin all night. Give it a test run first to see how your skin reacts to it (do this in an inconspicuous area on your bod). You don’t want a hideous rash creeping up around the edge of your gown now, do you? No, I think not.

OK, I thought I was done, but I’m not. Another last resort is a sash. If you’re gown was altered incorrectly and it’s not snug enough at your waist and hips, consider a last minute sash. You can buy one from any number of resources (Etsy, Cargoh, your bridal gown shop) or you can make a quick trip to the fabric store and buy yourself some 3-4” wide satin ribbon and DIY that sucker. Having a sash cinched around your waist will help transfer the weight there to keep your gown up. Consider it a fun reception piece since that’s where you’ll be doing most of your moving around.

Whew. OK, Merry? Did I answer your question thoroughly? Here a recap…. First: Alterations. Second: A good, supportive  bra worn during the final fitting. Third: Boob inserts. Fourth: Fashion tape. Fifth: Sash.

Good luck and let me know how it all turns out!

Tuesday
Sep272011

Kirstie Kelly’s Line at Costco, T30SB Review

Y’all know I try to call things like I see them, right? However, my opinions may not be the same as others  (i.e. my opinion on David’s Bridal is the converse to many happy, frugal brides), so I suppose you can read this review with a grain of salt.  That’s my article caveat….

So you might remember how excited I was when I first heard about Costco selling wedding gowns. I mean, I certainly love me some Costco. They have all sorts of things for your wedding needs at bulk, discount pricing: invitations, catering, flowers, photo books. It’s all at a sick savings, too.

Anyway, I was DYING to see some of the gowns offered because I wasn’t familiar with the Kirstie Kelly line, other than the stuff she did for Disney. And Disney brides are just a little weird (yes, you are). So can you imagine my excitement when I walked into my own Costco here in Charlotte and saw that they would be there? I almost started jumping up and down, but I contained myself and focused on buying giant bags of coffee, 4000 rolls of toilet paper and the 24-count Morning Star veggie burgers for $8.99.

Wait, where was I? Right, Costco gowns. First, a big thank you to the Costco in Matthews for allowing me to crash their gown party, talk to brides and to take pictures. Second, another big thanks to Maud C. of Kirstie Kelly who was kind enough to give me the low-down on all this Costco wedding gown hoopla!

Here’s the skinny:

  • The Kirstie Kelly Signature line has 12 couture-inspired wedding gowns available exclusively at Costco starting at 40% off retail.
  • 4 simple veils (2 fingertips, 2cathedral) $89.99 to $119.99
  • 2 week home delivery.
  • Priced $699.99-$1399.99
  • Gowns are hand-beaded, hand-ruched.
  • Excellent construction using interior bodice support and horsehair canvas trimmed train edges (that keeps the edges of the material from flipping up as you walk down the aisle).
  • Swarovski crystals used in beading.
  • All dresses come with a zipper back, but button covered zippers may be ordered for a small fee.
  • YOU must have your gown altered (if need be) by a seamstress of your choosing. Costco does not offer this service.

I will say this: yes, it’s a little weird with all this happening inside Costco where folks are purchasing smoked salmon, tires and tulip bulbs (it’s time to plant!). It’s nothing fancy, but they do have the whole thing set up as nicely as possible.  All the gowns are in a separate, sort of walled off private area that’s the fitting room. It has a mirror. Then there’s the “viewing room” with two 3-way mirrors and several white Philippe Starck-esque chairs for the dress posse to chill in. All the gowns are lined up outside all this. It’s not like it’s a lovely setting, but it’s fine if you want a well-priced gown and could care less about the whole “bridal salon experience.” Speaking from someone who had that “experience?” Meh. I’d have preferred my dress be to 40% less than what I paid, thank you very much! Here’s a pic of “the fitting room.”

IMG_2478

One thing I really want to note here is the construction of these gowns. My biggest beef with David’s Bridal is the corners they cut to get to the inexpensive price point. Cheap construction reflects in the ultimate fit of a gown, which I believe results in increased dollars spent on alterations at where? That’s right, DB. To me, it’s all a game of where the bride spends her dough, but it really isn’t the best money spent. You follow? Anyway, sorry for the mini-rant. My point is that these gowns are solid. I even took some pictures of the interior construction. While it’s not couture, by any means, it is very good construction.

interior1

interior3

So here are a number of the gowns! And uh, P.S. Costco = bad warehouse lighting. I did my best! If you want to see a larger image, right click on the picture and choose "View Image."

$899.99 Lace trumpet gown with a sweetheart neckline and floral belt.

$1399.99 Pleat-front ball gown with sweetheart neckline and beaded bodice and sleeves.

The beading was heavy, not cheap. The sleeves are removable.  Drop waist, with flaring pleats. Very traditional and classic.

$999.99 Ruched asymmetrical bodice with beaded bust line, belt and pleated side pick-ups.

I loved this gown. Definitely one of my favorites.

$1299.99 Lace fit and flare gown with a peek-a-boo, keyhole style back and a sweetheart neckline.

I am seeing a TON of this look – of large, overlapping lace appliqués this season. This is a great modification of it!

$899.99 Pleat-front a-line gown with beaded bodice and belt.

Really fantastic beading for this price point! Incredible!

$1399.99 Single shoulder, modified ball gown with a beaded lace bodice and side pick-ups.

A spectacular gown for the price. More of that overlapping, lace appliqué I was talking about.

 

$699.99 Ruched bodice, twisted straps and asymmetrical skirt.

This was not a personal favorite; however, I think I need to see it on someone. Someone curvy, I think!

$999.99 Trumpet gown with net overlay and lace appliqués.

Hello, you Vintage Brides? Here’s your dress. I cannot tell you how stunning this gown is. These pictures DO NOT do it justice. KILLER effing train.

 
$999.99 Softly pleated organza, drop waist with a sweetheart neckline.

Really elegant and flowy. 

$899.99 Sweetheart neckline fit and flare gown with beaded belt.

So there are a few more gowns that I’m not showing, you know, to motivate you to see more! They only have a few more showings this year and they are in California. Here’s that info..

Novato, CA:  10/13-10/16

San Francisco, CA: 10/20-10/23

Concord, CA: 10/20-10/23

And for more info, go to Costco.com and type in "wedding dresses" in the search field.

I truly think that these gown are worth a look-see, particularly if you live in California and can make it to these last events. The bride I spoke with lives several hundred miles away and made the trip specifically to find her gown. I was shocked, actually. She tried on 5 dresses in less than 45 minutes, bought the second one she tried on (the softly pleated organza one with the belt [an extra cost] from the last dress pictured) with a cathedral veil and was outta there. She was NOT messing around. I was impressed at the decision making skills there. The sales staff was fast, clear and attentive with her. I was impressed.

So here’s my review: in terms of visual bridal salon loveliness? Meh. It’s manageable unless you really care about all that. They have plenty of super-knowledgeable staff on hand to help you, guide you and treat you nicely. Fabulous customer service, in fact. The Gowns? Total score. Great quality, fabulous price points and a good selection of styles and sizes to try on (not just the sample size!). Overall? A big double thumbs-up from T30SB.

What do YOU think? Would you forgo the salon experience for 40% off? Do tell.

*This is NOT a sponsored post.

Wednesday
Sep142011

{Giveaway!} Melissa Sweet, Pre-Loved

OKOKOKOKOKOKOKOKOKOK….OK!!! I’m so excited. Like puppybutt-wiggle excited!

OK, so remember the kick-ass backyard Unfake Wedding from yesterday? Well, OK. The bride? Her name is Stephanie? Yeah, well. OK, just read her email. It’s WAY easier than trying to explain it all.

CS_206

Hi Louise

I hope you are having a great Wednesday! You don't know me, but I read your blog and love it. Even though my wedding is now over, yours is one of the few wedding blogs I still read on a regular basis (probably because you're not just about weddings anymore!). I really like your spunk, style and great adventures. Your earthquake story today was great. My friends back east were freaking out over their earthquake yesterday and I couldn't help but laugh after all of the quakes we've been through in California!
Anyhow, post-wedding I find myself with a beautiful dress, just sitting in the closet... After some thought, I would like to give it away for a few reasons:
1. It is so gorgeous and it would be sad for it to never see the light of day again. The world needs beautiful things and this is one of them!
2. It is discontinued so there won't be any more made...sadly...bringing me back to point number 1.
3. I hope I will have a boy (if/when we decide to have kids) but even if I have a girl child I would not want her to feel obligated to wear my dress. She should be able to have the fun of choosing her own!
4. I am very practical and into re-using and recycling, so the thought of my dress having a second life makes me happy. Seeing it in the closet again and again will probably make me feel guilty that it hasn't gone to a new home yet.
It is a Melissa Sweet, style "Plum" that I got at a sample sale in Miami. You seem to like stories so here goes the story of how I found my dress: I was looking for a dress last summer and thought I was going to buy one online,  for about $500 from Dolly Couture- the Milan, very cute tulle tea-length number. From watching/drooling over Say Yes to the Dress, though, I knew about fancy designers and I had signed up for the Priscilla of Boston email list on the off-chance that there was a sample sale in a city while I was traveling, since there was no PofB in LA (where we live) at the time and I travel a fair bit for work. Lo and behold, about 3 days before I have this trip to Miami I get a sample sale email. I Google-map the hotel and the salon, and they are 2 blocks apart. Fate! I had a 1-hour break between meetings and a team dinner one night, so I headed over to the salon. After being hassled for not having an appointment (when the sample sale email said 'no appointments necessary'!) I was allowed to browse the racks. I am fairly in touch with what I wanted and what works for my body, so I quickly had two selections and was shown to a dressing room. Contrary to what happens on SYTTD, the lady left me alone to get into the dresses myself. I put the first one on and it's fabulous (it's the one I ended up getting- the first wedding dress I ever tried on!). The sample size fits me and flatters my figure in a way I didn't anticipate from the drop-waist. The price tag, however, says $1850 (marked down from $3500) and there's no way I'm going to pay that much for a dress. I reluctantly take it off and put on the second one, which makes me look super-fat and is not very attractive, but it doesn't have a price tag so the lady goes to check on the price for me. She comes back and says that the second one is $2500, but 50% off, so down to $1250. Thanks but no thanks. Then she says that the first one, which I loved, was $995...and also 50% off! For the same price as the online dress, I could have a Melissa Sweet?!! Yes please!! I paid for the dress and carried it home with me on the plane the next day. Everyone laughed to know that I bought my wedding dress alone, in Miami, in an hour break before dinner, and as the first wedding dress I tried on. Nuts, but just the way I like it. :)
So anyhow, if you are amenable and would be so gracious as to post this, I would love to give the dress away to one of your readers or friends. I would want someone spunky who is not WIC-obsessed, but other than that I don't have a lot of criteria.
The dress is a sample, but in great shape, bridal size 8 (I normally wear a street size 4-6 on top where it's fitted), and it has been professionally cleaned since the wedding. I altered the length myself by taking it up from the waist since I wanted an actual tea length and I am not 5'8" like the model it was built for (just 5'4"). I have been sewing for over 20 years so the alterations look close to professional (the one mistake I made is hidden by the sash and I doubt anyone else would have even noticed). For full disclosure, I did manage to drip some salted caramel ice cream on the skirt at the wedding, but that is gone now!
If you'd like to take a look at the dress (and our wedding!!) our photographer got it published on this random blog a few weeks ago: One Love Photography.
Let me know what you think...thanks!!

OK, so you totally know what we’re doing now, right???? FREE GOWN! FREE GOWN! FREE GOWN!!!! FREEEEEEE GOOOOOOOWWN!

So here’s the skinny. I totally had Stephanie send me the dress so I could give the thing a look-see to make sure all was capice. It’s a beautiful 100% silk chiffon overlay that’s embroidered with these little round things and teeny sequins. Very pretty. I went over it with a fine tooth comb. It’s immaculate. I did find her sewing mistake, but I looked for it. Naked eye? No way. Some of the embroidery circles on the back had a few loose threads, but after I steamed the gown, I snipped those off and it all looks fantastic. There are some dresser’s marks on the inside lining of the gown, but it’s on the inside and they are teeny. Full dress disclosure here. If you win this gown, all you should do is get it professionally cleaned and pressed again so that it’s at it’s very best. My hand steamer was good, but I’d take it to do professionally, just to be thorough. 

The model shot of this dress can be found here. Also, some detail shots I took of the gown here in the TruLu Couture studio:

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Dress7

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Pretty, right? So here’s what you have to do to win it.

1. Leave a comment – 1 entry.

2. Follow me on Twitter (@T30SB) – 1 entry. Leave an ADDITIONAL comment here telling me that you are a follower, new or old. Both will get ya the entry, just comment.

3. Follow me on Facebook (The 30-Something Bride) – 1 entry. Leave an ADDITIONAL comment here telling me that you are a follower, new or old. Both will get ya the entry, just comment.

4. Make sure you read the Official Rules here. Contest entries will be accepted up until 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. Winner will be announced on Friday, September 23rd!

That’s it. Have fun. Spread the word. Make a bride happy.