Aug 20, 2017

Our Wedding: My Dress

I know that I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I was so lucky to have my mom make my dress.  It was a truly labor of love and turned out even beyond my hopes and dreams. It took hours/days/weeks for her to make.  We had to do a lot of things long-distance, which made it even more difficult, but she is a rockstar.

Before we started working on it, we discussed what I wanted and tried on some dresses to see what I liked.  I knew that I wanted it to have straps, but i didn’t want it to look like a strapless dress that someone added straps to.  I wanted it poofy but not too poofy.  I wanted the top of the dress to be really sturdy and hard, not flimsy at all.  I wanted it to be so hard that it would stand up on it’s own!  I wanted buttons down the back rather than ties, and I wanted a see-through lace back. I wanted sparkles but not obnoxiously so.  And I wanted it white white, not off white or ivory.  I knew in my head what I wanted, but I had never seen it in real life.  I tried on one dress at a bridal salon that was very close to what I wanted and became a very loose inspiration for what my mom made.

My mom bought a bunch of patterns online, mostly older ones, and patched them together to create a vision of what she interpreted that I wanted. She made a mock dress out of muslin fabric, and it was so close to exactly what I wanted! We made a few tweaks and then she had a guide for the dress.  We went to the store together to pick out the satin.

A few weeks later, I went up to NYC and back in the same day with the mission of getting lace for my dress.  I fell in love with some floral lace and some French alencon lace for the top of my dress at Sposabella. It was way more than I intended on spending, but I didn’t care because it was perfect.  Mission accomplished, I ate some ramen and then headed back to DC.

The next time I went home, I brought the lace with me and I was crestfallen when it didn’t match the satin at all. The satin was wayyy too white.  I overdramatically thought that everything was ruined, but I needn’t have worried, because my mom scoured the internet and found the perfect satin.  It wasn’t too white, but it wasn’t ivory either.  It was beyond perfect!  I think I cried happy tears.
The floral lace I chose had 3-D flowers on it, with sparkly beads in the middle of them.  My mom had to manually cut out and re-sew each flower onto the dress by hand. She is seriously amazing!
I came home several times for dress fittings and each time, it was more and more of a complete dress.  The last time I came home before the wedding, it was all done except for embellishments!  I tried it on and it was so perfect, but it was really, really hot.  My ingenious mother came up with a plan to make it less hot -- she made a separate skirt for the fluff that could be easily detached if needed and it somehow made it a lot cooler.

We made some final tweaks and then added a bunch of cool and special things.  She added eyelet scalloped lace around the neckline which really made the dress in my opinion.  Mom took the buttons from her dress and added them to mine.  We took sequins from my grandma’s dress and put them on mine, recreating the same pattern.  She sewed a patch with a blue mushroom (family tradition to go mushroom hunting in the spring) for my something blue, and a little piece of silk from my baby blanket into the inside of the skirt.  She also used fabric from my grandma’s dress to make a ring bearer pillow -- my other ring bearer’s pillow was made of fabric from my other grandma’s dress.

I love all of the individual, special touches that we were able to add to the dress.  I still look at pictures of my dress and marvel at my mom’s handiwork.  I feel beyond blessed to have had my dress made by my mom and I really felt like a princess when I wore it.

Throughout the year, my mom sent me pictures of the progress she was making and I loved getting these texts.  The pics that follow are of different steps the dress went through!

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I did try on some dresses at the store, just so we could get a sense of what I liked and looked good in.  I’ve always loved blog posts where people show the dresses that didn’t make the cut and this my version of that! Here were my favorite dresses that I tried on:

I actually really liked all 3 of these dresses, but not nearly as much as my dress.  What do you think?

And now for fun, here's me in my mom's wedding dress!  She also made her dress.

Ignore my blue undies please. 


  1. Not going to lie, I love your dress more than any of the contenders! I'm amazed that anyone can sew these things though! Your dress was perfection!

  2. Sandy is so amazing. I'm crying again damnit.

  3. Holy shit, how did I miss that your mom MADE that gorgeous wedding dress?! Good Lord, that's amazing. And I like the other three, but the one she made is far & away the best!

  4. So fabulous that your mom made your dress. It's gorgeous.

  5. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. pendants


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