A Dress, Ripe for the Picking

Have you ever bought a bag of clementines and the first few you try are hard and bitter? But you leave them in the fruit bowl with the bananas and after a while and they become super soft and sweet? I started to feel like a ripened clementine today.
You may remember, from my introductory post, that I was never the kind of girl that dreamt of the perfect traditional wedding. In fact, I always said that I would rather elope than walk down the aisle and put on a show. Today however, after scouting reception venues with my mom, I realized I do want a nice event—even if that means submitting to some of the standards I used to be so opposed to.
The first self-standard I broke was that of my ideal dress. I come from a family of seamstresses, so naturally I assumed that I would have the perfect dress handcrafted by my mother and myself. Being the cheapskate that I am, I figured I could get do the whole thing for under $200.
My mother suggested looking at my grandmother’s wedding dress to see if we could make it work. I love classic vintage silhouettes, and the sentimentality of having something my grandmother wore on her special day was too tempting to pass up. So I tried it on!


Adorably crafted antique lace, right? Plus it has the one attribute I really want: long sleeves. But that lace would require a lot of work to brighten and restore to its original glory. I’d also had concerns about wearing this for a winter wedding when it looks so springy! Mom suggested we just go to a bridal shop and try some things on, just to get a better idea for what I might like to make.
We drove to the nearest David’s Bridal and I dug through everything for something that I could relate to. Most dresses in shops right now are very structured, strapless, or blingy because that is what is on trend. My style is considerably more—alternative. So I was about to give up when I stumbled upon the one and only dress that might actually work for me.
Here’s a peek at it from the David’s Bridal catalog.

wedding dress


A beautiful, non-structured, and modest dress with matte looped sequins on a high quality jersey knit mesh. Not only did it fit like a glove, but the price was only $299! I totally snatched that thing up in a heartbeat, with no regrets!
This was not long-sleeved, so my mom and I found some heavy white knit mesh to make long sleeves with ourselves. Hooray for my seamstress mother! I almost can’t believe that I found something so perfect on my first try and at such a ridiculously good price!
After a change of heart such as this, the old Anna might say to the new Anna, ”You’ve gone soft, Banana!”
From the current Anna to the old Anna: “Hey, fruits just get sweeter with time!” I really mean that.
The new Anna is still struggling on whether or not to have a veil. What do you think? Would a veil be too much for this simple dress? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here

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