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The very, very first thing I bought for our wedding was my dress.  No, seriously! We had been engaged for about 5 months, but due to some job switching on David’s part we weren’t sure what day would work out best – we only knew we wanted to be married in the fall. I had been looking around, mostly on the internet, for some wedding inspiration but couldn’t make any definite plans until we knew for sure that David could get time off.  So in September, my mom dragged me out dress shopping to a little family-run bridal shop called The Barn.

My mom and my oldest younger sister (follow that?) were with me and we had a blast trying on different wedding dresses. Since David and I are having a small wedding party (my two sisters, his brother and best friend), having my sister with me was a great opportunity. I tried on maybe 7 or 8 dresses – most of them strapless and satin, but my mom, who has more fashion sense in her pinky than I will ever have, insisted I try on a dress she liked. After trying on dresses for an hour or so, I had reprioritized a couple of things in my mind. Going into the whole thing, I was very open about the whole dress situation and my only criteria was that I had to be able to afford it (to me, this was about $800, but everyone’s mileage varies of course!). By the time I put that dress on, I knew I wanted a dress I could get in and out of myself, use the restroom in, and would trip over! And of course, I wanted to feel like a knock-out. Luckily, the dress my mom had picked fit all of these criteria. It was beautiful and lace and had an interesting back and I felt stunning in it. There were no tears and no ah-ha moment, but I definitely knew that even if I spent months and months searching, this dress made me feel like I was taking my first step to being able to walk down the aisle. Also, since it was September and the end of the “bridal season,” the dress was also marked down 30%! Doubly lucky, the dress fits me almost without a need for alterations so I could buy it off the rack – allowing me to save a few more pennies.

wedding dresses purple inspiration

After setting my dress aside to pay for, we started looking at dresses for my sisters. Lacey, who was with me, is definitely the fashionista of us (my youngest sister would rather die than wear a dress for one second longer than necessary – her agreeing to wear a bridesmaid dress is quite the wedding present!) immediately picked out a simple, floor length dress that would flatter them both. We decided not to make any bridesmaid dress purchases until we were a little farther along in the planning process but I knew that once she made up her mind, those were the dresses they would end up with.

wedding dresses purple inspiration
I had very few goals going into our wedding – to be able to pay for it, for it to be fun and beautiful, and for it to be as easy going on everyone as possible.  I really had no preference for what my sisters picked as their dresses so long as they looked good together and with my dress. Since we were so early in the process I also wasn’t set on any colors and figured that I would let the bridesmaids’ dresses lead the way on that. I just retained veto power over anything they chose 🙂

My sisters ended up going with a lovely dark purple with an ivory sash which I think is just lovely, especially since purple’s my favorite color! Flash forward six months and I’m still debating about whether I’d like to match it with red or green, though.

wedding dresses purple inspiration

Did anyone else go into their dress shopping with an open mind or did you already know what you wanted?

Photo credits:

Fabric Tables:

Glowing Lanterns:

Cherry Favors:


Garden Lanterns:

Lavender Bouquets:

Signs (pinterest): (original source unknown)

Tree Guest Book:

Purple Bridesmaid Dress:

Wedding Dress:


Cake (pinterest): (original source unknown)

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