I haven’t been hounded like Princess Kate, but I’ve gotten more than a few inquiries about my wedding dress. It’s not surprising, considering what a fashion icon I am. I mean, wear do you think Taylor Swift got the idea of a dress and cowboy boots? (See picture: I am two, clearly ahead of my time.) And still, I’ve not once been nominated for the Best Dressed Awards in Louisville. Do old t-shirts and thrift store jeans count for nothing? I do believe Chanel would approve.
I could have gone couture for the wedding. My future mother-in-law offered to make me a dress, even a replica of Princess Kate’s if I wanted. Being unable to make a decision, I had to decline the fabulous offer, not wanting her to have to deal with me changing my mind eight thousand times. Not a good way to start off that relationship.
At one of those BridalWarStores, I was tempted by a fabulous ballgown (with pockets!) that would have perfect for riding off into the sunset on a white unicorn with my prince (We have had trouble locating a unicorn rental company, but I’m persistent). FWT and I have been adamant about keeping this whole soiree environmentally responsible, but I was starting to get annoyed that my sanctimonious morals were getting in the way of My Perfect Wedding™. In the end, though, it just didn’t seem right to drop that much money on something I’ll wear for about three hours — not to mention all the oil miles and child labor (adult fingers can’t do that kind of lace detail!). I left the store empty-handed, giving myself 24 hours to find something used.*
Somehow, I did.
At one point, I had five wedding dresses hanging in my closet, thanks to my dear friends who are either 1) not sentimental at all about their gowns or 2) overly sentimental and would love to see it worn by a friend. A bridesmaid and I had a fun night of margaritas and dress-up a few months ago, but none of the dresses really fit me right. The one that did fit just didn’t make sense in a Kentucky July.
Less than 24 hours after finding that new dress in the store, I tried on one last used dress. It was perfect — simple, classic, fits just right, and belongs to my oldest friend. Well, technically, she’s younger than I am, and I go out drinking with her parents more than I do with her. Still, she’s great, and I think it’s wonderfully sentimental to be wearing her dress, especially since her wedding was the most memorable wedding I’ve ever attended. (The band was — I kid you not — The Rolling Stones. I don’t think that will ever be topped.)
So, yes, I’m pretty thrilled with my recycled, meaningful, pretty, couture gown. It’s been worn before, and it has the only tiniest of light stains here and there that are really only visible to me in certain angles and sunlight. I thought about having it cleaned first, but after learning that cleaning a wedding dress is hundreds of dollars, I decided to save the money and clean it after my wedding. Y’all won’t notice.
Besides, once you see FWT in a tuxedo, you’ll be wondering why you cared about what I was wearing at all.
*Again, I’m not judging you for your gorgeous new gown … I just have that whole Catholic/Jewish guilt factor tormenting me daily.
** Louisville folks, check out A Class Act on Breckenridge Lane, near Nanz & Kraft. The owner is incredibly helpful, and they have a huge selection of wedding gowns in all sizes and styles. Bridesmaids and prom stuff too. If you’ve got a gown taking up space in your closet, take it there. I tried on a ton of gowns there. I didn’t find the perfect one for my event, but I’d recommend that place to any environmentally-obsessed (or budget) bride.