I love all of my dresses, but sometimes there are ones I love just a little bit more. Ones that take up a bigger space in my heart. One of those dresses I wore on a Sunday, where surrounded by family and friends, I married the father of my child and the love of my life.
This happens to be the second dress I purchased. I started like most with a traditional search, visiting local bridal salons, trying different styles. Nothing really spoke to me. I began to search online, where it became more than difficult to wade through the fast fashion retailers masquerading as bridal boutiques. Choosing a gown without having tried it on or having felt the fabric was a risk. One that did not pay off.
It arrived as a garment I would describe as of good quality construction and fabric… but not great. I'd included my measurements with the order, but it was clear a great deal of alterations would be needed. Ill fitting, strapless, and heavily beaded, I knew this dress wasn’t for me. I knew it wasn’t the one. Sometimes things just don’t translate from the computer screen. Deposits paid and invitations sent, I was running short on time. I decided I needed a new dress.
After an extensive internet search, I arrived at Etsy, an online retailer selling handmade and vintage goods. There were a handful of talented dressmakers, most of whom turned me down with my short timeline. But, I was able to find one willing to take me on. This dress is an amalgamation of a few dresses I’d liked. I was able to email several images, highlighting design features I was interested in. This dress was custom made for me. This was the one.
It is white satin with a v neck and a front side split that I just had to have. There is a v back and I had pockets added. Something about wearing a dress with pockets that just makes you feel so comfortable. I added a small train that was just long enough to sweep the floor when I walked. I wore red lipstick and red nail polish because I always wear red lipstick and red nail polish and I wanted to present myself to my future husband with authenticity. My hair was free and natural, as it always is, accented by two white roses. On my feet, my favorite pair of Giuseppe Zanotti suede sandals.
In Western cultures it is common for brides to wear white, but in some Eastern cultures colors such as red may traditionally be worn. Historically, a bride would typically wear her finest dress in any fabric and in any color to take her vows. When Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840, she wore a white dress trimmed in lace sparking a trend that persists today.
I understand why so many women feel their wedding dress is so special. It’s not just that the dress is pretty or the amount of money spent. It’s because this is the dress you’re wearing when you become someone else. For me, this is the dress I wore to marry my husband. In this dress I became his wife. In this dress I became Mrs. Brown.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSHUA BOONE