An Abrupt End to Miss Mink’s Dress Search

The other day, I told you about my trip to Hitched in Georgetown and how I added Jorge Manuel to the list of designers I liked after seeing his name on the salon’s website. I started gobbling up everything I could find online about Jorge because his dresses were unlike any I had seen before. While many of the silhouettes were traditional, the details were so different! I thought his dresses looked like pieces of art.

I had been searching for dresses with quirky or whimsical details and while many of the dresses I tried on were beautiful, none seemed to have a very special or original look. The Jorge Manuel gowns had me excited. The fashion lover in me liked them a lot and I also felt excited about them. Perhaps I was feeling the emotions that many brides feel when they find their dress?


Look at the detail on that train! / The Indus by Jorge Manuel

I tried on The Emerald gown at Hitched and it was a wee bit too slinky for me since I’m a little self-conscious about my hips. I kept searching and reading whatever I could about Jorge and his dresses.


The Emerald by Jorge Manual

A post on the Completely Unveiled wedding blog got me really excited. Jorge was giving away one of his gorgeous, one-of-a-kind dresses! I couldn’t imagine being lucky enough to win the Star gown, but I started to daydream about it a little bit. Finally, I decided that I would regret not trying to win and wrote a little essay to submit as my entry. I heard that there were over 250 entries, so I wasn’t too hopeful.


Image from Jorge Manuel’s blog

A few weeks later, I woke up to find out that I was one of the five semi-finalists in the Upon a Star Contest! Just getting picked for one of those five spots was a thrill. I put the contest out of my head for a couple weeks.

On the morning that the winner of the gown was announced, I groggily checked my email and didn’t have any messages about the contest. Oh well. It was nice to have been a finalist and I realized that the contest made me decide that I wanted to be a Jorge bride since I hadn’t been as excited about any other designer’s gowns during my search.

I figured I’d check out which of finalists was the winner. One of the pictures on the front page of Jorge’s website had changed. I was one click away from finding out who won one of his beautiful wedding gowns.


Image from Jorge Manuel’s website

I clicked and screamed.


He can do wonders just wrapping fabric around a form! / Image from Jorge Manuel’s website

Junior Mink seemed to think I was injured. I ran over to Mr. Mink and threw myself into his arms, probably making unintelligible sounds. He thought I saw a spider. He knew I had entered a contest to win a dress, but I wouldn’t let him see it or tell him too many details. He couldn’t possibly be as excited as I was.

So, my dress search came to a very unexpected and abrupt end with a one-of-a-kind, dream dress. Later that morning, Jorge Manuel himself called me at the office and said that he was flying me down to Charleston to pick up my gown at Maddison Row, the bridal salon that helped sponsor the contest. He promised me that the dress was better in person. I had only looked at a few pictures of the gown on a dress form, but I thought he was selling it a little short. It looked beautiful to me! I hope you’ll agree! Tomorrow, I’ll share pictures from my trip to Charleston, including ones of me trying on my gown for the first time!

Have you ever won anything from a blog contest? What was it?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
DIY Giraffe Invitations
It's So Fluffy!!
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  1. frenchbulldog Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:54 am

    OMG that is amazing! I cannot wait to see your dress, those dresses are stunning!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    k8e, Guest @ 9:57 am

    WOW! congrats!!!!!!!

  3. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:58 am

    @Mrs. French Bulldog: Writing that post made me excited all over again! I can’t wait to share more pictures tomorrow!

    @k8e: Thanks!

  4. Member
    futureMFG 283 posts, Helper bee @ 9:58 am

    THAT IS SO AMAZING!!!!! Congratulations!!!!! I can’t wait to see!! Exclamation points!!!!1!11!!one!

  5. Member
    jpalm13 2957 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:10 am

    How exciting!!!! Can’t wait to see it!!

  6. thimble Member
    thimble 857 posts, Busy bee @ 10:12 am

    Holy crap that’s awesome!!! Congrats! I won my wedding album here on the Bee, it’s a great feeling to have a big expense taken care of. But the DRESS! that’s a dream win. Want to see!

  7. Member
    LibraryBride2013 212 posts, Helper bee @ 10:16 am

    That is amazing!! Congrats! I’m sure the dress is absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never won anything on a blog contest, but I have won a magazine contest. Monday nights at the library are notoriously slow, so when I am at the reference desk there’s not a whole lot to do besides browse magazines and the internet. I must have entered a contest through Conde Nast publishers (I don’t really remember!) and won a $5,000 sweepstakes! My FI and I won a Samsung 3D LED tv, and a bunch of other ridiculous stuff we would never buy for ourselves! The TV was well worth it, and my FI got a $1600 watch out of it too! The downsize is having to pay taxes on it, but when you consider what we got, it’s well worth it. Do you have to pay taxes on your dress?

  8. Member
    All In 1550 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:17 am

    Wow, that’s incredible! Congratulations.

  9. Member
    haelmai 321 posts, Helper bee @ 10:21 am

    That’s so amazing!!!! Congrats on such an awesome surprise!!! I won my Save The Dates here at the Bee, and it is such a surprising feeling to know that you won out of all the other entrants. :-)

  10. trailmix Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:26 am

    Wow, that is awesome, I can’t wait to see the dress in your next post!!!

  11. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:32 am

    @Mrs. Thimble: It’s safe to say that I’m totally hooked on wedding contests! The Bee has some great ones!

    @LibraryBride2013: I’m expecting one of those lovely tax letter to come in the new year.

    I won a trip to Bonnaroo and camping gear back in the early days of that festival and I remember paying the taxes on it…but I was happy to do it in exchange for the experience. :)

    @haelmai: I have a feeling many more than 250 people enter the ones on the Bee in light of how much traffic is on here, so your win is pretty big, too!

  12. Member
    TheFutureMcBride 4485 posts, Honey bee @ 10:32 am

    I cannot wait to see pictures. That’s a gorgeous dress!

  13. Member
    coasterkim 61 posts, Worker bee @ 10:39 am

    That is amazing! Congrats! My first thought though was how is it there were only 250 entries for a free wedding dress???

  14. Member
    bRooklynRocks 4048 posts, Honey bee @ 10:42 am

    Yeah, I remember when you posted about this on the boards. I thought it was the most.exciting.thing.ever!! I wish I had entered some of those contests but I never believed folks won anything. You are so lucky :)

  15. Member
    nightcheese 1836 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:47 am

    oh my god i am so excited for you! that is a dream come true! those dresses are beyond fantastic!

  16. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:00 am

    Oh my gosh – Congratulations!!!! Wow!
    I feel great just thinking I have now heard of someone who has won something! Yea!!!

  17. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:09 am

    @coasterkim: I guess it wasn’t the typical giveaway because you had to answer a bunch of questions through an essay. Being in academia, I probably had the unfair advantage of writing and reading a lot of essays over the last 10 years!

    @bRooklynRocks: You just reminded me of these commercials that MTV ran when I was kid. Winners of their contests would cheer “People really do win on MTV!” We thought they were so cool.

    @Miss Ke Aloha: Does this make you want to enter a few contests? I am sooo hooked!

  18. Member
    tea 2414 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:09 am

    That is a fantastic contest to win! You make me want to start entering contests now.

  19. mole Member
    mole 1242 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:46 am

    Wow, how exciting! I’ve never entered a contest like that. Now maybe I will.

  20. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 11:46 am

    What an amazing thing to win, congrats! I can’t wait to see what beautiful creation you’ll be wearing for your wedding day!

  21. Member
    sleepypanda 60 posts, Worker bee @ 12:08 pm

    holy crap, wow! That’s so great! I can’t wait to see pics of the dress!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Alleycat, Guest @ 12:50 pm

    OMG Miss Mink!! How exciting!! Congratulations!

  23. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:56 pm

    Thanks so much, everyone! I can’t wait to show you the dress tomorrow!

  24. Member
    paw 871 posts, Busy bee @ 1:35 pm

    Congrats! How amazing is that! Can’t wait to see pics of the dress and the trip!

  25. Member
    lisaelanna 530 posts, Busy bee @ 2:39 pm

    That is a heck of a blog contest win. I do love that they had you write an essay though, I think most of the contests I’ve seen are just “like” this page and write a comment and you’ll be entered. An essay would really show who actually cares and who deserves to win. SO: Congrats on winning!!! – I can’t wait to see your dress!

  26. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:55 pm

    @lisaelanna: That’s probably why there weren’t many, many more entries. Even though a read/write plenty for my job, I still was intimidated by it. I haven’t written a true essay in over a decade!

  27. cinnamonbun Member
    cinnamonbun 1116 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:27 pm

    OMG how awesome is this!?

  28. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:42 pm

    @Miss Mink: Haha… still probably not. I do not have the patience to wait for results. :-)

  29. sunhat Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:41 pm

    What What What?! This is so amazing! Congratulations! I can’t wait to see it.

  30. Member
    Pumpkin Bunny 28 posts, Newbee @ 7:49 pm

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see your dress!

  31. Member
    bookworm88 3316 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:24 pm

    I am so excited to read all of this again! I followed it when you posted about it on the Boards and LOVE this dress, can’t wait to see it again!!

  32. hawk Member
    hawk 1117 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:11 am

    Oh my goodness! That is amazing! I am anxiously awaiting pictures of the dress!

  33. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:52 am

    Oh Em Gee. That’s amazing!!! Can’t wait to see the dress!

  34. gazelle Member
    gazelle 1019 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:38 am

    That is awesome!!!!! Congratulations on the win! Can’t wait to see your dress!

  35. turkey Member
    turkey 654 posts, Busy bee @ 5:29 pm

    This is amazing!! I cannot wait to see your “one of a kind” dress. I feel like you’re kinda famous :)

  36. Member
    Mrs.Firefly1 3620 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:33 am

    WOW!!! Congrats Miss Mink!!! That is AMAZING! I’m so happy you won! Yay for you for entering it! I can’t wait to see the dress on you!

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