The Wedding Dress Chronicles, Part 3: The Ugly

I’ve already shown you some of my wedding dress rejects, so you might be wondering where the ugly comes in. Hold on to your seats, hive—it’s confession time.

I didn’t buy any of the dresses I showed y’all. But that’s not the ugly part.

I didn’t buy a wedding dress at all. In fact, I don’t have one.

To recap: yes my wedding is less than two months away, yes I tried on what seems like a zillion dresses, no I didn’t buy any of those pretties, no I do not, as of today, less than two months before my wedding and two weeks before my bridal shoot, have a wedding dress.

However—I’m not hyperventilating yet. Here’s what I do have—a plan, like a million yards of assorted white textiles (actual yardage—55), a mom who is the most talented seamstress I’ve ever met, and my fingers crossed.

I’ve mentioned Mom Archer’s crazy sewing skills before—she makes her living as a couture seamstress. So this is right in her wheelhouse! However, I didn’t automatically decide to have her make my gown. I really wanted the experience of trying on and saying yes to the dress, and Mom, who generously offered to gift me my bridal attire, gave me the option of purchasing or having her make my dress. I was a little hesitant to put this on Mom’s plate at first, but not because I don’t trust her. Quite the opposite actually—she is such a perfectionist on an everyday garment, I didn’t want to stress and pressure her with my wedding dress. But after all those shopping trips, I realized that the dress of my dreams was a combination of elements from several dresses and my imagination, and that the only way my dress dreams would become reality was if Mom made it happen. So I called in the big guns, and extended the New York trip planned for my bridal shower to give her the time to whip up an amazing creation.

Now, I’m not going to show y’all the dress before the big day—what’s the fun in that? In fact, I’m taking it a few steps further, and keeping my dress a total secret from everyone, including my bridesmaids and besties. The only people who will see my dress prior to the wedding day are Mom A, myself and the photographer shooting my bridals. I’m looking forward to telling y’all all about the dress and the design process promptly after the big day, but until then, I’ll leave you with some examples of her amazing work.

She has made some of my favorite pageant dresses ever…

And when my cousin B got married in St. Lucia last summer, she had my mom make her gown…And she was an absolute vision!

-all pictures personal-

As my dress takes shape, I am getting more and more excited! Do you think I’m absolutely freaking insane for waiting fifteen months of our engagement and still not having a dress this close to the big day? Have you ever had a custom-made dress, for your wedding or another occasion?


Mrs. Archer

Los Angeles/New Orleans
Wedding Date:
October 2012
DIY (Destroy It Yourself)
Not So Traditional, I Guess
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  1. Member
    elysion 3813 posts, Honey bee @ 7:17 am

    Wow, your mom is super talented!! Can’t wait to find out more about your dress after the big day!!

  2. msdragon Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 7:19 am

    So exciting! I think that’s awesome that your mom volunteered — and your dress will be perfect!

  3. Member
    rivendeler 1244 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:20 am

    I would be stressing alright.. but you know your mum and trust her talent, so, wishing you luck!!!

  4. bracelet Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 279 posts, Helper bee @ 7:44 am

    Oh wow! Your dress will be extra special!

  5. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:22 am

    I think looking at your mom’a talent you’re right on the spot. I’ll be stressing over the time, but it seems like she knows how to do a great gown.

  6. mslyre Member
    mslyre 512 posts, Busy bee @ 8:38 am

    I can’t wait to see what your dress looks like! I’m sure it will be perfect for you, AND it has the added sentiment, which makes it even more special!!

  7. Member
    RapunzelRapunzel 812 posts, Busy bee @ 8:56 am

    All those dresses your mom made are absolutely gorgeous, and I’m sure the fact she’s making it will make it even more special! My mom made my dress too (and is working on all my bridesmaid’s dresses too, whew: she LOVES sewing, though!). I’m a little tiny bit sad that I won’t have the whole “say yes to the dress” boutique experience, but at the same time, I know it’s one less thing to worry about, and I absolutely LOVE the creation my mom made me!

  8. mstreasure Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:19 am

    Wow! That will be so special! I briefly entertained the idea of doing a custom dress, but I think I for sure would’ve gone that route if I had a seamstress in the family.

  9. Member
    Pink Penguin 144 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:50 am

    I’m the other way round! I was going to make mine and went to try them on in the bridal store to get an idea of style and shape and fell in love with one so bought it instead!

    You’re very lucky your mum has such a talent. What a lovely family keepsake/heirloom too. Can’t wait to see it! x

  10. castle Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:58 am

    Ahhh I can’t wait to see it!!! That’s so awesome that your Mom is making it!

  11. Member
    steph01924 308 posts, Helper bee @ 10:09 am

    That is awesome! All of those dresses are super beautiful. I can’t wait to see what she makes you!

  12. Member
    SouthernmostBride 111 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:19 am

    Not insane at all! I can’t wait to see it in your wedding photos! My mom made my prom dress for me. It was gorgeous and exactly what I wanted. But she told me at the time she made it to NEVER think she would take on the stress of making a wedding dress, haha! Of course, she’s more into Halloween costumes than couture =)

  13. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 11:00 am

    Your mom does incredible work, your wedding dress is clearly in good hands! I can’t wait to see what your mom creates :)

  14. sunhat Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:06 pm

    Who – mom makes some killer dresses! What a special thing to have her create your wedding gown. Can’t wait to see it!

  15. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:25 pm

    Your mom is incredibly talented. I never would’ve guessed any of those dresses were hand-made. Amazing!

  16. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:43 pm

    Nah I don’t think you are insane, your mum is super talented and its going to look amazing!

  17. Member
    MOB1time 40 posts, Newbee @ 4:51 pm

    Wow, your Mom is an excellent seamstress! She doesn’t happen to live near Phx, does she?

  18. beanstalk Member
    Mrs. Beanstalk 770 posts, Busy bee @ 5:53 pm

    I am so excited with your decision to have your very talented mother make your wedding dress! It is going to come out so beautiful and will be so special! The dresses you showcased were all lovely!!!

  19. Member
    Miss Ariel 83 posts, Worker bee @ 7:23 pm

    I love all the dresses you posted, but I think my favorite is the yellow with the red as a runner up. I’ve never been in a pageant so I’ve never had a need to big dresses, except for prom in high school. And my mom actually did make my prom dress.

  20. sword Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:35 pm

    This is probably what was meant to be all along, you just had to take a really long and stressful route to get to this place! Sounds like you have one awesome MAMA!

  21. Member
    ardnek 14 posts, Newbee @ 8:28 pm

    It’s eerie how similar this is to my own situation! I wasn’t happy with any of the dresses I saw in stores, and my “dream” dress was a combination of the different elements. I put together the design, and my mom and I are working together on the dress. So what we have right now is dozens of yards of satin, a mock-up of the finished dress, and two months to put it all together. So, you’re not the only crazy one!

  22. msfox Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:47 am

    Your mom is amazing!! On the bright side, trying on all those dresses surely gave you some idea of what you like and don’t like.. I’m sure mama Archer will do a fab job!!

  23. msfairy Member
    msfairy 976 posts, Busy bee @ 12:29 pm

    Oh my goodness, I bet your dress will look STUNNING! I love that your momma is making your dress, it’s so sweet and sentimental!

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Granma Aardvark, Guest @ 7:14 am

    My grand daughter -Mrs Aardvark– had a custom made convertable dress — the long skirt,train and bussle came completely off so for the fun and dancing she had an awsome full skirted knee lengt dress— I may be prejudice but it was beautiful.

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