Allow me to re-introduce you to Wallis.
I may name my firstborn Wallis simply because I love this dress so much!
Before finding Wallis, I visited seven bridals salons, tried on close to 50 gowns, and spent nine months looking at gowns online. Searching for my wedding dress was one of the most enjoyable aspects of planning. When other brides told me I was over-analyzing this decision, I didn’t listen. The significance of the dress weighed on me with all the years I’d imagined my wedding. The biggest mystery, aside from the groom, was always, “What would my dress look like?” Rushing through this process to just be done with it was not for me. I felt justified in taking as much time as necessary to find exactly what I wanted, even if I couldn’t articulate what that was.
I knew when I found her.
The swirled rosettes alternate between silk satin and silk chiffon.
After I found her, the toughest part of the dress-shopping journey began: keeping it a secret from Mr. PaC! I couldn’t share any of the details for over a year, which almost made me burst. But I was good and kept silent. Wallis lived with us for five months before the wedding on the guest room bed (hidden in her garment bag). Mr. PaC was definitely curious about this strange house guest that he never met, but behaved himself and did not peek. Deep down, I hoped he’d love the gown as much as I did and think that it suited my personality well. This part of the wedding day was the culmination of all those years of anticipation.
Our morning and afternoon had been very laid back. Everything was on schedule. So when Heather, our photographer, strongly suggested I put on my dress, I felt a momentary twinge of anxiety. Which was the only anxiety of the day. Looking back, you have to wonder if someone slipped an anti-anxiety pill into my champagne…
Mr. PaC’s mom sprang into action. She, the most petite of anyone present, volunteered to grab my dress…with the help of a nearby chair. Never mind that I could have easily reached it without the chair. Being the bride means you often stand there while people do things for you. An odd feeling, for sure.
“No, I’ve got it!” This picture makes me smile every time.
We spread an old sheet across the floor to protect my gown. My sister remarked how surprisingly heavy it was as she held it aloft. For the curious among you, it’s nine and a half pounds!
My sister took charge and climbed onto the chair while my cousin held the bottom open. I would go in the middle and pop out the top. I’d done it dozens of times while dress shopping. As I gave directions from inside the hot, stuffy gown, I realized this was not the same thing. The two ladies holding the dress had the best of intentions, but also had zero experience wriggling a bride into a gown. They told me I was too tall; I scrunched down. I tried to go up, but there was no way out. I was stuck. My hair and makeup were in danger. We needed BM R, quickly! She is nicknamed “Miss 27 Dresses” for a reason.
To the rescue!
Diving hands-first to clear the way
Under her guidance and capable hands, the dress was on in a matter of seconds. Hair and makeup intact. Phew!
Relieved the dress is on!
Now for what you can’t see: BM R with her hands up my dress tugging my yoga pants down. The amused and puzzled look is because she’d just asked me what type of underwear I was wearing. Although I wasn’t sure of the relevancy, I told her anyway. Her prim reaction made us giggle.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa—wait! You’ve got ahold of my underwear too!”
Cinching the bodice as I wait for a zip up
Thinking, “Zip. Please zip.”
Giddy “I’m a bride!” excitement is written all over my face! (One of my favorite shots)
Ahhhh, the rosettes, the texture! If it were cake, I would gobble it right up. Still in love with my dress, even after a year since the wedding. It was the right choice.
Receiving instructions from a photographer as more people do things for me
Getting the bow just right
The focus, lighting, and detail are absolutely magical in this sepia-toned favorite!
With my dress zipped and the bow tied, now it was time for the finishing touches: shoes and earrings!
These silly shoes made me so happy! I had my eye on these metallic leather flats for a long time. The wedding gods must have wanted me to wear them. Why else would they have sent me a pair in my size on sale?!
Wearing a wedding dress is a little like being very pregnant, not that I would know, in that your field of vision below your waist is limited by a bulky object. BM R plopped my flats down right in front of my feet so I couldn’t miss.
As fun as it would have been to go on an earring-shopping binge, I found these blush and peach danglers before I had the opportunity to drive myself nuts with options.
Completing my bridal look with the lone piece of wedding-day jewelry
Up next, bridal portraits!
(all photos by Heather Fowler Photography, unless otherwise noted)
Catch up on our PaC recaps!