PaC Man & Wife: She’s Mine

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.

I_0590 I_0589

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!

Days Before

Wedding Morning


Mrs. Pain au Chocolat

Wilmington, DE
Wedding Date:
June 2011
I Dream of Genies: Genie Girls Glam Up
Getting Paper Printed: Tips About Design and Using Vistaprint
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  1. Member
    This Time Round 10219 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 1:18 pm

    GORGEOUS Dress !!
    Love all the rosettes. Very unique. And of course you look AMAZING in it. Totally understand WHY you feel good about the decision to “wait things out” until you got the well-know THIS IS IT experience.

  2. mstreasure Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:25 pm

    You look beautiful!

  3. Member
    ilikeballet 277 posts, Helper bee @ 1:41 pm

    I have those shoes!!

  4. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:45 pm

    OMG I love it, it’s simply gourgeous.

  5. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:11 pm

    @This Time Round: Thank you, it was the unique dress I always wanted! Glad I splurged a little.

    @Mrs. Treasure: Thank you, Mrs. Treasure!

    @ilikeballet: Aren’t they awesome!?! I bought another pair in white and wear both of them frequently. Every time I wear the metallic ones, it makes my day a little more special.

    @Miss Toadstool: Thanks! It’s not your typical gown!

  6. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 3:31 pm

    GORGEOUS in every sense of the word.

  7. bracelet Member
    bracelet 278 posts, Helper bee @ 4:00 pm

    The dress looks lovely on you!

  8. Member
    Miss ABC 208 posts, Helper bee @ 5:49 pm

    You look amazing and sooo happy!

  9. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 5:52 pm

    these are why i have to get the “getting ready” shots. beautiful.

  10. castle Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:20 pm

    Oh my goodness I LOVE your dress. You look amazing!!!

  11. Member
    rainbowglitterbride 221 posts, Helper bee @ 6:50 pm

    I love your dress!! And I have to know – did you notice it was so heavy? My dress is about 10 pounds, which I wasn’t worried about when I bought it. But now it’s got me nervous… How were you feeling in the dress at the end of the day?

  12. sword Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:56 pm

    gorgeous dress! glad you took your time to her Wallis!

  13. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:56 pm

    @Mrs. Pony, @Mrs. Bracelet, @Miss ABC, @Mrs. Castle, & @Miss Sword: Thank you, ladies! :D

    @Miss Gray Wolf: Yes, these shots are magical! A definite must!

    @rainbowglitterbride: It has some heft but nothing that surprised me since many dresses I tried on felt heavier. I did not notice its weight until I took it off 9 hours later! I had muscle aches as I laid in bed and upon waking the next morning… and I thought I was in shape from yoga! Believe me, you’ll be far too busy dancing and having a blast to notice in the moment. :)

  14. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 8:27 pm

    The rosettes are lovely. You shine in this dress.

  15. genie Member
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 8:47 pm

    You look gorgeous! I love all the rosettes! And I love those shoes too!

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Liondragoncustom, Guest @ 9:46 pm

    Luxury and noble feeling!

  17. trailmix Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 3:49 am

    Gorgeous dress!!

  18. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:58 am

    @ChicagoDreamer & @Mrs. Genie: Thanks! I loved how the rosettes were larger on the train and gradually got smaller.

    @Mrs. Trail Mix: Thank you! You had a gorgeous one too.

  19. Member
    paw 871 posts, Busy bee @ 8:26 am

    stunning! i love these photos!

  20. Member
    Missido 813 posts, Busy bee @ 8:59 am

    omgosh….that dress!!!! You look fabulous. And the shoes!!! Wow.

  21. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:59 am

    @paw: These are some of my favorites from the day. Spending time with the ladies, whether family or friends, meant a lot.

    @Missido: Thank you! :)

  22. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:47 am

    This post made me teary. You look so beautiful and I can tell through you’re writing that you’re still experiencing/remembering the euphoria of this day. So happy for you! :)

  23. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:32 pm

    @StephK527: I still remember putting on the dress like it happened last week. That’s saying something considering how many memorable things happen on your wedding day and the chance for bride brain to creep in! One of my hopes for all brides is clarity of mind/being present and vivid memories on their big day.

  24. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:51 am

    @Mrs. Pain au Chocolat: I just realized my typo/grammar error and I am HORRIFIED. *through YOUR writing. Oh my gosh. This is what I get for multitasking at work. ;)

    But honestly, I’m really glad that you have this vivid memory. When I daydream about the wedding, I think about the night before and morning of – that’s one of the parts I’m most excited about, is making the transformation. I’m so glad to hear that you had such clarity. I hope that I can experience the same.

  25. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:51 pm

    @StephK527: Ah, don’t worry about it. Typos happen to the best of us. And these comments don’t have an “undo” option! You’ll have so many great memories from the morning of between the girl time, hair and makeup, and putting on the dress!

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