When I first started browsing the internet for wedding dresses, I was drawn to whimsical gowns with unique details. Unfortunately, whimsical gowns with unique details are often very expensive. I made this sad discovery early in my dress hunt and it forced me to temper my expectations. But looking around online gave me a good feel for what I was looking for in a wedding dress. It also gave me a feel for what I didn’t want in a wedding dress, namely a dress that is “sexy,” form-fitting, trumpet, mermaid, or fit-and-flare. While these dresses are beautiful, they simply do not suit my style or personality. I was looking for dresses that were playful, fun, and a little different with minimal beading, lace, sequins, or crystals. Well, let’s take a look at what tickled my fancy.
My first love was Amy Michelson’s Grace. I love the romantic, ethereal look of this gown. It looks like it is made of light and air. And this wedding? One of my absolute favorites. I think this is the wedding that got me really excited about actually planning my own wedding.
For a while I was a little obsessed with a 1920s style wedding, complete with a 1920s style wedding dress by Jenny Packham. I’m not usually one for bling, but I love the beaded details on these gorgeous gowns. I desperately would love to pull off a sheath dress (so many of my favorites fit this silhouette), but alas they do not flatter my pear-shaped body.
Jenny Packham: Foxglove and Willow
Then I turned my sights to the classically clean designs of Saja. I love the natural simplicity of these gowns, and they remind me a little of stepping into a Jane Austen novel. Can’t you imagine these lovely dresses at an outdoor wedding, with a messy bouquet of wildflowers and a halo of blooms in the bride’s hair? Sigh.
Saja: VN6609 and HB6979
And for a few days I had a moment of total insanity where I was obsessed with Ian Stuart’s Bluebird. Could it be my insatiable desire for a Marie Antoinette themed wedding? I have no idea, but I still love this over-the-top gown. It goes so much against all things I thought I would love, but tell me you wouldn’t feel like royalty wearing this!
Ian Stuart: Bluebird
But the dress that came the closest to being “THE” dress was BHLDN’s Cascading Goddess gown. In fact, I only viewed dress shopping as a formality because my heart was so set on the Cascading Goddess with its romantic wispy skirt and layers of soft ivory silk. If I hadn’t randomly found a dress I fell in love with (which incidentally reminds me of an amped up version of BHLDN’s dress)—this definitely would have been my top choice.
BHLDN: Luella and Cascading Goddess
If you didn’t know, BHLDN is Anthropologie’s sister company. I have a closet full of Anthropologie dresses, skirts, and blouses (I have a problem, ask my fiance), so when I found out about their foray into the wedding world I was thrilled. I love their collections so much, especially the bridal accessories and even the guest or bridesmaids’ dresses. Every time I visit their bridal hair accessories section I want to spend an inordinate amount of money. It’s like they have tapped into the fairy world of my bridal imagination and pulled out everything I’ve ever wanted. And seriously, I was incredibly close to owning one of their wedding gowns. Love, love, love.
In the end I didn’t pick a dress by any of these designers! In fact, my dress’s designer is known for more modern-styled wedding dresses. He just happened to have this one dress in ivory silk chiffon that reminded me of a swan princess. And in that moment I was utterly and completely sold, even if the price tag said “NO WAY.” Combine some of the common themes in the dresses above—soft, ethereal, ivory, and dramatic—and you have a pretty good idea of what I will be wearing in May.
Did your wedding-dress vision evolve over time or did you start and end your search with one specific style in mind?