Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Dress Quest: A Picture Perfect Gown?

One downside of planning a long-distance wedding is that my gown is far, far away in California. Even though I went to my first fitting in December, I won’t be able to see the results until the end of March. So, for now, all I have are pictures. And to my surprise, that’s turning out to be a bit of a problem.

You see, the thing is, each time I try my dress on and see myself in it, I love it. My mom loves it. My sister loves it. And my seamstress went on and on about how great it looked when I went for my fitting in December. When I’m wearing the dress, I feel beautiful and confident, knowing I made the right choice.

But when I see photos of myself in the gown, I’m suddenly filled with doubts. Maybe the problem is that when we took the photos, the lighting was awful. Or maybe it’s because so far, I only have pre-alteration shots. I’m not sure.

All I know is that when I see the pictures, the crystal and pearl details I love so much in person aren't as sparkly and prominent. Does the cinched waist really look OK on me? And why didn’t I notice the way the fabric hugs my hips when I sit? And on and on the thoughts roll through my brain…


When I first laid eyes on my gown last August, I learned it was a sample that the designer had initially considered introducing into the season's lineup. But that wasn’t to be. The gown wasn’t selected, and now needed a good home with a bride who loved it. And I did love it. A lot! Enough to buy it on the spot, out of fear that leaving it behind might allow someone else to snap it out of my hands. But why am I now, with less than five months to go, suddenly second-guessing my choice?

I’ll share the actual photos and more details about my dress hunt soon, but for now I want to know, have you ever had doubts about your gown? Do you think the thoughts I’m having are a normal part of being a bride, or are they a sign I might really have made the wrong choice, thinking a dress was “the one” when it wasn’t?

And what about trying on more dresses to try to put my mind at ease? Good or bad idea?

(Graphic Credit: Google Images)

13 comments:

  1. I found my dress really early. Probably too early in some people's minds. I loved my dress and the price tag, as it was sample sale. The important thing for me was how I felt in it. I could envision myself walking down the aisle. After that I just tried really hard not to look at other dresses because I knew I would second guess myself, which I did anyway. I think its natural to second guess your decision but just think back to the way it made you feel. 5 months is kinda late in the game to try on more dresses but its up to you. Will it help or hinder the cause? Will it bring new problems for you instead? Good luck!

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  2. I have severe dress doubts, but always come back to the reasons why I chose it - I loved the details, the style, and the way I know it will ultimately look on me after alterations. Also, I refuse to look at pictures of my size 8/10 self trying to squeeze into the way small sample size. Maybe just put the pictures away?

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  3. I am lucky enough to have my dress at home with me. (Don't worry, its in the back of the spare closet and the Mr. knows NOT to go near it!) On days that I get dress envy I sneak upstairs to try it on and fall in love all over again. My dress is a J. Crew catalog return (white seersucker, strapless... I gush) so it was at an amazing prices and although its 2 sizes to big it makes me so happy every time I slip it on.

    Trust me, you love your dress... its just easy to let your mind wander. Try focusing these thoughts on productive wedding tasks!

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  4. I'm of the mind it doesn't hurt to go try more on. You'll either discover you fall in love with another dress...or you'll fall in love with yours all over again!!

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  5. It's normal to have dress doubt, especially when all you have to go on right now are pictures that aren't the best quality, and you're wearing the dress that isn't fit to you yet. I got my dress last July, won't see it until March or so but I have decent pictures of myself in it that I look at when I start to wonder...since you loved it on you originally, I'm sure you'll love it on you when it's perfectly fit!

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  6. I think you need to reserve judgment until you've had the alterations. It's so hard to know exactly how it's going to look when it actually fits you, you know? I'm having 2nd thoughts too, I'm thinking that it's totally normal. Just focus on why you loved it in the first place, that's what I've been doing!

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  7. You already know that I was having serious doubts about my gown, too. I will say that when I went in for my first fitting, the gown was still in it's original bag and hadn't been steamed or hanging down at all yet...so I think that affects how it will look in photos as well. And there is definitely no comparison between personal photos inside a home or seamstress shop and the pro photos that the photogs can get (and edit) to make everything look 'right' and sparkly. So I would not stress too much about that. I also don't think you'll have a ton of photos of you 'sitting' in the dress...so the hip thing I wouldn't worry about but definitely mention it to your seamstress. You just made me realize that I have not 'sat' in my gown yet! I will definitely be doing that at the next fitting in Feb. Thanks for reminding me! And I say NOT a good idea to go try on other gowns unless you already know for a fact that you do NOT want the gown you've already bought. You'll just second guess yourself even more and it could end up costing you a lot.

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  8. You already know about my doubts and process (http://achocolateloversconfessions.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-cheated.html). I tried on 1-2 dresses that I had in my mind as potentials but refrained from trying on any new dresses as this would start a whole other mental battle. I too think doubts are normal, but at some point you need to make the decision and then leave it alone. Don't think about it again, don't question it, and just tell yourself "I have my dress." So far this has been working for me and I have the tendency to second guess everything!

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  9. I will let you know when I get it! I am going to do a post about how I came across my dress...its a strange one. One with a lot of risk!! Stay tuned:) BTW....I bet yours is beautiful:) That final fitting - you are going to be inlove.

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  10. I absolutely agree with the person that said you should wait until you see the dress on after the alterations. If you look at more dresses right now, it might just end up making the whole thing more confusing. I think a lot of brides have second guessed their dress decisions so you aren't alone!

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  11. I second guessed the crap out of my dress. Took some photos of me in it before the alterations and hated looking at them. And on the day, after the alterations, it was lovely.

    Do not try on more dresses - you'll only torture yourself and make the second guessing worse.

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  12. My grandma always said that you should go with your first mind.

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  13. I completely understand. I love love loved my dress in person, but just don't feel the same way about it in photos. My dress is also across the country and I stopped in to try it on over Christmas. I was so happy to see it again - the doubts were gone.

    I'm sure you will love it in person -- just don't spend too much time looking at the photos! (or, google search your dress - I've found professional photos of my dress on other girls and it made me love it more!)

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