Dopers, help me pick a wedding dress!

Seriously, Rob, don’t look here. This is a surprise for you, remember?

Dopers, I owe my romance and impending marriage to the boards and now I’d like your help finding a wedding dress. Yes, really! I value your input and think it’ll be fun. It’ll be like when all the ladies get together to go shopping…

Details- We’re getting married this August in downtown Charleston, SC in a courtyard at the John Rutledge House Inn, built in the late 1700’s. John Rutledge was a signer of the U.S. Constitution and it’s a big beautiful old house. It’s an outdoor wedding around 1 or 2 when it should be between 75 and 90 degrees on the Peninsula. Reception is in the same place. Groom’s wearing his USAF uniform and I’m looking for a dress to do double duty as not only wedding but dressy for other occassions. I’m a size 9-ish, 34B; I’ll have the dress made from pattern by a seamstress. Doesn’t have to be white either.

Difficulties - v-necks only show off my sternum. I like my sternum, but it’s not where I want eyes to go. I don’t think I’d want to show off cleavage that day anyway. My shoulders are a nice feature of mine but I’d rather not show off my back due to scoliosis. Fitted is great, down to the waistline. Floor length is my goal.

Here are some I like already -

The short sleeved one.
The short sleeved shrug and the even hemline.
The one w/ the rose.
But in a solid color…whoa!
Are you seeing a pattern?

I’d love to know your thoughts!
Thanks, Nawth Chucka

Actually, while I don’t usually like patterns, I like the last one there with the roses - it seems so summery and pretty.

Is that a style that looks great on you? Dresses look fine on the shelf but can be different on the person. My dress was a type I swore I’d never wear; I thought they looked goofy but it was on sale, I tried it on, and it was the one that everybody in the shop stopped and ‘oooh’d’ about - it suited me really well.

So while it’s great to get Doper advice, I heartily recommend the wedding shop experience - when everybody stops what they’re doing to praise you, you know you’ve got the right one. :slight_smile:

I like the first one best. But that’s just me.

Have you gone to try some dresses on to get a feel for how they fit you? I know you’re planning on making your own, but it wouldn’t hurt to visit some stores for ideas.

I love the first one with the short sleeves - are you sewing it yourself?

I don’t know what the budget is, but I found this site for my friend the other day: that has ready made dresses for as little as $99 :slight_smile:


Thanks for all your input!

I did go to a dress shop the other day and tried one one. I’m very distrustful of the wedding industry as a whole, having worked for 2 places that rented tuxes and dresses. I know they always show you the most expensive ones first. I’ve heard of the ‘empty camera’ trick. The young saleslady I ran into last week kept her distance out of disinterest and I was glad.

My budget? I’d like to aim for less than $300, but I’ve never had a dress made to fit, only had them altered. The fiancee’ got me the number of the seamstress there on base and she said she likes to make dresses, so that’s who I’ll call first. I expect to buy all the materials locally.

Thanks for the link, threnodyangelfire, I’ll certainly check it out! I have no doubt it will be less expensiveand that’s important to me.
It’s amazing what you can get online…dresses, fiancees… :smiley:

I like the first one the best.

I like the first one best, though the Oscar de la Renta (in a solid colour) would be great too.

Oooooooh, that 4th one…yummy.

I like the first one the best – it’s the most classic. The one with the shrug and the last one would look goofy when you show the pix to your grandchildren in 30 years. :smiley:

I love the 4th one - the Vogue pattern. I think it would hold up better for re-wearing; shrugs are going to be dated soon.

First and fourth one for me, with a strong preference towards the first.

Ok, I don’t really care for the two with the shrugs. As for the other three…

I love, love, love the Oscar de la Renta dress, but not so much the huge flowers. Of course it would look much better in a solid “wedding dressy” color.

Next I like the first one. Simple, classic, very chic!

Next the one with the rose. It’s nice, but IMO way too simple.

One think I know, you will look gorgeous in what ever you choose!

Any suggestions on material? Do you think they’re suitable for a garden wedding? I’d love to find a dress with a sort of Revolutionary flair. Fiancee monetarily entertained getting a costume for himself, the nut.

I’m getting a plain white cake from Costco and decorating it with flowers - that’s it. Making the bouquet, etc from Costco flowers as well. They have food trays, too, I see.

Fourth one - like the fuller skirt and I’m not fond of what looks to be an empire waist on the first one (unless you have a tummy to hide - empire waists make all your guests start picking baby shower gifts). (Now, I love empire waists for women my age, i don’t do tight as well anymore).

I don’t have a tummy to hide, but the empire waist flatters my 34B bustline.

Why don’t you see if the seamstress can whip it up in a really inexpensive fabric first?

Sounds expensive to have her make a practice one first, if that’s what you mean.

Even if you distrust the wedding industry, I agree with the posters who said “try some on” first. I like the first one you linked to, but you will really only know “for sure” what you’re going to want once you see it on you. I went to plenty of shops and was only pestered by one of the sales ladies… until my mom told her to back off! I was even allowed to take pictures of some of the ones I tried on, so I could look at them later (and remember what they were!) when I was making my decision.

In my case, I ended up buying one in a store (and it was more than your budget!) but it wasn’t at all what I was first considering.

I love the one with the shrug and also the last set; on the left. Very simple with an unique touch.

What’s the ‘empty camera’ trick?

I’m wondering what the “empty camera” trick is, too.

I adore the Oscar De La Renta dress, that one really says “WEDDING DRESS” to me. I would think though that this one would be the more expensive what with needing more fabric and all.

I do like the first one, too.

When I went to try on wedding dresses at David’s Bridals I was expecting to be followed the entire time by a salesperson. But I was pleasantly surprised at how nice they all were and there was no hard sell at all. The girl helping me even gave me a big hug when I decided on the dress I loved (of course it was the first one I tried on). It’s too bad the wedding industry has gotten so cutthroat.

Looking at wedding dresses is so much fun!