How did you chose your wedding dress? Did you buy it or have it made? Was it made to be a wedding dress or did you buy a dress that you thought would make a beautiful wedding dress, regardless of the label?
Did you decide not to wear a wedding dress? What did you wear? A suit? A scuba mask?
It seems that most wedding dresses chosen for eloping or destination weddings are lightweight and simple. I am not sure if this is to suit the practicality of traveling with a dress or the simpler wedding dresses suit the personality of the eloping bride-to-be.
Keep an open mind: As you can see, simple was not for me. I went for a veil, a train and lots of ruffles. However, I don’t think you know what you are going to like until you start trying on dresses. I have always been, from young girl to woman, someone who likes practicality, simplicity and comfort. Ruffles have never found a place in my head, heart and certainly not on my body. However, the first place I went (Gesinee’s Bridal), the first day shopping for a wedding dress, I found it-and oh yes, there were ruffles-lots of ruffles, all the way down a long train! I tried it on and my face lit up. The dress made me feel happy and beautiful.
Go for the dress that feels right: Did it fit with the practical side of eloping? No, it didn’t seem to. It was large, bulky and basically in need of a suitcase of its own. It ended up practically getting a suitcase of its own (see my packing tips for a full list of what I packed). I turned to the wedding dress consultant and let her know that I was finished. She looked a bit shocked and horrified, “You aren’t going to buy a dress today are you?” We both were a little confused as to why she was talking herself out of an easy commission, but I allowed her question to make up my mind. I set up another appointment to take a look with fresh eyes. While I waited for my appointment, I searched wedding magazines, online, and a few other boutiques but didn’t come up with another dress that made me as happy as my “country-rocker-chic-wedding-dress”.
Give yourself six months to have the dress made: The second time I went back, I tried on one of those dresses with all the pleats (impossible to press and the worst choice for eloping). I love these dresses. It was really beautiful, but certainly not as dramatic as the original ruffle dress. So I made up my mind, ruffles and drama, only to find out that I only had a couple of days to order the dress because new dresses were coming in and this old model would be retired. I was so happy to find out that I had made it on time. However, my excitement was short-lived when I found out that it would take about 5-6 months to receive the dress. They only have samples in the store and all dresses are made-to-order. I did not have that kind of time. We were set to elope in one month!
Great tailors: Luckily it was a bit small, but the tailor across the street was able to modify it to fit my body. I lucked out. Most of the samples dresses I tried on were way too big and required large clips to hold them on and give me a slight idea of how it would look. I recommend going to an experienced tailor that knows what they are doing. If your bridal shop uses them or they have come highly recommended, spend the money. Do not try to alter yourself or go to your local cleaners. Go straight to the professionals.
The pressing question: It turns out that ruffles (I believe organza) travel really well. However, Pete and I had decided to stay at a beautiful hotel where we would pamper ourselves around our special day. This was great because they were able to steam my dress and press his suit before walking down the aisle. I had kept my dress a secret and Pete was blown away when the doors to the church opened.
Consider where you will stay: If you are not staying in a luxury hotel or resort that you feel certain will have steaming/pressing available-contact them to see what options they have.
Iron out the wrinkles in the plan: Check with your consultant and tailor to find out how well the fabric will travel. It turns out that those very pleated dresses I love are near impossible to press. However, I feel somewhat challenged by that…but not enough to walk down the aisle in a wrinkled dress.