Obviously, to our eyes, this is clearly a late '80s/early 90's wedding dress, but man, is it the PERFECT late 80's/early 90's dress! Go big or go home, right?
(My Aunt & Uncle had also given me a Barbie Wedding Coloring Book that I was OBSESSED with. As I think about it, that may have triggered this whole wedding interest...unfortunately, I can't find it anywhere online. It must be in storage somewhere - I really can't imagine I got rid of it.) Edit: I literally woke up in the middle of the night last night remembering exactly what the coloring book was called, and subsequently was able to find a picture of it!
Then I remember thinking, "no, no--I want something classic, that will stand the test of time." Something a la Carolyn Besette Kennedy. For a number of years, this was 'my' gown:
As I matured and knew my own taste a little more, I started leaning toward more fitted, structured gowns that would show off my shape. At some point, I discovered Jim Hjelm gowns, and was instantly obsessed. This was my numero uno for many years - in fact, there's a part of me that kind of regrets not seeking this one out and trying it on:
Around this time, Say Yes to the Dress started airing, so I started getting exposure to a ton more gowns and designers. Isn't it funny how that show has likely really changed the wedding industry? For better or for worse (no pun intended). Partially because of that show (but also because I have been browsing wedding websites for fun for years) I am pretty darn good at looking at a dress and spewing out the designer and style number or name. Or knowing if it's a dress that's actually ripping off another designer's dress. (I'd totally challenge anyone to that game show.)
So next up in most-desired dress?
Around this time (circa 2009-ish) is also when I discovered PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com , and expensive dresses from popular designers like Monique Lhullier are very prominent on those sites.
Then all these dresses with really interesting texture in the skirts started coming out. There were 3 in particular that caught my eye, that I still love a lot -
This was a pretty big departure for me. I realized I was really drawn to texture - which is why I like lace so much, especially the really beautiful alencon laces. Oh--and also, apparently my taste level was increasing, because we're getting into the really pricey gowns now. These run anywhere in the $8,000-$12,000 range. So, these weren't realistic at all - even if I did find them used.
So I went back to lace. It was expensive-looking, but not astronomical like these other gowns I had recently come to love. I started to see this one pop up a lot on the blogs:
The thing was - it really was everywhere. And I didn't like that. I didn't want to feel like everyone had already seen my dress before seeing my dress, you know?
Mind you, this is all before I'd ever even met Mr. Llama. (Whatever--don't judge me, I like to plan!) While we dated, I continued to casually browse my used sites, keeping an eye out of the perfect dress!
Those were the biggies over the years that really made an impression on me. At the bottom are some additional runner-ups.
So did these influence the dress I actually ended up with? You'll have to stay tuned!
(Actually, I haven't decided if I'm going to reveal that on here before the wedding...so...you might have to stay tuned for a long time...)