In a turn of events I never thought would happen, I’m getting married again. I guess all I needed was to find the best man ever out there and that would break down my angst built walls. But I won’t get into all the lovey dovey details.
Being a former wedding photographer, I’ve been to a LOT of weddings. I’ve seen grooms sweat, brides drink until they can barely walk down the aisle, wedding attendants hook up in broom closets, and some things so insane I chose to put the camera down lest I be called in to testify. Needless to say, at first, I was looking far more forward to the marriage than the wedding. Well… to be honest, still am… but I’m warming to it all since we made a few decisions.
Small wedding 30-40 people (which with someone with a big family, means that we’re down to close friends only— sorry family) at a local gorgeous restaurant venue (Canlis), in May so definitely going with peonies for flowers, sent our save the dates already (holiday weekend), and have now started the dress process. Which is really what I’m here today to discuss.
So let’s discuss wedding dress shopping for a hot minute. Yes, I was married before… But I was young, different, and cheap. I bought a hundred dollar David’s Bridal special that my mother tailored for me (rest in peace mama). This time, I was wise, fashionable, highly paid, and determined to knock his socks off. First thing I did was drag my wedding fanatic of a friend with me (thanks Briana!!) to help translate. Second thing I did was book appointments with all the places in Seattle that sold wedding dresses. Finally I tried on every single dress that met at least two of the requested assets I wanted. My design wants could be boiled down to about six words/phrases. But after shop after shop and dress after dress, I couldn’t find one that hit all of them. Finally I was ready to settle. I found a dress that made me relatively happy, not too over priced ($3,300 pre-alterations), and got the seal of approval from my future daughter-in-law.
If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m not exactly your typical model body (who the hell *IS* anyway?), so I had some hard times going into the dress shopping situation. First of all I am short AF, so the places would have to bring out taller boxes for me to stand on. Then I’m not the sample size, so they’d have to strap me in using a crazy amount of gaffer’s clamps that would come undone at the slightest movement. Finally, after choosing said lovely gown, the stylist sent me an email after the fact telling me that because my measurements made me a triple split size and it would cost an additional $600 pre-alteration (so we’re now at $3900 before needed alterations). *insert side eye emoji here* Alright, I’m not ‘perfect’ by any means but I buy dresses all the time… what I believe telling me is wedding dresses are so screwed up in sizing that I would be three DIFFERENT sizes in the bust, waist, and hips (I’m a 32, 25, 37– baby got back)? At this point in the process you can safely I’ve given up on the stylist, the process, the dresses, the shops, and everything in between.
I decided I was going custom. After a conversation with a custom dress designer locally, I was already 3 months behind in the process and with what I wanted it would cost me about three times my first wedding’s budget ($7500 was my quote). Okay… I have money now, sure, I’ll swallow that if I have to so the dress is what I want. Then Google came up with a different option; Anomalie. Bay Area startup, female founder, under $2K, disrupting the wedding industry… they had my attention. I then proceeded to read every review ever been written about the, where their funding came from, who the founder was, their Crunchbase information… then I set up my call. Prior to I was able to create a simplified version of my dress after answering a series of questions, during the call, my stylist was able to make real time updates to the sketch so that it was ALMOST perfect.
I put my deposit down two days later (ya know, after looking at the reviews all over again). Within minutes I received a slew of emails from the company, including my stylist and her friends. Within two days I received digital photos of lace and beading options to choose from and an email stating they’d be sending out fabric samples shortly. Thus far… A+ experience.
Obviously, I’ll keep you updated on the progress (or check out my instagram at @currentlyclare).