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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Just say no.

I didn't have a wedding dress when Kev and I got married. It was a complicated ordeal, which is weird because it was MY wedding, and my opinion should have been the only one that mattered. Kev worried that if I didn't wear a dress, it would bother people. I also wanted to elope to avoid dealing with people and he had to talk me out of that...

Kev and I paid for most of our own wedding and honeymoon. My parents were very gracious and offered what they could, which mostly went toward food (fruit bought at Costco and cookies from a wholesaler) and invitations. That was one of the reasons why I didn't want a dress; I couldn't imagine wasting our resources on something I would only wear once.

Additionally, I had never in my life pictured myself wearing a wedding dress. And that's the number-one reason why I didn't want one. I didn't need one. Getting married in the LDS temple does not require a wedding dress. The ceremony involves sacred temple clothing that is to be worn for the sealing of husband and wife, and I actually just wore a skirt from Old Navy and a top from Ross to the temple the morning Kev and I were married. For our reception I wore a $44 dress my friend Ken picked up for me at Dillard's... and it wasn't even white *GASP*

Aspen and I were playing in the living room when that TLC show about wedding dress shopping came on. I find it fascinating how much money and grief is involved in picking out a dress (for some people). If I was a different person, a person who wanted a wedding dress, I think Kev is the only person who would've come with me to pick out a dress.

What did you do when it came time to find the perfect ensemble for your wedding? Did you shop with friends or family? Having never gone through the experience, I'm curious to know what it's like for regular people (not the people on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress).


  1. I was the same way, I paid for a lot of my own wedding and didn't want to spend money on a dress. My roommate had a gorgeous dress that I love and just happened to fit me perfectly. I was lucky it didn't bother her and she let me borrow it!

  2. My dress was not very expensive, compared with what I have heard other's spend. It was around $400. It wasn't exactly what I had been dreaming about my whole life, but it got pretty close, so I was very happy with it. I still have it hanging in a bag at my parent's house. I toyed with the idea of selling it, but I am too sentimental. I love wedding dresses, always have. I dream about getting skinny enough to wear it again, just for fun. My mom and sister's came with me when we found my dress, but that was the only time they came with me. I went by myself to a couple of other places. Lucked out on that one.
    My parent's paid for the wedding, but I didn't want it to be expensive. My mom was the one that wanted it to be at the golf course and catered, because she didn't want to deal with all the hassles that come with a wedding (mine was the 4th wedding in the family). She wanted someone else to deal with the reception. Can't say I blame her.

  3. I got my dress in the prom department of Marshall Field's. It was a cream, 1940s-ish dress that looked kind of like an vintage silky nightgown. I'd always heard that "you know know when it's THE one," but I had none of those feelings. It was pretty, of course, but I had no strong emotional attachment to it.

    That being said, I now believe it was the perfect dress for our casual, cruise-ship wedding--and I recently wore it again for a 1940s-era costume party, so hey! Value!

    I've never understood brides who get married barefoot on a beach... in a $1,000 princess-puff gown. Make up your mind, ladies -- what do you actually want?!

  4. Thanks for sharing your stories ladies! It's so neat to read about the different experiences. I always tried to talk Kev into taking me to college dances (since I still had a year left in school after we married) so I could wear my Dillard's dress again, but he wouldn't! I still haven't been able to wear it a second time, but I let my sister borrow it once for a dance... so that counts, right? Two uses? For only $44, that's not too bad :)

  5. I had a low key traditional wedding that yes, I had a wedding gown I wore. But here's the thing, when I was young I wanted so badly to be married in a church, to have a nice diamond ring, and wear a beautiful white dress. Now that I am an adult and have a life so full of more important things, I look back and hate that I even had a wedding. I have wanted to go on a trip to Australia for as long as I can remember. I should have used all the wedding money and spent a month in Australia, now that would have been a dream wedding. Wear a white cotton beach dress and say I do at sunset with no one watching. That is going to be what I suggest to my children, because really a traditional wedding is for everyone else, not for the two people actually getting married.

    PS my husband is under strict orders to never buy me another diamond in his life!

  6. When I was a young woman we learned about the importance of a temple marriage and went and tried on modest wedding gowns. 5 years went by and when it was my turn to get married I knew exactly what dress I wanted, the one I wore as a young woman. My mom and I found the old dress shop I had went to years ago and asked the lady about that dress. She STILL had it!!! It was $300 to rent and $400 to buy. So my mom made me a deal and said she would pay for the rental and if I wanted to keep it I had to pay the extra $100. I did. And I LOVE my dress!!! But it's not just going to sit in my closet. On our 10 year anniversary my husband and I are going to get back in our wedding attire and have professional pictures taken..... IN MUD!!! I am SO excited I can hardly wait! Plus it's motivation to get skinny again! I've also heard of women using their wedding dress to make a blessing dress for their daughters.

  7. I found your blog from Segullah and I LOVE this post. I'm getting married in May and I don't want a wedding dress at all and everyone thinks that is so weird. But I can't imagine wasting my money on a dress I'd only wear once, and I've just never been into wedding dresses anyway. (And why do Mormons need one ever? I don't get it.)

    So basically thanks for writing this because it cheers me up a lot.

    I haven't picked out an outfit yet, but I will take my fiance because he likes dresses... and I want one I can wear a lot haha.

    (That program is oddly addicting, though, and I'm not sure why. I've only watched it a few times because I think it is so crazy but...I still leave it on, which is why it is better for me to just not have TV.)

    Okay, sorry for the long comment!

  8. i wanted a perfect vintage wedding dress. i went with a friend and looked at dresses in bridal shops, because that's "the thing to do" in Provo. it was ok, but most of them were too-typical mormon wedding dresses. ugh. i actually did find an awesome one that i LOVED at a boutique (cream colored w/a polka-dotted tulle overlay), but it was $800. i said forget it and looked on ebay. then i got really lucky and Sister Frappier heard about my quest to find the perfect vintage dress and sent me hers on the off chance that it might fit. it fit PERFECT and i immediately fell in love. we didnt have a lot of money for our wedding either, so getting a free dress helped pay for the other stuff

  9. Jess, I didn't know you wore Sis. Frappier's dress! You looked so gorgeous in it!

    And Rachel, best wishes as you try to track down the perfect outfit!

  10. Aaron and I paid for our wedding and I was so glad, because my input was the only one that mattered! :) One thing I don't think people get about weddings is that what you pay for them gets paid in tiny bits and pieces. Our wedding cost (yes, I am going to give actual figures, so brace yourselves everyone) $7000, including everything (hall, DJ, catering, services, food, clothing, invitations, etc.)

    To get my dress, I went with my mom and one sister. I went just for one day, tried on 4-6 dresses and found mine right away. It cost $700. Here is a picture that I think you can access:

    I love it so much. :love: I would buy it again and again. I know I am partial, but I think my wedding was SUPER CLASSY and TOP OF THE LINE, so I am shocked/confused/bewildered/semi-disgusted when I hear about budgets of $50,000....

  11. I secretly love that show. Well, love/hate, I guess. The thing that cracks me up is the way you get sort of sucked in, like when you hear that a bride there is "only" going to spend $2000, you sort of shake your head and think, "oh, honey. That'll be tough." It's like an entirely different world where $2000 isn't TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. On a dress? My word!

    I did love my dress, which I got for a little under $400 including veil, shoes, and a head-bandy thing. It is not what I would wear today, but I suppose that's true of nearly everything we wear. I'd skip the veil for sure if I were to do it all again.

    I'd stick with the same groom, though. :)

    PS- Also, one thing that is great about being Mormon and having the wonderful opportunity to own my own temple clothing is that now, each time we go, I get to feel like a bride all over again in the dress I got married in. Except when I'm pregnant/nursing and the boob section is far too limiting...

  12. Mrs. Snyder, you look so gorgeous/amazing/classy in your gown I'd marry you in a heartbeat. I always love peeking at your wedding photos when I'm at your house.

    And Kris, thanks for pointing out that I re-wear my actual wedding dress every time I go to the temple. I'd overlooked that super-obvious point.

  13. My mom took me wedding dress shopping. We only went to two stores. I'll admit I always dreamed of a train on my wedding dress - it's the only time you can wear such a thing!

    They actually took my dress off the mannequin and with some simple alterations it fit perfectly. Mom paid for the whole thing so I'm not sure exactly how much it was but I think around $700 total. I definitely wouldn't pay more than that but I loved my wedding dress and it really made me feel special on my wedding day.

    Like other people have said, I am really glad I wore my regular temple clothes for our sealing because I get to put it back on each time I go.

    My mom has always said that she was glad she kept her wedding dress because her daughters tried it on for FHE a few times when we talked about temple marriage and she secretly wished one of us would wear it for our own wedding.

    Still, I think the dress is as important as you make it to be. I am glad I didn't spend any more more money on it, but I don't regret the purchase at all.

  14. I've seen that show a few times. Its just crazy to me how much they spend on a dress.

    I went dress shopping with my mom, Shad & I werent even engaged so she was a little hesitant. Once I found my dress I was done looking.

    My parents paid for our wedding & shads parents paid for our wedding dinner & reception in Idaho. They offered on a few other things I guess supposedly they are certain things the grooms parents pay for??? Which I didnt know they tried to pay for my bouquet but we had a package where it was included.

    My dress made me feel special & it was even better that I got to wear it four times so I feel like I got good use out of it (bridals, wedding day, two receptions) then because school is so much I had to sell it for books or something, it was kinda sad & I never thought I'd sell my dress but it was so fun to see the girl who bought it light up with excitement.

  15. Oh my word I am so glad that I read what someone said about you wearing your actual wedding dress everytime you go to the temple. My 3 older sisters wore their huge sparkly wedding dresses in the sealing room. I just chose to wear my temple dress during the sealing and then changed into a big sparkly dress (under 300) to get pictures around the temple and the reception. I didn't hardly even give my dress, or shoes, or hair much thought at all. I was trying to just be humble and focus on the fact that I was marrying Clint. But if I could do it over!!! ha ha, I totally know what I wish I would have looked like! I seriously look at my Wedding pictures and think how terrible I looked! I have since got a new temple dress, but I keep the old one in my bag for a backup. I am so glad I didn't throw it away! Because I forgot that is the dress I actually got married in.

  16. I was married in my temple dress as well. I had a wedding dress, but it was borrowed and I wasn't in love with it. I always wanted the traditional wedding with dress and all, but it's different when you're paying for it. I think I would have preferred to elope and then have an open house like my brother. It was all good, but it's so much craziness. When I think back on the day, my favorite memories are waiting for Matt since he was 45 min. late and just being with him in the temple.

  17. My mom bought my wedding dress for me. My sister worked at David's and we got a discount. I loved my dress and I still have it. You've probably seen it at Linda's, since she has pics of all the kid's weddings. You'll know which one is mine, it's the only strapless one. :)

    I also don't really understand spending a huge amount on a dress, but if it's their money they can spend it however they like. Even if we'd had an unlimited budget(we didn't) I still don't think I could've spent more than what we did.

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  19. DITTO. (to you liv) I wanted to elope and get married on a mountain top. My mo in law said no no no - because as you know - the wedding is more about moms impressing their friends than it is about brides. So my family planned my wedding - borrowed a dress for me and everything. The best part of our wedding was when richard and I ditched the crowd and went up to meuller park alone. We had some random snowshoers take pictures of us - and they actually turned out to be the best pics we got! i posted them on my blog (:


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