Weeks to a Wedding: What to Wear?

Thanks to a little luck, Sophie has her choice of dresses. Which one will she choose for the big day?

I guess weddings invariably involve a lot of excitement about what to wear, especially for women. I currently have two potential dresses. Both are beautiful. I’m leaning toward one at the moment because the other looks slightly maternity-like, and with a shotgun wedding like ours, we don’t need any more rumors swirling. Popular opinion (read: my friends and my mom) is split down the middle, which means on Friday, October 2, I’ll probably be spending the evening pouting into a mirror while they hash it out.

Being the thrifty recessionista bride that I am, the total cost of both dresses was around $200, excluding shipping. Sounds cheap, right? Precisely. I love nice things, I love clothes, I love dresses, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m just not a huge fan of wedding dresses. They look wonderful on everyone else, but whenever I’ve tried them on, I’ve always felt like I’m eight years old and trying on my mom’s clothes—very gorgeous and fun to prance around in but not quite right to wear out of the house. No sooner was the ring on my finger than people started to ask us (1) if we’d picked a date and (2) what I was wearing. And I had absolutely no idea. So I Googled and Googled and Googled and started to get a bit depressed: Finding short wedding dresses is a bit tricky, and the only ones I found that I liked were Priscilla of Boston—and therefore staggeringly expensive. Blowing $2,000 on a dress I planned to wear once was out of the question.

But there were a few contenders. J. Crew has a nice bridal line, with a few short bridesmaids dresses in white that wouldn’t bankrupt us. And then I came across a Nicole Miller bridesmaid dress that I just adored. It has a cutout in the back, which is a nice detail considering people will have to look at my back for the better part of 20 minutes. Plus, I can accessorize the space—I’m thinking a giant “S 4 J” tattoo in the middle of my back . . . just kidding. I went to the Nicole Miller store in Tysons Corner, and the sales assistant told me that the dress I’d set my heart on was discontinued. However, the factory had one left. In a size four. In white. Hello, serendipity.

I was thrilled with the dress when it came and mentally made a check on my list of Wedding Things to Do. And then John and I went shopping that weekend, and in French Connection I happened upon a short, strapless, heavy white linen dress, which was almost exactly what I’d visualized when I saw myself getting married. They had one left in a four, which didn’t fit (there’s nothing worse than a dress so tight your underarms look obese). However, the really nice sales assistant tracked down the last remaining size six in the entire country (there’s a pattern here)—which was languishing in a store in Miami—and arranged for it to be shipped to me. I tried it on and loved it.

So now I have two dresses. When I told my friend Liz about the second one, she said, “Linen? You can’t wear that after Labor Day.” To which I replied, “Does that also mean I can’t wear white?” Oh, you funny Americans.

And John? He already has a really nice tux, although he’s unbelievably fussy about his clothes, and he thinks it’s a bit big. We had it tailored at Brooks Brothers, and it’s still too big (prompting an afternoon of sulking), so we may try a last-minute tailoring job somewhere else. John did buy a beautiful tuxedo shirt ($165) and bow tie ($60), which means that his wedding outfit is officially more expensive than mine. But don’t worry—I bought some Prada shoes to make up for it. They’re flat (I’m fi ve-foot-eleven and John is five-foot-eight), ivory suede, and peep-toe, and there’s no way I’m only wearing them once.

Want to read Sophie's posts from the beginning? Go here.

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