So, I received a call last week from my good friend Paul over at Demetrios (http://demetriosbride.com/) telling me that my dress had come in. When I think back on the call, it plays through my mind like a happy Disney number, something out of Beauty & the Beast where the baker & the librarian & the village people (not those village people) dance hand-in-hand as birds chirp in delight.
Technically, it was just a call to schedule the first fitting. But Paul can make just about anything magical.
I arrived at the Demetrios fitting location wearing 12 gallons of water. We were having the equivalent of a Tsunami here in NYC & after walking ten blocks with some ineffective cloth and metal claiming to be an umbrella, I was in no shape to don the gown of my dreams. After drying off as best I could, I went in the fitting room with Emily, a lovely woman with a sharp pair of scissors and the confidence to snip & mark a dress in seconds.
Trying on the dress was (and I know how cliche this word is), surreal. It’s my dress! And it’s on me in a room with beautiful lighting! And we’re cutting it to fit me! Which is also scary because I still haven’t married (ha!) my shoe choice, an important factor in determining the length of my dress. I bought these online, but they were super tight so I’ve ordered them up a size & we’ll see how they fit. I love the antique quality & the “something blue” aspect.
Random aside: I can’t love bustling more. Good god, I love a giant bustled JLo booty. The more that thing sticks out, the better. Am I tiptoeing into fetish territory here? I don’t mean to, I just love those old fashioned pics of renaissance women with a huge bustled badonkadonk. I have to say: my dress, when bustled, is a booty-riffic sight to behold.
So, we’re rolling! The awesome peeps at Demetrios are hard at work making my dress fit perfectly. I made it clear to Emily that I have no interest in actually breathing in the gown, so she can take it in until I have completely impossible barbie-sized proportions. Which means I damn well better stop eating between now & my next fitting in early August. And let me tell you, I have every intention of doing just that. After this bowl of ice cream. And maybe one Cadbury bar. But then for real! Except for going out to dinner tonight. But after that?! Forget about it!
(also Sunday brunch. BUT AFTER THAT?! IT’S ONNNNN!)
Oh dear lord. The relief. The sweet, sweet relief. The precious exhale of relief. GIGANTIC HAPPY SIGH OF RELIEF.
I HAVE A DRESS.
And I need to stop and give thanks to my new favorite people on the planet, the bridal dress wizards at Demetrios.
Let me back up so we can play a little game called “horrendous dresses”. Or as I call it, pretty much everything I’ve tried on before now. And I should clarify- they were not at all horrendous, they were beautiful, stunning gowns. But with every dress I tried on that was not “MY” dress, I felt a smidge more hopeless and despondent. I was always told one great truth about love that I assumed would be transferable to the wedding dress hunt: when you know, you know. And when it came to wedding dresses, I JUST. DIDN’T. KNOW.
Until I walked into Demetrios (http://demetriosbride.com ).
The genius who made me not want to have a complete panic attack (even sans alcohol! Oh the horror!) was an unbelievably fun guy named Paul. Paul made me laugh, Paul made me try on everything I even showed a slight hesitation of interest in, Paul made compelling but unobtrusive pro/con points for me. Paul was a godsend.
And while Paul rocked my world, he couldn’t have done squat with horrendous dresses.
The story of Demetrios goes like this:
Greek-born Demetrios is a leading, world-renowned designer and a fashion icon in the bridal industry with over thirty years’ experience. In 1980, Demetrios’ dream of owning his own company became a reality. He purchased Ilissa Bridals of New York. Virtually overnight, he turned this small unknown business into a thriving international company. Bridal boutiques throughout the world , including his own Brides by Demetrios salons and the Macy’s Bridal Salons By Demetrios proudly sell Demetrios gowns. He is one of the most versatile designers in the bridal market, covering the entire range of styles from traditional and romantic to sleek and sensuous and is on the cutting edge of the fashion world. They have been showcased in all leading bridal magazines.
And they’ve won a bajillion awards. I like thinking about these awards because it’s highly likely the statuette is wearing a big ‘ol wedding gown.
Dallas Fashion Rose Award – Best Designer
Southwest Bridal Association Award – Manufacturer of the Year
Atlanta Fashion Award – Designer of the Year
Chicago DEBI Award – Outstanding Designer
Chicago DEBI Achievement Award – Distinctive Excellence in the Bridal Industry
Las Vegas Katelyn Jo Humanitarian Award – In recognition of Special Achievements in the Bridal Industry
Now, obviously I can’t show you the dress. But I will tell you a couple of fun facts about it.
1) It’s not white, it’s a darker champagne, which is AWESOME with the vintage feel of the space (and my white-hating skin color. Which accidentally sounds racist.)
2) It has volume without being an obnoxious plastic cake-topper/Disney princess spectacle. Somehow Demetrios has managed to marry something romantic & even simplistic but give it a show-stopping element, all while avoiding the cheese factor.
3) It gives me one hell of a J Lo booty.
That’s all you’re getting.
Everything about the experience, the staff, the quality & selection of dresses was just ridiculously awesome. I actually had fun (imagine!), instead of breaking into my typical cold sweat of panic in which dresses starts to melt together and become as indistinguishable as every scent at an over-enthusiastic perfume girl’s counter.
If you’re in NYC, here’s where you’re going to go for your wedding dress. Save yourself a meltdown &/or the subsequent hangover from dealing with the new term I’d like to coin: “dresstress”. Start on fcebook, since you’re probably sitting at your computer & procrastinating finding a dress at this exact moment. http://www.facebook.com/demetriosbride
In fact, it’s almost more important than writing this blog. But this blog is so easy. I get to sit in a comfortable chair and pour my heart out to thousands of strangers. I get to sip coffee in my pajamas & think about the horrendous dresses I’ve tried on to date, rather than stand naked in front of a woman tugging crinoline over my head.
So I’ll just write a blog about it.
I don’t have a dress. And it’s now 3 months until the wedding. And while I knew this was a pressing priority, crisis mode didn’t smack me in the face until I saw an article in The Knot recommending you order your dress at the 9 month out mark.
I have run the gamut in my dress explorations. I’ve met with private designers. I’ve been to bridal salons. I’ve 90% committed…only to second guess myself within minutes & walk out of the store flustered.
Here’s the conundrum in which I live: I want a big dress. But I don’t want a big dress. Let me clarify- I don’t want to look like a Disney princess slash cake topper:
But I have the opportunity to wear beautiful dresses quite often & I want my wedding dress to be special- something I couldn’t get away with wearing on a red carpet. I want some volume, but I want a little less traditional. A little edgy, but appropriate to the venue. A needle in a haystack.
And time is so not on my side. At this point, I’m going to be expediting the order or sneaking out with a floor sample under my sweater.
I’ve got an appointment at Demetrios (http://www.demetriosbride.com/) this week. I need you to send me “FIND THE DRESS” vibes. I have a good gut feeling- they came highly recommended & from the little poking around I’ve done on the website, I actually have hope.
To be continued…hopefully in a celebratory “I FOUND A DRESS” blog.
I’m back in town from my first weekend away from Richie since the engagement. Missed him! I spent time with my family; Richie had the “work” assignment of covering Ronnie Mund’s appearance at a strip club in Indy. Tough day at the office, eh?
While I was home, I finally had the face-to-face chance to sit down with my sisters annnnnnnnd ask them to be my bridesmaids! 🙂 I don’t want a big crazy wedding party- just my two sisters & one of my childhood best friends, Cyndi.
It’s got me thinking dresses & I thought I’d bring the debate to you guys because you’re awesome at this stuff. Generally I despise bridesmaid dresses (no offense, Cyn- I loved* the dress I wore as your Maid of Honor and am going to wear** it all the time).
Here are the priorities:
-I want the three of them to look and feel beautiful & elegant.
-I want the dress to be appropriate for different ages, my sisters are (mumblecough) years older than me (I was a flower girl in one sister’s wedding & a 10 yr old bridesmaid in the others) and I don’t want them to feel like their wearing something out of the juniors section that they’re uncomfortable in.
-I want colors that complement some of the design elements. One thing we’re dealing with is a unique shade of blue in the wall behind us and some centerpieces we’re looking at that are made of old amber/brown glass. So maybe in the neutral/blush colors?
-I don’t want them to spend a boatload of money.
What do you guys think about using three related colors for dresses rather than them matching? Like different shades of the same basic color. What about doing that AND using three different style dresses so each person looks their best? But then how do you tie them together? Use the same material maybe? And how do you coordinate it with the groomsmen? I feel like the whole matching cummerbund thing is very prom-esque.
I’m prepared for your genius thoughts on all things bridesmaid dressy. Go.
Use these for some quick inspiration:
*read: theoretically appreciated
**read: remember it fondly
I’ve never watched one bridal dress show in my entire life. Seriously. Never.
Until yesterday, when I realized I’d be taking my mom with me to this magical fairy land I keep hearing about called “Kleinfeld” which, apparently, is the home base to TLC’s wildly popular “Say Yes To The Dress”. So I tivo’d it. And watched this completely foreign collection of bratty brides, demanding mothers, pushy sales people & trillion-dollar piles of fussy white fabric.
I’ve already told you how completely overwhelming this whole process is to me. Unlike the girlie girls who grew up dreaming of their big day and have magazine clippings and full sketches of some giant poofy white thing they’re obsessed with, I had ZERO idea what I wanted in a dress. I know more what I don’t like than what I do. Generally, I “Say Eff No To The Dress”.
So, I made an appointment (Yup. I know. Seriously. You have to.), and checked in with the concierge at the front desk while my mom & I waited in the grand lounge (where the hell AM I?!). I was relieved when a completely cute & non-intimidating chick named Jillian got us and walked us through a show room of frothy white sh*t to her private office SLASH dressing room.
Jillian sat us down & we talked. I showed her pictures of our venue & told her how I thought the distinctive vibe of the location should influence the kind of dress I wore. She took a couple notes, told me to strip down, handed me a silk robe & sashayed out of the room. Mom & I looked at each other. I’d call her look excited anticipation. I assume my look was somewhere along the lines of uncomfortable curiosity.
Jillian came back with 5 dresses & clamped me in them. Literally…clamped them as tight as they would go. I felt crazy skinny. I’m considering investing in real life skinny clamps, perhaps we can bring them into fashion. The first dress was stunning. It took me a minute to process how beautiful it was. I don’t know what I thought it would feel like to look in a mirror with a wedding dress on, but I wasn’t prepared. It caught me off guard & took my breath away a bit.
We tried on more. Jillian told me to think out loud, to tell her everything I was thinking, what about the dress I loved & hated. Every time she came back, her choices got better. I was starting to get some clarity on what I liked. And before long, I’d narrowed it down to two. Ironically (and despite the continuously improving dress choices) I just couldn’t get the first one I’d tried on out of my head.
She had me try my favorite two dresses on again & head out to the main gallery mirror on the showroom floor. I felt really…something I can’t describe…walking around in those dresses, walking past the other brides’ families and bridesmaids, past the salesgirls and stepping onto the raised platform under the perfect light in front of the full length mirror. Jillian put a veil on my head, and I have to admit it…I got teary. This whole thing is real. I’m really getting married. Made me think of what my dad’s reaction will be when he sees me like this. What Richie’s will be. I don’t know, the whole thing…it just got to me. I could see my mom tearing up too.
Officially the girliest moment of my life. Sigh.
I didn’t buy the dress. I “Said Maybe To The Dress”. I love them, but I want to see more. I love Irina Shabayeva’s designs so much – she & I went out for drinks last week & talked about her designing something custom for me, which is a HUGE honor. And I’ve gotten emails from a couple designers who are interested in dressing me, I need to look into everything & be sure I’m making the right decision. But that first dress is still haunting me. We’ll shall see.
I can at least say I wasn’t horrified by the experience (wait! I mean “Say Not Horrified By The Dress”). It was actually kinda cool. It’s all starting to sink in.
I’m gonna be a bride 🙂