Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dressing the Party: Round 3

With David's Bridal and a smaller boutique crossed off the list of possibilities, it was back to the drawing board once more. By this point, the infinity dress had been mailed back and forth across the country for everyone to try on, and the consensus was that it needed to be nixed as well. Everyone thought it was a fabulous dress, and several people said they wanted to buy one even if we didn't use it for the wedding. But there were concerns that it would look too casual in gray, even with a fancier fabric, and that it might be more "high maintenance" than people would prefer. So it's a no-go for the wedding, but I'm seriously considering getting one for the honeymoon.

[By the way, if you're thinking about getting an infinity dress for yourself or your wedding party, I would highly recommend Etsy seller katesy. She was wonderfully communicative, was flexible and patient in getting me a loaner dress to send around to everyone, she will customize the dresses both to your wedding color(s) and the specific measurements of your wedding party members (including plus sizes), and she offers matching tube tops for additional coverage. And fyi: this is not a paid endorsement of any kind, trust me! I was just really impressed when I was in contact with her.]

Now, back to the story - because this is the really good part, I promise. :-) It's the part where Party Person N and I trekked up to the Sacramento area to go to this mysterious Alfred Angelo signature store. For those of you who haven't been before, it's pretty much like going to a David's Bridal - it's fairly big and busy, they assign you a consultant, and they have lots of styles and sizes to choose from. Because I still didn't have a clear sense of what I wanted these dresses to look like, we just grabbed every cocktail-length dress they had that came in the charcoal color.

We were quickly able to rule out the satin dresses, which still left us with a bunch of chiffon options.

The initial verdict - charcoal was absolutely the perfect color (third dress in the bottom row), and I could be blissfully happy if our wedding party members chose any of those styles. Finally, finally! Oh, blessed color and fabric choice of the Ferris Wheel wedding, you had appeared to me!

As I sat basking in my relief, this next little realization felt like it came out of nowhere yet made so much sense: Party Person N and I both both adored the black trim on that charcoal dress. In fact, that's totally what made the dress for me. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a dash of black on a gray dress was just the little bit of edge and sass that I was looking for, and I was pretty sure it would work beautifully with the overall aesthetic of our wedding.

We asked the consultant about dresses with contrast trim, and she told us that there were only a few that could be ordered that way. But looking more closely at all of the dress options, I was certain we could find a way to replace sashes, belts, straps, or flowers with black ones in order to create a cohesive look. As best I can imagine (and hastily throw together in Publisher), here's a very rough idea of what we're aiming for.

{flower boy, junior Party Person, 3 Party People, 3 Team Mr. FW people, and a flower girl}
gray dress images from Alfred Angelo (some edited by me), source for vest images and flower girl dress image lost forever in my inspiration folders - sorry!

We're not quite there yet, but it's definitely starting to come together. Now... what is it that's left? There's something... I just know it. Something that we need... in addition to those outfits... Something like... Oh yeah, a wedding dress for the bride and a suit for the groom. That's right. Alas, something for another day. (I swear I'm working on it. I actually have an appointment tonight - wish me luck!)

Random question: where do you fall in the satin vs. chiffon debate? (Yes, I realize there are other fabric options out there, but it seems to me that those two categories encompass at least 75% of bridesmaid dresses available, yeah?)

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