I knew for a while I wanted to make my own wedding dress. On the other hand I also wanted to wear my mom’s dress. I was really wrestling with which to do, until my friend Colleen got hitched and wore her great grandmother’s dress (which was also her grandmother’s AND mother’s!) for the ceremony and a second more modern dress for the reception. I thought .. GENIUS! If I don’t need to purchase either dress then why not have two dresses! My mother’s more traditional dress for the ceremony, and a fun “party dress” for the reception. Besides, it was going to be a warm day with no a/c at either venue, and I needed something that breathed a lot.
I had several sources of inspiration for my dress. First, I died over this Dior skirt found via pinterest from Vogue. I knew I didn’t want a completely white dress, but I wasn’t exactly sure how I would translate that. Until I saw this AMAZING dress. I immediately knew I’d do a hi-lo hem with a floral peek-a-boo lining. I love the shape of the bodice of this Named Clothing Ailakki Cross Front Jumper. Its so fun and flirty! Finally, for the shape of the skirt I fell in love with this dress by Rivini that I found on the Knot. I love the fullness of it and the double layers.
I drafted the entire pattern for this dress myself. I took pieces from each of my inspiration images and threw in my own ideas. I gave it a VERY low back, and added a sequined appliqué satin ribbon belt I made with some supplies on etsy (here and here). The belt was a last minute addition because I felt the dress needed a touch of sparkle. The skirt volume is supported with a mesh interfacing on the under layer and a very wide horsehair trim on the top layer. Its essentially just a huge circle skirt with strategically placed flares. The added interfacing keeps all the flares from collapsing in on each other. If I had cut this skirt in something lighter like a taffeta, I may not have needed to add the interfacing. These fabrics where much heavier and needed the structure. I ended up making a short hoop skirt (crinoline) to wear underneath because the mesh still didn’t quite give the skirt the volume I was looking for.
When choosing fabric I wanted to do something very “un-bridal”. I chose a silk linen for the bodice and under layer of the skirt, and a very interesting basket weave silk for the top layer that I left unhemmed. I love the unfinished look of the raw edges, and the rustic texture the top layer gives the skirt. I ordered both of these fabrics from Mood. That fabulous lining is Nani Iro linen, also found on etsy from Kate Japanese Fabric.
Our wedding day was so much fun, everything was absolutely perfect. I wish we could relive it over and over again. Photos are by our lovely photographer Mimi Nguyen.
I’m so happy to be able to share this with you, and I’d love to know what you think in the comments!