Monday, August 6, 2012

My Wedding Planning: Finding My Dress

I don't take any credit for this photo above. It's one of my absolute favorites from our wedding day. It was taken in the hallway in my parents' home, right after I had put on my dress, veil, and jewelry, and was walking down the hall to take a last look in the full-length mirror before heading to the church. My little brother, an amazing photographer, was talking all of our getting-ready pictures and so he gets credit for snapping such a lovely shot. One of my sister-in-laws, who was a bridesmaid, noticed me walking down the hall and saw the light streaming in the open door, and suggested that Noah take the photo. So she also gets credit.

And finally, my beautiful dress gets credit. Like any eager bride, I began searching for my dress almost immediately after getting engaged. I was living in New York at the time and so was my sister-in-law, and we had a blast visiting bridal salons together in the exciting, early days after her brother proposed.

Photos above by Noah Zinsmeister

A few weeks after our initial looking, my mom took a trip down to New York and she and I went to this gorgeous boutique as well as the Pronovias Flagship store. I had been eyeing so many of the Pronovias gowns online and was really attracted to the simplicity of the dresses, the lack of beads/flowers/bows (which I had decided I didn't like), and the rich fabrics that are their signature.

I tried on so many amazing dresses, and my mom and I had such a wonderful time together. Since the bridal consultant in the store usually helps the bride get dressed, my mom got to sit and relax and wait for me to come out wearing gown after beautiful gown. We both felt completely relaxed and patient--so many of the dresses were lovely and could have been the one, but we had a sense that the perfect dress was still out there waiting for us to find it. So at the end of the weekend, we were thrilled that we'd made so much progress figuring out what I liked and didn't like, and were excited to keep looking. 

We found my Pronovias gown at a small boutique in my hometown a few weeks later. After trying on the gowns at the flagship salon in New York, I was pretty sure I would end up with a Pronovias dress, and we were lucky that this local boutique carried lots of Pronovias (at much more affordable prices, too). 

Photos above by Robin Fox Photography

My mom and I both fell in love with this dress when I tried it on. The neckline and the ruching were unlike anything I'd seen. I loved that the dress was fitted asymmetrically through the hips and flared to a fuller skirt, and I thought it had a sophisticated elegance about it. The consultant said it reminded her of Old Hollywood, Audrey Hepburn style. And I knew the train would be stunning for our cathedral ceremony.

What's amazing to think about now is that before getting engaged, I saw myself in a form-fitting lace wedding gown. Total opposite of what I ended up with! I tried on lace and I tried on dresses with a more fitted silhouette and they just didn't work with my build. To create the most flattering look for my figure, I needed a fabric with more shape (my dress was silk taffeta) and a cut that had more fullness at the bottom. 

So my advice to brides is to be as open-minded as possible when trying on wedding dresses. You may be completely surprised by the styles and shapes and fabrics that best flatter your figure and make you feel as beautiful as can be.

My last bit of advice is to go shopping with your mom. It's an unforgettable--not to mention fun!--experience. The two weekends my mom and I dress-shopped together were as special as mother-daughter weekends get.

Photo taken by my aunt at the day-after brunch at my parents' house


  1. Such a great post and such a beautiful dress! You looked stunning!


    Leopard and Lillies

  2. Such gorgeous photos - you looked amazing!

    The Other Side of Gray

  3. You were a beautiful bride! Your dress was lovely.

  4. wow, stunning pictures. i really enjoyed the crochet hook in there ;)


    1. Thanks Kristina!

      Haha I know, my maid of honor was able to button without the crochet hook but my mom was thankful to have it...such tiny little buttons and loops!

      Thanks for following my blog! I will check out yours now.

  5. I thought that there is supposed to be a Groom at one of those events...

    ; )

    If there was one, I'm sure that he must have been the happiest man in the world. What a beautiful Bride!

  6. You were radiant! ... Noah is a great photographer... but he did have a lot to work with... just lovely!

    1. Thanks Mrs. Harvey, and yes I was absolutely blessed with a beautiful bride and sister to photograph!

  7. These pictures are great, you guys really did have an elegant wedding. It reminds me that I have some pictures of the rehearsal you might want, I'll send them to Steve to pass on.

  8. omg such a beautiful dress and photos. Congrats!


  9. Absolutely gorgeous! Those buttons are a beautiful touch.

    Stay in the Lines

    1. Thanks Jaclyn! I just checked out your blog--love it! We seem to have some overlapping interests!

  10. spectacular :)

    don't you wish for an occasion to wear your wedding dress again? one of these days I totally want to do one of those "trash the dress" shoots - except, without actually trashing the dress. lol


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