[Wedding dress] Satin side-draped A-line with lace-up back and chapel train

Framed full view of wedding dress back
Dress Dossier: Satin side-draped A-line with lace-up back

  • David’s Bridal (V9665)
  • Satin side-draped A-line
  • Beaded metallic embroidered lace
  • Lace-up back
  • Split back with lace appliques
  • Chapel train
  • Ivory

Framed - veil

Veil Dossier: Two-tiered scallop edge fingertip length

  • David’s Bridal (Style 689)
  • Two-tiered
  • Beaded scallop edge
  • Beaded flowers and sequins
  • Fingertip length (about 40 inches)
  • Wire comb
  • Ivory

By Rose

Empty garment bag.

I took my wedding dress to my local David’s Bridal today to send it off to Houston, Texas, where someone will clean it — good luck with the oil stains earned by getting in and out of a town car! — and generally get it all spiffy again. The dress, along with  my veil, will be placed in a preservation box and sent back to me so that I can store it safely for decades to come.

I didn’t think I would feel this way, but I was a little resistant to packing up the box and sending the dress away. Would it be safe? Would they do a good job cleaning it? What if . . . what if I want to touch shimmery soft satin now and then? Can I open the box? (Turns out, yes, if you do it carefully.)

To those who know me well, this reaction might be only slightly less stunning than the fact that I chose this dress to begin with. What I originally had in mind for a wedding gown was a handmade number made from blue recycled poplin shirts. But my mom, Jirapa, and my two sisters, Alisa and Sedora, took me shopping in San Jose, Calif., last year while I was in town to celebrate Alisa’s birthday.

“Just come — you won’t have to pick anything. We’ll just look at the less formal ones in the bridesmaids section,” they said to lure me into the car. Perhaps “trick” is the better word. Because I’m Rose. I don’t do things like buy wedding gowns designed to be wedding gowns. I said fine, if it’s possible to get a dress designed to be more of a sleek bridesmaid dress, I suppose I could stand to look at that.

We went into a little boutique staffed by women far too haughty for my tastes, and we quickly high-tailed it to the David’s Bridal store where Alisa had purchased her dress.

We had a great saleswoman helping us, and when she asked me what I wanted, I answered by telling her what I didn’t want:

  • White or any shade of it (champagne-colored would be sweet)
  • Long train (what a drag! and how do you use the restroom?)
  • Poofy (it must feel so awkward to wear a poofy dress)
  • Fussy (not me)
  • A veil (ha ha ha ha ha — me, in a veil?)

I somehow consented to following the nice lady toward the wedding gown half of the store rather than the other, formal-dress-racks half of the store. Realizing I was about  to defy my principles and try on wedding dresses designed as wedding dresses, I figured I should at least try on something fun, like a dress with a corset. So I asked about corseted dresses and there seemed to be only one or two to choose from.

The dress pictured at the very top was, I think, only the second or third one I had tried on. I loved it immediately, despite the fact that it was poofy, and fussy, with that long train. When the saleswoman asked me if I wanted to try on the veil, I said OK. She had picked out a beautiful one with scallop edges and put it on me. Never in my life did I ever think I would consent to having a veil come near my head, much less slid into my hair.

I looked in the mirror and said, “OK. Sure. We’ll take this dress, as long as you get me the ivory one rather than this white one, and the veil too.”

I wish I had taken a photo of my council of three when I said I would take that dress and veil. They just sort of stared at me, speechless. There was no movement in that row of three chairs placed at the edge of the dressing room platform. Just. Staring. Just. Speechless.

And three seconds later, they snapped back and raved about how excited they were.

What can I say? I loved it how it felt on me. I’m a gut feeling sort of person, so I rolled with it. My mom paid for the dress and the veil, and the dress was shipped to me in Michigan a few weeks later.

Oh, that bustle

It cost me more to get the alterations for bustling this gown than it cost Scott to rent his entire wedding day outfit for the whole weekend. The excellent seamstress at my local David’s Bridal said the bustle was pretty complicated as far as bustles go, and she figured there was really only one bustle pattern that worked well with it. Since my sisters weren’t around during the alteration process, the seamstress was nice enough to get a coworker to record video on my iPhone of how to bustle the dress, and I sent that video to my sisters.

Alisa took the video and wrote out steps. Sedora took one look and said “Easy! This will be no problem.” (Remember, this is Sedora, who was, even at that time of her engagement, farther along than I was in my wedding planning.) I felt relieved knowing my sisters would once again take care of business.

As I write this, Coreene Smith is putting the finishing touches on our wedding photos. Since I don’t have good shots yet of my dress from the day of the wedding, I’ve included the shots above from DavidsBridal.com. (By the way, if you care, there’s an adorable flower girl version of this dress too.)

Return to sender already

Back to shipping off the dress and the veil. The yogi in me knows to shoot for detachment, but I can’t wait to get them back for a few reasons:

  1. My mom bought both for me — it was one of her many wedding presents to me, and somehow it symbolizes not only how much she loves me, but how mom always knows best, even when you wish it weren’t the case. I would have been fine and enjoyed the dress that would eventually become my rehearsal dinner dress, but I won’t lie — being in this wedding gown felt incredible. The way the dress draped was amazing. My dad loved the dress too — and he is brutally honest when it comes to women’s clothing, so I knew it was a winner when he said it looked beautiful.
  2. Now, when I look at the dress, I think about how seriously my sisters took their roles as bridesmaids, and how, just minutes before the ceremony, they scrubbed the hell out of the stained parts of the train and, when they realized that would not work, they figured out a brilliant workaround so the biggest stain, at least, wouldn’t show. Had they asked me first, I would have just said to let it go — no one’s going to really notice anyway. My sisters are awesome at everything they do, and they rocked it out as my bridesmaids as well.
  3. Finally, it is the dress in which I formally committed to becoming Mrs. Scott Swanson — except I kept my last name, and if anyone in real life under the age of 75 ever refers to me as Mrs. Scott Swanson, I will inwardly bristle at this outdated convention of referring to a woman by her husband’s full name and outwardly pretend I didn’t hear them. (Romantic, I know — that’s what people always say about me. What a sappy romantic.)
With family - 1
      With family - 2


2 thoughts on “[Wedding dress] Satin side-draped A-line with lace-up back and chapel train

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