Alright, friends, get ready to see a gazillion pictures of ME today! Yikes.
Yes, yes, that really is me – it is amazing what platinum hair and Mac makeup can do to a girl before she nerds out on diy natural beauty and non-toxic living!! Yes, a lot has changed since my wedding day (4.5 wonderful years ago), I’ll admit it. But as I begin to trickle out photos of the most amazing DIY/vintage wedding ever (if I do say so myself…), you will realize that some things will never change with me:
Makers gonna make. I was all craftin’, creatin’, imagining, up-cyclin’, thriftin’, and envisioning on our wedding day as much as I am now!
Today’s post will focus solely on my upcycled wedding dress, but stay tuned for the DIY/food/decor/activities side of our Vintage Picnic wedding to come!
Before we Begin…
I always get asked about my fun handmade accessories, so I want to share those with you now before I forget!
- My Bird-cage veil was handmade by an indie designer and bought for $67 from Etsy. (Here’s the shop, she has tons of amazing pieces, even wedding dresses!)
- My Orange Blossom Charm Necklace with Raw Silk was also handmade and picked up on Etsy for $35. (Here is the shop. She also has tons of other accessories like headbands and veils.)
- My Dried “Milk and Honey” Bouquet was – yep, you guessed it – also handmade from Etsy! I LOVED having a dried bouquet! She also did all 6 of our boutonnieres. (Here’s the shop.)
I think it is safe to say at this point that I like shopping on Etsy, and would encourage you to as well! It is a fabulous way to find cool vintage pieces and support indie designers and artists.
Now… LET’S TALK DRESS!
As I started looking for a dress, I knew that I wanted a short one. We were going to be having a casual(ish) vintage picnic reception, and I wanted something I could play croquet or skip around the garden in. Not to mention, I have been able to wear it over and over again to different functions and events. How many people can say that about their wedding dress??
Basic Lace Shell
I originally purchased a basic lace dress that was on sale in the Macy’s juniors’ department down from $100 to $20. At first glance, no one I showed it to could see how I had found “the dress” in it. But I had vision, and I knew what I wanted to do with it. The original shell had a tighter skirt around the hips and legs, with a sheer tulle layer that sat on top of the skirt portion. It all needed a bit of work, but the tulle and lace together showed promise in my mind!
Deep V in Front and Back
The neckline on the lace dress was originally pretty high – I would have called it a boat neck. I found an amazing woman who agreed to change the neck/back on it for me (and do all of my alterations for a mere $60!), and she completely nailed the deep-v look I wanted.
Skirt Ruffles Made From Curtains
I found a set of sheer ivory curtains at Goodwill for $10 that were screaming, “Get married in me!” So I took those to the same amazing woman who changed the neckline for me and asked her to make a layered ruffle skirt that would sit underneath the tulle layer. I wanted lots of fun bounce, and also enough layers to help poof the dress out into a 50’s hour glass style skirt.
My Biggest Regret & Words of Caution
All in all, the dress was everything I had ever dreamed of. It had vintage touches, DIY elements, was super budget friendly (grand total of $90, um, yes please!!), and breathed new life into a thrifted piece. However, I did make a tough mistake and learned one very valuable lesson that I’d like to share with you:
Get the boobs right.
Yep. I went there, and it is SO important. In all of my sizing appointments and try-ons, I wore a regular bra, but for the actual event I needed a strapless, backless bra, and had no idea how hard it would be to find one. A few nights before the wedding, I finally found one that I thought would work, but didn’t know for sure since it was sold in a box.
Yeah, there went $75 down the drain. I used it anyways, but unhappily.
My advice: Find the bra you will be wearing before all of your fittings so you can adjust the dress accordingly, or build the bra right into the dress (what I should have done).
One last note…
Guys… my mom! Isn’t she a doll? LOVED her vintage dress and bolero set that she found! I believe it came from Etsy too. (Seriously, ya’ll, get shopping on Etsy!)
And definitely DIY your wedding! It may be a lot of work, but the end results produce a completely unique and special day that you truly can tailor to you, and ENJOY as the funnest day of your life rather than just a gorgeous party.