Maybe it was the fact that they were both second time brides, maybe it was because they were both in their mid-forties, but both were infatuated….head-over-heels in love….with idea of being a bride/
themselves. Both brought their best/ long suffering faithful friends with them to be the audience/sounding board/ cheering section.
The first bride went all out for a David’s Bridal wedding dress with diagonal seaming and long train that would finally have a French under bustle and an added halter to hold up her bodice. All went well with the alterations, hemming lace and adding 16 satin covered buttons down the back because “I could not even imagine getting married without buttons down my back”.
The day of the scheduled pick-up and payment I got a phone call saying that she would like to delay the pick-up until the following day as she was going to have a preview hair-do and she wanted to invite all her girlfriends to my house for a hair-do preview party and jewelry try-on and viewing event. After I silently gasped, I managed to tell her that the following day was not available and we would have to stick to the original day. That’s when things went awry/
down the toilet.
The agreed upon time was 12 noon for she and her friend to come for the final try-on and payment…alone. At 1 pm, I got a call from her saying she and her friend were getting their mink eyelashes attached and the girl was running late so could they be a tiny bit late…OK. Then 30 minutes later the friend called to say that the bride was just starting to get her new eyelashes on and they would be a tiny bit late…OK. At 10 minutes to 2 pm…in they wander with the mink eyelashes flapping away and extended all the way up to their eyebrows…Holy Kim Kardashian! The going rate for mink eyelashes is $200 for the first application and $75 for refills…more than the alterations cost! But they both were so happy flapping and flitting around the room, they floated out the front door and I had a check in hand.
The second bride and her friend came with a slinky bias-cut silk dress in a plastic garment bag and announced as she opened it, “This dress has been in this bag since 2006”. OK, I didn’t ask if it was for the same groom or a different groom because it seemed irrelevant… it was all about her from then on. The dress had to “puddle” just right to cover her feet and yes, there had to be a bustle so she could dance all night long.
The only thing that held the dress on her body were 2 thin spaghetti straps and some tiny loops. The back neckline dropped well below her waist as you can see in the photo. I did not photograph the dress on her as no one has to see a butt crack. Puddling completed with 1/2 inch horsehair braid hem, the challenge would be to figure out how to make a bustle when there was no center back seam or any darn seam on the back of the dress or lining. I decided on making a long ribbon of stay tape which would be attached to the lower back and hang down inside without adding bulk.
A clear button would be sewn to the tail. A thread loop reinforced with a square of silk organza for strength sewn through all layers would be made and then attached to the button: Once attached, the bustle hangs down just right with puddling in front and a dance length in back…go figure? But the best part was not the dress, oh no, it was the story of the wedding, the location and the shoes. The bride planned her wedding on a yacht in Marina Del Rey in Southern California and the guests and she would be staying at the Beverly Wiltshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Her shoes told the rest of the story…to compliment the 8 year old dress she had ordered online 6 pairs of Alice + Olivia shoes first but they were not right, then she ordered 6 pairs of Prada shoes and they were not right. Finally, she settled on a pair of Manolo Blahniks. The fact that the front of the dress was going to cover everything did make me wonder. So after this little tale of extravagance as I am pinning up the hems, her friend asks, “well would you like to know what I am wearing to your wedding?” (Assuming she is the matron-of-honor) the brides turns and looks down from her platform/
pedestal to her and says, “YOU?” and without batting an eye the friend says, “Yes, I’m wearing a navy dress.” I was chuckling inside and thought, “You go, Girl!” So this little bride from our rural little town is heading to the bright lights and splendor of LA for a real doozy of a blow-out wedding and her only worry was , “I hope every one of the guests will think it was worth the expense and travel time”. Who knows?
Before I go I want to share a lovely dress made by Tee on her blog: Dressed2atee. The time and love that went into making the dress for her friend turned out so beautifully inside and out with a special sheer cape for the church service…just divine!
Happy Labor Day to my US readers…soon the kiddies will be back in school and maybe some of the moms can get get back to some serious sewing!