Wedding Planner Abbey Nims Shares Her Planning Journey: Wedding Dress Shopping
By Abbey Nims
Today we are talking about dress shopping. First things first, I am a mid-sized woman. I am 6ft tall, 225lbs, dress size 14-16. What does mid-sized mean? Essentially it means that I’m neither straight-sized or plus-sized. The biggest size in the regular section or the smallest size in the plus section and neither seem to fit quite right. Because of all of that, I HATE SHOPPING and I was absolutely dreading shopping for my wedding dress. Which of course made me glued to my phone screen for weeks looking at dress after dress and came up with nothing that seemed like myself while also fitting my budget.
While I won’t go through my entire self-love journey, I will say this: Stop thinking of yourself in comparison to other people. Literally anyone. But, also, start finding images on Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, of people with similar body types as you. Most of what changed my outlook on my own body was consuming more content containing plus-sized and curvy bodies.
“Shredding for the wedding” culture is extremely toxic. But, becoming the best version of yourself that you can be as you start the rest of your life with your partner can be extremely healthy. This can be things like, drinking more water, taking yoga classes, going to therapy, cracking down on your skin care routine. All of these things can help you be the best you and don’t involve fad dieting and cutting out entire food groups.
At first, I decided I was going to make my own dress. As a novice sewer I knew that this was going to be a big job, but to make it even more complicated, I was going to use my grandmothers’ wedding dresses. After sewing literally every person in my life something for a Christmas present, I realized I was absolutely insane and scrapped the entire idea.
I went and tried on some dresses at David’s Bridal to try and find shapes that I liked and didn’t like. But, no matter what, nothing felt right.
Then I decided I wanted to wear grey/silver. Thinking that would feel a little different than that traditional white, maybe give more of a punk rock vibe that I tend to lean toward on the day to day. I was set.
I ended up finding a dress on Etsy from a shop with lots of sales and lots of reviews. The only issue was that I hadn’t tried on anything like it and I didn’t want to spend $400 on a dress that I hated. The dress was actually a dupe of a dress made by BHLDN. Anthropologie’s wedding line. Off to Anthropologie I went to try on the dress I thought was THE DRESS. Spoiler alert: I hated it.
Tried on more and more and more until The Miles Dress. This dress has been on my Pinterest board for literal years. Unfortunately, $1,400 was never going to be in my price range. I tried it on and OMG it was beautiful. But, I still felt like it needed SOMETHING.
I went home empty-handed once again and honestly, a little disappointed. I called in a favor with my best friend, who happens to work at a local bridal shop called Brides for a Cause. Brides for a Cause is a nonprofit organization that collects and resells wedding dresses to raise funds for various local and national women focused charities. I volunteered there a few years ago and knew that if there was anywhere in town that was going to have anything close to what I wanted it was going to be this place. That being said, these gowns are typically worn and donated and are often altered to fit that previous bride perfectly. So, I expected to have some work to do even if I did find a dress.
Not even a week later, Zahra (the bestie) texts me that there is a dress I HAVE TO TRY ON. So, I hightail it downtown and try it on that afternoon. I get it on and she zips it up the back and it’s the perfect fit. And I mean PERFECT. Perfect length, everything. AND I’M 6FT TALL! The icing on the cake? It was only $130.
SO, NOT ONLY did I find a dress that fit, with no alterations needed. But, I was giving to women’s charities and recycling a dress at the same time.
No spoilers here! You’ll have to wait until the big day to see the dress.
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