Project Real: I Do . . . Feel Gorgeous!

by Brittany on May 4, 2011

in Project Real, Self & Body

Four days ago, I stayed up all night for the sole purpose of seeing a girl step out of a car in a dress.

But, not just any dress.  The dress.  The dress that would make her a princess.

Buying your wedding dress is one of those moments in your life that you either dream of, or dread.

For me, it was dread.  Fitting into trendy clothes at a department store is one thing.  But the sizing associated with formal wear is a whole other animal.  Add to that, the fact that most bridal salons only stock sample dresses up to a size ten (size 6 in normal human sizes), so whenever I wanted to try anything on, I felt huge waddling out of the fitting room with giant chip clips holding the unfastened dress to my frame.

In the end, I found my dream gown, but the process was no less miserable.

Although, you wouldn’t know it from by the way I danced around the room singing along to Prince with my bridesmaids.

So, today we celebrate, not the bumpy road that got us there, but rather, just how gorgeous we felt once we arrived.

britt weddingI had already purchased my wedding dress, and I hated it.  The sales woman and my friends talked me into it, but it didn’t have the vintage feel I was going for.  I drove by a bridal boutique on my way home from visiting a friend down south, saw this dress in the window and bought it on the spot.  I, to this day, have never felt as beautiful as I did that day.


spohr_w_121606_0205Heather: I loved my wedding dress because it was feminine but still allowed me to show off my personality. The way the dress hugged my curves made me feel as beautiful as I was happy.


WeddingMeghan: I loved this dress because, being petite, I never thought I would be able to pull off a full skirt, but this dress worked perfectly. The strapless top maximized my (ample) bosom and helped to make the skirt perfectly proportionate.


Screen shot 2011-05-03 at 9.25.27 PMAudrey: My wedding dress made me feel beautiful because my Grandma Dot had spent HOURS altering it so it fit me like a glove.  She passed away in 2002, and I’m still sentimental about it because I know she put so much work into it.  Every time I see it or touch it, I feel loved.


kim weddingKim: Our wedding celebration in New Orleans. I wore a white linen shirt and tan linen capris with small flowers embroidered on the cuffs, cork wedges and my grandmother’s pearls, along with an antique diamond bracelet that Gregory had given me that morning. I felt gorgeous because I was madly in love with the man beside me, wearing the same pearls my grandmother wore at her own wedding, and I felt like I was sparkling as brightly as the diamonds I wore every time Gregory told me I was beautiful.


mishi weddingMishi: On my wedding day I felt beautiful because this was the dress that I envisioned, for myself, before I went dress shopping.  Every dress that I tried on was ill-fitting, save this one; it didn’t even have to be altered.  It had a simple elegance that was hard to find in the mid-nineties, with moderate beading on the bodice, and a reasonable train.   Also, the different veil really made me feel special.   I just loved that tear-dropped pearl on my forehead!


katie weddingKatie: This is a picture of me on my wedding day.  I felt pretty in my dress because it fit me well, and it wasn’t plain, but it wasn’t too overstated.  It felt kind of unique, but not like something I’d regret in 20 years.  The moment I tried it on, I had to have it.

ali weddingAli: I got married as, well, an infant. My mother planned almost my entire wedding…except for my dress and my flowers. I had in my mind EXACTLY what I want, and ended up buying the first dress I tried on. I still love it, 13 years later. I mean, I’d wear it to work if I could.


nanette weddingNanette: While my dress was popular amongst brides during my wedding planning, I still felt like one of a kind. It cinched me up in all the right places and made me feel beautiful inside and out.


dawn wedding

Dawn: My mom and dad paid for our wedding, but my dad wasn’t willing to spend “too” much. My mom, truly just joking, mentioned I could wear her dress. I didn’t have to think long before I said SURE! New lace was added, it was sized for me, and I felt beautiful in it. I had never been much of a wedding day/dress dreamer as a kid (tomboy, yo) and so I think I was more appreciative of the idea of a dress with history that both my mom and my aunt wore down the aisle. The biggest reason I felt pretty in my dress was that it meant so much to my mom…plus Mike’s eyes got big when he saw me for the first time.


daisy weddingDaisy: My dress made me feel beautiful because my Mom gasped when she saw me in it. That is when I knew it was the one…and it didn’t hurt that it had pockets, which is the single greatest attribute of all time in a wedding dress.


allison weddingAllison:  I loved my dress because it was SIMPLE and, most importantly,  I felt like me in it from the moment I put it on.


angie weddingAngie: I didn’t just feel pretty in my wedding dress, I was pretty. The dress accentuated my positive body image, it showed off my hair, and I smiled all night long knowing I was beautiful.


jen weddingJen: From the second I put this dress on in the store it fit me like a glove, no alterations at all, every cut was made for me. It was the first time in my life I felt completely comfortable in something other than jeans and a t-shirt.

Picture 008Tena: I have always been self- conscious of my upper arms (join the club, I know.) It was the 90′s and it was a tall order to find things that weren’t high necked and SCREAMING for a matching lace headband, yet still cover my upper arms.  I felt like a princess and think it stands the test of time enough for my girls to at least consider borrowing it someday.(Princesses are classic, right?)


holly weddingHolly: I fell in love with this dress the moment I picked it up—strapless, laced up the back like a corset, with a small spattering of Swarovski crystals around the top—it just screamed HOLLY. And when I put it on I felt amazing. The dress hugged all the right places like it was meant just for me.

Whether you are married, not yet married, or happily unmarried, you have to admit, a little bit of dress up is totally fun…even if at the end, you don’t end up the Duchess of anything.

So, we want to see what you wore on your big day, and if you lucked out and got to wear an amazing bridesmaid dress, (we’re so jealous, all our dresses of bridesmaid past were hideous!) we want to see that too!  Just add it to our Flickr Group and let us know why you felt absolutely stunning in your outfit!

And, if you are in the market for a gorgeous plus size dress, fear not.  You don’t have to spend the day getting all sweaty and frusterated trying on dresses that underwhelm, not flatter.  Bridal Guide Magazine and  Sonsi Bridal are giving away five plus size bridal gowns!  You can enter by clicking here May 2nd-6th.  You can also join then in a live twitter event and chances to win one of twelve Sonsi gift cards!

Date: Friday, May 6, 2011
Time: 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. EST
Location: Visit and enter event #plussizebrides
Who: Sonsi Publisher & Bridal Boutique curator Jill Hutchison
Sydney’s Closet plus-size wedding dress designer Phyllis Brasch Librach
Bridal Guide Magazine Online Editor Rachel Jacoby

Join the fun and follow:
@Sonsiwoman, @BridalGuideMag, @SydneysCloset

Don’t forget to add your amazing photo to our Flickr Group!

Daisy May 4, 2011 at 7:17 am

So fun to see everyone’s dress & style. Y’all looked amazing!

Crystal May 4, 2011 at 7:21 am

I have an disproportionate body (43-35-43) so the thought of shopping for a wedding dress makes me want to vomit. Of course Ive envisioned my perfect dress…i am totally one to rock a wedding ball gown. Alterations are gonna cost more than the gown itself!

Mishelle May 4, 2011 at 7:29 am

You are going to rock it, alterations and all!

Tena May 4, 2011 at 7:42 am

All of the above, I’M SURE, thought we had body issues, but look how great they all turned out? I agree with Mish, you can totally own it!

Brittany May 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I paid SO MUCH in alterations, and it came down to being sewn into my dress the day of the wedding. IT WAS INSANE.

Sara May 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm

After going to HORRIBLE shops (e.g. bratty clerks, unhelpful clerks, etc.), I found a fantastic bridal shop whose owner was equal parts sweet, honest, and helpful. And to top it off, when we mentioned alterations (my proportions are almost identical to yours, Crystal), she confirmed that all alterations would be maxed out at $150, no matter what needed to be done and no matter how many times I had to come in for fittings. PLUS, she gave all my measurements (including height, cause on top of all that, I’m petite!) to the dress maker so they could do some customizations on their end before the dress even arrived at the shop.

Point being, finding the perfect bridal shop is almost as important as finding the perfect dress! So I have no doubt you’re going to rock your dress!

Mishelle May 4, 2011 at 7:29 am

You [we] were all such beautiful, beautiful, beautiful brides!!

Tena May 4, 2011 at 7:39 am

so fun to see everyone’s dresses- and each one gorgeous!

designhermomma May 4, 2011 at 7:54 am

I LOVE this post. I love both seeing all you ladies in your beautiful dresses, but the words below each picture make my heart smile so big.

Kir May 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

WOW, you all looked sooooo beautiful. I admit to be a SUCKER for a bride. Pretty, stunning, gorgeous, wow!
and as a size 12/14 when i got married I also had to put that aside and just pick a dress…and when I put it on….FAIRYTALE!

I loved this chance for all of you to show us how GORGEOUS you were on that happy day of your life.

Brittany May 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I was that size dress shopping as well, and it was miserable, but you always find your dress, and it makes for an amazingly confident day!

AmazingGreis May 4, 2011 at 8:03 am

So many beautiful dresses and beautiful brides! I hope to one day feel pretty in a dress of my own!!

Allison Zapata May 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

you’ll be sexy as hell, greis.

Angie May 4, 2011 at 8:18 am

I, as a child bride, was beautiful. We were (and are) all beautiful!

KelR May 4, 2011 at 8:20 am

Gorgeous all of you. I’m a sucker for just about wedding anything, although Bridezillas need a slap upside the head.

I posted my photo on Flickr. It’s my dress for my October 13, 2011 vintage style wedding. Since we’ve both done this before it’s a very small intimate affair. But I loved the dress from the minute I saw the picture. And I’ve got these really cool aqua shoes to go with it. Along with a pair of vintage 50s gloves and 50s crystal jewelry. I’ve definitely got the “old” part of the superstition covered.

Brittany May 4, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I love vintage weddings, and the shoes? Brilliant!

Janae May 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

I’m getting married in November and have put off dress shopping for as long as possible. The whole thing just stresses me out. I know the time to bite the bullet has arrived (maybe I’ll go this week…maybe) and the stories and photos above definitely give me hope. Thanks for sharing, ladies! You all looked fabulous (and you totally know it). :)

cindy w May 4, 2011 at 9:29 am

Love this. I just added my favorite picture from our wedding to the Flickr group.

Erika belstad May 4, 2011 at 9:35 am

Im jealous of all of you! I am married but I was 19 he was 21 and we were broke. I wore jeans, he wore his military uniform. I always dreamed of going dress shopping, but just can’t justify another wedding on military pay. Also now that we have a toddler planning anything would be impossible. You ladies look gorgeous and happy!

Nanette May 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

Look at all those pretty brides!

There really is something magical about putting on your dream dress for your dream day.

Lindsey May 4, 2011 at 10:05 am

Love love this post!

Hollie May 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

My husband and I were having an informal, backyard wedding. Hawaiian style. I looked for months for a sundress for it and could not find anything. I had just about given up, and then I walked into Khols. There, just as I walked in, there was a rack with one dress on it. it was cream linen with silver and clear beading around the neckline and the bottom hem. It was my size. The only one on the rack, and my size! I tried it on and knew I had to get it. The best thing about it, It was on clearance, but not marked yet, and it only cost $25. A wedding dress and a bargain, Go me!

Brittany May 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm

That would have been my dream wedding! My husband wanted a large wedding, but I so wanted a backyard event! So fun!

nic @mybottlesup May 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm


Jennifer May 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

So, so pretty. All of you. I love how all of the dresses are so different, but all fit your personalities.

I got married in 1990, which was pretty much wedding dress hell, but I LOVED my dress. When I first put it on my mom started to cry and I just knew that was the one. It helped that it didn’t have a beach ball shaped sleeve on each shoulder.

monstergirlee May 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I will chime in to say my bridesmaid’s were all awesome and amazing because I let them pick out their own dresses – with the only two guidelines being black and vintage. They looked wonderful.

Brittany May 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm

You are the best bride ever! I want to see some pics!!!!

Jessica May 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

loved my dress, turns out it was the groom that was the problem. Great post

Allison Zapata May 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I love you Miss Bern. xoxo

Sherri May 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I LOVE this! You ladies are all just stunning. Regardless of everything else, on your wedding day you should feel above and beyond gorgeous. Gorgeous squared!

Al_Pal May 5, 2011 at 1:35 am

So many gorgeous dresses and brides!!!
I’ve been lucky enough to feel good both times I was a bridesmaid.
I’ll have a wedding gown photo to add to the group in just under six months!!! :D

BuenoBaby May 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

It was fun to see all you girls in your pretty dresses! Fun!

I did notice you all wore *white*. Hmm. Really?

:raises eyebrow:

Daisy May 5, 2011 at 9:51 am


Mine was actually champagne.

Gloria @ I Do Venues May 5, 2011 at 10:32 am

This is awsone- have you considered doing a weekly blog for the curvy bride to be- they’d love it !!

Elizabeth May 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm

What a great post! I added my wedding pictures – including one of my favorite shots: a close up of my veil which was edged with the lace from my mom’s 1971 wedding dress. She died when I was 11, so having her “with” me as I said my vows and celebrated with my family and friends meant the world to me and made me smile twice as big!

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