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Posts Tagged ‘tea-length’

I’ve posted several times about my massive dress hunt — and i will post more gorgeous and quirky ideas i found online, i promise — but i got The Call yesterday. My dress has arrived!!

I think i’ve mentioned before that my mom graciously volunteered to purchase my dress. Naturally, that meant that we had to go shopping together. She lives in North Carolina, so i arranged for a five-day shopping extravaganza down to NC. And let me tell you, we hit every bridal salon in the Triangle metro area.

Well. We went to four stores. But they had a LOT of dresses! And i tried on so. many. bridal gowns. None of the stores would allow pictures, so i have nothing to show you for my troubles. Disappointing, no? Anyways, we split the massive trip up over two days. The first day was incredibly disappointing. I mean, totally fun and awesome, and i got to spend hours parading around in yards of gathered and sparkling satin and silk, but. No tulle! Seriously, we went to two giant dress shops, and between them, there was not a shred of tulle to be found. There were also no tea-length options, but thanks to my mom’s genius suggestion, we focused on dresses that could be made tea-length without too much fuss or bother.

I came home that first day with four “contenders” on my list, but none of them made me twirl around with joy. I figured that maybe it wasn’t in the cards for me to find The Dress — i’d been so lucky with the venue and the photographer that i thought maybe it was my time to just find something i’d settle for and be reasonably happy with. But then: Day Two.

Y’all, i have never been so excited over a garment in my life. We found her at this tiny, cramped dress shop in downtown Raleigh; my mom and i were pulling dresses left and right, and three-quarters of the way through the store, i finally came across tulle. (Seriously — i had no idea tulle would be so evasive!) I pulled the dress off the rack, gave it the once-over, and wrinkled my nose. “WAAAY too busy,” i said. My mom suggested that i try it on anyway, because it was the first tulle dress we’d seen in many long hours of shopping. So onto the pile it went. I waded through non-tulle option after non-tulle option, and finally, it was time. I slipped the dress on, zipped her up, and stepped out in front of the mirrors.

And she. Was. Perfect!!

Wanna see her? Click away!

(A GENTLE REMINDER: IF YOUR NAME IS JOE AND YOU ARE MARRYING ME, BACK AWAY SLOWLY FROM THE JUMP, AND NO ONE GETS HURT.)

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When last i left you, i was marveling over the genius idea of a tea-length dress. So different and vintage-y and exciting and gorgeous! Within minutes of seeing that Joan Shum masterpiece, i was totally sold. But where to find such a beautiful gown within a thrifty girl’s budget?

Enter, as always, the Internet. The lovely ladies at indiebride pointed me in the direction of several well-stocked, beautiful, inspiration-filled online stores just crammed full of gorgeous vintage dresses!

First up: Blue Velvet Vintage. This shop sorts dresses by size (small to large) and offers really reasonable prices on some totally gorgeous gowns. Check these out:

This beauty will set you back only $239 and is a lovely combination of lace and satin, with a dreamy boatneck. Plus — tulle crinoline!! And it’s tea-length — gorgeous!

If you’re not afraid of not wearing white, this would just be dreamy. The little sheer bolero is just adorable.

And this is my favorite:

Look how intricate the lace pattern is, and what a gorgeously poofy skirt! I kind of love the peach sash and flower, but that would be easily removable. So cute!!

Another excellent vintage shopping site, Vintage Vixen, offers separate categories for cocktail dresses, evening gowns, and wedding gowns.

This gorgeous dress, while neither tea-length nor tulle, speaks to me with its delicate daisy embroidery. (It actually reminds me of the dress i wore to my first high-school formal dance, which was my mom’s old daisy-encrusted gown from her high-school days, which she not only made herself but altered for me! Ahh, memory lane.)

Vintage Vixen is kind of short on the both the tea-length and the tulle, but it’s worth a stop over there to browse the many different categories of vintage clothing available. Plus, they’re ranked by rarity and condition, and most everything is reasonably affordable. The wedding dresses alone are worth a click!

Plus, many of them are “new-old,” meaning that although vintage, the dresses have never actually been worn. You’d be recycling while still getting to be the first person to walk down the aisle in your dress! Win-win.

Next up is by far the most extensive collection of vintage dresses i have seen online. Seriously, the first time i found this site i clicked for close to an hour. (I hope my boss isn’t reading this!) If you’re in the mood to browse or are in need of some retro inspiration, i cannot recommend Vintageous more highly.

I mean, honestly. Look! At! These! Dresses! All poofy, tea-length tulle confections that absolutely make me swoon. And every single one is just from the first page! I had to whittle down to just a few of my favorites — but check these beauties out:

…okay, so these first two aren’t technically tea-length. But who cares? You could easily hem them to be, or you could wear them skimming the ground like a 1950’s princess! Aren’t they dreamy?!

Pink! I know, i know — not a traditional wedding color (although, based on this post alone, one that i am drawn to regardless). But — so poofy! So tea-length! So floaty and ethereal and flattering! Can you imagine floating down the aisle in this? Sigh.

This one’s my favorite. The swiss dots are just to die for, and the embroidery on the overlay takes a simple, classic shape and really makes it something special. (Spoiler: my own wedding dress may be not entirely dissimilar — stay tuned!)

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Thus began my exhaustive (and exhausting!) online hunt for inspirational pictures. I’m not gonna lie — the idea of a tea-length dress did not immediately occur to me. I hunted high; i hunted low. The Dress escaped me. In need of inspiration, i branched out in my searches, and then — courtesy of onesmallstar at etsy wedding, i found this:

If you haven’t heard of Joan Shum, i highly recommend you dash directly over to her Etsy site and commence with the swooning. Each of her designs is utterly genius, and the construction is a work of art.

After i had fanned myself at the gorgeousness for a while, i happened to notice the price tag. Aaaand Mademoiselle came right back off the list. But! She gave me a starting point for a whole new direction of dreaming. Poofy! Tulle! And tea-length!! Genius. I began having visions of 1950s prom dresses, Audrey Hepburn, champagne, balloons, and shoes that i could show off.

And then, suddenly, tea-length inspiration was everywhere! Here’s a gorgeous Priscilla of Boston number:

With bonus tulle border!

I also stumbled upon the brilliant women of the indiebride forums, who turned me on to this masterpiece of bridal finery:

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Maya.

*swoon*

This dress has launched a thousand brides’ dreams. Seriously. Although she’s not tulle, she is certainly poofy, and quirky, and simply breathtaking. Believe me when i say that her fans are legion and true. (She’s also no longer available. Sorry to break your hearts like that! But isn’t she dreamy?!)

Stay tuned — i’ve got lots more tea-length inspiration for you, as well as fabulous, extensive resources for online drooling and shopping. And soon — i’ll reveal The Dress!

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