Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Tale of Two Dresses

Sigh.  I have been avoiding this post, but the time has come to share it with you.

I bought a wedding dress.

A few weeks ago, I went to a sample dress sale at Demetrios.  As you might remember from my previous Demetrios post, I'm very much a fan, but I can't really afford most of their dresses.  I figured checking out the sample sale would be a great way to see if I could find an awesome dress that would normally be out of my price range.

Well, I found one.  And the great thing about this dress was that it wasn't actually a sample dress, just one that someone had decided not to buy that had been sitting in the back room for years because it's a size 2.  Obviously, not a dress that would fit most people.  I am not most people.  Though this dress was still too big on me (crazy, right?), it was the closest dress to my size that I had ever tried on, and it was beautiful.  It seemed like the perfect mix between everything I originally wanted in a dress and the new styles I had been considering.  It is very princessy, has a sweetheart neckline,  has a very full skirt, and sports lots of beading.  However, the beading is lace-like in style, and the skirt manages to be as full as I want without my previously requisite pick-ups.  This dress is truly unique, not only because it has glitter sewn into the fabric and an open-fronted skirt (see pictures), but also because the neckline had been altered by the previous almost-owner so that there actually is no dress quite like it.

It seemed like everything I had been looking for even though it was nothing like the dress I imagined getting married in.  And it cost a lot less than I had originally expected to pay.

Here was my dilemma:  Remember the dress I found a year-and-a-half ago that I fell in love with but haven't seen since?

Yes, that one.  Well, I'm still in love with it.  I wasn't so sure about it during the Monalisa fiasco, but as soon as I thought about buying the Demetrios dress, it was all I could think about.

I told the sales lady I wanted to sleep on the decision.  She told me that this was the last day of the sample sale, so the dress would go up in price significantly if I came back even the next day.

I started saying, "shit" repeatedly in my head.

In retrospect, I probably should have figured that a dress that had been sitting in the back room for so long probably wouldn't go up in price all that much if I decided to come back for it later.  The saleslady was very good at her job, and I really should have known better than to trust her.

I left the shop to go think about whether to buy the dress.  I had about 2.5 hours until the store closed, not nearly enough time to make an educated decision.  I called three very different people who have all been involved in my wedding, and all three of them basically told me as gently and in as much of a "it's your decision" tone as possible that I shouldn't buy the dress.

I really should have listened to them.

I went back to Demetrios thinking I probably wouldn't buy the dress but that I wanted to try it on once more before making a decision.

I'm not exactly sure what possessed me to buy it, but there are a few factors that I know were involved.

You've probably ascertained that I have been really worried about money lately.  It's not just the wedding, but the wedding is enough.  Our budget is definitely not large, and since Daniel and I are both picky and both want everything to be perfect, I've been majorly stressing about having the day be everything we want while still fitting into our budget.  Accordingly, I've been trying to save money on my dress because the one I want is $1,100, slightly over budget, but with tax and alterations it's significantly more than I was counting on.  The Demetrios dress seemed like the perfect solution:  beautiful and very me while still significantly cheaper than the other dresses I had loved.  I really wish I had had the conversation we had with my FFIL a couple of hours earlier because it alleviated a lot of my money problems, and I probably wouldn't have bought the dress if I had known how much he was going to give us beforehand.

Mostly, I think I talked myself into it because it was cheap, but that wasn't the only factor involved.  I wouldn't have bought it if it hadn't been so unique and timeless.  That's what sold me.  I have worried a little about my children looking a pick-up dress and asking, "WTH were you thinking?!"  And I really was looking for a dress that was unique without being too contemporary, and this dress really fit.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, but it was still very me, and I loved that about it.  But in the end, it has the same problem I've had with every other Demetrios dress that I have liked:  something just doesn't seem quite right.  It fits really well with what I want, but something's just off about it.  When it comes down to it, I can't see myself actually getting married in it, and that's the biggest problem imaginable.

There was one other factor that I think pushed me over the edge:  I'm sick of looking and waiting and not being able to do anything about my wedding.  It is SO frustrating to not really be able to make any decisions because we can't book a venue because we're not in California.  I'm so sick of it.  I can brainstorm, but I can't really do anything from 2,000 miles away.  Even the dress I want I can't find anywhere but San Jose!  I'm just so tired of waiting to be able to plan anything for real that I think I just wanted to have something over and done with.  Stupid reason to buy a dress, but I do think that was part of it.

Anyway, it did not take long for me to know that this just wasn't the right dress for me, and I'm trying to sell it.  On the very dismal bright side, two good things came out of this.

I know I want the other dress now.  I mean, I'm still going to go try it on again first, just to be sure, but I'm pretty much convinced that no other dress is going to live up to that one, and I'm planning on buying it.  I'm going to try to find it around here just to try it on again, but if I can't, I'm going to road trip it up to San Jose once I'm back in CA so that I can try it on and buy it.  They still have it, and hopefully they'll still have it when I get back.  I'm no longer looking for any other dresses, and I guess I did get the certainty I wanted in a dress out of the way...albeit in a horribly ironic and expensive way.

The other bright side is a lovely bridal gown photo shoot.  My friend Lauren is a fantastic amateur photographer, and despite the fact that we couldn't go outside, she got some really great pictures of me in the dress.

All Photos by Lauren

All that right after her laptop had been stolen, so she couldn't photoshop them.  I did a little editing, but considering the crappy lighting conditions we were dealing with, she did an amazing job.

So now that I'm selling it, is anyone interesting in buying?  Or know anyone that might be?  I have a lot more pictures of the dress itself here:  And this is the original Demetrios picture of the dress: (but that picture has the unaltered neckline).  The dress is a size 2, but I'm a street size 4, and it's still too big on me, so I figure it would be a perfect fit for a street size 6.  Also, I'm 5'5", and it's significantly too long on me, so a tall person should have no problem with length.  At the same time, the saleslady assured me that it would be easy to alter, so a short and/or thinner person would be fine too.  I'm asking $780 which is almost exactly what I paid for it and including free shipping.  If you are at all interested or know someone who might be, please email me at  I'd really love to not have to move it across the country.

Also, does anyone have any advice about how to go about selling it?  I posted ads on Weddingbee and Once Wed, and I'm probably going to do one on Ebay soon, but I would appreciate any advice you can offer.  Or just moral support.  I could definitely use that too.


  1. The dress you are trying to sell is gorgeous, but the one you want is fit for a princess! (And aren't you the princess bride? :D) I have been lookig at pre-owned dresses and thar are the sites I've visited:,, I've never tried to sell anything wedding related but I imagine it's all about getting it out there as far as many places out there as you can.

    I feel you on bein frustrated by planning from a distance. I am planning from Tokyo for an LA wedding and I basically can't do anything after we get our invites out. Any decor we try to make or buy will have to be shipped or taken on a plane, and it's just too expensive to do that. So I wait, patiently, and collect ideas so that I can create when we move back in Ocober. Luckily, even the process of organizing ideas and creating outlines excites me (because I'm a freak)!

    Good luck finding a buyer. I'm sure there are tons of girls on the 'bee boards that can help you sort out your two dress regret feelings- it happens, right?

  2. Thanks Kristin! And yeah, I have no idea how you're getting anything done with your long distanceness. I applaud your ability to handle that.


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