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Wedding Recap: The Dress

With the arrival of my beautifully cleaned and preserved wedding dress today, as well as the announcement that Priscilla of Boston was closing, I felt it apropos to write a post about my wedding dress and the experience of buying “THE DRESS”.

Soon after we got engaged, I visited with my mom and grandmother, and of course the wedding was discussed.  My grandmother mentioned that she wore a Priscilla of Boston gown when she married my grandfather back in 1953.  Of course, it was a different time back then.  They were only engaged for 6 weeks, and she bought her dress off the rack at a department store.  Anyway, my mom and I decided to start looking at dresses by going the the Priscilla of Boston flagship store in downtown Boston.  We went on May 1, 2010 along with my Aunt Janean (my mom’s sister) and cousin, Mary.  Yes, I did end up purchasing the first dress that I tried on.  (You can see the dresses that weren’t here.)  Here are some pictures from my first appointment at Priscilla’s.




I loved the shape that it gave me.  I knew that, while I wanted to lose weight for the wedding, that I didn’t need to in this dress!  I absolutely loved it.  Even the ladies who were there with other girls said that it was the one.  But how could I purchase the first dress that I tried on?   I had to think about it.

A few weeks later, my consultant, Michelle, called me to say that there was a sale going on, and she asked if I wanted to come back and try the dress again.  I went on a Thursday night and took my mom and friend, Emily.  We tried on a few other dresses, and played with “blinging up” this rather plain dress.  Here are some pictures from that day.


I was worried about this “GIANT BOW”, which is the face that I’m making in the first picture.  So we played around with making it smaller or adding some bling to it.

In the end, I knew that this was my dress.  We ordered it right then.  (That was when I was told that the length of my upper body matched that of a 5’-10” model.  I’m only 5’-5”.)

We placed the order for my dress on May 20, 2010 (1 year and 1 day before the wedding).  The dress arrived on November 1, 2010.  I made an appointment to check the dress out and make sure that it was (A) the right dress, and (B) the right size.  I went with my mom, Aunt Therese (wife of my mom’s brother), cousin Elizabeth, and my grandmother.  My cousin was so excited!  She kept saying that it was her own version of Say Yes to the Dress.  While they were waiting on me to emerge from the dressing room, my family had some fun in the salon.


Here I came in MY wedding dress! (Ooo’s and ahhh’s abounded!)


I even brought my shoes!!



My dress stayed at Priscilla’s for a few more months until it was time to start alterations.  I had two alterations appointments.  The first (March 12, 2011) to do the major alterations (the dress was falling off!!  Hooray for Weight Watchers!)  They actually ended up putting a belt in my dress to go just under my bust (inside the dress) to keep it up.  See most dresses are supposed to sit on your hips.  However, I don’t actually have hips.  My mom actually put a similar belt in my senior prom dress (she made that dress).


Also at this appointment, my mom brought her “veil prototypes” (she was making my veil) and some brown tracing paper to get a better idea of how the veil would look with the dress and to measure the length of my train.

My second appointment (April 16 2011) was to check that the alterations were correct, and determine how the dress would be bustled.  My Aunt Mary (my mom’s other sister) was actually in town that weekend for some BAR stuff (you know like lawyer stuff, not drinking stuff).  It was a happy coincidence that she was able to accompany us to my second alterations appointment!


It was determined that we would do an English bustle (if you look closely you can see that the skirt is pinned up in a few places at the waistline), since it went with the lines of the dress.IMG_1566IMG_1567


I got to practice walking in the dress, and making sure that it wouldn’t fall down when I walked (which was happening at my first alterations appointment).IMG_1569IMG_1572



That is a great picture of me right there, no?

Some more shots from my aunt.


And with that my dress was finished!  All that was needed was the bustle fasteners put in place and for the dress to be steamed and pressed!

Funny story:  While we were waiting in the lobby, I turned around to find my coworker who was getting married the week after I was.  She also bought a PoB dress!  I got to see her in her dress after my appointment!

So that is my story of buying “THE DRESS”.  It was a great experience.  I was so happy to be able to share it with many of relatives, despite the fact that they all live in Western Mass (the Berkshires), Delaware, Michigan, and Indiana.  Also, I truly had a wonderful experience at Priscilla of Boston.  I’m actually very sad that they are closing.   Everyone we worked with at the store was incredibly nice, attentive, and helpful.  They really know their stuff, and I knew that I was buying a quality product.  

It was also great to buy the same brand of dress that my grandmother had purchased over 50 years earlier.  Here is a picture of me with my groom in my silk taffeta Priscilla of Boston dress.

0185_20110521 Anne and Matt wedding copy

(Picture courtesy of Nathan Peel Photography)

And my grandmother with her groom in her silk organza Priscilla of Boston dress.

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We actually gave a copy of this picture to the PoB salon in downtown Boston when I picked up my dress on May 7.  The put it in a plastic display and placed it on the front desk.  It was still there when I dropped my dress off for cleaning on June 11!!  Some people had inquired if it was Priscilla herself.  Ha!  So glad that the store appreciates and recognizes customer loyalty.  Sigh . . .


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