When I began my wedding dress search I had 4 things in mind:
1). I didn’t want it to be a dress that anyone else would have and planned to create customized touches to it to ensure no one would have a dress like me :)
2). I wanted it to be something that I could wear again.
3). I wanted it to be made from sustainable materials.
4). I didn’t want to spend a fortune on it.
Setting these guidelines was super helpful to begin the search because there are obviously so many options out there. I started looking into unconventional shops like Fillyboo which makes the most gorgeous handmade goddess-like gowns. I also turned to Etsy which is an incredible resource for handmade, small batch and sustainable wedding dresses. I still wasn't finding exactly what I was looking for and referenced my Pinterest board often to see what style my eye was most drawn to. I then started looking at second-hand wedding shops like Once Wed which sells used wedding dresses at a fraction of the price. I wasn’t finding dresses on these sites that really reflected my style and 95% of them were dresses I would never wear again but recycled wedding dresses is a brilliant idea nonetheless.
Then one day I was scrolling through Instagram not even looking for a dress and there it was, MY DRESS! The picture posted was a pink version of this gorgeous, high-necked, and very simple silk dress. I went to the brand’s page called Awaveawake and followed the link to the website to check if the dress came in white. Low and behold, IT DID! Just like when falling in love, when you know, you know! I read about the company and the clothing is made with ethically sourced fabric and dyed with all-natural, plant-based dyes handmade in Topanga Canyon, CA. I had found my dream. I Instagram messaged the shop to see how I could try the dress on. To my surprise, the shop owner offered to send it to me, free of cost, to my house in Colorado so that I could try it on with my mom over Christmas.
Long story short, I tried the dress on with my mom on Christmas morning while snow was falling outside and we both cried. DOES IT GET ANY MORE MAGICAL THAN THAT??? We both agreed that it was perfect but needed a little added to it to complete it as a wedding dress. I came up with the idea of having a detachable train made so that I could wear the train for the ceremony but then remove the train for the reception. I also loved the idea of keeping it simple so that I would be able to wear it again.
I got lucky with my seamstress because my best friend and bridesmaid's aunt is a couture costume maker! She sourced the silk and lace from local vendors in downtown Los Angeles and I worked with her for a month to get the train right. She also helped me to put a lining in the dress so that I wouldn’t have to wear a slip that would obstruct the pockets that I loved so much.
When I put my completed dress on for this bridal shoot I became a goddess. The dress makes me feel incredible and when I wore it on my wedding day I felt entirely connected to myself. This may not be everyone’s desire to feel that but there is not doubt about the importance of feeling connected to yourself in what you are wearing on this incredibly sacred day.
My advice when dress shopping is to create parameters for yourself. Establish your values, understand that you can think out side of the box and that at the end of the day this dress is for you and your soul to shine through.