Wedding Dress

If you know me at all, you know I love a good bargain. Also that I’m insane. So it should be no shock to you when I tell you I already bought my wedding dress (…um, before we were engaged) and for under $150.

Allow me to explain. You see, I’d lusted after a specific J.Crew bridesmaid dress for years. Probably close to five, but since I wasn’t close to having a need for a wedding dress, it didn’t make sense to buy it. The dress, the since-discontinued Evie in silk chiffon, was a floor-length beauty, in a pale gray, and was so simple and elegant that it actually brought tears to my eyes every time I looked at it. Which was frequently, since I was (rightfully) panicked about it being discontinued or selling out before I’d ever have a chance to need it. I mean, LOOK AT IT:

jcrew evie

I just can’t even.

So at the end of last summer, on one of my many checks to see if Evie was still on sale in all of her wonderful, flow-y chiffon goodness, I discovered that all that anxiety I’d had about it being discontinued was actually valid and J.Crew had marked it down to get rid of it. It was originally $350, but had been marked down to $249.99, final sale. A small price to pay for perfection. But could I really buy my future wedding dress before I was engaged?

My friends Christine and Maurin, who will forever be my scapegoats when someone invariably tells me I’m crazy for buying a wedding dress before I had a ring (which, duh, I’m aware of my own insanity enough to know), told me to just buy it. Lauren said to buy it. So I bought it. It wasn’t even technically a wedding dress, so I wasn’t breaking any rules. I figured I’d hide it in a dress bag at the back of my closet and never tell Jamal about it, because nothing makes a man want to propose faster than having his girlfriend of two years tell him, “I already have the dress, LET’S DO THIS.”

The day it arrived I got an email from J.Crew announcing a 40% off sale, including already reduced items. After doing the math and realizing if I’d waited a few days I could’ve saved an extra $105, I bitched to Maurin who, god bless her, told me most every store will honor a price reduction on previously purchased merchandise up to 7-14 days. She said I should call and ask them to give me back the additional 40% off. I did. They gave it to me. Which meant my $350 dress ended up costing me $144. I am so proud of myself.

I haven’t tried it on yet because I thought it would be bad luck to do so before we got engaged (even I have limits!). I sized-up when I ordered, opting for a 4, since the dress was final sale and I figured it would be easier to have it taken in than magically create extra fabric if the 2 was too small. I have a year before I have to worry about tailoring, though. I also have a beautiful J.Crew gray silk belt with pale pink, cream, and gray chiffon flowers on it that I’m planning on wearing.

I am in love. Man? Check. Venue? Check. Dress? Check. (But not in that order or anything.)

PS. Have you entered the Shabby Apple Giveaway yet? $50 gift card to the winner! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

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July 15, 2013 / fashion / vanity / wedding / LEAVE A COMMENT / 37

37 comments

  • Well, I’m so glad I was part of the triumvirate that talked you into it! Of course it’s stunning. My wedding dress was rather nontraditional, sort of a cafe au lait color, and although I’d do something different were I to do it now, I loved it at the time. But hey! That’s what 20th anniversary parties are for, right? RIGHT?

    It’s beautiful, as will you be, and I think the belt will be perfection. Now. What are we going to eat?

    • Oh, and SHOES.

      • Gurl, I will be in flats. As yet to be chosen, but I’m thinking these bad boys. xo

    • :D I believe the title of the email I sent you was, “Does this dress make me look crazy?” Accurate. Thank you for talking me into it! And yes, 20th anniversary parties are like another wedding, so do whatever you want this time around! Can I come??

      Ugh, food. The big ticket item of the evening. We have our pick of any caterer in the city, and a friend of mine recommended one she uses for her company events, so we do have one lead. I would have a wedding feast of cereal, triscuits and cheese, and seltzer, so I think I’m going to let Jamal handle the caterer. xo

      • Surely Parc should be doing the catering??

        • Annie for the win!

        • I WISH. My dream was always to go to City Hall for a quickie ceremony and then have dinner at Parc with just our family and close friends. Vetoed. Lame!

  • oh i love it erin! & you know what, i’ve often considered a grey wedding dress myself if the need should ever arise! i remember helping a friend pick out her wedding dress once and we were at this boutique and there was this flame-haired woman who was trying on a steely blue/grey wedding dress and she looked like magic… i couldn’t stop staring at her! you’re going to look divine… this dress, your colouring, perfection!

    • Thanks, Sue! You’re so sweet :) That woman must’ve looked stunning, I can’t even handle it. Maybe I could dye my hair?? Haha. I tend to look like a vampire when any swath of skin is exposed, so a bright white wedding dress was out of the question. xo

  • I love it. And I love that it’s a bargain. And I love how much you love it. You’re going to be a BEAUTIFUL bride (stating the obvious here)

    • Thank you!! I can’t tell if I love it more because it’s PERFECT or because it was SO INEXPENSIVE. Decisions decisions. xo

      • Both reasons make perfect sense to me

  • it is so insanely gorgeous! i absolutely love it and i can imagine how wonderful it will look on you! i’m a sucker for both chiffon and belted wedding dresses (guilty of wearing those to my wedding too!) so i am really really really excited to see this on you!

    ps. does jamal never check your blog?

    • Thanks, Yelle!! You looked stunning on your wedding day, so clearly the chiffon + belt combo is a winner! It’s still a good 14 months away, but I can’t wait either :)

      And yes, Jamal reads everyday, and I fessed up to him about the dress after we got back from Paris. I waited until the ring was on (no givebacks!) before I told him, haha. That’s kind of like entrapment, right? Oh well. He knew the brand of crazy he was dating! xo

  • That is entrapment. But it’s very funny. And at least you were already with Jamal, it would have been weirder if he wasn’t even your bf at the time.
    I love the grey, it will look beautiful with your hair and you will look like an Elven princess. Can’t wait to see how you look! But I really think you ought to try it on!!! x

    • Haha, I thought about buying it when I was single, too! I thought that actually would have been less weird, somehow. Though I can’t imagine that coming up in conversation on a date with someone new. That wouldn’t scare them off or anything!!
      An Elven princess!! I hope so!! Ooh, that will be wonderful! xo

  • Oh my gosh I love it! It’s so flowy and beautiful. And I would have totally done the same thing! Haha. And worth it for that awesome price!

    • Thanks, Alexa!! Validation of my craziness is helpful ;) xo

  • this story makes me love you more. i can imagine the fretting and sleepless nights that went on while trying to decide whether you were being practical or insane. it is perfect and lovely and i can completely envision it with the sash. oh, that’s going to be gorgeous!!

    • Squeal!! You imagine correctly, haha. Thank you so much! I know it’s still a long way away but I have a feeling it will be here before I know it. So exciting! xo

  • This is such a gorgeous dress! I used to work with a girl who was planning her wedding all her life, one day at the office after being with her boyfriend for a couple of years she was randomly ringing up venues! It was all very funny and in the end they got engaged. I am looking forward to more wedding stuff. x

    • Thank you!! And yes, my friend Anna used to joke that whenever I got engaged I would make one phone call and say, “WE ARE GO!” and everything would be stealthily taken care of. Like I had vendors on speed dial just waiting my confirmation, haha. Not too inaccurate, after all! xo

  • YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS of sitting through “Say Yes to the Dress” and you found something so much more beautiful, so much more you.
    I’d also like to mention that the bargain gene didn’t skip a generation! I’m so glad I forwarded the coupon!

    • Ahem, and for MUCH LESS MONEY. I was watching the other day and a normal looking girl had a $4000 budget. I’ve lost my faith in humanity.

      I feel bad that I robbed you of the experience of shopping for the gown, but I think this is very much an homage to your awesome bargain skills. I do get it from you, after all! xo

  • Woah, you are organised! It IS a beautiful dress.

    • Thank you!! Organized is a word for it…I’ve heard worse ;) xo

  • I love a deal too! and that dress is perfection like a gray cloud. I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting your dress early- your dress picks you. (I think I watch too much say yes to the dress lol)

    • Haha, the dress totally did pick me. The first time I try it on I might reenact the experience of someone asking me, “Sooo…is this the dress??” just for kicks. xo

  • Yay for good bargains!! I’m not sure if that’s when you were an eBates member too, but you could have gotten cash back too! See you tomorrow, girlie!!

    • Thank you thank you thank you for encouraging me back then!! I don’t think I had joined eBates back then, but that would have been another $7 off! Gah!! I love our bargaining ways, but you seriously need to teach me your couponing skills, girl. You could host a class! xo

  • Wow, the dress is stunning. Great bargain, too.

    • Thank you! I’m pretty smitten, too. xo

  • Erin, it’s perfect. If ever I saw a dress MADE for someone (you), it’s that one. I’m already picturing the scene, the flowers, the shoes! Stunning! And I am a sucker for a bargain too… I bought my wedding dress for £40 with a 15% discount. Granted, we only had a simple registry office do with no reception (we didn’t even tell anyone we were doing it) so I thought something simple was perfect for me, and it soooo was.

    • Oh, Meghan! That’s so incredibly sweet of you to say! Your wedding dress was stunning, and I love it even more now that I know it was a bargain! Seriously, I said it before on your anniversary post, but you guys looked like movie stars on your big day. It was perfect for you! xo

  • What a beautiful dress! And who can’t resist a bargain? When the two mix it is perfection. You will be a gorgeous bride! Your happiness shines through your posts. Have you confessed to Jamal that you bought the dress already?

    • Thanks, Nina! You’re so sweet! Aren’t you relieved you didn’t have to mail anything to me this time? ;) I might have spoken too soon…haha. And yep, I told him once we got back from Paris. I figured there was no way he could get out of it at that point! Haha. xo

  • Love the dress, Erin. The color, the drape, the price (!) – It all came together quite perfectly. Oh, and most important of all, it looks utterly comfortable. No, scratch that, this is the most important part: You will look beautiful in it.