Especially since lots of states are still in varying states of lockdown, this is a fairly important question for some people. Some brides may not have the option to do in person, but others may be able to decide which they prefer.
Personally, I found my wedding dress online.
Now, this wasn’t the original plan. I had seen enough episodes of Say Yes to the Dress to have an idea of the experience I wanted while finding my wedding dress. However, I ended up hitting several roadblocks that sent me in a completely opposite direction.
I had a very good idea of what I wanted. This is largely – but not solely – thanks to the fact that I do exclusively Modest Feminine Dress. (This means a few things, which I will talk more about in a future post, but for now I’ll give a few brief explanations). Basically what I mean is that I was not going to purchase a dress with a low neckline or back, that was sleeveless, or too sheer over any of these areas. It also meant I wasn’t looking for something particularly figure-hugging.
For any of you who also do this kind of dress, you know it can be difficult to find ordinary, every-day clothes that fit this criteria. It turns out, finding a wedding dress is even harder. To make matters worse, I had an unusual request (that I might add drove my dear mother crazy): I didn’t want a train.
So there I was with a serious problem. I scoured several websites. Where you could find a dress with long-sleeves (that I wanted both for style and modesty) and a modest front, it was often backless. Or vice versa, covered back and nice sleeves, but drastically low plunging neckline. Or I could find all of the above requirements, but the lower part of the dress was an incredibly tight mermaid style that I knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable in.
I then attempted to research some modest wedding dress retailers. However, I had more style issues with them than modesty ones. Many of them were short-sleeved dresses, which I didn’t object to on modesty criteria, just that I preferred long-sleeve. I also wanted lace and few of these were lace.
Not only this, but price was also an issue with all of these. Most if not all were over $1000, just for the dress itself. This didn’t include any alterations (especially not removing the train) or even the veil, shoes, or other accessories.
Eventually my mom happened across a company on Etsy. By the way, I’d been hesitant to buy a dress I couldn’t try on up until this point. But I was starting to get desperate, so I decided to browse this site.
There were actually several wedding dresses that actually fit my criteria! But then I ran across their custom option. I realized I could get the custom dress of my dreams from this company, so I started down that road. I already had a few ideas, which had been the initial inspiration of my style in the first place.
Brief note: IEIE Bridal where I got my dress was incredibly helpful, with some of the best customer service I’ve ever seen. They answered every question I had, almost always with great promptness.
And let me tell you, did this place deliver. Personally I refer to my dress as either Rivendell meets the Shire or Old Hollywood meets the Middle Ages. Both Lord of the Rings and Maria’s dress from Sound of Music were significant influences on my ideas. I know that sounds like a weird mix, but it worked and I got everything I wanted and more!
(photo credit: Christ Lancon)
In the end, I had a dress that I had to get no alternations done on. It was also //completely// modest. The neckline was as high as I wanted. I got a corset back, which I’d been unable to find anywhere else, also modest. the sleeves were long and I got a small point added to the end of them (a hint of my rather medieval tastes). The dress just brushed the floor and had no train, just as I’d wanted.
FURTHERMORE, the thing that topped it all off was the veil. I got the veil custom made through this company as well. I got a cathedral length mantilla style, made with the exact same lace as was on my dress. Getting the Sound of Music vibes here anyone?
All in all, I had to do more measurements on myself than I thought was possible to get, but it was completely worth it. Especially for a dress I didn’t have to alter in the slightest after receiving (though the company does stipulate this can still be necessary sometimes and I thought I’d have to).
And the total on the dress and veil together was about $850.
Keep in mind, I did go to one bridal store and tried on the closest thing to my design choices (though minus the modesty) before doing this. By the way, this was exactly ONE dress that I tried on. But nevertheless, I’d at least slightly tested my ideas before buying a dress online and I’d generally recommend doing the same.
But if you’re looking for a modest wedding dress that will meet your needs and not break the bank, don’t be afraid to look online. There’s definitely good places out there, besides even the one I used. Don’t feel pressured into picking something subpar just because you want to be modest. I got the dress of my dreams, while fulfilling all my modesty needs. So can you, just with a little faith and a little research!