If you know me you know there are a handful of typical things I just don’t have much interest in. Weddings are one of them. I can’t tell you why but I just have no desire for it. Really. None. Sure- I’ll attend a wedding, toast away for the happy couple but just leave me out of it. I don’t care who else wants to be married just as long as no one makes me. Then IT happened. It all came about as a part of a miscommunication (which is the only way it really could of). There are very few people I would even consider tangling myself in holy matrimony with but low and behold– I made the commitment. The ultimate commitment.
The commitment to making a wedding dress.
Sorry mom, that other thing is just not happening.
However, there was probably a time during the construction of the dress when I would have rather wore the dress than kept sewing.
Had the bride not been someone I adored and knew that she was as chill and as unbridezilla as they come this would have never happened. It would have never even been a thought. My first step was still to try to talk her the fuck out of it.
I tried to tell her all the awful things. I told her you will think you will have no dress. It will be a really long process with countless decisions. I told her it would just be easier, cheaper, more sane to just go get a dress. I warned her it would only inch along and then when you she was just about to freak out…. BAM…DRESS.
She was still with me. What the fuck WAS she thinking?!?!
Sure, I can make a wedding dress. Months later, I’m on so little sleep that I’m an emotional, mental mess who hates my life. But it got done. Because I had no choice. And we both loved it. For me it’s pretty hard to still love anything after it’s done, especially when we have suffered so much together.
Fast forward to me winding down the back roads of Wisconsin toward Devil’s Lake, WI with a custom wedding dress in my backseat 2 hours before the ceremony starts. The bride was so chill she had me bring the dress with me the day of the ceremony. I know, I know -CRAZY. The dress was so perfectly her. It is undeniably like no other wedding dress. The groom and then the bride both thanked me at the reception. Blush. The bride was determined to make me cry and maybe I did. Everyone knew who made her dress, she made it very well known. And she also made sure I knew she climbed a tree in her dress. My entire evening was everyone telling me they loved her dress. It was not a bad way to spend an evening and besides dancing probably the only thing that kept me from falling asleep in my prosecco.
I can’t say I would agree to this ever again.
This dress was the perfect storm of bride, style and a good dash of ego and a finished with a well hidden cherry of crippling self doubt. I never had a full give-up moment. I usually have at least one fever dream of just leaving my life behind, changing my name to simply escape my project.
So, I made a fucking wedding dress.
It is a wedding dress that looks like no other I’ve seen even though it’s ivory silk. The embellishments of handpainted white on white ferns with little dewdrops highlighted by scattered swarovski crystals are subtle and glittering. The cut is contemporary but flirts with tradition. The details down to the hand-painted pockets were tailored to the bride.
Undoubtedly, far more women can say they have worn and even worn multiple wedding dresses down the aisle than can say they made a wedding dress.
I can now say I have never worn a wedding dress (lest you count me halfway up the skirt sewing at 3am) but rather have made a wedding dress.
My theme this month is Spooky.
It is no accident that it begins with me making a wedding dress. It’s all creepy enough to give me chills.
Chalkboard artwork by Davis Jaye