Posted by: thefitacademic | December 18, 2010

The story of a dress

But not just any dress. THIS is a story about the kind of dress little girls dream of. In case you’re not one of those girls – I’m talking about a Wedding Dress, y’all!

I recently got married (November 6, 2010). In honor of this (and because it was such a huge deal to me & I’d love to re-live it), I’m going to do a series of wedding-related posts throughout the course of the next couple of weeks.

But it all started with the dress.

And this dress was a BEAST!

So lets start from the beginning.

We got engaged in May 2009. Summer 2009 Chris and I found the venue. By winter 2009, I was on the hunt for a dress.

Act I

Enter:  Alfred Angelo and THIS gown:




I love the little beading (I’m not into the whole beaded dresses), the sweetheard neckline, the side gather, and the pick-ups! OH, how I love the pick-ups!

Check out the pick-up decals (as I call them)


Perfect train – not too long, not too short


What I DIDN’T love (and is unfortunately not pictured) is the back. You know that beautiful beading on the front? It continues to the back, but somehow it looks weird. There’s also a zipper & I’m totally not into it. And something about the hips were off. In the front it looked amazing, but in back it looked….bloated?

Enter Dress #2 (also from Alfred Angelo)


This one – I’m not crazy about the front, but the back is BANGIN’! The hips are good, I like the lace-up back & overall – I want a combo of these two dresses!


(please excuse the back-fat – they had laced me in way too tightly!)

What’s a girl to do?

Act II

Enter – CHINA!!!

I’ve got a good friend that’s half-Chinese. Her little sister found a bridal gown straight from China, custom-made for CHEAP and she gave me the lady’s contact info  (email: My friend’s little sister – her dress came out FABULOUS and the shipping cost more than the dress itself (unheard of!)

So I sent an e-mail to the lady with a 5 page description, with pictures, etc. of EXACTLY what I wanted. I give every measurement known to mankind! (had to look up some of them – do you know what a Shoulder to Bust measurement refers to? What about a nipple to nipple? Yep – these are actual measurements (google it)

So after an exchange of $185 (yep – that’s it! And shipping was free!) and a mere 4 weeks, I received my Custom-Made Dress in the mail!!!!!!!!

Was it perfect – everything I’d ever imagined, hoped, dreamed about?


I liked aspects of it. They definitely tried to do what I’d asked, so the design was good. But the fit wasn’t right – some areas were huge, others were too tight (what gives? It was made for me – why doesn’t it fit!) But probably the biggest problem was the beading. The lady had gone a little over-board with beads and had used some that just looked – cheap. Like costume jewelry, not like a wedding gown.

So, thus began over a YEAR worth of dress-related headaches.

I visited about 15 different bead shops to find appropriate beading (that, in itself, was a whole blog-post worthy discussion, lol). Went to the BEST dress-maker in town & had her re-do all of my custom beading (at a hefty price).

Went to an alterationist and ended up needing FOUR alterations (despite the fact that the dress was supposedly made for my measurements).

More beading issues came up & had to be dealt with.

Then – Summer 2010, it was finally ready & it was time for my bridal portraits.

And now, feast your eyes upon the fruits of my dress-related labor.


*All below photos courtesy of Magan Blasig of Urban Grey photography.












And thus is the story of how my $185 wedding gown became a $600 wedding gown (easily – including cleanings, etc.) But – finally, it was DONE!

And then – the countdown was on for the wedding. My bridals were in August so I still had 3 months before the Big Day.

Couldn’t Wait! Be watching for updates on the Wedding Day, itself.



In Other Food Related News….

We’re going out of town soon so we’ve been trying to clean out the fridge, yielding some interesting meals.


Usually I have berries in my green monsters, but I was all out. The smoothie consisted of banana, spinach, almond milk, dark chocolate peanut butter (I’m still out of almond butter), and chocolate Soy protein powder.

It was GLORIOUS! Tasted like a Reeses peanut butter cup!


Huge salad: Only had iceburg lettuce (fail), but I topped it with a chopped apple, some dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzled with some Caesar vinaigrette (that’s a little tip – I LOOOVE Caesar dressing, but it’s so fattening! Get the vin. version & you still get the great taste without the extra fat).

And more Breakfast for Dinner!

This time it was in the form of breakfast tacos (mmmmmm!!!!!)

So I made some hashbrowns out of a couple potatoes, did some quick scrambled eggs, sauteed onions, refried beans, & turkey bacon.



On corn tortillas


Can you tell where the tortillas are laying?


I got a new kitchen mat (I LOVE giftcards – got this from Bed Bath & Beyond with some of the wedding gift card money! Score!)

Tonights’ agenda includes a White Elephant at my boss man’s house. Tomorrow – lots of laundry & packing for the trip!!!



  1. How gorgeous are YOU!? That dress is phenomenal and you look so radiant!!

  2. I love the dress! You look beautiful!

  3. whoa. epic dress! that is really really classic and just plain pretty!
    i had mine custom made, too. with all the materials and labor it came to $300. but it wasn’t as nearly as intricate as yours!
    congrats on the marriage, too 🙂

    • The thing that made the price jump so high was the re-doing the beading. Hand-beading is NOT cheap….and apparently when it has to be re-done it’s even more expensive. The lady was charging $15/pick up for bead-work (and there were like 20 pick-ups ~ I ended up only doing the more prominent ones). Plus there was additional beading along the bodice. The price was disgusting, but it had to be done!

  4. Oh wow that dress is totally perfect on you!! I had a bit of dress drama when I went to buy mine. My mom was paying for it, so she was really pushing me to get the one SHE wanted. So much unecessary drama from it!! But you look absolutely stunning in that dress. You made the right choice for sure!

    • Ugh – that’s no good! My mom helped a lot financially, too. Luckily she wasn’t too “pushy” about stuff, but there were definitely a few things I compromised on for her behalf (e.g., I wanted a friend to get certified & perform the ceremony; my mom was having a fit if we had anyone other than a “true” church official marry us). It all worked out fine in the end – I hope it did for you, too!

  5. […] Our Wedding Day (Part I) So anyone who has gotten married (or really had any professional portraits done) knows, it takes what feels like FOREVER to get the edited pictures back! Well – mine have come in & since we’re all new friends, I thought I would share with you the story of our wedding day – Part I (getting ready & before the ceremony). I’ll post next week with the rest of the pictures from the ceremony and reception. Also, if you missed the post on my bridal portraits, you can see it here. […]

  6. […] shots, getting ready, etc. And if you want to hear the story of the dress, you can check it out here.Today, I’ll take you on the journey down the aisle & to the party reception immediately […]

  7. Wow! The dress is gorgeous and you are beautiful (or the other way around!)!

  8. You are gorgeous!

  9. […] No, the dress did not survive the ordeal. As much as my mom would like to believe that I have it in a cedar chest after having it professionally laundered…..I threw it in the trash the very next day after a half-hearted attempt to wash it (for my Mom’s sake only…I could care less! Read about WHY in this post.) […]

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