7.17.2009

How I found the wedding dress I will wear tomorrow.


Tagging along to garage sales with Josh, Amy, and Oliver usually results in Legos and Star Wars picture books. But over a year ago, one stop at a church rummage sale proved an unbelievable find.
I got armfuls of vintage goodies like hankies and a Stetson hat for Sam, but while I was waiting for everyone else to finish looking, I thought I'd take a shot at the glum looking clothing rack, full of dresses too new to be vintage, and too old to be interesting. I had passed it about a dozen times, but it looked so pathetic that the effort to stop and browse seemed like a waste of time. In the middle of the rack I came across an awful looking gray garment bag with a torn piece of masking tape stuck to the side that had “Old wedding dress” scribbled in sharpie. So I unzip it a few inches expecting an 80s monstrosity and instead get a preview of beautiful vintage cream lace. Although I had only seen a few inches of it, I grabbed the garment bag, threw it over my shoulder and waddled over to the payment table with everything in my arms, and Stetson on head.
It seemed like it would be an old dress, all torn up from age and poor storage, but at least I could salvage the pretty lace for a project, right?
The two old men at the payment booth were obviously put up to being at the sale by their wives, and looked as clueless as could be. I dumped everything on the table which they added up, but then came to “Old wedding dress.”
“Oh there was no price on that” I said. They looked at it, then squinted at a piece of paper tapped
to the table that had price categories listed.
“Well…here it says: Dresses, 75 cents.”
“75 cents?”
“Yeah is that ok?
“Um, yeah…”
We paid and loaded up the car, with Legos and old stuff, and kept on treasure hunting at other garage sales. A few hours later when I got home I was eager to see more than five inches of this dress. Taking it out of the bag did not reveal the tattered mess I expected but something stunning and flawless. Layers of tulle and lace, rows of covered buttons, and even a matching veil and armlets. But would it fit?
I slipped it on, and realized that it must have been somehow made for me 60 years ago, because it fit like a glove. Upon inspection I could not find a single snag in the tulle, or hole in lace. It was perfect.
And that is how I got my wedding dress for 75 cents.


This will be my last post for about a week, tomorrow is the big day, then off to San Francisco for our honeymoon!
Today we gathered Hydrangeas from friends and families yards, my mother took me to get a manicure and pedicure, we had a rehearsal and fabulous rehearsal dinner, and now I am choosing what to wear to and from the venue. So that's all for now folks! I'll see you when I get back, with so many photos you will be sick of them ;)

48 comments:

Hanne said...

It was meant to be! You will be the most beautiful, stunning bride ever to get married, I am sure. Congratulations to you and Sam, Solanah!

Anonymous said...

just stumbled upon your blog and i really loved reading about how you found your dress! where im from people spend thousands and thousands of dollars on their wedding dresses and makeup and and hair and everything, and it just seems so crazy! thank you for this post - and may you and your husband have a lovely, blessed marriage :)
C, Singapore

LandGirlontheHomeFront said...

amazing story. I can't wait to see the pics!!! All the very best to you tomorrow! XOXO

MaryDeluxe said...

Have a wonderful day and a fab time in S.F.!

Frances Baker said...

That is the most exciting story ever! I hope your wedding and honeymoon are perfectly lovely and you have a fantastic time! Congratulations! x

Aya Smith said...

Oh, I am so excited to see the pictures!! I know you are going to look beautiful :D

Emily said...

Good luck with your big day tomorrow and I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon!! Congrats!!!

Emily

Angel said...

Congratulations and have a great wedding and honeymoon!

That is an amazing story and I bet your fiance/husband by the time you read this was so happy to know that the wedding budget was saved by the dress.

jessibee said...

The best wedding dress story ever! What a thrilling find. Have a great time at your wedding and on your honeymoon. I can't wait for you to post those pictures!

Mz. Spider said...

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! My find was not that good, but it was just as rewarding. The dress I fell in love with was an Oleg Cassini from 2004. Funny thing is that I fell madly in love with it in 2006. Even funnier is the fact that in early 2007, my baby sis (YES, she is still my baby sis) and I went to a local Bridal Outlet and found the very same DREAM gown IN MY SIZE!!! It was crazy! I tried on two, then put on THE dress. It fit...like a glove - lipstick stain on the inner lining and all. We even sent a pic to Daddy from Lexi's phone, and he teared up then said "BUY IT" immediately. Don't care whatcha say - that's God speaking. I couldn't have felt more like a princess in any other dress.

Best wishes to you and your to-be-husband!!! You both will be absolutely beautiful as long as your love shines through. GOD bless you both and your future family.
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Mz. Spider said...

I think that even though it was NOT $.75, I should mention that I did get it for a little less than 1/2 the original price (which was $1300). Needless to say, a mere $600 was pure chump change to pay for the wedding gown that I had been fantasizing about my entire adolescent life. I felt like Cinderella.

AlicePleasance said...

Congratulations! I'll be waiting for the pictures!

By the way it's amazing that you find that dress. I really can't unbderstand why people spend so much money for weddings...here's crazy! I know people - and they're not very rich people - who have spent more than 20000 Euros for this single day, just because "you must"...what?? I personally would love a cozy wedding and a small party in a summer field, a nice well fitting dress and few dear people. A nice groom is the only important thing, indeed... ;-)

Best wishes!!

Jessica Cangiano said...

That is one of the most awesome wedding dress stories of all time, and a true spot of inspiration for anyone who is continually on the hunt for very, very affordable vintage finds. I'm so joyful for you and your amazing dress, sweetie.


Wishing you the most beautiful of weddings, and a lifetime of happiness together!

♥ Jessica

Gingeyginge said...

Congratulation's....Have a great Vintage day

elle s'ennuie said...

Such a sweet story :) And congratulations! Hope you have the time of your life both tomorrow.. actually I think it's today now.. and on your honeymoon! :)

Betty Lou said...

my oh my! 75 cent! can't wait too see it. i whish you good luck for the wedding!

Kelley Anne said...

Oh Solanah, congratulations! I can't wait to see pictures of the dress:) I love hearing thrifting stories like that...they make me enjoy going out to sales even more. Have a wonderful honeymoon!

she will have her way said...

I'm a long-time lurker, but I have decided to come out of the closet to wish you the very best on your big day!

Casey said...

Oh wow--hearing the story of how you found your perfect dress just sent chills up my spine! It was definitely meant to be! :) You will be sharing pictures, I hope? And I thought my $35 vintage dress was a steal. hehe! WOW!

Wishing you and your soon-to-be husband all the best in the world! I hope you have a lovely, special day and honeymoon!

Jenni said...

Have a beautiful day!

VintageLove said...

Wow! What a wonderful story... I guess it was just meant to be. Hope you have a beautiful wedding day and a great honeymoon. Congrats!

Maria Confer said...

Don't ask me why, but I got misty eyed reading your post!! Such a wonderful story!

I hope you have an amazing day today and a lovely honeymoon!!

Congratulations!!

claire said...

Congratulations and the best of luck! ^-^!

BomshellShocked said...

Congratulations on your wedding, and rummage sale score!

Have a wonderful day!

Amanda Atkins said...

wow, it's just amazing how you found your wedding dress. it's a familiar kind of excitement (though I'm not sure where from right now) that makes my heart skip a beat!! have a wonderful wedding and honeymoon!!! xoxoxo

Atomic Mama said...

cant wait to see you today! you are gonna be the most beautiful bride ever!

YAY wedding!!!! see you soon darlin!

kim* said...

tear drop* seriously , weddings make me cry tears of joy :) blessings to you and your lovely.

Lapetitemort said...

That truly seems fated!
Best wishes to you both, and I cannot wait to see photos!!

LPM

Kitten said...

Aw, I love your wedding dress story :) I wish you and your love a beautiful future together and a wonderful honeymoon! All the best <3

Kitten

tracey nguyen said...

Oh Solanah! That is such a wonderful story! Congratulations! It's your wedding day as I write this day! I hope you have a great time and I can't wait to see photos!

sarah said...

What a wonderful story! You totally win hands down for the cheapest gorgeous wedding dress! (and to think people were floored that I only spent $200 on making mine...that seems like a LOT compared to .75 cents!) I know I've said this a few times, but I am so excited to see it.

I hope so very much that today goes beautifully and that it will be one of the best days of your life. Many, many blessings to you and your new husband!!

laurakitty said...

Wow! That is so amazing! I can't wait to see the photos!

aramblingfancy said...

I love, love, love this story. Congratulations!

~Christine H.

Miriam Parkman said...

This is just such an amazingly, lovely and perfect vintage-find history! Just just just as it should be.
That dress, especially hanging there just for you to find it, love it and get it shamefully cheap. And fit in it!
I love it!

And I'm really looking forward to see more pictures from your big day...
Congratulations!

MissMatilda said...

wonderful!

Stormsteg said...

Oh my... That's just fantastic :O And congrats, hope your wedding was lovely!

Eyeliah SS said...

Your story makes the dress even sweeter. Lucky gal! :-)

Cynthia said...

Incredible story! Thanks for sharing it!

Cindy said...

What an amazing and meant to be find! Judging by the post above... you were stunning. Congratulations and may you have a wonderful marriage filled with many blessings.

april said...

Holy crap! That's an amazing story! I love those kinds of rummage sales where you kind of feel guilty for paying so little!

Cheri Pinktrix said...

Seriously one of the best deals ever, the dress is just stunning!

Kat said...

i have just been sent your wedding pix by your photographers and I cant WAIT to share your wedding and story on my blog. EEEEK amazing!

CaraBella said...

Congrats! I popped over here from RocknRollBride -- that's *phenomenal* and all your photos were beautiful :)

Rachel said...

i keep reading this story over and over... so beautiful.

Shona van Beers said...

I have only just found your blog and love all your posts and photos. This one inspired me to say hi and a big thanks for entertaining and inspiring me!
My wedding dress cost £45 and I though IT was cheap - Well Done!
Looking forward to reading more.

coffeestainedpages said...

Oh my god that dress was 75 cents?!? It's so beautiful too, what an amazing find! :)

Kitty said...

Ok, where's the photos of this incredible find. I'm going to subscribe to this blog if I can find a way to get it in email just so I can see this dress.

Julie said...

I just discovered your blog, so obviously I'm a little late to the game. But your wedding dress (in fact, your entire wedding), not to mention the story of how you got the dress, is absolutely magical. Thank you so much for sharing this, and for your blog in general- it's beautiful and happy.