"I Believe Playing Dress Up Begins at Age 5 and Never Truly Ends."

1.20.2011

So, my wedding was in 3 weeks and I had no dress and no ideas.

I kept saying that I just wanted to wear a hippie dress, but I thought the fantastically proper, Ma Nielson, might have a heart attack, so I continued to rack my brain for an appropriate formal gown design. 
(remember my mother is a talented seamstress, and I enjoy designing clothes) 

The process was all very strange. 
We were driving around AZ trying to get inspiration from the most gorgeous of designer dresses--Dresses that I would have swooned over had I seen them on anyone else, but for some reason when I saw them on me, they didn't feel right.

So, exhausted, we left the boutiques 
no more inspired than when we entered.

Then one day we were at TJ MAXX looking for serving bowls and a white blouse caught my eye. 
Once it was in my hands I knew--a hippie dress was the only thing that was going to sit well with me.

We bought the $9 top and headed to SAS Fabrics to do some material matching. 
Since I wanted to wear a leather belt, It wouldn't matter if there was a seam across the middle. 

I was so excited. 
I knew it was right...but that didn't solve the problem of a VERY TRADITIONAL in-law family. 

Somehow when I thought of telling Ma Nielson that I would be wearing rainbow huaraches and a giant braided-belt to the big event--I panicked.

Still, we moved forward with the dress.

One day, while being fitted, I saw a glimpse of white from
my material closet.
It was the vintage gown I had bought on my 21st birthday (Golden Birthday) for $3 from a women whose mother owned a bridal shop in Chicago during the 1950s and 60s. 

It was a tube top and I had bought it with the intent to used the material for some undecided project, but seeing it again brought about a flood of ideas.
And, friends, they were good ones.

All of this dress drama was symbolic.
It was our relationship:
I was the free-spirit, the dreamer, while Marcus was the traditionalist, the analyzer--together we made a perfect team.

 A hippie wedding didn't really suit him, whereas a super classic wedding didn't really suit me--so, I would have both, and it would be perfect.

My mother cut open the skirt to obtain enough material to add sleeves, and I hand-picked the lace off a vintage veil to add as sleeve trim. 
I was stoked about having two wedding dresses, and especially about the symbolism behind them.

So at the temple, it was a formal, vintage affair.
but at the wedding dinner, we kicked off our shoes and had a party full of whimsy.
I made both of Marcus' self-tie bow-ties. Am I awesome or what?
Plus I got to wear my Lucky Rainbows :)

And That Was The Story of 
The Two Dresses.


But the Drama's Not Over Yet...

27 comments

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i am loving this little series :)

Brooke said...

oh my gosh this is amazing! I love your dress :)

O O N A said...

not that i don't love your hippie dress, but the one you wore to the temple is gooorgeus! 2 dollars? lucky

Amanda said...

Both dresses are great! My favorite is the one for the temple, so vintage and fabulous!

Johanna said...

Wow. TWO wedding dresses. What a dream! They look fantastic, and so do you :)

Shalyn said...

I love them both and I LOVE that you did what was right for you. I wish I could go back and change some things about my dress so that I was more happy with it!

Elaine said...

Seriously, I am LOVING all your wedding details!!! I didn't plan my wedding so it's always nice to hear about others' experience. Mine was hectic enough dealing with my mom and all. So I'm kind of glad I didn't plan it BUT reading your posts (and others' like it) makes me think otherwise! LOVE the dress (love everything about your wedding so far anyway) and the symbolism behind it. It's amazing when things just SNAP into place.

www.clothedmuch.com

kate lines said...

wow, again! i love them both!

katherine said...

i'm IN LOVE with the first dress. it's beautiful :) you are so lucky you got two wedding dresses!

Me said...

Both dresses are beautiful, and I love the idea behind having both- perfect. What adorable shoes too :) A very clever mum-and-daughter team! I'm so glad it came together and you were comfortable. x

ericaj said...

i'm loving both dresses! so beautiful! i love how comfy your reception dress is, i wish i would have thought to wear something more comfy and still amazing!

Mary Nevin said...

love the blog! found you through the lovely brooke! I'll definitely be following your adventures!!

www.serenityandstyle.blogspot.com

Aiketa said...

Hi Ashley!
I've been reading your blog for a while but never commented before but... all these post about your wedding are brilliant! I so do like how you arrenged everything!
And I also want to get married with RED SHOES! They are so perfect with the white dress! So hope to get married someday, I don't know how my dress will be, but I'm pretty sure my shoes will be RED!
And your dresses are amazing! You are awesome!
A reader from Spain.

Kelsey said...

OMG I love both your dresses and such creative ideas for both of them! You look gorgeous in your pictures, as usual! Thanks for sharing girlie. And don't forget to check out my giveaway :) xoxo

Autumn said...

I love this and the vintage gown made a perfect dress....what bargains too!

I didn't have my dress until three weeks before and people were freaking out too, but it all works out.

Alexis Kaye said...

You and Marcus' relationship sounds like Mine and Clints! It's a match made in heaven! I think both of your dresses are beautiful! and you made a gorgeous bride!

Tessa said...

Both dresses are PERFECTION! Love both and you are such a beautiful bride.

-Tessa
www.totallytessa.com

communikate. said...

The dresses and the story is quite perfect really. Love that you went with what you wanted!

Larissa said...

congrats girl! the vintage dress is perfect! you look beautiful!
x
thatgirlfromhk.blogspot.com

angela hardison said...

i love them both!

Isabella Kiss said...

that hippy dress is BEAAAUUUTiful

ashley in wonderland said...

thank you thank you thank you!!! and welcome to any new followers/commenters :)

ashley in wonderland said...

thank you thank you thank you!!! and welcome to any new followers/commenters :)

Isabella Kiss said...

that hippy dress is BEAAAUUUTiful

kate lines said...

wow, again! i love them both!

Elaine said...

Seriously, I am LOVING all your wedding details!!! I didn't plan my wedding so it's always nice to hear about others' experience. Mine was hectic enough dealing with my mom and all. So I'm kind of glad I didn't plan it BUT reading your posts (and others' like it) makes me think otherwise! LOVE the dress (love everything about your wedding so far anyway) and the symbolism behind it. It's amazing when things just SNAP into place.

www.clothedmuch.com

Alexis Kaye said...

You and Marcus' relationship sounds like Mine and Clints! It's a match made in heaven! I think both of your dresses are beautiful! and you made a gorgeous bride!

© i believe in unicorns. Maira Gall.