Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slice of Lime-Wedding Dress Edition

On Tuesday Cooper, Susie, Breazy, and Jocelyn left comments demanding to see my wedding gown and what my bridesmaids wore since I mentioned my mother made all the dresses. Having no other actual ideas for this week's Slice of Lime I am subjecting you all to showing you the requested pictures.

First, the evidence. My mother took over my vacated bedroom to use as sewing space. The clean, empty floor was the only space big enough to lay out all the fabric and patterns. Here she's cutting out a bridesmaid dress.


My gown, my veil, a couple of bridesmaids gowns, and her own dress for the wedding, which she also made. I only asked her to make my gown. She eagerly volunteered to make the bridesmaids' gowns as well. My girls were ecstatic to only have to pay for the cost of fabric and notions. It's hard to beat $35 for a full length taffeta dress.


The finished product for Mom and me. Please keep in mind this was 1988 when hair was worn big (I never had big hair. My conscience is clear regarding the effect of Aquanet on the ozone layer.) and wedding gowns were expected to drip beading and baubles and pearls and bows and all manner of other geegaws. Fussy, complicated gowns were the style. Mine was fairly understated for the time...well, except for those linebacker shoulders. Hey, don't laugh. The Little Mermaid wore that dress a few years later. I didnt' have a flower girl or a ring bearer. They were misbehaving so as punishment I carried them inside my sleeves. Mom did a beautiful job. Everyone was happy with how their gowns fit and she actually changed the waistline on mine. It was supposed to be straight but I wanted the v-shape so she changed the pattern.


The one fussy feature about the dress was the 40 or 50 buttons that went up the back of it. Mom asked if I wanted the buttons or if she should just put a zipper in. I asked for the buttons. She covered each one in satin and hand crocheted the loops for them. That's motherly love. It took my girls a while to get me buttoned in. I had ideas as to how fun it might be having them unbuttoned later, hence my preference for buttons over a zipper. Mr. Lime did not share my thoughts on the matter. I want to further emphasize the understated design of this 80s gown. Gigantic bows on the bride's rear-end were the in thing. I opted out of that particular trend if you'll notice. My girls had very small bows atop each shoulder. My mom made enough extra bows out of scraps to go on the bases of candles on the tables at the reception. Afterward, we gathered them up and every year I put them on our Christmas tree.


So now that I am all buttoned in and bedecked in the various finery here's the fully finished product of my girls with me as my maid of honor adds the last touch. May I say the buttons are the only reason getting dressed took me more than 15 minutes. I did my own hair (single french braid down the back) and didn't wear any make-up. Heck, this was even in the days before I decided eyebrow plucking was a good idea. It was well before middle aged hormones and my Greek heritage would conspire to provide me with an upper lip in need of regular waxing. Low maintenance, baby. But I digress, I was supposed to be showing the finished product or my mom's labors.

Take note of the $9.99 Payless shoes with a half inch heel in this next shot. I do believe I have mentioned I hate high heels too. Comfort, that's what I am talking about. I guess I clean up reasonably well, but I still can't be overly formal for very long. We got married the week before Christmas. At the reception I took off my grandmother's pearl earrings and wore red Christmas ball earrings. If I knew how to photoshop in arrows and labels and stuff I'd do that but I can't so you'll have to tolerate the explanation in paragraph form. See the two older ladies looking like they might beat the crap out of anyone who tries to take the bouquet from them? Yeah, those are my great aunts. The girl in the red dress who has her hand up is my cousin. The girl in the front in the black dress with the red belt is also a cousin. They are all in a life and death struggle for that bouquet and fully intend to launch themselves at whoever catches the garter. Such is my family at a wedding. Twenty years later and the white haired, octogenarian aunt will trip you with her walker then beat you senseless to get at the bouquet. However, the winner was the slight girl in the blue dress. She promptly came over to gleefully hug me at which point one of my Christmas ball earrings pulled off its wire and found itself down her neckline and nestled in her bra. As I whirled around trying to find it she deadpanned, "It's in my bra. See? I look like I have three boobs now."


Finally, I'd be remiss in not having at least one picture showing the groom. Neither of us quite understood what the heck the photographer was trying to get us to do at this point. The pose you see is what we wound up doing spontaneously. I liked the playfulness of it.

So there you have it. My mom's mad sewing skillz on full parade nearly 20 years ago.
Thanks, Mom. You're the best!

34 comments:

SignGurl said...

Bingo!!!

SignGurl said...

I can't believe how amazing your mom's sewing skills are! Your gown looks straight out of Vogue. Very impressive.

Your bridesmaids dresses were very similar to mine. A family friend made them out of forest green velvet for 1/4 of the price that the stores wanted. We got married in December, but the year after you.

You and Mr. Lime look so adorable in that last picture. The promise of new love. *sigh*

misticblu said...

Ya killin me. Sooooooooo glad i start my day with your blog.... The way you weave a story! I about choked on my coffee.
too many similarities to list, but would share the differences if you would like to see. hint: also 1988- 20 yo with braces, very sleeve-y, and involved cilvil war era dress. First marraige.

Moannie said...

So gorgeous all of you. And a mum who can sew, blessed and thrice blessed.

Cocotte said...

WOW! It's fabulous that you have pictures of the process. An older lady who my husband worked with at the golf course made my wedding dress. She only charged me $50 plus material, so my dress was around $125 and she made my maid of honor's dress too (I only had one attendant). I also had the V dropped waist and did my own hair, which was big with lots of curls, thanks to my overused curling iron.

Lime, I truly enjoy coming here every morning. You have a way with words and imagery. And I loved the last picture too! Thanks for sharing it.

g-man said...

Holy Shit Trini....
I didn't know you were a child bride!!
What were you there about 13?

RiverPoet said...

Beautiful! My mom was a seamstress, and I had her make my wedding dress, too. It made my special day extra special. Mothers like them don't exist anymore. I can't sew much more than buttons.

Peace - D

74WIXYgrad said...

First I wish to thank you for coming over to wish me a happy birthday.

And wedding day memories can be priceless. My wife's cousin, who was about 10 at the time, caught the garter, but wasn't trying at the time. It didn't work either. He's been divorced three times now.

James Goodman said...

That dress is almost as beautiful as you and the combination... well, it is just stunning. :D

barman said...

Your dress and all your brides maids dresses are all so beautiful. Your Mom did an incredible job with all those dresses. Speaking of beautiful, you made and very beautiful bride. Oh and of course a cute couple in that last picture too. I like that picture so much more the tradition jam that piece of cake in each others mouths.

You know I thought the brides want to be were not that vicious looking. I have been to weddings and they looked like they were going to kill each other. Of course I am not sure I would want to mess with that small core of people around the person that actually caught the bouquet.

I have a confession, my favorite picture is the one with your Mom. First not only is it your Mom and she has on her color but you also have that classic Lime look about you. Linebacker shoulders and all, simply gorgeous Lime.

Thank you so much for sharing.

EmBee said...

How cool that you got two of the bridesmaids to wear matching glasses. (hee!)

Beautiful job on the dress... My wedding dress was SUPPOSED to have sleeves of the same dimension but my dress maker was a hack, so my sleeves turned out looking like giant flat tires (it was gruesome!)

Love the puritan kiss in front of the cake. I hope for your sake a little more passion went into getting all those buttons undone!
;-)

Balou said...

I love that you didn't wear makeup to your wedding! Your Mom was awesome to do all that sewing. I was married in 1988 and opted for the big butt bow and also had giant red Sally Jessie Raphael eyeglasses.

Jayme Malvagio said...

My... but you do make a beautiful bride.

Jeni said...

Thanks so much for posting this -the story and the photos behind your wedding dress and your attendants dresses too -just fascinating! Your Mom truly is a gem of a fantastic seamstress -and a darned loving and patient mother too, being so willing to do all that work! But wow, it is a great display of her talents!

Desmond Jones said...

That's amazing! Hats off to your mom. . .

And hooray for spontaneous, playful wedding photos; the photo Molly and I treasure from our wedding is one of those, not the stiff, bride-and-groom-at-the-altar canned shot. . .

Cooper said...

Your Mom came thru like a trooper. Everyone looked great. Thanx for posting...

S said...

OMG That dress is so My Big Fat Greek Wedding! Your mom was very ambitious. If she were making these dresses today, she would require half the fabric! LOL

She did a wonderful job. What a treasure each of you received form your mom.

:)

VE said...

Will you have her sew me some retro bell bottomed boxers...

ciara said...

your mom did a fantastic job, lime...you can definitely see the love in it. well, i'm glad that you only had big puffy sleeves & not a combo of puffy sleeves & big hair.

i was 22 in '88, i wouldn't get married for the first time until '96. (ha ha that sounds bad like i'm liz taylor or something). stinky & i will be married 4 yrs on the 14th.

furiousBall said...

this was such a sweet post and what a talented Mom!

Sheri said...

I love the photos and the story behind each one of them. Your mom did a spectacular job with the sewing.... such skill!!! I'm so impressed.

BTExpress said...

Great job on the clothes. Seems like most women sewed years ago, now it almost a lost art.

My wife was Greek and Italian. Nair was a staple in our house.

cathy said...

Your mum's talent as a seamstress is awesome...

... 20 years! you'd be free by now if you had just mowed somebody down with a car.

Fred said...

Indeed, thanks Mom. You did a wonderful job.

The pictures and stories about your wedding was great. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

RennyBA said...

How great to let us have a peek behind the scene and what a great Mom you've had.

I now know why you are as good in sewing too - Mom must have been a good teacher.

Actually it was very much like the wedding dress we used when I was married in Norway at that time too :-)

citizen of the world said...

A labor of love, for sure. My wedding dress was made by my great-grandmother (for her own wedding) - it's a wonderful thing to be able to wear a wedding dress made by family.

Polt said...

Well look atcha! :) My mom made the brides gown in the wedding I was in this past weekend as well. I think you in your wedding gown, and me in my tux, we'd make quite a cute, eh? :)

HUGS...

Jocelyn said...

I actually love seeing Mr. Lime. He's been too faceless in my head, when I read of him.

Your mom is Queen Seamstress. Only people not alive in the '80s can throw stones at your dress or the sleeves. The rest of us must remain mum as we recall our Madonna/Flashdance/Janet Jackson attempts at fashion. Like I didn't go to Prom in those sleeves?

Moosekahl said...

Amazing!

Mona said...

Wow! you look stunning! Mom is a wizard at sewing!

KFarmer said...

Very beautiful! You have a wonderful mom too~ :)

tsduff said...

Those sleeves were poofy enough to hold a million wedding dreams :D WOW, that dress is gorgeous. I had some of those designs in my Mom's wedding dress which I wore... v-waist, a million buttons down the back, only I didn't have the big sleeves. What a beautiful post.

Lulda Casadaga said...

Excellant walk down memory lane...lovely dress for that time period...I hated the 80's! But your mom ROCKS!! :D

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