Long sleeve wedding gowns - finding my dream wedding dress

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Long sleeve wedding dresses are making a comeback in a big way

It’s a moment that every little girl dreams of – stepping into their wedding gown and walking down the aisle to meet the man of their dreams. I found the second part of that sentence but I knew it was going to take some time to find the dress. I had a few ideas of what I liked but I was never dead set on any one type of gown, designer or style. When it came time to go wedding dress shopping I went to two bridal salons. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to find my dream dress on the first attempt, but that was not unexpected. Many brides go to a few different places to try on wedding dresses, and I really didn’t believe that “when you try on THE dress you will know”….of course, until I did. When I look back now on my photos in my wedding dress from my big day (which was 6/6/15) I still get butterflies thinking of how wonderful it felt, how much I loved walking and dancing in it, and how my overall look came together.

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For my first wedding dress shopping trip I brought my mom, mother in law and maid of honor. I kept it small with my three most important ladies to get their opinions. I had a few ideas of what I was looking for going into the dress shop, but I was also very aware that you should try on a few different styles and not just one. It is important to try on a variety of gown; mermaid, trumpet, fit and flare, ball gown, a line, asymmetrical. At first I thought I would want something fitted, as I am petite and thought it would be nice to show my shape. I tried on a few styles and while I did think one or two were nice, they just were “it”. I also felt a lot of anxiety on my first trip, having everyone watching me coming in and out with different dresses. I felt like nothing I tried on that first trip did me any justice and also didn’t make me feel like the way I envisioned your dress should make you feel.

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So we left that day and I set up another appointment. The second trip is where I found my wedding gown – at Bijou Bridal in Paramus, NJ. I was with my mom and maid of honor, to this day I will always remember this day so fondly as it was a moment of my life that made my mother so happy. Now that she has passed on, this day will always be so special – seeing her smile and be so excited to help me pick my dress. It was ultimately my mother who selected my wedding gown. The dress was on display in a window and I never would have selected it to try on. It was long sleeve, something I had never even considered especially for a June wedding. I also never see brides, especially around the NJ area, where sleeves – ever! I don’t think I’ve seen brides wear sleeves in over 20 years.

AJ15_MG_7626Once I tried it on, walked out in it, my mother started to cry and so did my best friend and then I knew this was the dress. It moved them to tears, and when I saw myself in it on the podium, looking in the mirror I knew this was my dress. Every inch of it made me feel regal, timeless, elegant, beautiful. It was so unique, so different, something I knew would be special. My dress was made by Stefan Jolie, a designer who is only sold at Bijou Bridal salons.

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The design is one that while I never would have originally grabbed for it to try, I would chose over and over again now. I got so many compliments on this dress because it was like something people don’t see anymore. The lace was so delicate, the beading all the way around the bodice, the scalloped neckline, the buttons all the way up to the nape of the neck – all the details were perfect. I had the belt bought separately and then had the seamstress sew it into my gown.

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I paired my dress with a two tear cathederal veil, which was so long and simple but perfect! I loved everything about my dress and veil together. I will never ever forget how I felt wearing that dress that day, and while my mother passed away before she could see me walk down the aisle in it, it meant so much to me that she chose this gown. On my wedding day it felt like I was literally wrapped around by her love. I even had a piece of the dress she wore on the day of my communion sewn into my dress. My seamstress cut a piece of the material of my mom’s dress into the shape of a heart and placed it inside the gown, right over wear my heart is. It was special secret that I had on my wedding day, to remind me that she was always with me, in my heart, keeping me strong.

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While my dress was long sleeve the lace was so light and delicate. I think many people believe sleeves are very hot and heavy to wear, but they really were so breathable, the only downside is you really have to conscious about not growing your arms, and for me this was a challenge. I lift weights and I workout almost everyday, so when it was about four months away from my wedding I had to cut out upper body lifting and stick to mostly lower body or high rep upper body workouts so that my back wouldn’t get any wider or my biceps/shoulders any bigger. The dress would not allow for that on top, but the bottom didn’t matter since it was such a big gown on the bottom.

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I have to say my dress meant the world to me, and I had so many of the older female guests tell me that they haven’t seen a gown like mine in the longest time. They said it was so elegant, timeless, classic, regal – all the things I wanted it to be. My wedding overall was themed to look traditional and timeless – lots of blush pink, gold, ivory. I wanted it to be romantic and it really felt like it was. I would suggest trying out a wedding gown with sleeves, there is just something so beautiful to me about not showing all of your skin on your wedding day and allowing the lace to outline your figure.

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