Avoiding Dress Duress -Pick The Location And The Dress Will Follow

Remember that great 1989 movie Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner, the one that had the baseball player called Shoeless Joe Jackson in it? In the movie, Shoeless Joe kept telling Kevin Costner’s character, over and over, “build it and they will come.”  I remember while watching that movie I felt like saying to Shoeless Joe, “Jeepers, give the guy a little time to take a few rows of corn down will ya, and then he’ll get to making your ball field.”

Right about now you are probably wondering why am I talking about a baseball movie in a wedding blog?  Well, ironically, corn, baseball and choosing your wedding dress do have some things in common.  What I’ve discovered is that Shoeless Joe’s advice can be of use during the wedding planning process too.

Let me explain what I mean. Once you and your fiancé have had a chance to sit down and mutually define how you want your wedding to look, your wedding dress shopping, which should be the next step, will very naturally fall into place.  And that, my friends, is exactly what Shoeless Joe Jackson was trying to tell Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams.  He was basically saying, take down the corn first, then create the ball field, then we’ll all come play ball in your backyard.  I just wish he would have just come out and said that, but then the movie would probably have been 20 minutes shorter.

Here’s a couple of examples to back up what I am saying:

1.  If you and your beloved decide on a destination beach wedding then, as you know, you can then eliminate lots of different dress styles that wouldn’t be appropriate for a hot, sunny beach ceremony.  Just like oil and water don’t go well together, neither does 90 degrees, a silk dress, and a perspiring bride.  Perhaps a flowing cotton dress would be be better.

2.  If you and your beloved decide to have a grand affair with lots of guests, let’s say, at St. Paul’s Cathedral where Princess Diana was married, then a sleek understated gown might look a bit out of place.  Perhaps, just as Diana wore, a more voluminous gown with lots of tulle and taffeta to take up space with a 25 ft long train for the walk up the aisle might be a better fit.

Many brides search and search for the dress first and then choose their venue.  What can happen here is the dress doesn’t fit the venue, then unfortunately there is the unforseen cost of purchasing yet another dress that feels more appropriate for the occasion and “voila!” dress duress takes over.

Avoiding dress duress can be as easy as 1-2-3.  Here’s how to do it:

Have a conversation with your fiancé early in the process to define the following items:

  1. The size of your guest list.  Do you want a grand affair or an intimate occasion?
  2. The location of the wedding and reception.
  3. Your dress buying budget.

So let’s go dress shopping you say.  STOP – not yet.  You as the bride have a bit more refining to do once those three decisions are made between the two of you.

Here’s what you as the bride can do to save yourself time:

  1. Now that you’ve decided on the size and location of your wedding you can comfortably choose your dress style to complement and match the essence of this blessed occasion.
  2. Clearly define the appearance and message you want your dress to convey. For your dress is part of your wedding story.  Some items to take into account should include:  Your personality, style, color of dress, long train or short, long veil, short veil or no veil, and whether you are a first or second time around bride.
  3. Stay focused on keeping within your dress budget.

A great example of a dress that was chosen to perfectly complement the bride and the venue was the dress designed by Narcisco Rodriguez and worn by Carolyn Bessette for her 1996, wedding to John F. Kennedy Jr.  Their evening ceremony took place in the wood-frame Brack Chapel with just 40 guests in attendance.

Simply Chic Dress Tips:

Save the ozone layer, gas and time by starting your dress search online to narrow down the styles you love.  Make sure to only look at styles that work for your particular body type. I know it’s not fair, but if you don’t have a figure like Jessica Alba, then perhaps rule out the Mermaid style dress altogether :).  Let the Simply Chic bride tell you this in love so your friends don’t have to.

When you do venture out to the dress shops state your specific price range at your first appointment so you’re not looking at dresses you can’t afford.

Compile, print out and bring photos of the dress styles, colors and  fabrics you like with you on your dress shopping search. This way the shop attendant doesn’t have to be a member of the Dionne Warwick Psychic Friends Network, for she’ll be able to see on paper exactly what you want and she won’t even have to read your mind!

History note: 

Princess Diana’s dress is currently on exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan through Febraury, 2011.

Click here to see the video of Diana’s dress and train being uncrated for the event.


Do any of you brides out there have any dress shopping stories to share?  We’d love to hear how you have refined your process to find your perfect dress with no stress.  Please email us your stories and photos!

Simply Chic quote:

“Simplicity carried to an extreme becomes elegance.”

~ Jon Franklin



The Simply Chic Bride


Email us:  thesimplychicbride@gmail.com


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Filed under Picking A Wedding Dress

It’s the Amish Way

Since the launch of my new blog, The Simply Chic Bride, I have received many great comments, emails and feedback from friends and fellow bloggers.  People have said it’s really cute and I say, don’t you mean chic :)?  Readers have commented and said they have found useful links and great information contained within this blog, but many are asking me to define the concept behind The Simply Chic Bride.

So here it is:  The Simply Chic Bride is all about finding the beauty in simplicity during the entire wedding planning process.

It’s about getting out in front of your upcoming wedding by doing something each day to have forward movement and progress so that when your big day arrives you arrive in Simply Chic style, within your budget, without stress and hopefully you make some new friends and form new relationships along the way.

It’s about inviting your family and your closest friends to your wedding and “connecting” with them.  These are the people that would love nothing more than to attend this beautiful occasion and enjoy it with you.  These wouldn’t be the people that would say, “Yes, I have to go to another wedding this weekend.”  The Simply Chic Bride’s people would say, “My family member or dear friends are getting married and I can’t wait to go to their wedding.”

It’s about being mindful in really knowing who is on your guest list – it’s not about “the big show” and inviting so many people that you don’t know each and every person attending, personally.

It’s about being a kind, gracious and a thankful bride – not a Bridezilla.  It’s about the groom too.  How many grooms have you known that got lost in the wedding shuffle? The bride completely steamrolled through the entire process spending money and making decisions without involving her beloved.  Is this foreshadowing how it’s going to be once they are married?  Decisions should always be mutual, don’t forget there are two of you exchanging vows.

The Simply Chic Bride is the polar opposite to the popular TV show, Say Yes To The Dress, where many times the bride calls her fiancé on the phone to convince him to spend hundreds or even thousands over her bridal budget on a dress that will be worn for just 4.5 hours, yikes!  Decisions made under duress, as we all know, never turn out well.

It’s about doing things “The Amish way,” by keeping things simple and utilizing those within your friends and family network for assistance with ideas, services and skills.

Have you ever met a stressed out Amish person?  The answer most likely is no.  Reaching out to their friends and family network and the bonds they have created are so strong that stress and anxiety are not allowed to be a big part of their lives.  If someone needs a barn built, or heck, if a bride needs a wedding dress made, those in the community all pitch in to help out.  It’s a way of life that seems tested by time.

By doing things the Amish way and The Simply Chic Bride way you can accomplish great things on many different levels.  Not only are you assisting those in your friends and family network by hiring them during these tough economic times, but you are blessing them with the opportunity to be a part of your big day.  In return, I guarantee, you will receive the best service or skills they can offer.  Who has your back better than friends and family?

The Simply Chic Bride way is all about being grateful that you’ve found the love of your life and letting others know that too by modeling good communication skills, decision making skills and yes, sometimes negotiation skills, during the planning and preparation process between the bride and groom leading up to your wedding day.

And most importantly, The Simply Chic Bride way doesn’t want you to flash forward to your wedding day by wishing yourself into the future. The wedding planning process is a part of living. Keeping things simple will prevent you from falling into the flash forwarding trap. If you find yourself saying, “I can’t wait until our wedding and these details are behind us.”  There is something definitely wrong and adjustments need to be made.

Instead, be present in the planning – embrace the entire process right down to picking out your shoes.  To accomplish this it may mean getting up an hour earlier for work so you have a little time to do research online before heading to the office.

The Simply Chic Bride would like to leave you with this quote…

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

We want to hear from you!  Please email us your questions or comments to:

Email:  thesimplychicbride@gmail.com


The Simply Chic Bride


Filed under Relationships, Wedding

How Did I Start This Blog?…Let Me Count The Ways

The idea for this blog came to me about two weeks after the love of my life asked me to marry him. Peter, my fiance, I’m still not used to saying that word, but I very much like the sound of it, popped the question in our kitchen back in September of this year, 2010.  This actually is quite apropos since we both love to cook and seem to spend a huge part of our lives in this kitchen.  Lots of details have gotten us to this point, but I know you all have a lot of living left to do so I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest condensed version.

Peter and I went out for a nice dinner, then a movie and returned home, then blam-o out of the blue as we’re standing in the kitchen he gets this strange, far away look on his face and just as I’m going to ask him if he’s experiencing chest pains or something … da da daaaaaaa, the ring comes out.  Now, I as a girl of sound mind and steeped in tradition, ok, I am neither of those things, but what I do have is the foresight to know what’s coming and that I want my beloved down on one knee when he starts speaking those four important words.

So, I did what any girl in my position would do, I formed my hand like the Karate Kid, (the old Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio, not the new Karate Kid, Jaden Smith, – I’m not into remakes).  I promptly and efficiently chopped him on the back of his leg.  He went down fast.  Sorry honey!  He’s not only a very forgiving man, but he has an incredible sense of humor as well.  Once he was in place in the proper position on his knee, even though possibly a bit bruised, I made him start the process over.

And that’s when, without missing a beat he said those four words which poured from his mouth like smooth honey out a hive in the heat of a 90 degree summer’s day down in the Bayou.  “Will you marry me?”  He asked.  I cried and blubbered like a baby but I did eventually manage to squeeze out a “yes.”

We were now officially engaged and thankfully past the stage where friends would ask, “Are you two going to get married,” or as they liked to sing to Peter, Beyonce style, “If you want it then you “should” put a ring on it, oh, o, oh, oh.”

What we didn’t realize was the “little” act of popping the “big”question and the following announcement would result in an immediate and unprecedented flurry of activity and one “big” new question – WHEN? 

I thought maybe I should answer this question in a Mandarin dialect similar to the woman in that ‘70’s Calgon commercial, where the lady at the laundromat said, “Awww ancient Chinese secret.”  But it shouldn’t be a secret, should it?  It’s an exciting time and people were genuinely excited for us.

And that brings me somewhat up to date on our story and how the process of planning for a wedding and all the details that come with it made me think that perhaps I should journal the bridal planning journey and process for others.  A bridal “pay it forward” kind of thing if you will.

Some of the things I have learned so far in the 2 short months since our engagement  became official that I can pass on to you is this:  Embrace this special time, get your creative juices flowing, let those friends and family members that love to plan things, weddings especially, be present for you – they’ll help you save money and time in the process.  For life is all about relationships after all.  Let people enjoy it with you.

I truly believe the wedding process leading up to the wedding is just as important as the actual wedding itself , for the wedding occurs on one day, the planning takes much, much longer – any Simply Chic bride can tell you that 🙂


The Simply Chic Bride


Filed under Proposal, Wedding