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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wedding Apparel for $10- No Sewing Skills Required

Last August I found myself in a predicament. My husband's little sister was getting married.  I needed to find something for myself and my newborn to wear to her wedding reception. When looking for dresses for my baby, I couldn't find the right colors. Everything that was white was  a) too big, b) covered in sequins c) cost a lot more money than I was willing to pay for something she would wear once or d) all of the above. I couldn't see myself spending $60 on something that she was going to pee, poop and/or throw up on and had to be dry-cleaned. Fortunately, my best friend came up with a brilliant idea. Make her a tutu. She can wear it with a white onesie, it's comfortable and if she poops on it (which she did), I can easily change it out.  I got the materials for the skirt for $2, watched an internet video and had a tutu in less than 2 hours. Tada!

 Originally my sister-in-law had planned on having her wedding a couple weeks before my due date, but when I said that we would not be able to travel she changed her wedding to a week and a half after my due date. I appreciated her consideration so that we could be there, but either way it left me having a hard time finding something to wear. (My MIL insisted it didn't matter what I wore, but I didn't want my SIL forever looking at her wedding pictures and thinking, 'Remember that time I got married and Heather wore a hospital gown to my wedding reception? Yeah, that was something.')  How do you find formal wear when you are nine months pregnant with your third child or for that unknown size you are going to be immediately after having said child. I was pretty sure that after having the baby I would be smaller than pregnant, but how much smaller? Not down to pre-pregnancy size. One size? 3 sizes? How do you plan for that? (Also in one department, smaller is not the size direction that you go.)  I spent dozens of hours in stores and online trying to find a dress that would work. I found one dress with an empire waist that almost fit at Dillard's when I was four months along and called their website looking for a size or two up. No luck, they had sold out of those sizes in every store across the country. Awesome.
 After I had Miss Cindy Lou Who I called every clothing store in town. "Do you have something formal or semi-formal in green apple or royal blue in my size?" One girl responded "Are you fifteen?"
"Then you probably wouldn't wear the only thing I found in royal blue. It has spaghetti straps and a mini skirt."
 "Um, no. I can't say that that would work."
 There is another store on St George Boulevard that always has lovely dresses in the display window. I called them and they had one dress in each color. And because they close before my husband gets home from work I went down there with my infant and my three-year old. (Yes, crazy. I know.) Each dress was around $165 and both of them were several sizes too big and would need to be tailored, drastically. I looked at them on the hangers while Thing 2 ran in circles around me and the racks of dresses, and said "This isn't going to work."
 The shop lady responded with a very patronizing tone "Well, we could have helped you if you had given us a few weeks more notice."
 "Well, a week ago I was pregnant and couldn't tell you what dress size I needed anyway." Not to mention I can't see myself spending that much money on a dress that I am not absolutely in love with.
 Then I tried a second-hand store that I had called earlier. Second-hand stores have changing inventory, so it was worth a shot. I found a blouse in royal blue for $8.50. Cha-ching!!! And I had a 20% off coupon. I paired it with my favorite black skirt and we were in business.

  So there we go. My husband had the rented tux provided by the groom's family, Thing 1 had her green apple Easter dress, Thing 2 had the tux that I bought him for the last family wedding (this time he had grown into the smallest size available), baby and I were covered and I did it for under $10.

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