Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Did I ever tell you guys that my wedding dress became "the fat girl" dress? Yep. It did. One more mark on my chalkboard of self esteem.

See, my mother is an EX.CELL.ENT. seamstress—even used to sew for Saks 5th Avenue. And years ago, when the economies were mean, she realized it was the perfect time to make a foray into wedding dress rentals, as the notion that saving Aunt Roberta's dress for little Mindy who wouldn't fully appreciate what the hell a yellowing, high necked chiffon Gunny Sax had to do with her own wedding, had finally been tossed out, along with the avocado green appliances.

Also, the reality of spending gobs of dollars on a dress that would be worn once, smeared in lipstick and cake, and stained with B.O., only to settle into the dark recesses of your too small apartment closet, with 1980 fairy tale fantasies of being worn by your fashion forward daughters in the new millennium, well, just bears a head cock and questioning expression.

And an OMGosh cuckoo twirl.

So my mother and her partner became the "go-to gown gurus," creating gorgeous dresses the girls could rent and return, without a second thought, or second mortgage. And one of the ways they accommodated diverse sizes, was to insert gussets up the sides of the dresses, allowing for an extra expanse of "girth." Well, apparently, the specific design of my dress, ended up being uniquely qualified to camouflage baby bumps, whether or not they were actually pregnant. Thus, the "Lisa" became synonymous with pudgy pork.

Why do I tell you all this? Because, once again, the economies are mean. And we find ourselves unable to dip our toes in the "Say Yes to the Dress" alternate universe, but completely capable of a full on immersion in the real world of wedding dress rentals.

Thus, I give you "Mae Belle Bridal," where she can make you or your daughters as beautiful as you have any right to a fraction of the cost.

And don't worry, if they turn your dress into the fat girl dress, I shan't say a word. Because what happens at Mae Belle, stays at Mae Belle.


T said...

I've always thought this was the way to go... of course, when I got engaged I was in a costume design class and fully enjoyed designing my own dress... much to the chagrin of my seamstress mother :)

Meredith said...

I rented my dress from your Mom and, at the time I thought it was THE most beautiful dress in the whole world! It was like a fluffy dream! And now I look at pictures and think... OMG I could have just flown away in all that fluff! LOL What was I thinking? I'm sure my dress has been taken apart long ago and made into 20 different dresses! Yes, that is how much extra fabric it probably had on it.... enough for 20 dresses!
I agree btw, Your Mom is amazing! I've often wondered how she does what she does! And all those dresses look so PERFECT! Like they came from Paris!
Did you see the pictures I put on my facebook profile with the girls from Syracuse? Back when you were our teacher and we tried on dresses for an activity?

Chapter:4 (Hahaha)
And Everyone should know that YOU are just as talented at sewing as your Mom is!

Lisa said...

Mer, at least your dress wasn't the fat girl dress, even WITH all the extra fabric. I just checked out your facebook photos, and saw the girls in the headpieces. HAHAHAHAHA!!! And um, how in the world did I get so old? YOU look fantastic!

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julianna said...

Funny. I made my dress, it's hanging on the back of the door waiting for the final fitting in July. It's alot of work, but the end result is exactly what I wanted, custom fitted to me.

For about $190.

And now, I can spend the rest of the money on chocolate cake. :)

Jennifer Griffith said...

I felt like a queen in the dress your mom made. Some of the styles on the Mae Belle site look almost similar to mine! Didn't I go out of style? I am shocked. And the headpiece was just amazing with hundreds of beautiful white ribbons hanging down the back of the crown! I think Kara wore it first? There's something neat about sharing those things, especially with other women I love. Steph might have worn the same dress I did. Your mother's dresses still stun me.

And I have to add this: Your phrase "economies were mean" reminded me of that song..."the politics are dancing." Oh yeah.

Garden of Egan said...

Well, I want to see the dresses that your mom made.
What the heck is a gusset? Sounds like a bad ER experience to me.

Cherie said...

Ahhhh Now you tell me after I already dropped my next house payment on my daughters wedding dress!

Stef said...

That is too funny. And amazing. My mom made my wedding dress too. But what a genius idea. Really. A wedding dress is worn once twice at the most. In 20 years, I will look you up ...that's when I expect my daughter to discover boys and get married.

Holly said...

Beautiful and definitely a great alternative! ;D

The Martos Fudge said...

Wow those are some beautiful gowns... It takes a lot of talent to make such things.

Salt H2O said...

This is the only way to do a wedding dress!
Unless you're me- who was too lazy to try on dresses so I bought mine onine at for 200 bucks. I'm hoping to some day wear it on a cruise ship with big chunky blue jewlery so I can say yes! I totally wore my wedding dress after the wedding.

Jess said...

Princess Lisa,
Just thought I would take the opportunity to tell you that I seemingly happened (stalked) upon your blog a while ago and I just L.O.V.E it. Many hours of (obviously productive) work have been spent reading your blog. Thanks for the laughs, and the wedding dress idea if I ever tie the knot.