So, here comes the inevitably stressful part of the wedding planning – what in the world is a bride to wear? Since it recently took me two weeks of me to decide what I was to wear to go to a wedding – as a guest – I figure I had better get my act together and cruise deeply into planning-girl mode. In the months since the engagement, I’ve invested in pile upon pile of wedding dress magazines – most are filled with reed-thin girls in revealing strapless gowns, or Kim Kardashian bodied ladies in slinky numbers. Being a girl who has none of the qualities that would enable me to don any of these dresses, if only in irony, I’ve been searching high and low for a dress that is more “me”

I’m a girl who has neither curves, nor form, but does have an impressive collection of back-acne scars – so yes, I’m a toughie when it comes to pleasing me in dress form. All the dresses in my wardrobe feature generous sleeves and boast total back coverage – so I’ve been looking for a wedding dress that can provide me with these boons. Interestingly enough, if you googlefu “modest wedding dresses” you come up with a mass of Mormon-endorsed wedding dress websites. Which is a tad bit creepy. So, to avoid this happening again, I’ve narrowed my search by looking up “vintage style wedding dresses” – and huzzah, much love has popped up on my monitor.

The Vintage Wedding

This little site possesses a collection of some of the most divine vintage dresses that money can buy – the ubershame? None of these gowns can be bought online – the horror! But at least I can metaphorically drool on them with glee and use their amazing dresses as inspiration. 


The 1930s

  • 1930s style ivory corded lace dress with cross over neckline
  • Code: LTT01
  • Colour: Natural
  • Additional options: Silk sash/lace sleeves


The 1970s

  • 1970s style cream silk crepe crochet dress with ¾ length sleeves
  • Code: LSV02
  • Colour: Cream
  • Additional options: Silk sash

The Vintage Wedding site as has a section entitled the “Original Vintage Collection” – it showcases a selection of dresses that are one-offs, and have been restored, cleaned and can be tailored to an individual’s needs. Lustworthy!


Oh my, Marchessa

Now all of the below gowns are way out of my price range for a dress that I’m only going to wear for a single day – but they have got me thinking of the possibility for a tea-length gown for my “second dress” and the possibility of adding a little extra body in the skirt of my future gown – honestly, design duo Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have really set the scene for vintage-cute with their new Spring 2013 Collection.


Monique Lhuilier

Another designer that creates the most astonishing gowns – that make me gasp – but again, are way beyond my budget. Look at all of the bling – and the amazing tailoring! I love the lace-work in the first dress, and the astonishing “confetti” effect on the second gown – love it – reminds me of New Years and running about in glitter. The third has to be a wonder of gravity – you would have to a fairly thin girl to pull it off, though, because it would make a larger girl look far too balloon-esque. 


THE AFFORDABLE: Okay, so lets get our heads out of the clouds and start thinking sense – I know, we would mostly all adore a beautiful dress like the one’s I’ve posted above, but when it comes down to it, sensible girls know that a dress like that, worn only once, can be a bit of a stretch (especially when this sensible girl is in the midst of a house-purchasing-renovating circle). So, I’ve managed to find a handful of more sensible options as well.

DAVID’S BRIDAL – Style T3299

  • Cap Sleeve Lace Over Satin Gown with
  • Illusion Back



  • Satin Faced Organza Gown
  • Illusion Piece Style


Alfred Angelo – Style 2243

  • Net over Satin, Satin, Re-Embroidered Lace
  • Chapel Train
  • Crystal Beading, Sequins


Decisions, decisions!



  1. Hello! Stumbled across your site while doing similar searches of my own.

    Have you considered made to measure? A lot of the more well known and established places seem to have a base price of $2500, but if you try some of the smaller local designers or new players in your city, you might be able to get something designed just for you (or knocked off) for less. Depends what sort of style/fabric/lace/etc you’re after of course, but there seems to be reasonable mileage in the range of stuff you can get.

    1. The seller sin Brisbane seem to be a little obsessed with pumping up the price! I guess I envy those who live in America because they often have a “modesty” option with their dresses where you can choose to add sleeves! Shame on our overt beach culture!


      1. Hah. I’m in Perth, and while I’ve seen a metric craptonne of strapless and halter/backless numbers here, I’ve seen some quite feminine and not at all overly conservative covered back/shoulder numbers too.

        For example, Elvi are in Perth, and I’ll be paying them a visit soon. They’re a pretty new designer I think about a year old. I hear they’re quite affordable and into 50s/60s styles. I’m sure they’ll ship to Brisbane, but you’d have to deal with getting made to measure remotely… :/

      2. Also, check our Etsy. Loads of dresses, made to measure or otherwise.
        Oh you also just reminded me of something:

        They’re based in Brisbane, some quite pretty and feminine options, there are a few items on there with covered backs, and you might be able to strike up a convo with the owner to find something to your liking?

        1. Awesome! I’m not certain about buying my gown from Etsy (although they do have some utterly lovely designs) – I think I’ll purchase my accessories from Etsy sellers – there are some astonishing veils and hairpieces!

  2. Nadera says:

    What a very thoughtful post! I remember my similar thoughts when I was choosing my dress too! But I think you’re way ahead and really looking at a range of possibilities. You’ve probably already looked at what types of dresses suit your body shape (if not, it’s really helpful!). A lot of us women really take our own insecurities into our dress choice (I did too!) but remember that you’re a beautiful young lady and I have no doubt that you will eventually find one that makes you feel as spectacular as you will look! Good luck! 😀

    1. Aww, thanks Nadera, you’re the sweetest!

      It take a lot of thought – but I’ve come to a bit of a conclusion that I want to have a dress with a little more body in the skirt – so I might be going with the Alfred Angelo gown (besides, it’s the easiest to get in Australia)!


      1. When I made a scrapbook of my son’s graduation last year, I used a lot of quotes about deimreinatton, pride, faith, etc. But my favorite was by Ralph Waldo Emerson “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

  3. You picked some great gowns, and don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be as stressful as people make it. Have you checked out Ezoani yet? If you love those illusion and lace sleeves, they have some incredible capelets and sleeves! Cheers!

  4. All of the Monique Lhuilier gowns are GORGEOUS!!!!

    You definitely should go with a full skirt – I didnt want one for my dress but ended up trying a few fullskirted ones on and fell in love… they scream Bridal Gown and make you feel amazing

    1. Like a princess! At first I didn’t want a full skirt either – but after scouring the internet, I’ve decided, if you’re going to get married, the least you can do is pretend you’re a princess.

  5. I swear I commented on this dammit! I never knew wedding dresses cost so much until I started watching Oprah (for real) haha. It’s intense but I suppose the amount of work that goes into one dress justifies it.. Sort of. My favourites form this are the Monique Lhuilier one’s! They’re SO lovely. All of them!

    1. Yes! They’re crazy pricey – and now that I’ve “nearly” got a house to think about, completely out of my price range!

      Heh, I ADORE the Lhuilier dresses – oh my, they just make my heart sing! And not in a retrotastic way.

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