#JoshWedsDan: The Dress

Hi guys!

So as a bit of a journal for my future self, I’ve decided to write a few posts about the wedding and how we came to each decision. I decided to start with what was probably the most fun, the dress!  (The next installments will probably be a couple months down the road as I would like to wait to get the rest of my professional photos back from the photographer).

At my first appointment, I tried on every different silhouette, regardless of what I thought I wanted, to get an idea of how things looked and felt on my body. I’m only 5’3″ and I’m a pretty solid pear shape (although I don’t let that dictate what I wear regardless of “the rules”).  The picture quality isn’t ideal, but you get the point!


For my first appointment, I went to Sash & Bustle followed by Becker’s (both in Toronto) with only my Mum and Mother-in-Law.  I am usually pretty sure about what I like and I didn’t want too many opinions present while I figured out what exactly it was that I was looking for. Before I had ever tried on a wedding dress, I of course had watched 10000000 wedding shows. Years ago, I was certain I wanted a fitted mermaid dress. I am in love with the silhouette and I always thought “when else would I get to wear that?” But after hearing stories of how heavy some dresses could be and the chaffing that could occur, and after the simple thought of wearing something tight and likely uncomfortable, I started to stray from that– but I tried one on anyway for fun!


That was ruled out pretty immediately, but it was fun to try!

My style has always been (described by others as) a bit bohemian. I like things to be flowy, usually neutral in colour, and always a bit interesting. So I started to lean towards a light and simple romantic dress with a flower crown.


I quickly decided that while lots of these types of dresses were pretty, they really didn’t accentuate any particular part of my body and I felt kind of “blah.” I continued to try on a bunch of other styles too to figure out what I wanted.


The Moms loved this. You can see I had four slices of pizza the night before and I WOULD DO IT AGAIN.





When I tried on dresses, I found that I really didn’t have any emotional reaction to them.  I would look at them and think “sure this is pretty,” but I found it really hard to judge something so different from anything else I had ever worn or would ever wear again. Only when I started looking at photos after the first day, was I able to decide what I was looking for.

Much to my surprise, the one dress style I never saw myself in, a ball gown, became the vision. After that first day, I realized that I am entirely in love with tulle, and a natural waist line was the most flattering and most comfortable style for my body. The last two dresses up there basically became the benchmark (okay, the last one especially) for the next 5 stores that I went to. Yes…I went to 6 stores! Both of those dresses were by designer Hayley Paige (Blush line) so I proceeded to stalk her designs and seek them out wherever I could.

The third store I went to was Something Green Bridal Boutique in Guelph. It was probably my second favourite of the 6 stores I went to (with Sash & Bustle being my favourite). They had a few Hayley Paige dresses, but I still preferred the two I saw in Toronto. This was the only other one I liked (for me) at the store (at the time), but at this point, I found I was starting to get confused. I don’t like beads and rhinestones, so not my thing, so not sure why I even put this one on! It was ruled out as soon as I got home.


Next I went to Valentina in Waterloo near my house.  I found one beautiful dress that resembled one that I had pinned on Pinterest.



It had a crazy good price point (under $800), but because of that I couldn’t do anything custom to it, aka. I would have to keep the rhinestones.  NOPE.

Next, I went to a store in Elmira called Taylor’s Bridal Boutique. I don’t have ANY pictures from that store because there were literally zero contenders.  Everything was covered in glitz and it was staffed by older women who (while they were lovely) really had no idea about current bridal fashion trends.

So after 6 stores, I was still thinking about the strapless tulle ball gown at Sash & Bustle, but wasn’t entirely convinced, and I still wanted to try on two more dresses by Hayley Paige that were coming to Sash & Bustle 3 months later for a trunk show. This was going to cut it close, and it meant that I had to pick a dress that day to get it on time, but I was sure I would. So sure that I brought my entire posse! I brought my Mum, my 3 sisters, Josh’s Mum, his two sisters, and my Aunt who VERY generously purchased my dress for me.


So of these two new Hayley Paige dresses I wanted to try, one was a 2 in 1 that Sash & Bustle ordered in especially for me (they’re the best), it was a fitted casual gown with a tulle skirt overlay. The best of both worlds kind of thing.  Downside was…it looked terrible on me when I took the skirt off. These hips DO NOT LIE!




Cute in theory, not in real life.

Next, I was also dying to try on tulle ball gown similar to the one I had stuck in my head. It had a bit of sparkle on the strap, but I thought it was tasteful and added some interest so I had to try it too!



I loved this one too, but in the end it just didn’t surpass the one I had spent 3 months thinking about!  After 6 stores and countless dresses, I picked the first wedding dress that caught my eye, the first wedding dress I ever tried on! The Blush by Hayley Paige ‘Garland’ gown. This picture of the back when I walked away is actually what sealed the deal for me!




The belt was attached, so of course I ordered mine with no belt to forego the beading (plus I don’t wear silver, I knew I needed a belt with gold!). In the end I was so happy with my choice. Our wedding was entirely outdoors and it wasn’t too heavy and I never got too hot. It also acted as a mosquito net, HAH, bonus feature.

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For my accessories, I ordered this belt from ASOS. I removed the chain from the back with some pliers and laced a ribbon through instead to make it more feminine and bridal. I told my florist that I wanted a small  flower crown (some get huge and ridiculous looking) and she gave me some flower options. I picked one and then she sent me two flower crown options the morning of the wedding; I chose the one I liked best. I freaking loved it.



For my shoes, I wore the BHLDN edition of the Schutz simple strap heels that they have in a million colours. They were really pretty and comfortable and I hope to wear them again! I actually wore them for our wedding shower as well, hence the toe prints, hahah.


And that’s that!

No big emotional drama, just a natural progression to the perfect dress for me. I went with my gut and couldn’t have been happier!


Tell me about your experience! Were there tears? Fireworks? Anything?






  1. I LOVE YOUR DRESS! Thank you so much for sharing your journey and I look forward to reading the other installments. 🙂

  2. I think you picked a perfect dress, looks great on you! I am also looking forward to more wedding posts and seeing some more pics from Renaissance– lovvvve their work!

    • Thanks Danielle! I CANNOT speak highly enough of our photographer, Kimon, he was just next level! How is your planning going?

      • That’s good to hear, they’re doing my brother’s wedding next fall but not sure who their actual photographer will be! Planning is going well!!! Still feels like there is lots to do, but it’s not until next August so lots of time still 🙂 Hoping to catch some tips from this new blog series of yours! Loving your posts as usual 🙂

  3. You looked gorgeous in all of those dresses!! But you definitely picked the right one! You were a stunning bride!