Not About the Dress: Colors

As I’ve mentioned before, these last seven months of wedding planning (only 17 more to go!) have contained quite a bit more zen than I was expecting. Really, I shouldn’t be that surprised; instead of subscribing to the evil Knot, I’ve surrounded myself with wedding resources like A Practical Wedding, where maintaining sanity in the face of a huge life decision is emphasized over stuff like bedazzled chair covers. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my moments; for instance, trying to find a cheap, unconventional reception venue in a small Midwestern college town is proving to be quite frustrating. And I don’t really have faith that I’ll manage to pull off making my own dress, or that if I succeed in making the dress that it’ll look like something I want to wear around people. But nothing, nothing has driven me as crazy as the goddamn colors, and it’s all some bird’s fault.

Since we got engaged, I’ve spent hours poring over the palettes on and wedding sites like 100 Layer Cake, making Word documents of colors plucked randomly from HTML charts, trying desperately to recreate a palette I thought I half-remembered from a picture of a bird I saw on the internet four years ago. The bird was burgundy, with green and light blue wings…or at least those colors were involved somehow. Maybe it was a red bird in a green tree against a blue sky. Maybe it was a green bird holding red and blue paint chips in its beak. I honestly think I may have dreamed this damn bird, but the image stuck with me because when I saw it I thought, “Those would make lovely wedding colors!”

This is not the bird.

And then before we were officially engaged, when I first started reading the internet’s enormous and all-consuming wedding information, I saw a picture from someone’s reception of burgundy flowers with bright green stems in a light blue vase, and it reminded me of the bird. Or maybe they were light blue flowers in a vase with a burgundy ribbon. Or maybe the flowers were actually a bird, and the vase was a tree.

The point is, I’m really bad at bookmarking the right things. I still have a bookmark from 2006 on how to heal an enormous blister on the bottom of your foot really fast, but I will never again find either of those images no matter how hard I Google, and I can’t forget those colors.

This brings me to a few months ago, when I was doing laundry. I was pulling hangers off the rack in the closet and jamming them the wrong way into a broken hamper. Suddenly I looked down at my hand and I saw the fucking bird.

It looked like this:

At long last, my white whale red bird had been caught! I could finally rest easy knowing that my wedding colors had come to me in a pile of plastic hangers.

Somehow, though, I still wasn’t satisfied. I couldn’t shake the feeling that, just maybe, only crazy people find wedding design inspiration in their laundry. It took me a while to embrace the fact that every single thing I’ve done to plan this wedding so far has been exactly that kind of crazy, so why hesitate now?

And there you have it. I made a palette based on my dream-bird-inspired magic hangers. I used the Dessy Group’s new Pantone service, but it seems to be a bit buggy so I had to screencap it instead of embedding it here. Enjoy!


Episode 21: Here comes the bride, dressed like a maniac

No, I haven’t died. No, I haven’t completely abandoned my slightly-completely-insane wedding dress project. No, I haven’t found anything better to do with my time, sort of.

In truth, I did get a full-time appointment at my job, which puts some pressure on me to look like I deserve a salary (which means reading Cracked instead of knitting at the desk). I also spent a good part of the past month making Christmas presents for a bunch of people and then forgetting to take pictures of them, which I could have put up here to make the people who didn’t get handmade presents feel bad. Although most of those people got liquor instead, so at least they have a good way of dealing with the pain.

I have worked on the dress a little bit. Last week, Nick bought me this totally badass needle set, and I got really excited and immediately switched the dress onto the new needles. I even brought it to work, because the semester hadn’t started yet and the one person requiring my help desk assistance didn’t seem to notice the giant pile of knit lace in my lap. Then there was a freak accident involving some clumsiness on my part (I apologize if you just fainted from shock), and one of the needles promptly broke. So we’re on hold for a bit until I can order a replacement.

In the meantime, however, I decided that after this post I should probably try to figure out dress construction in a way that results in fewer gigantic question marks and imagined consternation from Bravo personalities. So this Sunday I woke up, spent a few hours communing with my dogs and working on my not-a-white-power afghan, and then decided to rip up some old sheets and pin them to my butt.

In case you’ve forgotten, this is what I was going for:

My hypothesis was that I could achieve that kind of train by stapling a rectangular piece of fabric into a skirt-shaped piece of fabric. I was originally thinking that the skirt-shaped piece should be a…uh…rhombus? No, that’s not right…Google, can I get an assist?


Okay, I know the shape I’m thinking of exists, and it probably has a name, and your average third-grader could probably give it to you. But ten seconds of Googling didn’t reveal my solution, so here’s a crudely drawn image instead:

I’m calling it a “rhombotenuse”

Anyway, in making my bedsheet mockup I decided to eschew the rhombotenuse and go with two old-fashioned rectangles instead. Good, comfortable, name-having rectangles.

This is what happened.

From the front, Frankendress looks like an innocent, if ugly Goodwill bedsheet or an outdated vision of what a frat party is like. It also goes beautifully with my Target pajama top.

But wait, Frankendress has a secret…

BAM! My butt has a train growing out of it. Also, seven thousand straight pins.

As some of my more apt readers may be able to deduce, this does not look a whole lot like that Coral’s Bridal dress up yonder. In fact, it looks a lot more like an outdated frat party than a fancy wedding dress. On the other hand, I don’t really know if I need that much train anyway — you all know I would just trip on it.

What do you think? Would this look better if I had gone with the rhombotenuse + rectangle combination instead of sticking with a couple of bum rectangles (pun totally not intended but worth it)? Should I just give up and get married in this? Is it possible to pin yourself into a bedsheet mockup wedding dress skirt without sustaining multiple pin-related butt injuries? How awesome was my choice of footwear?

Don’t be jealous.