"Guys.. this may seem like a very strange request a week before the wedding...but do you wanna go wedding dress shopping when we're all in Oregon???
Because I kinda like mine (ish) ... but if I found something I liked better I'd probably buy it...also we'd all get to go wedding dress shopping together"
So that was the message Jenessa sent to our group chat.
And here's the story of how Jenessa found her dream dress, 9 days before her wedding...
This was the general plan:
Monday: Megan flies to Oregon.
Tuesday: Megs and Janelle spend the day having coffee + chats + painting + checking out all the fun, hip places in Bend. And pick Jenessa up at the airport Tuesday night.
Wednesday: 3 dress appointments booked. Jenessa would probably have to buy something right off the rack, because there was minimal (read: z e r o) time for alterations as she was flying out the following Monday to BC, to spend the week with her family and fiancé before the wedding that following Saturday.
So on Tuesday night, instead of flying in to Oregon, Jenessa got stuck in Calgary overnight as the weather took a turn. We decided to keep the dress appointments booked for the next day because we knew exactly what she was looking for, and I could try them on for her to save her time when she actually did arrive! Janelle and I planned to head to Bend the next morning and dress shop for Jenessa.
But then I woke up on Wednesday morning to a text that Janelle was sick and wouldn't be able to come with me either! That wasn't enough to cancel the plans soooo away I went, wedding dress shopping by myself, for my friend stuck at the airport in another country...
Ever tried on wedding dresses?
Ever tried on wedding dresses for someone else?
Yeah, me neither.
Good thing for 3 - way video calls.
This was the first pick and verrryyyy close to what she wanted...
But I had to go meet Vicky and get her opinion on a few more dresses.
It was at the last dress shop that we found one and decided it was pretty much perfect.
Buttons all the way down the back? Check.
Long sleeves? Check.
Buttons on the sleeves? Check.
Fitted silhouette and no frilly bits? Check.
Plain front and super fun back? Check.
And there it is!!!
So I put it on hold for her, because she was supposed to fly in late that night (Wednesday) and we would come back the next day and try it on for realz.
Plot twist - Jenessa gets to Seattle (5 hours away still) and flights get cancelled again. And there were no flights coming in to Redmond (closest airport to Janelle's) until Thursday night.
So instead, Jenessa hops on a flight to Portland at 11 pm, gets in to Portland at 1 am, picks up a rental truck, and drives through wintery mountain pass to arrive at 5 am.
She sleeps for 2 hours until the sun is up, we have breakfast, and head out wedding dress shopping!
(Muuuuuch much better to wedding dress shop with the bride herself)
She tried this one, just for fun, because it was the exact opposite of what she wanted - but it still looks prettttyyyyy amazing on her, wouldn't ya say?
Socks and heels, as you do.
When Jenessa tried on "The Dress" that we had all figured was "The One", it fit like a glove, needed minimal alterations, and she lovvved it. Like she was actually excited to wear it for her wedding the next weekend, and how nice would that be compared to the feeling of wanting to get rid of the original dress before even wearing it??
One problem: the shoulders on The Dress were a little tight, and she could barely lift her arms.
But here's the thing: the sweetest little dress - alteration lady came out from her studio, and said "Oh! That dress! Another bride just bought that same dress, the size bigger, but didn't want the sleeves.. so I just happen to have them, and could swap them out for you!"
Ummmmmm MEANT TO BE or WHAT?
So two days later, Jenessa had her dream dress, slightly hemmed, with brand new sleeves that you couldn't even tell were swapped out.
Actually no, not The End because 2 days later, the day Jenessa flew back to Kamloops (basically right to her wedding), she said "Guys I kinda want to put my dress on again!" so we did a little bridal shoot in the river valley near Frank + Janelle's house.
Turns out, Jenessa is what you would call 'my ideal client' and does things like walk through the muddy forest in her wedding dress before she's even worn it for her wedding day. I was over the moon.
Some behind - the - scenes...
Jenessa and Janelle made the most unreal bouquet from whatever they could find in about 10 minutes.
Scenes from Frank + Janelle's farm house...
Janelle working her magic, and Jenessa requesting some face-framing pieces..
And then we hopped in the car and headed back to the river valley before the light disappeared!
My favourite. The fabric of that dress is so unreal.
(And comfortable, speaking from experience as I tried it on one time)
Friendly strangers commenting they've "never seen anything quite like this on the trail before!!"
Um. Ok this one gets me every time in black and white..
And there you have it.
Needless to say, she made a stunning bride too. Keep your eye out for a collection of favourites from Daryll + Jenessa's elopement - style wedding in the mountains!
Dress: Justin Alexander