Remember how I got married last year (September 8th, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. to be exact) and I kept promising wedding photos? And I promised to blog about my dress? And remember how I never did? UNTIL TODAY! Our wedding is featured on Oh Lovely Day today, so be sure to head on over to Chandra’s blog (we have the same name!) and see more photos and get some details about the day that I married my best friend Brandon!

The struggle for finding a modest wedding dress can be extremely difficult. I knew right off the bat what I did and did not want. The problem was trying to FIND what I wanted.


Did NOT want:

1. A bolero or a shrug over a sleeveless dress

2. A strapless dress with something attached or sewn over it

3. A poofy heavy princess-y like gown (I’m not a princess)

4. Tons of tulle

Did want:

1. Lace dress

2. Lace sleeves

3. Simple mermaid-like cut

4. Comfort and ease


I initially thought I’d get all budget bride and order my dress from eBay. WRONG. FALSE. FAIL. I saw a dress I liked on eBay and took a chance on it. When it arrived from China (DON’T DO IT) in April I knew that I had made a massive and HUGE mistake. After talking to several friends I realized that I might have to walk down the aisle in a Hefty bag, because they all told me that a. dresses can take months to arrive and b. uh, I made a mistake by not going to a bridal store. So of course I wanted to panic and panic I did.

Bridal9 After Yelping a bridal store about 30 minutes away from home I zoomed on over there on a Tuesday afternoon and this lil’ ol’ woman with the vision of a bat tried to help me find what I wanted by looking through a dozen books. I didn’t like a single dress that was in the store and she laughed when I said I wanted a dress with sleeves.

Right when I was about to give up I found an Allure Bridals book and they had a collection of modest wedding dresses. I gasped! The lady raised her eyebrows in surprised and admitted that she never looked through that book before. hahaha She told me she could order the dress and it would arrive by mid-August (three weeks before the wedding). I snapped photos of the dress and its model number and went home and did some massive research.

I found two stores that had the dress in stock (not in my size) and I made plans to view it that Saturday. After driving an hour to Fresno that Saturday, I saw the dress, loved it, and then called Brandon’s mom for some it’s-not-what-you-know-it’s-who-you-know action. She has a friend who owns a bridal store in Gilroy and my mother-in-love told me to call her. Call her I did! Lovely Mafalda convinced me that I had more than enough time to get my dress. She assured me that I could remove the cap sleeves and add 3/4 length sleeves to the dress. After she offered me a discount (music to my ears), I was sold. So guess how I ordered my dress? Over. The. Phone. THE PHONE, PEOPLE! I was in my classroom during lunch break and I ordered it without ever trying it on. When it arrived at the end of July I just knew that something would be wrong. With my mom, sister, and mother-in-law in  tow I tried on the dress, it fit, and I felt like the weight of 1,000 elephants had been lifted off of my shoulders/head/heart/body.


The best thing about the dress for me was that it was quick and easy. The lace part is actually detachable and worn over a silk sheath dress! The hardest part of the dress was buttoning up every single button, but of course I didn’t have to do that part! The dress actually had cap sleeves (not an option for me), so I ordered an extra yard of lace for $40 and the cap sleeves were taken off and 3/4 length sleeves were added. YES!


 It was everything I wanted in a dress:

1. Lace? Check!

2. Vintage inspired look? Check!

3. Button detailed down the back? Check!

And now it’s all boxed up never to be worn again. 🙁

Do you have a crazy wedding dress story? Or was your dress finding a bit more traditional and a lil’ bit easy?

Wearing: Allure Bridals M476 dress and Kate Spade Charm heels

Linking Up: Faith in Fashion 

More Modest Wedding Dresses:

Hephzibah Bride

My Blog Post on Modest Wedding Dresses

35 Responses to My Modest Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals

  • Tiffany G. says:

    After not finding the Monique Lhullier dress I wanted at bridal consignment shops or online I recruited my aunt to MAKE me one:/ It was simple…a silk sleeveless mermaid dress with a lace 3/4 sleeve jacket and silk sash. She kept putting it off and a month before the wedding— no dress!

    A friend referred me to an amazing seamstress who sketch the dress as I described it, had a muslin made in a week, and the dress was complete a week before the wedding. It was NUTS but I loved my custom modest dress. I’m looking to have the jacket dyed so I can wear it to formal events.

    • Chandra says:

      I wanted to have a dress made, too! I just couldn’t find someone nearby that could make me a dress. I can’t believe she had it all done in a week…! I kept wishing for a custom made dress and would have gotten one made if the opportunity had presented myself. I vaguely remember seeing your dress (I think I remember a blue sash), so I’ll have to hunt around your blog for it.

  • I loved reading this! You looked so beautiful. Your dress was so perfect for you. And I loved your wedding day hair also. It all looked so classy. My dress story was pretty simple…..I went to a bridal store in town (out of pure curiosity with no intentions of buying anything) and loved the first dress I tried on. The day before getting engaged, at that (had no idea, though)……and returned the following week to purchase it. I think all of the risk, drama, and suspense of my wedding planning found its way to other areas of the big day!!!

    • Chandra says:

      Thank you, Brittany!! I had some tragic, okay…it seemed tragic then…events happen before the wedding and the day of. LOL My dress shop lost my veil, the veil I ended up buying fell off on the way down the aisle, I had a cold sore flare up on my lip 48 hours before the wedding, and about five other things happened the day of. I really admire you and Stephen. I’ve been trying to find good young married Christian examples that I can look up to or emulate. I wish that you and Stephen lived closer to us because I know for SURE that we’d be hanging out together!

  • Cindy says:

    Your dress is gorgeous! And you were a beautiful bride.
    Why on earth is it so difficult to find a modest wedding dress? Do the fashion companies actually think that ALL brides want to show off their upper bodies at their WEDDINGS for heaven sakes?! I have several nieces who have married in the last few years and it has been a trial for all of them. Two of them purchased strapless gowns and wore a lace top over it that made it look like it was made that way. But, some girls are like you who do not wish to do that. It makes me wish I had to skills to make modest wedding dresses to sell to girls like you.
    God bless you for thinking out of the box and being DIFFERENT!

  • Cindy says:

    I find it interesting that you say you are not a princess. I hear girls referred to as princesses and I wonder if it’s such a good idea. Are we setting our girls up for disappointment when we call them that? What do you think? I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this.

    • Chandra says:

      Hi Cindy! Thanks for asking me to explain myself. I’d love to. I think words are powerful and they can set up young children for success or failure. I think we are setting girls up for a rude awakening by referring to them as princesses because I think that then implies that they deserve to be waited on hand and foot until their knight and shining armor shows up. Our current cultural image princess is the “Disney” pretty/beautiful/stunning/gorgeous princess. I want to remind girls (and women) that their self-worth doesn’t lie within their appearance.

    • Chandra says:

      I hope so, too! I hope that more companies will continue to make modest wedding dresses so when it’s your turn you’ll have a variety of options to choose from!

  • Beverly says:

    Love your dress! I’ve been waiting to see photos! You look beautiful.
    My wedding dress story was somewhat of a fiasco…. My mother and grandmother ordered a dress for me online without my consent. You can imagine my frustration (and dare I say, betrayal). My mother thought I was being ungrateful when I heard this news and started to yell at her through the phone. I was really looking forward to picking out my dress! Fashion is very important to me! I cooled down a bit when I tried it on and and saw what needed to be changed. It originally had a bunch of decorative beading on the bodice which was something that is a BIG no-no to me. That was taken off and we added more fabric in certain places to make it modest. I do like how it turned out! Check out my dress here: or here:

    • Chandra says:

      OH! My! GOODNESS! When I read your comment my mouth drop. I’d probably cry if my mom/grandmother ordered my dress w/o me knowing! I’m glad it worked out for you. I’ll check out your blog post, too.

  • I agree with Cindy! I met with a client last week….when I opened up my iPad to take notes for our project, she saw a wedding photo of mine as my background; when she saw it and realized it was me she went crazy over the fact that my dress was modest (mind you, she wasn’t dressed extremely modest) but told me how she had such a hard time finding her dream wedding gown because everything she finds is strapless, etc….and being modest and respectful on her wedding day was of great importance to her. Lets me know that Christian women aren’t the only ones looking for modest gowns. Made me feel good to hear her say this.

    • Chandra says:

      You know, it was AFTER I got married that people expressed that they wished they could find a dress with sleeves, too. I know that Kate Middleton made it super popular to have sleeves and many people seem to have fallen in love with the “trend”. The funny thing is that I don’t find dresses with sleeves trendy at all! In fact, I think a dress with sleeves (especially longer sleeves) is a timeless look!

  • Shey says:

    Such a beautiful dress, I don’t like the sleeveless wedding dresses but I also don’t like dresses with boleros which is what I see mot of the time, your dress is perfect. If I ever get married I’d like a fifties inspired dress with 3/4 sleeves and knee-lenght. That would be my perfect dress. =)

    • Chandra says:

      Yes! My friend Bekki had a very similar dress and I thought it was great. It was flared with 3/4 length sleeves and I think she wore a blusher veil. She looked super awesome!

  • Yay! I’ve been waiting for this! I’m so happy for you that you got exactly what you wanted – you looked absolutly stunning! I didn’t want a bolero but ended up with one, well 2 (l0ng story) – I guess I wasn’t as tenacious as you!

    Once upon a time I did blog about the Allure Bridals modest collection – I could have saved you a bit of your hassle! But seriously you’re so blessed to live in the States – the modest collection isn’t carried here in the UK.


  • Alexandra says:

    You looked (look?) absolutely stunning! The sleeves make the dress look so feminine and almost regal. LOVE IT! And seriously, can we talk about the photos in general for a second? Your photographer did an amazing job (I’m so jealous)! The picture of you standing by the windows with all the soft light, so beautiful!
    I was never really a girl who dreamed about my wedding day, so I didn’t having anything specific in mind when we went looking for a dress. It was funny, because the dress I ended up getting was one from a picture I had torn out of a magazine, and I asked to try it on just for the heck of it, thinking that it would be way out of budget. But it turned out that it was incredibly affordable. I’m not selling mine, but this is the exact picture I tore from the magazine:

  • Leslie says:

    Chandra… STUNNING! The dress is absolutely beautiful, your pictures… captivating, and you looked beautiful! I found you on IG (followed, and thanks for the follow back), can’t stop reading your blog! Your writing flows, well written and extremely enchanting! I took the time to read over your “About Me” tab along with Acts 2:38 Tab. Awesome! I’ve been looking for a great Fashion Blog, someone who is relatable, in more than one way, and I’m happy to have found you! Continue to blog, share, and represent!!! You’re doing an excellent job! 🙂 -:Leslie

  • AH Wilson says:

    I just stumbled across your blog! I love, love, love your wedding and your dress! I don’t like tule either and really want lace! I love the look and modesty of your dress! You were a beautiful bride!

  • MrsB says:

    Just came across this, my story is identical. I too discovered allure bridal seemed to be the only place doing long sleeved dresses. My nearest stockist was a 2 hour drive away & they had a lovely lace dress in stock in my size, the problem was it was sleeveless but they said don’t worry we can order the extra lace & make sleeves so I bought it. Then they get back to me saying the company won’t give us the extra lace, I was mortified (I haven’t worn anything sleeveless for 15 years & didn’t fancy trying it on my wedding day, plus my wedding was in 2 months so didn’t have a lot of options). They managed to find me a lace bolero that colour matched but it wasn’t the same as having sleeves, it covered up the ‘V’ shape at the back, you were very lucky they gave you the extra lace.

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