The Story Behind My Wedding Dress

little tokyo la wedding

Hello there!

I recently took a stroll down memory lane after accidentally coming across some old wedding photos on my Google account. That’s when I realized that I never really got around to posting anything about my wedding!

Today I’d like to share with you the story of my wedding dress. It’s a strange story.

little tokyo la wedding

My mother is a seamstress. Not long ago, she owned an alteration shop and worked there 6 days a week. Growing up, I remember that she used to have this wedding dress on display in the store window. I never thought much of it then (never even thought about getting married!), but this dress ended up becoming MY wedding dress.

Sometime after I got engaged and the conversation around what dress I would wear arised, I remember my mom saying, “wait, I have perfect dress for you” (in her heavy Chinese accent). She walked over to her closet and pulled out the wedding dress that she used to keep at her shop. When she retired and sold her business, she held kept the dress from her storefront window.

The story is, she bought the wedding dress used from a vintage shop for $100. I was probably only in elementary school when she first found it. She thought it was a beautiful dress (and a great deal), bought it, and held onto it all these years in hopes that one day I would wear it.

To be honest, I was slightly appalled by the dress. All of my memories were of the dress collecting dust over the years on the storefront mannequin. Plus, having the dress already picked out took the fun out of finding the perfect wedding dress that I wanted to wear. What? No dress shopping? Isn’t that the fun part? And it’s not like it was a family heirloom either.

Thinking back to how I felt during this time makes me feel kinda bratty and spoiled. I should have been more appreciative.

bridal dress

Though I never got to pick out my own dress, I saved a ton of $$$$ on having to buy or rent one (yes, you can rent wedding dresses in k-town). Because my mom’s the most talented seamstress in the world, I was able to work together with her to “modernize” the dress to better fit my taste. What we ended up doing was remove the shoulder pads, remove the long sleeves, and remove all of the clear sequences that had yellowed due to sun exposure. In the end, what we were left with was a gorgeous one-of-a-kind wedding dress. The bridal fabric consisted of lace, silk, and delicately embroidered materials. All we had to do after that was bring it to the dry cleaners and wa-lah! A shiny new wedding dress.

japanese garden wedding

Looking back at the photos, I’m really pleased by how the wedding dress turned out. I wish I could have showed it off more! At least I can show it off a little here in this blog post. I love how the buttons line the back of the dress. The large bow is flattering and reminds me of the 18th century dresses with bustles. Oh, and this train!

los angeles wedding little tokyo

I’ll have to write another post one day soon and share more wedding photos. But until then, these will have to do.

If you’re planning your own wedding, I hope that this post has inspired you to consider second hand wedding dresses (even though I didn’t at first). It’s way more affordable, and much more sustainable. You can even do what I did and give your preloved dress an updated look! The options really can be endless.

Anyways, until next time. Thanks for reading!
xoxo Sarah 

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