Oh Lucinda dress…How I love Thee…Let me count the ways dollars. Is anyone else stalking this dress? It is so lovely and simple and classic, it is the shape that I have always thought of when I heard the word “bride”. I never thought about what dress I actually wanted for myself, but when we first got engaged and I first started looking for dresses, I found this one almost right away. I did what any mature, well-rounded adult does when they find mecca…I called my momma. Then I called my maid of honor, my bridesmaids, my high school swim coach, and the President. They all had to know that I’d found THE dress. Somehow when I first started looking, it didn’t matter that the dress cost $2500.
After starting budgeting negotiations with my parents and my FI, I realized that this dress was beyond my means. *sigh* So I started on the hunt for the ever so ellusive other perfect dress. I felt attraction for several styles of dresses, but time after time, I returned to pictures of Lucinda to day dream. Even the description that those tricksters at jcrew used to describe her reeled me in: “A classic ballgown design in softly rippled cloqué fabric with a full-bodied drape and a very festive rustle.” I WANT A FESTIVE RUSTLE! Whatever that is.
A member of weddingbee.com posted about how she had put an alchemy bid out for the exact same dress (copier…even though she did it before me…COPIER! BLASPHEME!) and had had several people bid on the job. For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy.com and their Alchemy program, you must try it. Think of something you’ve always wanted and could never find/afford/imagine. Then go and use the alchemy program at Etsy. You can write a little diddy about this perfect thing and post it out there in Internet Land. People will bid on your “thing” if they think they can produce it. You can interview them, see what they would charge you, etc. etc. and decide if you are going to use their services or not. It’s brilliant! (I am currently using Etsy Alchemy for my invitations which I will post about soon.)
So I put in an alchemy bid for the Lucinda dress, and within 12 hours, I had about a dozen bids on my post. The nice thing about Etsy is that you can go look at the “shops” and see what the bidders have previously made. This is a good way to weed people out. I had a couple of very nice ladies who put bids out for my dress, but when I went to their Etsy shop, they only had stuffed animals and other odds and ends. Sorry ladies, I am looking for an experienced and qualified seamstress. So you can write them a little “thank you but no thank you” message and decline their bid. If you find someone who you think is super capable and talanted, then you can accept their bid and discuss payment terms and delivery and what not.
I am currently in the discussion phase with Etsy user, BeyondtheReflection, who wrote an amazing bid back to me for only $375!! This includes my initial fitting, a muslin mock up of my dress, additional fittings, materials, crinoline, final fittings, etc, etc. and voila! Faux-Lucinda will be all mine. Maybe I can call her “Fauxcinda”. Or I can lie and tell people that she’s the real deal and watch them pout, quivering in jealosy.
I do have a little worry about whether or not an Etsy seller could totally con someone out of money. It is important to do research on any potential seller so that those who prey on the indulgent and temporarily-aloof brides-to-be don’t take your precious pennies. I went to this woman’s website which included examples of previous dresses and costumes that she had created by hand. I have also asked for references that I can call and for our bid to be drawn up in an official contract. She is in Chicago, so fittings and meetings will be a cinch, and I get a general good feeling from her.
Could she be a criminal? Could she take my moneys? Sure…but the way I figure it is that in worst case scenario, she swindles me out of $375 and I reverse charges on my credit card. Best case scenario, I have a custom made and fitted beautifulbeautifulbeautiful gown that is made out of lovely perfect fabric for my lovely (perfect?) wedding.
I will keep you updated as time goes on as to how this goes…who knows…maybe you could have Lucinda too. At this point since I am calling my dress a she, an unsuspecting reader could stumble on this blog and think that we are bartering over loose women. Don’t correct them just yet. Let them ponder over their deluted musings…