Once in awhile, every little bit comes together perfectly and magic happens. And it’s safe to say that’s what we have here. An original Anomalie bride, Samantha’s custom wedding dress included an overskirt and nonstop sparkle PLUS chic cutouts that added an extra dash of fun. Does it get any more amazing!?
When she first started out on her wedding dress journey, Samantha struggled to find “THE dress” at any bridal boutique but when she came to Anomalie, she knew it was finally the perfect fit. It was a pleasure to design her dress with her and we get to relive it all as we share her style story below!
How did you first learn about Anomalie?
I first learned about Anomalie from one of my best friends. I had been trying to find a wedding dress, visiting shops and scouring the internet for ideas when I received a text message with a link to a TechCrunch article. It was the first time I had heard of a company with this model, and I loved the idea of not having to follow the traditional route of dress buying. The rest is history!
Why did you decide to go the custom wedding dress route?
I was having such a hard time figuring out what I wanted, that I could buy in a store. I would go into these gorgeous bridal boutiques that I had to make appointments at weeks in advance, and they would have me try on a dress three or four times my budget. It was incredibly frustrating. At the same time, I like more modern, geometric patterns and less of the lace and veils that I see so much of. I kept trying on dresses that I felt I looked good in, but had zero emotional connection to. Nothing felt particularly special. To top it off, I felt so much pressure from stores to decide right away because of the crazy lead times that make absolutely no sense.
What did you have in mind when starting the process of designing your dress?
My style is pretty classic. The most important aspect to me was to be comfortable through the whole day! I wanted to be able to move around and not have it be heavy or unwieldy. I didn’t want a train so I wouldn’t have to bustle anything or worry about the weight, and I decided to forego a veil because I wanted a modern look.
My partner is Indian-American, and since we were having a fusion wedding, I wanted to add a bit of (okay, a lot of) sparkle to the dress, since Indian brides usually have a ton of bling. Lastly, since we were getting married in a gorgeous museum setting, I knew I wanted to do an overskirt to add a bit of drama to the dress for the ceremony.
What inspired your dress dreams? Especially that gorgeous sparkle and cutouts!
My inspiration dress was this absolutely stunning, sparkly one by Berta (Spring 2016). I loved the criss-cross patterns in the skirt because it wasn’t traditional at all!
I opted for a high neckline because I felt it was a bit more elegant, but a deep V-back, just because I adore backless dresses. The side cutouts added a little surprise and some fun, and they made the front of my dress into a little bit of a heart shape.
And that overskirt? Amazing! It was so simple, but had some structure from the horsehair hemline. Even when I put it on, you could still see the dress sparkle from underneath. It was so perfect for our venue.
How did you enjoy the whole Anomalie process? What was your favorite part?
It’s impossible to say what my favorite part of the process was. Anomalie was the exact opposite of my in-store experiences. During the entire process, if there was any point in my day where I was working on my dress, chatting with staff, or getting factory updates, it automatically became the best part of my day.
Designing the dress was amazing and incredibly fun! I felt that the whole staff was exceptionally kind and responsive to my questions. When I made modifications or small additions, the answer was always, “Yes!” Forging relationships with anyone on the team is easy because everyone is so supportive. I always felt like I was talking to a friend I knew forever. It’s exactly what a bride needs during what can be such a chaotic and stressful time.
What is your favorite part of your dress?
I loved the dress and overskirt combo! When I wore the skirt, it felt like this super fun, fluffy cloud. I loved that it was light and airy, and that you could still see the original shape and sparkle of the original dress underneath.
Tell us a bit about your wedding day – inspiration, location, style, fun details, etc!
Our wedding and reception were held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. It’s the only museum in the world where every piece of art is created by a woman! The venue is historic and gorgeous and unique in its mission. We were so fortunate to have our event there.
We wanted to include Indian, Chinese and American traditions to honor our backgrounds, so we did a series of events over two days: an Indian mehendi and sangeet, a Chinese tea ceremony, and our fusion ceremony and reception. Yes, I had different dresses for all our events!
We wanted the whole evening to feel really romantic, so we had candlelight everywhere, and I even hand poured soy candles for our guests to take home as favors! We had a string trio perform as we walked down the aisle and during cocktail hour, but modernized the whole thing with our song choices (Elton John, Michael Jackson, Justin Beiber, anyone?). As a gift to the groom’s parents for hosting, and because we were in a museum, we hired a watercolor artist to live paint our first dance. That was really special. There was an Indian dhol player to amp up the party every time he played, and we surprised all of our guests with a Chinese lion dance! We had two lions, one to represent the bride and one to represent the groom.
It was fusion to the max, and just so much fun!
What was the reaction to your dress from your friends and family? How about your groom?
Everyone loved the dress! Shawn saw me for the first time during our first look, and there was just so much joy emanating from him. He couldn’t stop smiling, and he loved that I could have the big entrance with the skirt for the ceremony, but feel comfortable to move around in it during the reception.
I got lots of “Oohs and Ahhs” from everyone, especially coming from our moms. One family member even told me that she saw my dress sparkle from across the museum when we made our reception entrance. The best part was just hearing from people, especially from guests who attend a lot of weddings, that they had never seen a dress like mine before. I really wanted something elegant and unique, and that’s what I got!
Any advice to brides-to-be regarding their wedding dress?
Identify the look and feel you’d like on your wedding day and let that be your north star. Don’t feel the need to give in to outside pressures of what you think other people think you should look like or be. Do you want it short or long, train or no train, fitted or ballgown, veil or no veil? There are a ton of options, and it can be quite overwhelming. It’s okay to move forward with what makes you feel beautiful, no matter what that might be.
During my own process, Anomalie taught me that it’s actually possible to feel as gorgeous as you’d like to be on such a special day!
Favorite memory from your wedding day?
It was a day that was just filled with a lot of joy. We had a great team of people to work with, and that made all the difference. Shawn and I are very detail-oriented people, but all the hard work of planning came together so perfectly. While we made conscious decisions to enjoy the day, no matter what happened, we were actually able to without really trying!
Our families were so happy, so it was hard not to enjoy it all. And while we felt so many fusion weddings tended to skew a bit more of one culture than another, we felt that there was a great mix of the most special parts of each of our backgrounds. It was like a dream.
Stylist Pro Tip: Does all of Samantha’s sparkle have you excited to dive into your own wedding dress style? Schedule a call with an Anomalie stylist today to get started!
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