If you haven’t heard the story of my wedding dress: Brace yourself- it’s pretty unique. I knew exactly what I wanted, and my stubborn self wasn’t settling for anything other than what I had in mind. What I ended up with was more than I could have dreamed of.
I did the traditional try-on’s at David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo’s in San Antonio with family and friends, and was sorely disappointed in my options. Every ‘lace’ dress I tried on was just lace appliqué, seemed very mass produced, and were way over my price range. After searching online for inspiration, I found a picture of a designer dress style that was perfect- but it had a designer price and was in Arizona.
I couldn’t get over it. I was in love with this dress and knew no other would compare. After talking about it with my mom, she told me I should ask our cousin, an amazing lady named Dolores Vernor of Dolores’ Unique Designs in Camp Wood, if she would make it for me. Dolores made my mother’s wedding dress, and before that was a wedding and quinceañera dress designer in Mexico. She lovingly made my dress just by looking at the picture included above, and also incorporating some of my ideas. She made my dress in less than two weeks!
Dolores’ main trade is designing and producing custom mohair coats – she even gave me TWO as a wedding present!
Dolores’ Unique Designs
108 Nueces Street
Camp Wood, Texas
+1 830 597 4152
Once Dolores agreed to make my dress, I had to find fabric. I knew I wanted a heavy crocheted lace. I searched and searched the internet with a very good friend, Shanna, and realized that all of my options were quite costly. So I then did something crazy- I went onto eBay and searched “Antique Ivory Lace Banquet Tablecloth”.
What I found was not just any antique tablecloth, but a tablecloth that was crocheted ivory cotton thread, that was made BY HAND, in the 1920’s by nuns in a Hungarian convent.
Yeah, you read that right. Hungarian nuns.
In the roarin’ 20’s they prayed- in hungarian- as they made thousands of teeny tiny loops. And when that tablecloth was finally finished? They put it on their long dining table and they prayed over it! In Hungarian! In the 20’s!
Well, needless to say I clicked the ‘Buy It Now’ button quicker than you could say hot tamales- and then waited quite impatiently for the little man in Hungary to ship me my special package!
Using Google Translate via eBay messaging, he told me the name of the convent that he had bought it from at an estate auction. It had been shut down around the 1960’s and was being renovated.
After my lace arrived in its box that looked like it had been through some pretty rough travels, I bought my silk for the ribbon and trim, buttons, satin, and thread to match from Sew Elegant in San Antonio. (Unfortunately, they have closed down since then.)
…then the fitments and construction of the dress began…
After my dress was complete, I was even able to ship off the tiny bits of lace that were left over to an Etsy dealer to make my ballet shoes.
I then needed the brooch to tie it all together.
(Sorry, Claire Pettibone, your dress may have been the design inspiration and all, but the poofy flower and low neckline weren’t for me.)
Luckily, another very special lady named Roberta Walden from Antiques on the Square in Uvalde, sold me her handmade brass brooch- also from the 1920’s! It was exactly what I had needed!
So I had something old: My lace and brooch
Something new: My dress, shoes, and jewelry
Something borrowed: Shanna’s beautiful tanzanite tennis bracelet
And something blue: My garter and the inside lining of my shoes.
Along with all of my beautiful and sentimental accessories, I also had the privilege to use my great, great grandfathers’ bible that has been used by Herndon girls in their weddings for decades. It has very special pictures of long lasting marriages inside of it, including my special grandparents’. Using it in our wedding was profoundly special to me.
In summary, a big “Thank you so very much!” to everyone who played a part in helping me to feel like a beautiful bride and to make our wedding day one from a fairytale.