The Officiant Dress

Saturday night I officiated my friend’s wedding. It was beautiful! Her dress was amazing. Like, seriously, amazing.

Carolina Herrera Polyester Jacquard Dress

Carolina Herrera Polyester Jacquard Dress

Not only did I finish my dress on time, I had several people tell me how well the dress colors fit into her plum and grey wedding. Since there was a large NYC / PR / fashion contingency, I was asked a few times if I was a designer. Well, first they asked if I had a theater background and then when they found out I made my dress, they asked I was a designer. It’s so funny how it just doesn’t occur to people that you might sew for *fun*.

Carolina Herrera Polyester Jacquard Dress

I went back to my celebrant dress (Burda 2-2009-124) last Friday night. I don’t know why I was so unhappy with it. I’m not sure if the style isn’t me or it just wasn’t what I wanted to be sewing, but the only thing I liked was the beautiful Carolina Herrera poly jacquard from Mood Fabrics (seemingly backordered / sold out since my August purchase) . I sewed a 40 on top grading to the largest size on the bottom. Fundamentally, I realize I just sewed a dress that was too big for me. I should have made a 38 grading to a 42.

Carolina Herrera Polyester Jacquard Dress

After sleeping on it, I decided:

  • to peg the hem and taper the bottom for a very narrow pencil, while adding a slit for walking ease
  • to release one inch (total) on each side at my saddle bags to rid myself of drag lines across my thighs
  • take in one inch from each side of the waist — hoping to eliminate some of the ‘block’ look I was getting.
  • taper the shoulders by taking out two inches at the neckline and blending into the original seam line at the shoulder.

Carolina Herrera Polyester Jacquard Dress

Sigh. Yeah. I’ve been slacking off in the gym and my mental state reflected this as I was sewing. I just thought the original was boxy on me and I looked like a shiny present. This though, this is better. My shoes were ordered from Zappos days before the wedding. I wanted silver to dress up the outfit, and I took some flats with me too. I cannot wear four-inch heels for six hours 🙂 That being said, I bought them in a size 9 and by the end of the night they were a 9.5. I’m thinking of reselling them on eBay.

Carolina Herrera Polyester Jacquard Dress

My friend Julia came as my date…

Carolina Herrera Polyester Jacquard Dress

It’s so interesting to see the colors of the dress shifting depending on the lighting.

Carolina Herrera Polyester Jacquard Dress

…and my mom flew in from Florida to watch me officiate.

And now, it’s all over! I’m so glad I stuck it out with the pattern and despite early reservations, the material was *perfect*. Gah. I’m so happy I got to pick it out in person at Mood when I was in NYC. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.

The venue was the George Peabody Library here in Baltimore. My friend told me when she was my intern 12 years ago that she was getting married here. Over the years, I managed to stay on her running guest list. I never imagined I would be up front marrying her to the perfect man for her.

Here’s a photo of the library (image from Conde Nast Traveler)

I’m not in these, but here’s a Facebook sneak peak of the wedding photos from the very talented photographer. Does it sound dumb when I tell you I didn’t realize I’d be part of the posed photos? LOL! Seriously. It didn’t occur to me. The photographer even noticed my color coordination.

It was such an honor to be part of a gorgeous ceremony with two of my favorite people.



  • Mood Sewing Network
    September 17, 2012

    Ok, I was a little nervous with this one, Renee, but you ended up knocking it out of the park. Wasn’t the CH fabric a joy to work with?

  • Stacy
    September 18, 2012

    It looks great on you! That fabric is so pretty, and made into that dress is just so nice. A great dress for officiating a wedding. 🙂

  • Levone
    September 18, 2012

    Gorgeous dress! You achieved a great fit with this!

  • Helen
    September 19, 2012

    Love this dress. I looked quickly through your photos and thought, “oh, of course, it fits perfectly”, that you were someone who just knows how to sew clothes with no problems. Then I read it! I love it, the dress and you sharing your the process. So much closer to my experience, though I often don’t persist past the initial disappointment. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Cennetta
    September 22, 2012

    Congratulations, Renee! Gorgeous dress and perfect for the occasion.

  • Renata Reid
    September 28, 2012

    It’s a gorgeous dress and fits your figure perfectly!

  • Donna
    October 2, 2012

    A stunning accomplishment! Wow! Your information about fitting is very helpful. Very classy!

  • Karin S
    October 4, 2012

    I love the dress and it suits and fits you so well!

  • Candice R
    October 4, 2012

    So Pretty! Love the fabric (purple is my fav). Your fitting tips are great – good to know we all have ‘issues’!!!