I’m going to a wedding next month and I decided to make my dress instead of buying something new. I want to run my plans by you all, I just found out that they want formal dress and, while I think what I’m planning should be fine, it’s always a good idea to get a second (and third, fourth, fifth) opinion!

The Setting: It’s an outdoor daytime wedding at our alma mater’s gardens (pictured above) in June, and since this is NJ, that means it’s probably going to be humid! Apparently, they want formal dress, which is a little surprising since they’re very casual people.

The Inspiration: I plan on blatantly ripping off the pleating on the skirt of this ridiculously expensive dress from Saks Fifth Avenue (if I’m going to take the time to make it myself I’m not looking to Macy’s for inspiration!):

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If you click on the link to Saks you can watch a video of the dress in motion to better see the incredible pleating. It really is a very beautiful dress.

The fabric: My inspiration dress is cotton voile and that’s what I got as well. Voile is a slightly sheer, lightweight cotton fabric that has a nice drape. All the magazines tell me that polka dots are having a big moment so I went with this fabric from fabric.com (sorry for the giant picture!):

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I like how it’s like a polka dot, but it’s not a traditional polka dot and it has some angularity with the lines.

The plan: I’m planning on completely ripping off the pleating on the inspiration dress and pairing it with a bodice with a scooped neckline (because I like the way it looks on me and it mimics the roundness of the polka dots). Or I could go v-neck and mimic the angularity of the lines, I’m not sure! I really want to have a scooped neckline in the back because it’s pretty, but I don’t think that would match with a v-neck in front. Such decisions! The dress will be fully lined with an invisible zipper closure. I’m going to cut the bodice on the bias with a center front seam, so the lines will form a chevron in the front... maybe a v-neck would be better with that look? (<— just thinking out loud here!) Obviously, there will be pockets.

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Concerns: Is cotton fancy enough for a formal wedding? It is daytime and outdoors in humid NJ, so I feel like cotton has some very desirable qualities, all things considered! Voile is sheer, so I think that adds a little fanciness, no? And what to do with the neckline? From what I wrote above it looks like I’m talking myself into a v-neck. In that case do you think it should be a V in the back, too? And, possibly most importantly, is the fabric too loud? I think the small image in the link gives a better idea of what it looks like from a distance.

I’d really appreciate your unvarnished opinions. Seriously, my feelings will not be hurt, I’d rather be told now that something is a terrible idea than have my feelings spared and end up following through on a terrible idea. Thanks, everyone!