Choosing “The Dress”

My wedding dress, a size 10 lace and chiffon creation, now yellowed, is stuffed in the back of my closet in one of those big plastic containers I’m planning to use to store hurricane supplies.

I remember when I finally took it out of my clothes-closet, where it had reposed for over 30 years and at least three moves.  I had once had visions of my (one and only) daughter drifting down the aisle on her father’s arm, a vision in lace and tulle, in my own now vintage, wedding dress. Having faithfully preserved it from the dress-up box my little girl and her cousins made such use of, (I did give them my tiara and eight-foot mantilla veil)

I was now faced with a once-expensive wedding dress nobody knew what to do with.

When my daughter left to go to college it finally dawned on me that my very modern daughter would be choosing her own equally modern wedding dress. (As it turned out, she had two wedding dresses, one of which was red with gold thread and thousands of crystals and weighed 30 lbs.)  It was bought in Las Vegas, in the pouring rain, on what was probably the only day it has rained there in the last 30 years, and carried home to Cayman in my son-in-law’s arms for the whole five hour flight. (That labour of love alone has elevated him to the highest plane a son-in-law can reach)

The point of this being that the very idea of “the dress” makes women very emotional, and that choosing and buying “the dress” has changed.

There are very few, if any places left in Cayman that carry wedding dresses.  But you have a few options.  Look for one off-island to purchase, buy one second-hand, or have one made by one of the local tailors or seamstresses. 

Alternatively, depending on the type of wedding you are having, you might opt for another kind of wedding dress altogether. A beach wedding for 20 people on a hot summer’s evening doesn’t really need a dress with a train, and a headpiece which might fly off into the surf at any moment.

Again, “the dress” will depend on where you’re having the wedding, when you’re having the wedding, and how much you want to spend.  The average US bride spends $1300 on the dress.  If you watch “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC you won’t see too many “average” dresses, but you will know where to go for the dress of your dreams if your budget allows. You can also follow fashion designer Randy Fenoli from the programme on his blog “Behind the Seams”. Many Cayman Islands brides choose David’s Bridal, with stores around the USA, including a huge one in Miami.

If you want a designer dress without the designer price tag, look at buying a pre-owned dress at  or .  Many of the dresses on these sites have never been used.

Whatever you decide, your wedding day is the day you should look your best.  On this occasion, your best look is classy and elegant.  Take someone whose taste and dress-sense you admire dress-shopping with you, and also ask the salesperson her opinion.  Everybody loves a bride, and will be helpful and excited for you.

Each month I will answer a few wedding-related questions.  Send your questions to [email protected] and put Question in the subject line.  You can be creative as you like with your signature e.g. “Frustrated in Frank Sound”, and you do not need to sign your last name.

Next month:  For grooms – buying the ring.

Until next time,



Joy Basdeo