Coffee With Purps

Coffee Conversations with a Purple Girl

The Tale of Bronwyn

This is a post I wrote earlier this year and posted on my previous blog. Since this is the dress I’m going to put on again toady, I felt it was appropriate to pull out this post and share it with you all again. I’ll admit, I’m still pretty in love with her. She’s a gorgeous dress and I am super pumped to get to wear her again. Please enjoy The Tale of Bronwyn.


I was never one of those girls who had a dream wedding planned by the time they were fourteen. Of course I’d thought about wanting to get married, but it was always the married part that I thought about, not the wedding itself. It wasn’t until  I met Logan that I started thinking about my own wedding, what I wanted it to be like, and what I wanted to wear. That probably sounds super cheesy as I confess that the summer Logan and I started dating was the summer I started watching “Say Yes to the Dress” with my mom. The two weren’t related, mind you, they just happened to coincide.

From the summer of 2012 to the fall of 2013 I thought a lot about wedding dresses. I watched a lot of “Say Yes to the Dress,” looked at the David’s Bridal website on many an afternoon and browsed Pintrest with the best of them. I had to make a secret board for wedding dresses specifically once I got engaged so my future husband wouldn’t peek and know what to expect. Not that he would have thought to do that, but you never know. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted for most of the wedding, but the dress I had down. I even looked at several dress designers’ websites to see who I liked. That’s how I found Maggie Sottero.

I don’t know anything about Maggie herself, other than the fact that she names all of her dresses. As my friends will attest, I like to name things, a lot. I’ve named bags and phones and computers and hats and all sorts of other random things. I even named the tree outside my window. So I was naturally drawn to a designer who gives all her dresses names. I picked out several that I really liked and dubbed them my idea finds while knowing that whatever I got was probably not going to live up to them. I mean, sure, I would probably find a dress that I loved, but the chances of finding an all lace gown with cap sleeves and a keyhole back like I wanted? Probably next to none. I would probably find one with cap sleeves, maybe some lace on it, but not with the keyhole and not in our price range if it did. I didn’t want my dad taking out a loan to pay for my wedding dress.

Mary’s Bridal is this cute little purple building in downtown Beaver Falls. It’s where I got my prom dress senior year, where they spent three weeks taking it in because it was two sizes two big when I found it and I was the littlest thing imaginable. It was the first place to look for a wedding dress: close by and familiar. I felt I owed them at least a look since they did sell me my first most expensive dress. I honestly thought I would be getting a dress at David’s since that’s where you get dresses that aren’t super expensive, apparently. I had a dress that I liked and I knew it would be reasonably prices, but what’s the fun of dress shopping if you don’t go more than one place? So, I grabbed my maid of honor, my sister and my mom and off we went to Mary’s.

A very sweet, very tall woman, took us back into a big changing room and asked what I wanted in a dress. I gave her my list and she told me it was probably going to be expensive. I was ready for that. She also told me they didn’t carry anything over $2,000 so that made me feel a little better. The bridal shows always have people buying dresses for like 4/5,000 on the lower end, which is ridiculous. Our sales lady scurried off into the racks, found four dresses that she thought would fit what I want and she lined them up. I was eyeing the third one in the bag, thinking it might look promising, but I started with the first one to build up to it, just in case it was the one. The first one was pretty plain looking, but all lace. I didn’t see the sash or the keyhole back until she pulled it out and said. “Alright, here’s Bronwyn.”

My heart stopped and I stared at her. “No,” I said. “Bronwyn? By-”

“Maggie Sottero,” she read from the card.

My eyes went wide. I didn’t expect to find a designer dress, not my designer dress in a little shop in Beaver Falls. I had checked, even. I hadn’t seen Maggie listed in any store outside of Pittsburgh and I knew we probably wouldn’t go to Pittsburgh for a dress. But there she was: Bronwyn, one of three dresses on my list of dream dresses and the one I liked the most. Bronwyn, in person, waiting for me to slip her on.

Our consultant helped me pull on the pale gold slip and then work my way into the lace outer dress. Once it was all clamped to show how she would look on me once the dress was all fitted she pulled the sash out and tied it around me waste. My face was one big grin and I could hardly contain my happy wiggle. This was it. This was my dress! I tried on the rest of them, just for good measure; I had been looking at that third dress, after all. The second one was too shiny, the third too heavy and the fourth too plain. I wanted back in Bronwyn. So they put me in her again and scrunched up my hair with a birdcage veil and there was no going back. She was the one for me.

My first time wearing Bronwyn with Twirly and Erin to confirm she was the one.

My first time wearing Bronwyn with Twirly and Erin to confirm she was the one.

I didn’t get her that day, of course. I still wanted to see that dress at David’s Bridal and I couldn’t just pick the first dress I had tried on, even though I knew she was the one. So we went to David’s with all the sisters, both moms and Courtney and tried on more dresses. There was one there that my girls liked, but it was heavy, rough and I couldn’t lift my arms in it. It did show off my collar bones but it was also more expensive than Bronwyn and it just wasn’t her. So back to Mary’s with the whole gang, or as much of the gang as I could bring and tried her on again. She was still perfect. We ordered her in late November.

She's pretty fabulous from the back.

She’s pretty fabulous from the back.

I had to wait until March to see her again. It was time for the fittings to begin. We went in late; after graduation and all the craziness of wedding showers and planning details and projects. I didn’t get fitted until probably late May/early June and I almost passed out during the fitting. This is why we eat before we go to fittings. I went to my final fitting on my own just to make sure she fit me right and everything. She fit like a glove. By then it was almost July and I was so tired of wedding planning I just wanted to get it over with. The big fitting room is in the basement at the back of the shop and as I was walking back out through to the front after my final fitting a dress in the row of bridal samples lining the wall caught my eye. I stopped. Oh no, was I having dress envy? Did I like this dress better than my own? So close to my wedding? I had to look at it, reassure myself that this pretty dress wasn’t as nice as my dress. I pulled it out a little, just to see what the front was like and there was the tag: Bronwyn by Maggie Sottero. I still loved her after all.


We added a purple sash to match my girls’ dresses. Those we did get at David’s Bridal. Bronwyn has lived in my parents’ basement for the past year and has finally been liberated for the use in today’s photo shoot. After this she’ll finally be sent to the cleaners, hopefully, and packaged up to be put away somewhere safe and sound. I love the idea that she’ll be just as beautiful in twenty-some years, perhaps when my own daughters are ready to marry, if any should exist. I would love to pass my Bronwyn down to future generations, but I realize she might not be for them. And that’s okay. She was perfect for me and that’s all that matters.

Check out her lace.

Check out her lace.

Keyhole back!

Keyhole back and bustled.

My bow was a little floppy by the end of it, but she still looks good!

My bow was a little floppy by the end of it, but she still looks good!


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