WEDDING DRESS ALTERNATIVE | A stylish way to stay sexy without baring it all… {Plus, Mr. McPuppyPants.}

So, have you heard the news?  A recent study shows that alcohol *improves* memory.  Yeah.  This was beyond shocking to me, and has probably single-handedly placed in the doghouse approx. 100,000 boyfriends who lied about last night to their girlfriends.  P.S. – I have a pretty terrible memory which I’ve always wanted to improve… so, uhh… if you see any questionable spelling or syntax on this here bloggity going forward… please just look past it.  I think I’m going to do a little personal testing of these findings.  Fortunately for me, honey bought me some Arbor Mist last week that’s been just sitting there unopened, begging to be touched…

Alright, now that I’ve sufficiently Kathie-Lee’ified this post, I’m going to get to the matter at hand.  Wedding gowns.  And I think you guys know that I love me some strapless wedding gowns.  Ooooh-WHEEE do I love ‘em.  Can’t get enough.  There are so many gorgeous ones out there, and I fall in love every day with a brand new strapless style.  What designers are coming out with today is just, it’s just… they’re beyond.  BEYOND.


I’m quite certain that there are more than a few ladies out there who, for whatever reason, would rather rock a frock that doesn’t show off each and every asset they’ve got.  Sometimes you just want a little coverage, especially when it comes to your arms.  (Lots of ladies would love to get a little arm coverage in their gowns, but worry that adding sleeves would ruin the overall look of the dress itself.)  And let’s be real; in general, a strapless figure-hugging *white* gown is not necessarily the easiest thing to look amazeballs in, right?  But wait – you HAVE to look amazeballs on your wedding day.  Not because it’s a pre-requisite for marriage or anything, but because who doesn’t want to look AMAZEBALLS on their WEDDING DAY?  And strapless gowns are not for everyone.

Or maybe you’re just dying to achieve a unique, chic look that no one else has rocked.  And you like your sexy in regal, understated doses.


First off, thank you Amelia Lyon for bringing the world such fabulous imagery.  You know I love you, and love featuring your weddings (like this pre-redesign masterpiece, par example – which I totes still need to get around to resizing, oy), but I just have to state here, clearly, to the masses, that you and Justin rock the cashbah.

As for the gown itself, Melissa Blackburn is the talented young lady who created that magnificent work of art, and I swear, if she didn’t live all the way out in Provo, Utah, I’d be all up in her face asking her to make each and every dress I ever wear ever again anywhere.

Because I adore. adore. adore. this gown.  It’s quite possibly my favorite gown of the year.  The fabric (silk), the jewels, the fit, the sleeves, the neckline, the fullness, the everything.  There isn’t one thing I don’t love about it.  I’m *this close* to making one of Amelia’s images of Heidi and Jeff’s wedding day the background on my comp.  I am in love.

This gown is not only gorgeous, it’s the brainchild of both creator and bride!  Heidi had the fabulous idea to infuse gaudy J.Crew jewelry into the design of the blingin’ neckline.  Magical results, if you ask me.  I spent a good 30 minutes checking ebay for some of those jewels after I read that.

And now, because you asked for it (seriously, you guys are creating a monster)…

I’ve hired a new assistant.

I work him to the bone and have to keep him caffeinated.  He’s a puppy so he’s been falling asleep on the job like every 5 minutes.  Honestly I don’t know why he even applied for this internship.  He lives on the contents of that Dave & Busters coffee mug, and still can’t stop turning around to lick this, or lick that, or nuzzle me, or worse, aim for my nip.  Yes, he does that.  It is *very awkward* to experience, and makes me feel dirty.  Honestly I hate it.  Thank goodness I have you guys to ask if it’s normal, and thank goodness many of you said yes.  Otherwise I think I’d be going to therapy for it.

(By the way, I have no idea how he types with those long nails of his (not pictured).  He should really cut them to a more manageable length.  How does anyone type with crazy long nails???)

Now, of course, I’m a tyrant in the office, but I fall to pieces when he pulls one o’ these…

Sigh.  Go ahead, nap all you want.  You really know how to manipulate me, don’t you, Nameless McPuppyPants.  (YES, STILL UNNAMED!  WTF, US?)

Back to the matter at hand: what do you guys think of Melissa’s work?  And what are your thoughts on non-strapless wedding gowns?  Would you consider wearing a gown like this one on your wedding day?

xoxo!  - Alison

Photography: Amelia Lyon / Custom gown: Melissa Blackburn

Label(s): Color, Mr. McPuppyPants, White, {Fashion}

Love all of this...


  1. Lily on April 14, 2011

    LOVE the gown – I think it’s super classy. The jewels on that flattering neckline spruce it up a little but don’t overdo it. And who doesn’t like pockets?!

  2. Sarah ( A Paper Proposal ) on April 14, 2011

    LOVE that dress. So sophisticated and timeless…there’s no chance she’ll be looking back at her wedding photos in 20 years wondering who talked her into wearing that gown. But like anything else this beautiful, not everyone can pull it off the way Heidi does!

  3. Lauren Elise on April 14, 2011

    This gown is gorgeous and like Sarah said, super classy and timeless. If sleeves are done right, they can be magnificent and this is one of those cases. The pupster is so freakin’ cute! Love him!

  4. J (SparklyLove) on April 14, 2011

    I think the gown is elegant and stylish and amazing! Plus, hello, pockets. AND it looks perfect on the beach and off (not easy to accomplish)!

    ps. Mr. McPuppyPants looks like the best assistant ever! Those ears get me every time!

  5. Lindsay on April 14, 2011

    I love non-strapless gowns. In fact, I was so frustrated with my recent gown search at how few (and how few are attractive) have sleeves, that I bought a strapless and am ADDING sheer sleeves to it. Not ideal, but I just don’t like strapless. Sigh, wish I had seen this dress and knew about Melissa’s designs!!!

  6. Alicia@CharityWedding on April 14, 2011

    I LOVE the pup! So cute and the dress. But what I need to address is Arbor Mist, the modern day Boone’s Farm only a mere wee step above a box of white zin. And that is only because it comes in bottle. Please leave that unopened and get yourself some real wine. (That means it is RED or WHITE- not pink.) I’d rather see you drinking straight from a bottle of vodka in all honesty. You’ll thank me later when your new improved memory won’t let you forget that awful mist hangover.

  7. jacin {lovely little details} on April 14, 2011

    whoa that dress is gorgeous and timeless and classic and something her daughter can wear. sidenote, i wore my mother’s gown, but to the rehearsal, and we had it turned in to a cocktail dress. so i’m kind of all about that kind of tradition.

  8. Tessa on April 14, 2011

    Love Melissa’s work! That gown is absolutely gorg! And your assistant is freaking adorable….

  9. Emily A. on April 14, 2011

    sleeves = YES!

    this dress is gorgeous. and i want to look like grace kelly on my wedding day. and she had beautiful lace sleeves.


  10. lizzie on April 14, 2011

    adorable. ADORABLE. new assistant. is he available or what…cuz I’d like to…you know…take him out to dinner…or something…unless he’s taken.

    that dress is bananas

  11. Meliza on April 14, 2011

    Sleeves is a yes! for me too. Well, depends on the sleeve. This dress is pretty amazing.

    I have found the boutique where I want to get my dress from but I have yet to choose the dress. One of the dresses I’m debating happens to have sleeves!

    Check it:

    I heart it so!

    All of the dresses are short (which is what I want!) but they can totally customize any dress if you’re looking for longer lengths too! And they’re affordable!

  12. Keri on April 14, 2011

    omg your new assistant is adorable :)

  13. Koru Kate on April 14, 2011

    OMG that face . . . that sweet, sweet face! How do you get any work done?! I was all about the gorgeous wedding gown & I completely forget everything when I saw those big eyes & wrinkly face. Enjoy his puppyhood!!!

  14. Marie @ Emici Bridal on April 14, 2011

    Gown is gorgeous!

  15. paloma on April 14, 2011

    this gown is definitely paloma and mcpuppypants approved *stamp*

  16. Lena on April 14, 2011

    That gown in HEAVEN. It’s so chic and stunning, and Melissa is a genius for bringing seriously gorgeous gowns to a whole population of girls who are sure to be looking for a good sleeve (hell, I have no obligation to wear a sleeve and I’m seriously drooling over this sucker).

    Your intern, on the other hand, seems to be drooling on you…John and I had a similar experience cat-sitting a very young kitten, but he preferred John-talk about awkward.

  17. Jennifer on April 14, 2011

    Love the gown…

    I don’t know if this has been suggested but I think your puppy’s name is Mr. McPuppypants :-) and I think it’s an adorable name…and puppy

  18. Meg on April 14, 2011

    The dress is gorgeous…

    And I suggest the name Nigel, he is so adorable <3

  19. Samantha S. on April 15, 2011

    this gown is so stunning! i would wear this dress on my day!

    while i love strapless gowns, i wish there were more dresses like the one above in the market. i think that non-strapless gowns can be just as flattering, if not more so, than the standard cookie-cutter gowns on the market.

    and your puppy is adorable! i have a friend who has a french bulldog named Leroy.

    if you’re going for french names, i personally like:

    * Archer (archie for short)
    * Beniot (benny for short)
    * Francis (frankie for short)
    * Pierre

    either way, that is one cute pooch!

  20. Madison on April 15, 2011

    a wedding blog with a cute puppy in it, im in uber jealous heaven

  21. Annie on April 15, 2011

    It’s so unfortunate that women feel so limited to strapless gowns for their wedding day, whether by society or by what’s available, because let’s be honest, it’s not a flattering style on the majority of women. Plus who wants to worry about dancing so hard that the girls fall out? I myself am planning on going against the grain and sporting straps on my big day. *gasp*

  22. Stephanie @rhinspirations on April 15, 2011

    Totally agree, the jewels on this dress are beautiful.

  23. Brancoprata on April 15, 2011

    OMG your new assistant OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!

  24. grace @ wedding favors on April 16, 2011

    Awwwww, your pups is soooo cute! :D Look at that, there is no way you’ll ever fire him as your assitant, lol! Anyway, that dress is ahh-mazing. Period. If some brides will be uncomfortable with strapless wedding gowns, that will the perfect design. It’s very pretty! :)

  25. Prosklitiria Giota on April 17, 2011

    This dress is everlasting, she can give it to her daughter after 30 years to wear it in her own wedding.

  26. Kate/MagnoliaRouge on April 24, 2011

    Absolutely LOVE this dress…. the bride looks A-MAZ-ING!!!


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