6 Steps to Finding My Dream Dress

erika grace powell--6 steps to finding my dream dress

Life is all about fusion. Why should a wedding dress be any different?

noun: fusion; plural noun: fusions
1. the process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity.
synonyms: blend, blending, combination, amalgamation, joining, union, marrying,
bonding, merging, melding, mingling, integration, intermixture, intermingling,
synthesis; coalescence

Erika Powell-6 Steps to Finding My Dream Dress
PHOTO: Erika Grace Powell

Hi, my name is Erika Grace Powell, and I wear many hats (I’ve never worn a veil tho!)

I guess this is where this blog post really begins…the journey to finding my dream wedding dress!

I have very diverse friend groups, life interests, skills, hobbies, resume, tastes, and styles.

I’m edgy and unconventional, but timeless and classic all at the same time. It’s risky, rare, but really doable!

I thought long and hard about the perfect word that would represent this time in my life and I came up with fusion!

How appropriate, right?! I mean it’s the “MARRYING, UNION, and JOINING” of separate parts! Just like a real marriage. Which I’m so super excited to say is right around the corner for me! 2.19.17 is coming up fast and this handsome man wants to do LIFE with ME!!!

erika grace powell-6 Steps to Finding My Dream Dress
PHOTO: Erika Grace Powell

How should this journey of finding my dream dress be any different than the journey of living my dream life?

That is the question that led me down a unique path to finding “my dress.”

The pairing of perfect parts representing YOU the best will create the most balanced, blended, and bridal moment OF. YOUR. LIFE!!!

It’s not about saying,“Yes to the DRESS,” it’s about the dress saying, “YASSS GIRL, THIS IS SO YOU!!!”

To help you on your journey, I came up with the following 6 steps (in my personal order of importance).


~ Decide how much you will spend.

*Don’t be afraid of Ballin’ on a Budget! Be BOLD. Be YOU!

I’m a notorious thrifter. I alway have a story about a deal! Why would wedding dress shopping be any less “ME?”

Don’t lose yourself in the “bridal bouquet” of decisions.

Deals, steals, and discounts are my thing. Soooooo… I shopped on a clearance rack for my Jimmy Choo shoes.

And… I tackled the sample rack at Olia Zavozina for the bare bones of my dress so that I had the room to splurge on the custom, unique, and couture portions of my bridal look like only Olia can deliver!


~ Dress for your SHAPE, not your size!

* Your shape will not change… your SIZE may.

I think this is a HUGE misconception–especially among women.

If you’re a pear, or an apple, or an hourglass, or a boyish shape (straight), you will more than likely gain and lose weight down your body not creating a different or new shape, but a new size.

I didn’t care how “IN” mermaid skirts got… that was NOT what would highlight my hips in the best way or what would make me most comfortable on the biggest day of my life! No one is going to say, “Oh wow, she really didn’t take to the mermaid cut… that’s a shame.”

They’re going to say, “Wow, that’s so ERIKA!” I look and feel best when I dress in the best shape for ME–not a mermaid (in this case!)


~ Here today. Gone tomorrow.

* I believe items should have multiple uses and purposes. Why should my style be any different?

I always ask myself two questions when I shop for home decor, do I LOVE it and does it have two places to function in my home?

I asked myself those same questions about my dress (probably while seated in a crossed leg position on the floor in front of one of Olia’s large mirrors… you know, just to be sure the dress was totally comfortable!)


Because I chose something classic and comfortable in my dress structure, I had the room to create something really couture in one of Olia’s signature boleros! This met my goal and I am THRILLED that 1/2 of my wedding dress will be able to be worn /seen /enjoyed again because I chose to go with a designer like Olia who loves the layering and blending of textures in designs.

Seeing your creativity come to life is a thrill for her and the OZ team! They are there to help guide you along the way with the perfect combinations of fabrics and styles. Don’t be afraid to throw out some BIG ideas!


~ TREND is TEMPORARY… and easy. Try a little harder… BE TIMELESS. You can do it!

* Create moments of fusion that will last through the decades!

I thought of this a lot while I was creating my dress. If a black and white snapshot of my day were captured and framed and found 50 years from now, could people guess in what decade I got married?

I adore Former President JFK & Jackie Kennedy! Their era, style, and influence is still a referenced guide today because it’s timeless.

Kennedy or Kardashian… it’s your choice; and guess what, people will remember.

erika grace powell--6 steps to finding my dream dress
PHOTO: Public Domain

5. Bravery

~ Do one thing in every outfit that scares you – including your wedding day! (At least this was my theme.)

* The thing you may debate over in front of the mirror is your IT! Let it stay!

For your wedding dress, it could be a statement piece of jewelry, lace or beadwork, a belt, pop of color, unique pattern, or intricate neckline.

If you’re not predictable, then don’t pick the dress you’ve seen before because it feels “safe.” It’s been done and it wasn’t your idea!

Go where you haven’t gone before! You only get one day to be a bride for the first time… make it count!


~Don’t be a cookie cutter!

*The one reason I even looked at bridal magazines or Pinterest was to be sure I wasn’t doing what everyone else was.

Not taking everyone else’s hard work and ideas and calling them my own! That’s like writing down someone else’s answers to an essay test!

It’s not your journey! Now don’t get me wrong, I love some good inspiration, but I pride myself on making wise decisions every day.

I did not want a magazine to take away these once in a lifetime decisions when I was primed and ready to make them on my own!

This is why I LOVED working with the OZ team. I could think of something to add or take away from my dress and it wasn’t “wrong,”

it was unique, couture, creative, and totally my own!

So get out there and make your own kind of dream happen. Hopefully,  you’ll find that in the form of a dress at Olia Zavozina!

Enjoy the journey! #BeYOUtiful

xoxo – Erika Grace Powell

(soon to be… Mrs. Faerber)

About the author: Erika Grace Powell is a singer, actor, host, and model. She is one of only two women to win both Miss South Carolina (2005) and Miss South Carolina USA (2012). Find out more about her at her website here.

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