A Free Dress for the Diva

Once upon a time, before the invention of Pinterest, an excited young bride was browsing AlfredAngelo.com for the perfect wedding dress. While drooling over the gorgeous ballgowns, something shiny caught her eye... the Alfred Angelo Wedding Dress Diva Contest! Although she'd submitted to several black holes of statistically-impossible-to-win contests before, a video contest was different — this she had a chance at! With the help of a few friends, her fiancé, and her family, this creative gal was off to win herself a prize fit for a queen!  

In case you haven't already guessed, this young bride was ME! After all, I promised you last week that in honor of my anniversary month, I'd be posting tips, tricks and photos from my wedding throughout the month of March.

Now I'm typically a pretty humble lady, but this video was my pride and joy for a period of time. Having made myself the "most interesting woman in the world," playing off of the Dos Equis commercials, I was a mini-celebrity! I would run into random people around town who had seen the video... my 5th-grade boyfriend's mom, high school students from my church (whom I'd never met before), my brother-in-law's parents — I was so blessed to have so many people voting for me!

Oh the suspense in the weeks to follow the contest... did I win, did I not win?! I was sitting at work when the phone rang. My coworkers knew exactly what was going on when I suddenly jumped up and screamed "I won! I won!" Besides a few coloring contests when I was 5, I had never won anything significant before! Now here I was planning my wedding and I had just won a crazy prize package: my wedding dress, four bridesmaid dresses, a tiara, and an epic engagement photoshoot complete with fancy hair/makeup, a limo and dinner! Someone please pinch me!

By now I'm sure you're thinking, just show the video already! So click play below, then make sure to scroll down to see photos of my gorgeous FREE wedding dress and engagement photoshoot!!!

What did you think? I'm not typically such a diva, but desperate times call for desperate measures (and it was nice putting all those old sorority formal dresses to use)! Besides when the goats tried to eat my dress, the video was really fun to make! But the real fun came when I got to claim my prize package!

First I went wedding dress shopping at Alfred Angelo with some of my bridesmaids! I was originally seeking a simple A-line dress, but since I could choose ANY dress in the whole store for FREE, I knew I needed a dress fit for a diva — a big, poofy ballgown! I felt like a princess in all those layers! My bridesmaids chose a beautiful long gown, and after falling in love with the burgundy color, I changed my whole wedding theme to match!

For the engagement photoshoot, a professional stylist from Miami came up to do my hair and makeup! Then the photographers from Reign 7 Photography drove over from Tampa just for the shoot! To top it off, a limo then picked us up and took us to dinner at Wahoo's on the river! Wow, we were spoiled! 

Here's the big dress on my big day! I had a triple-layered hoop skirt underneath to hold up the poof (which of course came off for dancing). I love my diva dress and am so thankful for the people who made it possible!

Know of any contests to win free wedding stuff? Have you won anything sweet before? Let us know in the comments below!