Weddings: Saying yes to the dress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

You know that moment on all those bridal shows where the bride tries on a dress, and her entire family gasped, and she gets all teary-eyed and whispers, “YES!” when the consultant asks her if that is the one perfect wedding dress? And then they all cheer and she spins around and around in delightful pre-wedded bliss?

Yeah…that’s not how it happened for me.

I would describe myself as a t-shirt and jeans girl. When I do dress up, I usually wear black clothing because it’s just easier to coordinate. Most of my clothing is black, white, or gray. I own more flat shoes than heels. Fashion isn’t something that I am “good” at nor is it something that I really care about. Sometimes I wish I was more into it, but I am who I am. I went into dress shopping thinking that since I don’t normally wear fancy stuff, that once I tried the dress on I would have an a-ha moment and cry emotionally twirling around while my consultant rang a bell in the background.

The first consultant I had led me to believe that every girl has the moment when they realize they have on “their” dress. But he was terrible. He didn’t pay enough attention to me to actually know what type of dress I even wanted. I showed him the dresses I had picked out on their website and he told me all of them were either unavailable or discontinued, so my bridesmaids, mother and I were forced to rifle through hundreds of dresses to find ones that fit my style. It took nearly an hour to get a fitting room. He didn’t help me get my dresses on, didn’t find any accessories for me, and we barely saw him for the entire appointment. It’s no wonder I didn’t find my dress there.

I was feeling like a failure. I didn’t like the way any of the dresses looked on me. Most of them were over my price range. The consultant didn’t even try to help me. I left feeling dejected like there was something wrong with me.

My second appointment went much better. The consultant I had assured me that not every girl has that “it” moment, which made me feel a lot better. But I still tried on what felt like a million gowns. With each one my discouragement grew. It wasn’t even that I didn’t like the gowns, it was that I felt totally indifferent to each of them. Even when my family and friends told me the dress I had on was beautiful and made me look great, I still remained unconvinced.

It wasn’t until the last dress that I realized that it could possibly be “the one.” I liked the way it looked and the way it felt. It made my waist look smaller which is always a plus, and I felt like it was something my fiancé would like to see me in. It was the first dress where I actually smiled while wearing it, and I wanted to leave it on for longer so I could see it from all angles. The consultant asked me, “Is this your dress?” and I said “I think so!” There were no tears or hysterical laughing, but then again, I’m not that kind of girl either.