Thursday, February 25, 2010

dress distress

I'm just going to come out and say it: I don't have the perfect wedding dress. Hell, I don't even have a wedding dress. I have a bridesmaid dress that was ordered in ivory *insert shocks of horror from the wedding industry here*.

Let's review, shall we? I don't have the perfect dress. It's not a wedding gown. It's probably not the most glamorous thing I'll ever wear. It's not going to be a focal point. People won't start crying when I walk into the room because my dress is just so perfect.

Oh man, my whole wedding's ruined. It's the end of the world. I need to go out shopping immediately to find "the one", right?

Ah, hell no. I don't have the one and I probably never will. You know what I do have? An amazing fiancee and a lifetime commitment ahead of me. I will have a marriage, not just a wedding. Can he be my "the one"?

Having said that, when it came to dress shopping, I was not above feeling the pressure of the wedding industry to find "the one". Maybe it had something to do with my addiction to Say Yes to the Dress or the fact that for the first 6 months of our engagement, I was a The Knot junkie. Wanna know how many articles on The Knot are devoted to bride attire and finding the perfect dress? No less than 78 if my math is right. Actually, it's probably more because after 78, I got sick of looking and gave up after coming to the conclusion that the world will someday implode upon itself.

In spite of this ridiculousness, I, like A Mountain Bride, find myself doubting my choice. In my desire to fit in and feel accepted by the wedding industry: I often wonder whether or not I should have gone for something more elaborate than my strapless, empire waist chiffon number in favor of something more grand and sparkly. I wonder whether or not I should have given in and spent more than $300 because after all, it is our wedding.

And then I've had the opposite kind of dress doubt where I think I've been adhering to the standards of the wedding industry too much: why did I pick a white dress? A pattern would be much more unique. Floor length, what was I thinking? It should be short! $300 for a dress that I'll only wear once? Have I totally lost my mind?

Yeah, welcome to my head. Get out while you can.

At the end of the day though, I know I did the right thing. I walked into the bridal salon knowing I didn't want the average $1,200 wedding gown. And it took trying on 3 of those before I snapped out of it and tried on bridesmaid dresses instead. I thought maybe something a little more glam would be better, but I eventually went back to flowey and comfortable.

The wedding industry told me dress shopping should be an event of epic proportions where I surround myself with my 176,362 closest relatives and shove them all into a bridal salon. The reality? I had basically made up my mind the first time with only my mom there and purchased the dress the second time with only my mother and sister in attendance.

Were people thrilled with that? Um, no. Friends were shocked that I'd done it basically on my own. Mr. FP's mother felt slighted that I didn't invite her to help me pick it out. Do I care? No. Because I never wanted their opinion. As mean as it sounds, I just didn't. Because I am the kind of person who will initially be influenced by the opinion of others only to realize later that I've made the wrong choice because I based my choices on their opinions, not my own. Honestly, if Say Yes to the Dress has taught me anything, it's that brides shouldn't take more than 1 or 2 people dress shopping with them. Because too many opinions = stress for the bride.

In the end, I made the right choices for me. They're not for everybody. Some brides will have to have the glam, sparkly dress in order to be happy. But that's just not me. My glam will come with accessories. As you can plainly see here. And no, The Knot, I don't need your help picking out those. I've got it covered.


Vee said...

Each time I went dress shopping, I only took one person with me. And even one person influenced me so much that I couldn't see what I really wanted. I found my "one" when I finally went shopping alone. It was a far superior experience for me. LOL!

Bicoastal Bride said...

I can relate, since I’ve also had major doubts about my gown and have been debating whether to go with another one or stick with my original. I agree that there’s just so much pressure to find the “perfect” dress, especially since you only get to choose one.

Courtnee said...

my family is horrified that i bought a used dress online...oh no!!! i knew the dress i loved was waaay out of my budget so i bought it preloved from another bride and got an amazing deal. my mom and mother-in-law to be are a bit disappointed i denied them the "bridal" thing but they'll get over it.

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love my dress that I bought preowned online. And still had doubts about it. It took my girls to slap me around and tell me to stop being a pansy and that I am broke anyway.

sera said...

Oh girl, you have got it figured out!! I'm still having dress uncertainty and I got married five months ago. there is no perfect dress. not at $300, $3000 or $30,000. I wish I had learned that lesson before my wedding. i totally agree that it's all about the accessories. looking closely at most of the wedding gowns out there, they are completed by details that can be added to a plain dress. and that collection you pointed to earlier, yeah gorgeous!!

sera said...

and, I totally love that wedding dress cake image.

Miss C said...

It is hard. I KNOW that I need to have a simple, flowey dress. It just won't make sense in the potentially harsh Australian Summer to have anything else. But it is hard to convince myself of that when I see the beautiful, intricate dresses in the stores.

Cupcake Wedding said...

I went dress shopping by myself. I am picky and I would have felt bad dragging a friend to 20 different shops as I did. Do you. That's all that matters.

jessica lynn said...

! thanks so much for your comment on my have such a cute one! :)

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