The day you’ve been dreaming of since you were little is finally here: you’re going wedding dress shopping! Several episodes at Kleinfeld, Mia’s Princess Diaries transition, and everyone’s stories have prepared you for this day. You’ll pop the champagne, try on 27 dresses, bawl hysterically when you find “the one,” and feel nothing but magic.
You can’t wait to share this experience with your closest friends and family. You’ve been Pinning dresses for years, and you just know you’ll look as lovely as Mia, Princess of Genovia.
First, you find the store you like best by stalking their Facebook, browsing their website, and analyzing their reviews. You call them to schedule your appointment, then let your entourage know that
While you wait for the big day to arrive, you become a gangster wedding dress investigator. You analyze every seam, every fabric, every stitch. Basically, you could design your dress – move over Vera Wang; you’re not that special. Finally, in the Instagram tags, Facebook pictures, or on the website, you find the one that was meant for you! You send a screenshot to everyone who is coming and happily go to bed hugging your phone as it shines the picture for the world to see.
Now, the day is here! You wake up feeling like it’s Christmas, then plaster on a full-face of makeup, hike up the Spanx, drench on the perfume, and prepare to have the best day! Bring on all the mimosas! (Unless you’re like me, and you’re not 21!)
Next, you’ll pull-up to the bridal store ready to show your consultant precisely what you want. They smile blissfully and tell you they’ll find it! They encourage you and your party to pick out a few dresses and inform you that they will also be grabbing a few change-ups.
All the dresses are selected, and you walk to the back prepared to experience your Cinderella moment. Your eyes fall on the one you’ve stared at through a screen. Your consultant sees this, smiles, and tells you that you’ll try a random one first.
You step in your first ever wedding gown, and you hate it. Not because it is hideous, but because it isn’t the dress you’ve been trying to Photoshop onto yourself in pictures.
You walk out to the stage to show your friends and family. They can tell you aren’t a fan and agree; it’s not the one. You walk back eager to step into the dress of your dreams. The dressing room curtain closes, you step out of the first gown, and your consultants’ hand appears holding the dress.
The consultant comes in to zip and clip the dress to fit correctly, all while you attempt to catch a glimpse in the mirror. She guides you out to your crowd as their heads turn to sneak a peek. Finally, you’re standing in front of them anxiously awaiting to turn towards the mirrors. Their faces are shouting that they adore this dress. Your heart beats even harder as you turn to see yourself!
As you face the mirror, you get a look at the dress that you cannot believe you loved! Like what is this? Not your wedding dress! Good gosh, this is terrible. How much wine have you been drinking lately? Did you accidentally mix it with some NyQuil?
What possessed you to think this horrific piece of clothing – freaking Vera Wang, you knew you could do better than her! – was the piece of clothing you should wear on your wedding day! Were you confused and thought this wedding was a what-not-to-do wedding in preparation for your next one?
Utter disappointment settles on your face as you turn to talk to your company. Their eyes meet yours as you wonder why they’d look happy you have this on your body. “Well, this is not it.” you profess. Shocked, some of them oppose while others nod. Then, you bunch up the bottom and walk to the dressing rooms to promptly take it off. Now, you’ll have to open your mind to other possibilities – you could be here all day.
Maybe you’re like me and go into the dressing room to jump out of the dress. Yes, it was that large! I went in with my heart set on this satin-looking, classic white ballgown. I wanted to pair it with elbow gloves, a high bun, and some white booties. Basically, I came in wanting to be Audrey Hepburn, and left with one that has brought out the local Barb’s.
Here’s a partial picture of the dress that was in my camera roll for months. (Not going to show the top because this dress was too big, and it had mesh around the chest area. When I walked out, my grandma exclaimed, “Chloe I love your boobs, but no one needs to see them!”) Even by this clip, it’s obvious this dress is stunning – but it’s not for me. It weighed more than Beasley, and that dog pushes my lifting limits. I’d be severly sore halfway into the day wearing this! Plus, the dress stands on its own. What if I had an “it’s happening” moment? Surely, I wouldn’t be able to squat in that.
After you take off the dress you expected to buy, you start trying on others. Some look good, and some don’t. Your loved ones try to convince you to buy some while gagging at others.
Eventually, you walk out and see the dress in the mirror. Wow. You think this might be your Anne Hathaway moment. This, this is the one. You become elated and point out a specific veil. The consultant skips over to the rack, grabs it, and sticks it in your hair.
The smile can’t be contained. There’s no hysterical crying, only pure joy. This, this is the dress you’ll marry your best friend in. Everyone is celebrating with you – you’re getting married! In this beautiful gown! Designed by Vera Wang, what a prodigy!
You forget the price tag and exclaim, “I’ll take it all!”
After you buy the dress, you wonder,
“So, like, now what?”
Let me give you a piece of advice that I found the hard way – do not show other friends and family. Not because you want to keep it a surprise, but because they will literally tell you they don’t like it. The first time it happened, I was stunned. The second time, I swiftly erased all pictures from my albums, including “Recently Deleted.”
I’m not going to lie and say those comments didn’t hurt me and cause me to rethink my decision, but I will say that I wish I could even be half that honest! Someone could show me a red velvet curtain that they super glued pillow feathers to, masking-taped a belt around, and stapled denim sleeves on, and I would still tell them it was beautiful if that’s what they wanted. Maybe, maybe my dress is worse than that! Just kidding, it’s not. Those were just Barb moves – ugh, as if you needed that!
This blog may be bursting with sarcasm, but seriously, embrace the experience. Bring people who will lift you up! Come with an open mind because what you like on will be different than what you like in pictures. Don’t settle on a dress – it’s okay to go to more than one store! Chug the mimosas, evaluate every detail as intently as you did online, and enjoy the experience. You’re a bride!! This life-stage is what you’ve been waiting for your whole life, so don’t be afraid to take your time and soak it all in.
As long as you love the dress, and you’re comfortable in it, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You’ll look like a bombshell!
This blog is dedicated to my mom, Amanda, and my future mother-in-law, Jonelle. Thank you both for making me feel so beautiful, and for helping me enjoy this entire experience. You are both women I aspire to be like, and I cannot wait for January 8th, 2022, to come so our families officially become one!