I’ve been putting off wedding dress shopping.
I’ve picked out the flower girl’s dresses, my bridesmaids attire, my dad, My Someone’s dad and the groomsmen’s tuxes, the ushers outfits and even My Someone’s wedding attire, but in every way possible I’ve been avoiding trying on a wedding dress.
My sister was the opposite, the weekend after she got engaged, she went shopping with a clear picture of exactly what she wanted, tried it on, fell in love, mom cried, they bought it, end of story. Oh, and let me add she had 10 months till her wedding when her wedding gown was purchased.
Two years later, my time has come, and I couldn’t be more excited to walk down the aisle and say, “I do” to the man of my dreams, and for the most part, everything is coming together perfectly for that day. Except, my dress… Oh, and I’m currently four months out from the big day. Yep, four months.
“Just. Go. Try. Them. On. Already.” Everyone keep saying, but clothes shopping and I, don’t exactly have the greatest history.
Nevertheless, driving down Main Street in Middle-of-Corn, Kansas I spotted my dream dress in the window of a downtown bridal boutique. After a couple of weeks of slowly driving by and peering through the window to catch a glimpse of this dress, I worked up the courage to stop in after work.
It just so happened the dress was my size, and with shaking hands, I asked if I could try it on. I just knew this dress would be perfect and I’d have to bring my mom back later. Upon wiggling into to the mermaid cut, all lace and beaded V-neck dress with long flowing train, I left the dressing room to have someone zip me up. All was well, until she reached my rib cage.
I’m barrel-chested, so this has always been my problem with formal dresses. While a size 6 would fit me perfectly, no matter how thin I become, it’s not going to go over the ribs. Sure, I could’ve gone up a few sizes and had everywhere else altered, but looking in the mirror I realized it wasn’t just the zipper. Everything about this dress was wrong.
The dress completely swallowed me in some places and was too revealing in others. Despite the upper part not being able to zip, the waist was too baggy and too long… making it look like I was child trying to play dress up. The dress, itself, was already way too long, add in that it was seriously tight on my hips, it eliminated any chance of me dancing. Surveying North, all I could see was boobs, guaranteeing no one would ever notice my face in this number. Basically, I looked like a train-wreck Jessica Rabbit, in white. Not the look I was trying to achieve.
After reluctantly trying on a couple of other dresses, I accepted defeat and left the boutique. (<= That rhymed) All my fears of wedding dress shopping had come true. I didn’t feel like a bride, I didn’t even feel pretty.
In my dramatic aftermath, I swore off of food, texted My Someone to let him know I would be wearing a white burlap sack on our wedding day and drove to the gym to spend the next two hours working out. Yeah, I know.
So Saturday, when my David’s Bridal appointment rolled around, I didn’t have high hopes for the day. Armed with my mother and sister, I braved another round of looking like a can of busted biscuits.
Except, this experience was the polar opposite of my first experience. I’m not one to lean towards being a princess, BUT I definitely was treated like one. The consultants at the Joplin David’s Bridal had printed off all the dresses I had favorited online and pulled the ones they thought would flatter my figure, they handed me undergarments that made me feel straight up Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and left me to wait in the dressing room.
This may be strange, but my favorite part of the experience is that someone else put all the dresses on me. My first experience I felt all the pulling and tugging I was doing would ruin the dress, but I didn’t have to worry about that at David’s Bridal, I just stood there while they made the dress look how it was supposed to and laced me in.
My very own Scarlett O’Hara moment, and let me tell y’all, it was wonderful.
I ended up falling in love with 3 dresses. Yes, 3. I then narrowed it down to 2. One was a sassy high-low number, that, as stated by my mom and sister, “reflected my personality” and the other, which was exactly what I always imagined myself in.
I honestly had no idea which one to pick, then the manager came in the dressing room with me, since she wanted to lace one dress tighter to really show my curves. In the midst of our wedding small talk she asked me, “Of the two, which do you think your fiance would love the most.” As soon as she said that I knew exactly which dress was mine. She finished lacing me up, I walked out of the dressing room, looked in the mirror and said, “this is my dress.” My sister was excited, my mom became teary-eyed, the crew of David’s Bridal consultants I had as an audience cheered (I picked the one they were hoping) and I got to ring their traditional “you found your dress” bell.
So with that I want to say to David’s Bridal, thank you for making an experience I was dreading something wonderful, and for making me feel like a bride. And to other brides and future brides, no matter what your budget you deserve to be treated like a princess, Scarlett O’Hara or whatever your inner diva is, don’t settle for less.