Brides, you might want to sit down, because what I have to tell you is probably going to make you feel queasy.
I need you to shut up about finding THE DRESS.
I know that movies, magazines, TV shows, and even blogs place a lot of emphasis on finding and wearing THE DRESS, that dress that looks and feels like it was meant just for you, the dress that makes you feel like a princess. Well, that is manufactured advertising and you live in reality. And in reality, emotions are weird and unpredictable.
I totally get why brides feel this way. There’s a lot of pressure out there about how special THE DRESS is, and how you’re going to look at these pictures forever, and your partner is going to cry when they see you in it for the first time, and blah blah blah. Hey – I totally fell for it, too, and tried on around 60 gowns because I kept waiting for that feeling of “this is the one” that television and magazines convinced me I should feel. But some brides just won’t have that “moment,’ and it’s important to know that this is okay. I totally still was able to get married without having that teary moment at the bridal salon in front of all my female friends and family members.
If you’re struggling with gown shopping, I’ve compiled a few tips that helped me and hopefully they will help you as well.
- Shop for your wedding gown alone. I know that your mom, and your partner’s mom, and all your friends are going to expect to come with you when you try on bridal gowns for the first time. And that’s fine – let them. But then go back and try on those gowns again, or go to another shop alone, where you will be able to shop uninfluenced by others’ (sometimes super snarky and rude) opinions.
- Don’t judge a dress by its advertisement. Unless you’re a model size 0. Sure, that slinky silk gown is pretty in the magazine, but it takes a very specific body type to make it look good. It’s okay to browse magazines and blogs to get an idea of what dress styles you like, but also keep an open mind when you’re out shopping. And don’t rule anything out because you don’t like how it looks on the hanger. It might look completely different when you try it on!
- Think outside the bridal salon. Bridal salons can be scary places, with scary price tags and scary employees who want to sell you on this dream of finding THE DRESS. There are lots of pretty white dresses in the world, and there’s no rule that states you have to buy your bridal gown from a bridal shop. Avoid the markup and the drama by looking at department stores, vintage shops, and online sources.