As a little girl, I used to imagine that perfect “say yes to the dress” moment. The room would be full of the ladies I loved and I would radiate happiness.
Then I grew up.
When I got engaged there were so many aspects of the wedding I couldn’t wait for: securing the perfect venue, menu tastings, dance lessons, etc. The one thing I could do without…dress shopping. Now I realize many people cannot relate to this feeling, but I know there must be a few that do!
This “outing” gives me a headache just to think about. Now, please keep in mind I LOVE shopping. My closet is busting at the seams and I can’t pass up a Saturday at the mall. To me, wedding-dress shopping isn’t really shopping. It is a monumentally public affair with a lot of pressure.
As much as I wanted to go by myself, I didn’t want to selfishly deny my mother this memory. (Though, she does have four other daughters to make memories with.)
I tried to follow Randy’s advice. I kept my entourage small and invited only close relatives (mom and two sisters). We had a glass of wine before we left in order to loosen my nerves. I’m not sure why I was so worked up. I knew what style I wanted and I have a pretty good sense of what looks good on me. I was armed with inspiration pictures. I think it was just such a buildup. My family had flown down to Florida for this specific purpose, and I didn’t want to disappoint. I didn’t want to schmooze with the saleswoman, and I certainly DID NOT want to have to walk out in public where strangers would see my in my dress before I could swing the dang thing around to get a look in the mirror.
As you probably expected, after rocking such a negative attitude, my first dress-shopping experience was a complete mess. I did not find a dress that had any potential and felt really uncomfortable the whole time. By the end I was sweaty, covered in hives, and couldn’t wait to be back in the car.
The ladies forced strongly encouraged me to check out one more store, and to make a long story short…this was even worse.
The week before we went shopping, I looked for any and all tips about how to make this a better experience, but the only things I could really find were overall tips like wear proper undergarments and stay well fed. I thought I would work on a list for brides-to-be like me.
How to make wedding-dress shopping a little less painful:
- Do not go on a Saturday. This is when shops are most crowded. I went after work on a Tuesday night, and I had the whole place to myself. This will allow for better privacy and will allow you to focus on yourself, not on all the other people.
- Speak up. Be open to your consultant’s recommendations, but articulate your own vision. This is your moment and it is your dress. Don’t fake enthusiasm or try to talk yourself into a dress (almost happened to me).
- Schedule a fun activity after the shopping trip (preferably one that involves wine). I can’t imagine having to drive right home after such a frustrating shopping trip. Thankfully, the ladies and I went out for drinks to blow off some stream and relax.
- When all else fails, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and remember that stud muffin that made you want to put on a white dress in the first place!!
Ultimately, I found my perfect dress and I am madly in love with it (more on that later)! If I can make it happen, you can too! Was anyone else dreading this experience as much as I was?