The day that I bought my wedding dress was not the magical, special, fairytale day that all of the other blogger-brides seem to write about. I’m not sure where they went to buy their dresses, or why I’ve always imagined little birds fluttering around to lace up their corsets, or how it always seems that every bride develops this psychic-intuitive ability that enables her to “just know” when she’s found the right dress.
If you’ve ever read a blogger-bride’s post about the magical day when she found her wedding dress – they all seem to have one thing in common…. once she put that dress on – “it was all over. She just KNEW.”
She just knew. As if a little voice whispered in her ear: “This is the dress. Yay!”
I didn’t get a little voice. I got a loud voice in my bridal consultant who kept saying things like, “You look GORGEOUS, but do you want to try this one on again? Make sure you REALLY KNOW – you’ve got to REALLY FEEL IT. This is a BIG DECISION.”
I get it. I do. A lot of girls seem to have a spiritual connection to their wedding dress – they have an emotional reaction, they cry at bridal appointments, they somehow manage to “just know” when they’ve put on the right dress, the RIGHT dress –
And yet – here I was, standing there as a bride-to-be, in a wedding dress, not doing any of that. I wasn’t crying. There was no magical “this is the dress” moment. I wasn’t being emotional – not that I’m super emotional anyway, but I wasn’t able to channel any of that psychic energy everyone else seems to get when they’re trying on wedding dresses.
“Do you want to try on another dress?” The bridal consultant asked me. She assumed I wasn’t having some sort of emotional reaction because I didn’t like the dress.
The dress was fine. I mean, I guess that’s not the kind of reaction you want when it comes to your wedding gown- “it’s fine” – but… I don’t know, what did she want me to say? “It’s great! Fantastic! I feel like a princess! Actually – you know who I feel like? I feel like Taylor Swift in the music video for ‘Love Story’ and THAT’S why I like it!”
Honestly, that part was true. The Taylor Swift part. (The dress looks NOTHING like that dress in the music video – I’ve gone back and watched it since – so I’m not sure why I felt that way in the moment, maybe because there’s a corset?) Anyway – the point is, the dress was fine, and it made me feel like Taylor Swift, and that’s why I liked it. Maybe that’s not the reaction you’re supposed to have when you’ve found “the right dress”, but honestly – feeling like the Taylor Swift version of a Shakespeare character was the best I could do in the moment, given the circumstances.
“You look great!” Klaudia, in true Maid of Honor fashion, was there with me – being supportive, holding my purse, and smoothing out the dress wrinkles.
She was also responsible for keeping track of my parents, who were on FaceTime from Ohio. “What do you think?” She was asking them. “Doesn’t Jenn look great?”
**Crickets** Great. The screen froze.
My mom was already mad that she wasn’t part of the big wedding-dress-shopping day (and honestly, I wasn’t thrilled about it either, which may explain why I was trying to treat the whole experience as if it wasn’t a big deal – just buying a dress, I’ve bought LOTS of dresses in the past, it’s NO BIG DEAL…)
Suddenly a cheer erupted from the other side of the shop. “OOOH”s and “AAAAH”s and a “WOOOOH!” echoed throughout the boutique as Klaudia and I turned our gaze towards the bridal consultant.
“Someone must have found their dress!” She said smiling.
Oh, great. Is THAT what I’m supposed to do when I find my dress? “WOOOOH”? I don’t know if I can “woo”, I’m not a woo-er, It’s going to be tough for me to be three-tequilas-level-of-happy knowing that I’m spending a fortune on this dress that I’m only going to wear once. For a few hours. Not when I could buy a Louis Vuitton purse for the same price AND wear it way more than once ANNND then I could finally say that I have an authentic Louis Vuitton purse.
But, no. Instead I have to spend a month’s worth of rent on this dumb dress.
“What about this?” My future mother-in-law came over with a set of costume pearls. “Do you like these?” She had disappeared for awhile when I was putting on the dress, now I realized she’d been looking for accessories for me.
“That’s nice!” I said brightly, even though all I could think about was the fact that my parents were still frozen and my mom was probably sitting on the couch getting more and more pissed because she wasn’t here – like, actually here – and the bridal consultant keeps trying to figure out why I’m not happy – because I should be happy, right? I’m DRESS SHOPPING, and isn’t every bride-to-be just so happy when she’s DRESS SHOPPING? Don’t they all just OOH and AAH and WOO?
Another cheer erupted from a different corner of the store.
Are you KIDDING me? What is this, Disneyland? Are they giving away free Louis Vuitton bags over there?
“Oh!” The bridal consultant smiled when I met her gaze. “Another one!” She winked at me, almost as if to say ‘You’re next!’.
“Do you like this?” My future mom-in-law asked again, referring to the pearl earrings. “Do you want me to buy these for you?”
Oh, gosh. I hadn’t even thought about jewelry yet. And now she’s trying to buy it for me, because she’s trying to be a nice mother-in-law.
“Oh, uh, no that’s okay.” I told her. “Thank you, though! But let’s get through the dress part first.”
Let’s just get out of here first, I thought.
Meanwhile my parents must have unfroze because Klaudia was shoving the phone towards my face now saying, “Here. Talk to your mom. Tell her about the dress.”
“I can’t see it.” My mom was saying through the screen. “Is it lacy?”
“Uh, yea.” I said. “There’s lace. And it’s kind of an eggshell color. It’s-“
“What?” She put her face closer to the screen as if she might be able to hear better. She probably couldn’t hear over all of the cheering going on in the store. “You’re cutting out. Is there a —- because I had a —– ”
“It’s a —- with —-” Oh, great.
“Mom, I can’t hear you.”
“IS THERE A TRAIN?” She asked loudly with her mouth up to the speaker.
I glanced back in the mirror. “Uh, yea. I guess there’s a little train in the back. Can you see it?” I asked her trying to position the phone towards the full-length mirror in front of me.
“The screen is too small.” She said. “I don’t know.”
“But can you see the dress?” I asked her. “Can you see it in the mirror?”
Klaudia offered to take the phone out of my hands. “Here,” she said. “Let me see if I can get a better angle.”
Meanwhile my mom-in-law had disappeared again. Probably to go look at veils or something.
“Okay!” the bridal consultant came back, and I had only then realized she’d stepped away for a minute. “Now, I don’t want to rush you or anything… but just so you know,” she lowered her voice a bit, “you only have fifteen minutes left of your appointment. SOOO take your time, and you don’t have to make any decisions today – after all, this is a BIG decision.”
Oh, great. The only reason for this appointment was because I’d wanted to get this done today – and by “get this done”, I mean – buy a wedding dress. That’s why my mom was on FaceTime and Kyle’s mom was here, because this was the day I was supposed to BUY the dress.
Otherwise we’re going to have to do this all over again.
“I think I like this one!” I said quickly. Everyone (and by “everyone” I mean, Klaudia and the bridal consultant – the hoot-ers and holler-ers weren’t paying much attention) turned towards me.
“Really?” she asked with surprise in her voice. I guess I wasn’t like the rest of her clients – the “WOO!” girls.
“Yea!” I said as brightly as I could. I felt like I needed to make myself cry or something in order for her to believe me, or maybe she wouldn’t sell me the dress. “I think this is the one!”
“It is a really pretty dress,” Klaudia said. “And you look great in it!”
I could vaguely hear the voice of my mom through the tinny speakers of my iPhone in Klaudia’s hand. “What?” I asked again. “What’s she saying?” It was nearly impossible to hear over the celebratory cheers from the opposite corner of the boutique.
“What?” Klaudia was saying into the phone. “Sorry, it’s kind of loud in here.”
Suddenly Kyle’s mom returned with a bracelet and another necklace. “What about these?” She asked holding them out to me. “Do you like these?”
I could hear my mom’s voice coming through the phone speaker again, but I still couldn’t make out what she was saying.
“Your mom wants to know if you’re getting a veil.”
Ugh. I hadn’t even thought about a veil. Or jewelry. Or anything.
“Did you want to look at the veils?” The bridal consultant asked me.
No, I just want to get out of here, I thought.
Maybe this is the wrong way to buy a wedding dress. Cheering and woo-ing are probably a lot more fun than having your mom on FaceTime.
But honestly – I just wanted to buy a wedding dress, mark it off the list, and move on with my life. My mom and dad probably weren’t going to be able to come unless I waited until June to buy it, and by that time, it would have been too close to the wedding.
And this dress was fine.
“Okay!” I said, trying to sound cheerful. How happy do I have to act here? I don’t have to cheer, do I? “I want this one! This is the one, let’s do it!”
Klaudia and my mother-in-law looked at each other. I could tell they were having that awkward telepathic moment of “should we cheer… or…?”
“Okay…” Klaudia finally said after a beat. “Well… yay!”
“Are you happy?” Kyle’s mom asked me, because apparently it wasn’t obvious. (It wasn’t. I know it wasn’t.)
“Yes!” I said brightly. “I love it!”
And I did. I do. It’s great! I had just wished that the experience might have been a little more fun and relaxing. But maybe that’s only for the blogger-brides, maybe for the rest of us normal folks – this is a very normal wedding dress shopping experience.
Pictures will be posted later – I can’t show you *the dress* just yet!