Last weekend, I spent more money on an article of clothing than I ever have before. And it was terrifying. It will probably come as a shock to most people, especially most people who know me, but I have not been excited for buying my wedding dress. In fact, it filled be with dread. I’ve even had a cry on the way home from shops a time or two. That’s definitely not what “Say Yes to the Dress” shows us. I’ve been overwhelmed by options, by choice. Short, long, vintage, modern – why is there so much to chose from? It’s not helped by the fact that I am extremely picky and critical of what I put on myself.
But here’s my big confession: I’m putting on about 10-15 lbs before the big day. I’m on strict medical instructions to get my BMI up. Since end of July, I’ve gained about half of what I need to. It’s both terrifying and bothersome. Boo hoo – poor me right? Huge apologies if this comes across as insensitive to anyone who is struggling to lose weight.
But it adds to my insecurities when it comes to picking a dress – with every appointment I have to explain the situation and the shop assistant and I have to estimate what it would look like if I was filled out a bit more, in a different size, etc. Let me tell you, shopping for a figure you don’t currently have is a stab in the dark. And of course, there’s the fear that once I start putting on weight that I won’t stop so all our estimates will be wasted. What if we’ve underestimated and I can’t fit into my dress? It’s haunted me.
And how do you know when you’ve found “the one”. Everything about weddings is blown out of proportion these days, but especially when it comes to dresses and bridezillas. My mom put it best into perspective for me when I asked her if she was going to cry when I tried on “the one”. Her answer? “Why would I? I know you’ll look beautiful in them all and it’s just a dress.”
I found a dress that I thought was beautiful, that I could picture at our venue and that I thought would make Sam smile. But I wasn’t reduced to tears and though I liked it, I was equally sure that there was another beautiful dress out there that I would like just as much. This is clearly a problematic personality trait of mine. No matter how great something seems, I’m always on the hunt for something better. In a world of infinite possibilities, I don’t believe that anything is un-toppable. Which sends me in a forever dress hunting spiral.
There came a time for me to throw in the towel. I think that there will always be one dress that is better for different facets of my personality or even different styles of wedding that Sam and I could have. Which means there are dozens of dresses out there that could be perfect for me. I’d say it was time to settle, but settling has such negative connotations. So instead, I’ll say this:
After all the trips to shops, and the dozens of dresses that I’ve tried, I actually chose the first one I ever tried on in London. I’m choosing one that I like. In fact, I love my dress and it makes me smile when I think of it now. But there weren’t tears of joy. A dress can’t and shouldn’t be the pinnacle of my insecurities. There will probably be another dress out there that would be more beautiful, but hey- Sam sees me in pyjamas with dogs on them every night so anything is a big step up from that!
The moral of the story is this: don’t let anyone (friends, family, social media, movies) make you doubt your wedding dress choice just because unicorns didn’t gallop through the room while it rained glitter and gumdrops when you tried it on. Because sometimes, a dress is just a dress.