Wedding dresses are ugly.
No really, they are. Go into a bridal store and try to sift through the racks without help… it’s like looking at a bunch of marshmallow costumes made of hundreds of yards of too bright to be white taffeta.
I went to my first bridal store just a few days after getting engaged… we had a couple hours in between appointments, so my mom and I thought “why not just try a few things on?”
So I walk in with a couple cutouts from the only two bridal magazines that I owned and said, “I’m going for simple, classic, elegant.”
Next thing I know the owner of the store has a room ready full of dresses for me to try. She was able to look past the marshmallow fluff and see “bride,” because trust me, none of those dresses looked simple, classic, or elegant on the rack.
Dress number one was all lace, and beading, and sparkle. It was beautiful… classic, and elegant. Not very simple. Definitely a romantic bride… but also a subdued bride. Really heavy skirt. Not that great for dancing. And I needed to dance. But my mom loved it, and it was great.
Dress number 2 was Hollywood glamour with shiny satin. Simple, classic, and elegant. A dramatic bride… but something wasn’t right.
Dress number 3 was dress number 2 but softer, and it fit. Perfectly. It felt and looked like it was made for me. Mom liked it too.
Dress numbers 4-20 were all compared to dress numbers 1 and 3, and I remember very little about them except that I walked to and from the dressing room, lifting pounds of fabric as I tried not to feel awkward. Multiple reflections of myself stared back at me in the too white for my complexion dresses as the clerks laced me up and threw veils and tiaras on my head. Really, I’m getting married? This is what I’ll look like on my wedding day?
We walked out of the shop that day with dress number 3 in hand. It already fit, so I could take home their sample, no ordering needed, 20% off. We hung it in its garment bag in my room and whenever my mom and I walk by we open the bag and admire it.
Plug for GA Brides: if you’re looking for a great bridal store, try Formally Yours. That’s where I got my dress, my bridesmaid’s dresses, and my mom’s dress. They’re really helpful in selecting dresses to try, honest in their opinions, and they make the shopping experience a lot of fun!