On Friday, I went wedding dress shopping for the first time with my mom, sister, grandma, and my best friend. Even before the day began, I was weary about how it would go, how I would react, if I would like any of the dresses, and so on. I am notorious for going back and forth with decision making and this was the mother of all decisions.
At the first store, we walk in and see a dress featured on a mannequin and all agreed that it was a must try on. We go through the racks and pull some dresses, my dress attendant pulls some dresses and the process began. One by one, dress after dress, each one so gorgeous that I would wear them everyday. Except on my wedding day. I loved the majority of the dresses that I tried on at each store, three stores, approximately twenty dresses total. But I could not imagine myself in any of them on my actual wedding day.
I came close. That first dress that we all saw and agreed on on the mannequin, we all shed some tears while I was wearing it. We were certain it would be the one. I tried on veils and other hair accessories to try to imagine a complete picture. We left without the dress, but with thoughts of returning after my other appointments.
By the thrid store, I was feeling frusterated, but not for lack of amazing dresses. Like I said, I loved many of them. I wanted that moment. The moment that you know, “This is my dress”. I wanted to see myself walking down the aisle in the dress. I wanted my heart to race and to cry and hug my mom and to just know. I wanted to say yes to a dress, not contemplate saying yes to a dress.
Then, I found it. Not a wedding dress. I found the perfect rehersal dinner dress. The perfect engagement dinner dress. The perfect fancy dinner, vacation, any other romantic or night out event dress. I was so excited about this dress that I didn’t want to take it off. I have plans to go back to be measured so I can order the dress. I can’t remember the last time I really fell in love with a dress.
Then I realize that the wedding gown, that we all thought would be the one, cannot be the one. I cannot be more excited for a rehersal dinner or engagement party dress than my own wedding gown. Even the bridal attendant made a comment about how it was the most excitement she had seen in me.
They say you have found the dress when you have your moment, when you cry. Stop looking after that, they say, it will just confuse you. Or, will it help? Will it bring clarity? Maybe I had a so-called “moment” because I was overwhelmed. Perhaps, it was from the strangers in the store stopping to compliment me on the dress. The praise from my family of how beautiful it was. But I know it was not my moment, no matter how much I did love the dress, I was not in love with the dress.
When I want something, I tend to want it immediately. We live in a world of instant gratification, but I need to learn that good things come to those who wait. In retrospect, twenty something dresses is not a lot to try on when looking for THE dress. My wedding is not until mid 2014. I have plenty of time.
Until then, I will enjoy the planning and hunting process, remembering that I should not have to convince myself that it is the right dress. It just will be.
Have you been wedding dress shopping? Any advice?
p.s. Happy birthday to my beautiful Mama!