Say yes to the dress?

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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!

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  1. Jen said:

    So exciting to start dress shopping! It can definitely be frustrating when we don’t find “the dress” on the first go (especially when the expectation is set that we should instantly know when we try on “the one”), but I think you have a great attitude about it. Take your time and you will eventually find one that you absolutely love 🙂


  2. Anouka said:

    I hope that you will eventually find the dress that you’ve been waiting for.


  3. I really like your blog dear! You have a great eye for style!
    Keep up with the great work 🙂


  4. Naomi A said:

    Oh my word wedding dress shopping for me was TOO overwhelming! I went to a few stores and was so daunted by the sheer quantity of dress to chose from that I left. I found my dress in a classified ad in the newspaper. I didn’t even try it on. But I saw great potential in it and worked with a dressmaker to alter it and re-design it to something I (and my husband) loved.

    The Occasional Indulgence

  5. abigail said:

    as a libra through and through and the most indecisive person in the world, this whole process sonds like torture to me. i’m so glad that you’re finding the fun in it and taking it as it comes. and don’t worry, sometimes the right dress just finds you!


  6. You’re so lucky that you have months to search for a dress! I only had about a week while my mom was visiting me to find the dress, and it was fun but also stressful being short on time. The one I chose was the last one I tried on at the last dress shop we planned to go to. I think you’ll know when you try the right one on, or at least it will be a “maybe” at first. My suggestion is to take lots of pictures so you remember what you tried on and liked/didn’t like. Have fun!

  7. Anna said:

    your blog is great dear! I might say good luck, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect wedding dress for you!
    maybe wanna visit my blog? and if you want we can follow each other!
    happy week!

  8. Londyn said:

    My advice – only focus on what speaks to you – you don’t need a group to tell you what dress is right for you. A group is great for support, but that’s it. You’ll know it when you have it on! Good luck!

  9. I’m getting married next Spring and luckily my mom has offered to make my dress. I hope you find “the” dress! Keep looking! I’m very excited for you.

  10. I went wedding dress shopping super randomly. It was just one day Mom and I were like hey, we have an open afternoon! It was kind of just getting used to what was out there. We didn’t expect to actually find the dress. But we found the one I almost went with. But after a little bit of planning, Kevin and I decided to go with a 1950’s theme and then we decided to have the reception on a riverboat. I decided that with everything we were doing a shorter dress was exactly what I wanted and I had an idea in head. I bought a dress online to be the base and then bought lots of pieces (tulle, sash, veil, etc.) and had a seamstress put it together. I was so excited when it all came together, but it was never that big moment.

  11. Congratulations! Going dress shopping for the first time is so much fun! I was my best friends maid of honor last year and we went dress shopping about 5 separate times. She knew she found the dress when her, her mom, her fiances mom and me started crying. YES there is a moment!


  12. Emma said:

    So exciting! I can’t imagine trying to pick out a wedding dress– I have a hard enough time shopping for everyday clothes. I hope you find ‘the one!’

  13. Congrats on surviving your first wedding dress hunt. I didn’t actually go dress shopping for my own wedding. Since I live so far away from my family, it just didn’t work out that I could take my mom and friends with me. So I ended up ordering about 10 dresses online (after months of research…months!), tried them all on, agonized over them…until the 11th dress showed up. That one was IT, and I sent the rest back. Trust me, no matter how it happens, you’ll KNOW when you found the right one. 🙂

    It turned out that shopping for my dress alone was the way that worked the best for me. It was a lot of fun for me to surprise everyone at the wedding with my dress, instead of knowing that half the people there had already seen it.

    Best of luck, and don’t worry…you’ll find it!

  14. Ashley said:

    Wedding dress shopping can be so stressful- my advice is to go with your gut and you’ll know when it’s “the one.” And also know that you’re going to look beautiful no matter what! 🙂


  15. When you find it, you’ll know it. My sister has been looking for her dress for a whole month now…and so far, still haven’t found “the one.” But I trust that it’s out there, like her fiance was, before they met. 🙂

    twitter and instagram: @BelatedBloomer

  16. This is going to make me weird, but I didn’t find “the dress.” I loved my gown but I didn’t cry, didn’t have a moment where I thought, “yup this is the only dress I could possibly ever wear to get married in.” That’s maybe a personality thing, but even if you do eventually have that moment, don’t yearn for it tooo strongly. Because once you find “the dress,” you have to stop trying on wedding dresses… and where’s the fun in that? 🙂

    Christine In Color

  17. Chioma said:

    oh my gosh!! I’m SO happy I came to your blog, scrolled down, fell in love with your style, and read this. I had the same moment, of confusion and happiness in january and almost purchased a dress that was gorgeous as were 10 others, but my sister, bridesmaid and mom loved more than me. We are also getting married in mid 14 so I took a break from dress shopping and will resume in April…i’ve also decided that when I think i’ve found “the one”, i’m going to go home for a couple of days and if i can’t stop thinking about it, i’m going back to get it. weird, i know but i don’t want room for doubt! good luck!

    C’s Evolution of Style

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