So, I just found my wedding dress. After trying on about 60 dresses, I was beginning to worry. I had less trouble finding my fiancé.
For months, I cast aside gown after gown. Too glam, too pouffy, too Disney, too…complicated. I just couldn’t find the one that was me. But the only route to the right dress is to just keep trying them on. Here are a few things I learned along the way that can help reduce dress stress:
Bring the right people. Every bride-to-be needs some combination of family and friends around her to share this special and nerve-wracking time. You need someone who generously spouts adjectives like “stunning,” “gorgeous,” “amazing,” and “skinny.” She will immediately tear up when those words truly apply. This person will also be comfortable zipping, fetching, and holding various and sundry things.
You also need someone who will be totally honest and let you know when the dress is wearing you instead of the other way around. This person will also be adept at body checking over-eager sales people.
These two categories of people can be the same person, but missed medication is probably involved.
And finally, your mother, or a reasonable facsimile. I mean, could you keep her away?
Have patience. You will be dealing with weepy people, brutally honest people, and your mother. Many of these individuals will be rummaging around up under your dress on your wedding day. Now is not the time to piss them off.
Too much patience can backfire, however, when it comes to salespeople. Don’t forget, if the bridal shop’s customer service is sketchy when you’re just looking at dresses, imagine what it will be like after you’ve irreversibly committed to buying one.
Wear the right undergarments. At minimum, wear a white, strapless bra and something with an element of control down below. Otherwise, you’ll be wearing a strapless bra on loan from the bridal shop. Ideally, bring the undergarments you’ll wear on the big day.
On a related note—don’t eat pancakes before you go dress shopping. No one needs to be looking for The Dress feeling bloated and smelling like syrup.
Have a price range in mind. Know it, love it and, for the love of God, stick to it. Do this whether it’s the equivalent of a month’s rent or closer to a downpayment on a house, and whether you’re shelling out the money yourself or not.
If you don’t see price tags, don’t be afraid to ask. There is nothing more sartorially tragic than finding the dress of your dreams and not being able to afford it.
Be confident. It’s important to know what looks good on you, but it’s just as important to know what you want. I tried on many dresses that looked great but I knew they weren’t…well, you know. It’s nice for everyone to be on the same page and love the dress, but remember it’s your page and your dress.
And, last but not least, don’t forget to have some fun!