Wedding shoes are their own thing. They’re romantic shoes – which is funny, because there is essentially nothing romantic about shoes.
Tip #1 – wear underwear. Not that I didn’t wear underwear, of course. I’m not that kind of girl, the kind of girl who goes commando to her dress fitting – her wedding dress fitting nonetheless.
I just wish I’d worn “real” underwear. You know, the kind that covers my entire butt, and not just some of my butt.
“Can you hold this?” The bridal consultant asked me to hold a section of tulle from the bottom layer of my dress.
In my defense, I didn’t know I’d have the company of a “bridal consultant” in the dressing room with me. Honestly I assumed they would let me get dressed on my own, wrap a tape measure around my waist and call it a day after saying “Yep! Still fits!” .
In case you couldn’t tell, I don’t get things “fitted” very often. Or, ever.
People will get pretty nosy about your dress. Of course they’re trying to be nice, they want to show an interest in your wedding planning – and let’s be honest, your dress is probably one of the more interesting things about wedding planning (besides the whole committing-to-one-another-for-life thing, the dress part is just fun.).
Or at least it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be fun. But, as brides, we just have to make everything complicated, don’t we?
About three months before my wedding is when I started to find new things to stress out about. It wasn’t enough to worry about the seating arrangements and the RSVPs and the wedding coordinator not responding to my emails within 24 hours (“She is getting them, right? Does she still work there? Did she get fired because she doesn’t respond to her client’s emails within 24 hours? Do you think she died?”). It seemed like every morning I woke up with a new (usually irrational) fear:
“What if I forget to do something?” “What if the photographer gets sick? Or the minister? Should I have booked a back-up minister?” “What if I don’t like my hair? What if it RAINS? ON MY HAIR?”
And the scariest (and most irrational) one of all: “What if I don’t like my dress?”
I bought my dress. I picked out my dress. I chose my dress in the middle of a store amongst hundreds of other dresses because I LIKED IT THE MOST. But that was six months ago. What if I liked it then, but I don’t like it anymore?
You would think – purchasing a dress that costs the same amount as a Louis Vuitton handbag – that I would be over the moon, head over heels, in LOVE with the idea of wearing that dress. But instead I was filled with anxiety. I’d chosen a dress that fell into the “strapless” category – which basically felt like a tube top in wedding dress form, but I’d seen photos of so many other brides with a similar body type to mine ROCKING these strapless gowns (AKA: slender with no boobs) and decided that I wanted to be one of those brides – so I bought a strapless dress. And from that moment on, I panicked about “arm fat” and how I didn’t want to look like I was “spilling out of it”.
Speaking as a fairly level-headed bride (for the most part), I knew that I had other – more important – things to worry about, but honestly: “arm fat” was higher on my list than the RSVPs. Even when I bought the dress, instead of asking the consultant about things like customization and fittings, I was saying things like “Do you think I would need to start doing arm work-outs?”
My parents were married during the “Princess Diana Wedding” era, and apparently every bride with a rock on her finger dreamed of being a princess that year. The ivory silk taffeta, the antique lace, and an iconic twenty-five foot train that felt like a fundamental in becoming the Princess of Wales.
She was becoming a literal princess. Who doesn’t want to feel like a princess on their wedding day?
My mom’s dress (as she has described it over the years) was “really lacy” and “had a big, long train”. It was very regal. Which is exactly what you wanted if you were getting married in 1982. But since Kyle and I were planning our wedding in 2019, the puffed sleeves and the taffeta of my mother’s wedding dress didn’t really go with my vibe.
Fortunately she wasn’t pushy. While she did offer, it was quickly followed by “We got married in the eighties, remember, so puffy sleeves were very in“.
Wanting to incorporate your mother’s gown into your wedding can be a lovely, time-honored tradition, but it isn’t always feasible. Maybe you’re not the same size, maybe the fabric has yellowed, or maybe it has a twenty-five foot train that you don’t want to have to lug around on your wedding day. Regardless there are other ways to have it incorporated. (Keep in mind that all of these require chopping up the dress in some fashion or another – make sure Mom is cool with that.)
The day that I bought my wedding dress was not the magical, special, fairytale day that all of the other blogger-brides seem to write about. I’m not sure where they went to buy theirdresses, or why I’ve always imagined little birds fluttering around to lace up their corsets, or how it always seems that every bride develops this psychic-intuitive ability that enables her to “just know” when she’s found the right dress.
If you’ve ever read a blogger-bride’s post about the magical day when she found her wedding dress – they all seem to have one thing in common…. once she put that dress on – “it was all over. She just KNEW.”
She just knew. As if a little voice whispered in her ear: “This is the dress. Yay!”
I didn’t get a little voice. I got a loud voice in my bridal consultant who kept saying things like, “You look GORGEOUS, but do you want to try this one on again? Make sure you REALLY KNOW – you’ve got to REALLY FEEL IT. This is a BIG DECISION.”
I get it. I do. A lot of girls seem to have a spiritual connection to their wedding dress – they have an emotional reaction, they cry at bridal appointments, they somehow manage to “just know” when they’ve put on the right dress, the RIGHT dress –
And yet – here I was, standing there as a bride-to-be, in a wedding dress, not doing any of that. I wasn’t crying. There was no magical “this is the dress” moment. I wasn’t being emotional – not that I’m super emotional anyway, but I wasn’t able to channel any of that psychic energy everyone else seems to get when they’re trying on wedding dresses.
“Do you want to try on another dress?” The bridal consultant asked me. She assumed I wasn’t having some sort of emotional reaction because I didn’t like the dress.
The dress was fine. I mean, I guess that’s not the kind of reaction you want when it comes to your wedding gown- “it’s fine” – but… I don’t know, what did she want me to say? “It’s great! Fantastic! I feel like a princess!” I didn’t feel like I princess. I felt like I was seventeen again, trying on prom dresses – except this time I was the only one going to prom, and all of the dresses were 4x the price of my actual prom dress.