You can bet the second my left hand had a shiny rock on it I was calling up bridal shops and making appointments to try on wedding dresses; why waste any time right? Before even setting foot in a shop, I had a Pinterest board totally dedicated to wedding dresses. Majority of the dresses on my board were little lace numbers with revealing backs, no straps, and a figure-flattering shape. So, naturally, when I arrived at the bridal salon on day one of wedding dress shopping I pulled out my iPhone, hopped on my Pinterest board and showed the attendant all of my hopes and dreams. She was great; she hurried off and found 4 or 5 dresses very similar to the ones in my photos. However, what happened when I put the first one on I could have never predicted.
With my MOH, and the 16 year-old attendant (okay fine she was like 18) waiting outside the fitting room, I struggled to climb into a $2,000 dress made of nearly 50 pounds of thick lace. Once the dress was on, I stood alone in front of the 360 mirrors before opening the door and let my eyes fill with tears. I looked hideous. Was this what I looked like in a wedding dress? Maybe I'm not supposed to get married if this is what I look like in a wedding dress? The awful thoughts kept growing and bouncing around in my head until I opened the door, stepped out of the fitting room, and heard my MOH burst out laughing. It was the dress, the dress was hideous and I was not. What a horrible first wedding dress experience, but I'm so glad it happened since it really helped me with the rest of my shop.
The second dress I put on had a trumpet shape to it with a sweetheart neckline and a chapel length train. The dress was stunning and I looked great in it. It became a "maybe"...however, so did the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 13th...you get the point. Some of these maybe's fell closer to yes's and some closer to no's, but still, there were a lot of maybe's after 4 trips to dress shops and over 50 dresses were tried on, and none felt quite right.
Disappointed and confused, I took the the internet, and reached out to some of the previous brides I knew to find an answer to the daunting question, "how will I know when I've found the one"? The consensus was exactly what I didn't want to hear; responses along the lines of "you will just know, something inside of you will tell you, and you will just know". How aggravating for someone who has tried on so many dresses of so many different styles and known nothing except that 50 pounds of lace is too much and makes me cry.
(my wedding dress is in that pile somewhere!)
new information in mind, I continued to shop. With my MOH, with my mom and mom-in-law-to-be, with some of my other bridesmaids, heck at this point I would have taken input from my mailman. Then, in a bridal shop I'd never heard of until a few days before my appointment in a town I'd never really visited before, it happened.
I tried on a few dresses with huge puffy skirts and glitter all over them to make my guests laugh, and some other dresses became maybe's (including one named Emma!). Then, my longest and dearest friend asked me to try on a dress so different than any of the 50 I'd previously tried. Reluctantly, I climbed into the dress. Holy moly! What a comfortable dress; so light, so moveable, no itching from the material, and it fit me like a glove right off the rack. Without even looking in the mirror I walked slowly out of the fitting room. That same friend, my childhood best friend who knows me better than anyone, smiled from ear to ear and started to tear up. I turned around to face the mirror and my heart nearly jumped out of chest. With my hair in a messy bun, bare feet, and in the middle of a bridal salon, I felt more beautiful than I have ever felt. This dress, the one I didn't want to try on, this was my dress.
After a FaceTime with my momma, who made sure that I scrunched the material to see if it will wrinkle when I sit down (such a practical lady), I had made up my mind. As I would recommend to everyone, I slept on it. Which meant I travelled back to Ottawa and went to work the next day. Over 24 hours later I couldn't stop thinking about the dress. So, I did what us thrifters do best; I called around to bridal shops in the Ottawa area to find out who had the dress and who had it for the best price. Two weeks after the initial try-on, my dress was ordered from a shop here in Ottawa, and for $200 less than the first shop!
So I guess the moral of the story here is to be open; of course try on your dream dress that you've had on your Pinterest board for years, or that's been folded up in your wallet since you cut it out of a magazine when you were a kid, but also try on that dress at the back of the rack that's so far from what you imagined you'd wear on your big day. When there are thousands of different dresses, you never know which one is going to look stunning on you!
Happy shopping, or happy dreaming!