Disclaimer: The dress pictured is not my wedding dress. It's just one of the fifty dresses I tried on before making up my mind that I happened to snap a picture of.
I said yes to the dress. There was no champagne. There was no confetti. There were no tears. Just a girl and a dress and a decision. Media hypes up this monumental moment in your life to be this magical, breathtaking, teary-eyed event. All this does is pump unrealistic expectations into your mind and set you up for confusion. I’m not saying this magical moment isn’t possible and I’m sure it’s a very fond memory for some. But for me, my memory was a girl in a store buying a dress.
I have never been the girl to dream of my wedding day and that beautiful dress I would walk down the aisle in. Don’t get me wrong, I have dreamed about Mr. Right (and ladies, I found him!), but the big day, not so much.
I expected shopping for my wedding dress to be a lavish affair coupled with high emotions. I thought there would be laughter, love, and happiness, intertwined with racks and racks of white dresses. The endless sea of white lived up to my expectations, but the emotions were that of overwhelm and confusion, instead of love and joy.
When I first tried on my wedding dress, I thought it looked great and felt good and could possibly be ‘the one.’ But with no tears in my eyes, I couldn’t commit just yet and left the store empty handed. When I was still thinking about the dress a few days later, I knew I had to try it on again.
Before committing to the dress I did what any girl would do, overanalyzed every detail of the dress, discussed it in length with friends and family, and had a few sleepless nights. Then, after shopping around for the best deal in town, I went to a dress boutique by myself, tried it on one last time, and I bought it. No entourage. No fuss. No emotions.
Selecting and purchasing my wedding dress was a calculated and rational decision. This is the dress I’m going to wear on the happiest and most emotional day of my life, and to think there was hardly any emotion behind it. It was logical. It was the complete opposite of how I thought I would feel, how I expected myself to feel, and how I thought society expected me to feel. But that’s okay. Now, almost a year after I purchased the dress, I love it more and more every time I see it. Still no tears, only smiles.
I’ve learned there is no right or wrong way to do something, only your way. We may feel we need to have a certain experience or feeling because society tells us so, but that’s just not true. I still have yet to shed even one tear while wearing or thinking about my wedding dress and I’m totally okay with that. Just because I didn’t just ‘know’ a dress was supposed to be mine when I put it on, doesn’t mean it’s not my dress or a bad sign or I’m any less of a bride.
Ladies, don’t forget what you’re wedding is actually about. It’s about love and happiness. It’s about making a commitment to stand by your partner through whatever life throws your way. Don’t hold back on buying a dress because you’re waiting for what you think you should feel or experience. Do what feels good and authentic for you.
At the end of the day, I get the honor of marrying my best friend and if I didn’t cry and have a moment when I said yes to the dress, that’s totally fine. I guess I’m just saving all my tears and magic moments for my wedding day and, in my book, that’s what really counts.
Do you have any good wedding dress shopping stories? I'd love to hear!