You’re engaged. You have a date and a venue. What are you going to do next? Naturally what every bride is dying to do and what you’ve probably been thinking about for years now anyway.... find your dress! If you’ve ever watched Say Yes to the Dress (and don’t even try to act like you haven’t), you know how big of a deal this is. I was equally as excited as those brides I see on TV to strike out and find my dream gown, but I came to find that what you’ve come to expect may not be what actually happens. Here I tell you the truth about wedding dress shopping, at least from my point of view ;)
It does not have to cost a fortune.
When you watch Say Yes to the Dress, budgets range from $3,000 on the cheap end to $20,000. Apparently that’s the norm when it comes to gowns. Really?? The median annual income for an adult aged 24-35 in the U.S. is less than $38,000... and you’re spending that much on a dress?? Insanity. I guess if you have the money, good for you, but I also question how many needy children could be clothed for that amount and wonder if it’s really the best place to spend your money. I just don’t get it.
You don’t need a whole entourage.
You see people come into the bridal shop with mothers, in-laws, sisters, bridesmaids, cousins... but guess what? The only person who needs to like the dress is the bride! You ever heard the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen”? It stems from too many women in the dressing room. Fact. I took only my mother, and would not have had it any other way. The only person I’m trying to impress is my fiance, and no one knows what he likes better than I do.
You’ll fall in love with the first dress you try on.
Ok, it doesn’t happen for everybody, but it happened to me. And the more people I talk to, the more common I find that it is. It was beautiful, gorgeous, everything I had imagined, and the price was right. I didn’t buy it. Why? Because I felt like getting the first dress I’d ever tried would be cheating myself out of that oh so special experience of trying on multiple gowns at a boutique. This particular dress happened to be at the Brides Against Breast Cancer event where the dresses were all buy off the rack as-is type of deals, so it was never to be found again. Don’t worry, I found another one that I love and I think my fiance will love even more, but I do still think back to that dress and wish that I could put it on just one more time. Just for the heck of it.
The “moment” is fictional.
You know, the moment when the bride tries on the dress and people sporadically burst into emotional tears because Oh My God I’m Getting Married!!!! Yea, that’s b.s. You’ll look at yourself in the mirror and say "damnnnnnn I look good"! In fact you’ll have lots of those moments because gowns are stunning. Of course they look good. Then you’ll weigh your priorities and price it out and make an executive decision and then you’ll feel accomplished because you can cross it off your list. You’ll be smiling and happy. No tears. Tears over dresses are stupid.
David's Bridal is legit.
I feel like people knock it and act like it's the McDonalds of bridal gown shops, but I gotta be honest with you. Of all of the places I went looking for gowns, David's was by far the most fun. The employees were the most knowledgeable, accommodating, and doting of them all, and they truly made me feel like a bride on her pedestal. I did not end up buying my dress here, but it really just came down to the fact that I found the designer I was looking for somewhere else. It killed me not to buy from them though because my experience was so great.
I hope this will help guide your quest for a dress and give some insight into what it is actually like! It is a special day for a special event, but always remember, it is just a dress! :)