June 26, 2012

Honesty About Dress Shopping

Hi all! Tuesday is already here. I decided that it was time for one of those really honest posts. Let's not waste any time and dive right in.

How cute is she? Boho, you are the best. I figured that we should talk a bit about dress shopping aka the day every girl dreams of. I can remember tagging along to many dress shopping adventures with my friends. I just knew that when my day came I would wear a sweetheart neckline, capped sleeve, flowing gown based on all my "experience." When it was finally my time, I stuck with those style gowns. Guess what? They were a bust. What I thought was going to be my wedding dress style was completely off.

I also tried on lots of other dresses. And by a lot, I mean a lot. When I finally found my forever wedding gown, I did not get immediate butterflies. Gasp! I know but I told you I was honestly sharing today. I didn't cry. I didn't jump up and down. I didn't even know 100% it was the dress. I did like it a lot. I tried on a few others but kept coming back to this dress. I tried it on again, did a few laps and stared at myself in the mirror for a long time. After a few moments, I started to get excited! I did start to picture myself walking down the isle to Rusty in this dress. I added in a flower to my hair. I took a few pictures to see what it looked like on camera. I did a little dancing. Eventually I knew that this dress was for me. I was over the moon. More importantly, I came in on budget, almost to the dollar on budget.

Everyone was thrilled to have been a part of my dress finding trip! We all headed to the manager's office to pay for the dress. Instantly my emotions changed. I am lucky. I have a mother who would do anything for her daughter. She is the best but seeing my mom pay so much money for a dress made me a little panicked. I knew that I really, really loved my dress but spending so much money on it almost seemed silly or wasteful. Sometimes it is hard to remember that you deserve a nice treat even if you only wear it one day. Of course I did not express this to my mom. The lady started saying things like no returns and final transaction. I was worried. I was a big ball of emotions. I loved my dress but thought that money could go to something else. I felt guilty.

The entire drive home I was silent. I can remember my mother-in-law asking me if everything was okay. I felt really selfish. We had budgeted a set amount for my dress and we successfully stuck to it. I had the shoes, accessories and one stunning dress. Over the next few days, the dress hung in my room. I didn't open the bag or even talk about it much to my girlfriends. What if I just went with everyone else's emotions? Did I really love it? I second guessed everything. A few weeks after purchasing my gown, I decided to open the bag and take a peek at it. When I did, all the goodness came rushing back to me. I tried it on again. Putting on that dress made me so aware that I had made the perfect choice. This dress was meant for me and the feelings of dread for spending money on it melted away. You see everyone else was so happy for me but I had to get over a few things first.

Does this happen to all brides? Probably not but it will happen to some. Dress shopping equals pressure. Guess what? You may not find the dress on the 1st trip or the 4th. That is okay. Your dress in your price range and style is out there and waiting for you. I can guarantee you will find it. You will also get excited about it! Dress shopping takes patience and a level head. It is fun but do not ever forget what the entire shopping experience is about. You are marrying your love and that in itself is the amazing part.

I did come up with a few things I wanted to pass along. I know that all the tips will not apply to each bride but I figure why not share? If I can help anyone, I want to.

1. Take people who offer excellent incentive. Having a handful of honest friends and family members is helpful. Take guests who are not going to dislike or even love every dress. You need honest friends who can aid in making your overall experience exciting!

2. Research. Cut out pictures. Tear out magazine inserts. Pin away. Find gowns that are in your price range and location. Take it all with you. You may stray from your pictures but it is a place to start when pulling gowns.

3. Stay true to your style, personally and with the wedding. A long sheer sleeve gown like Kate Middleton just doesn't fit a beach wedding. Make sure your dress compliments your personality. Your dress should also coordinate with your wedding style, theme and season.

4. Relax. The more stress that you add, the harder and longer the day can become. Bring champagne. Bring cupcakes. Bring your happy gal pants (No eye rolls) and remember to breath.

5. Take your pick. You honestly cannot rule out a style until you try it on. If you thought you would wear a fit and flare gown but the style is not looking great on you then try new styles. I took the time to try every style and I am so glad that I did. Another thing is pick out gowns you like. I let others pick the dresses and never looked. The third store that I visited, I finally went around and selected gowns that I loved. Between everyone else, I tried on about 15 gowns. Towards the end of my appointment I went and picked 4 gowns. The dress for me was in that group of 4. It may sound silly but sometimes you get overwhelmed and excited that you forget to pick what catches your eye.

6. It can wait. This is the case for a majority of women (I know not all) but you can think about it. Just because you love a dress doesn't mean you have to get it right then. Do remember that some gowns take a while to order. You are allowed to think about your favorites. I promise. There is no written rule that says you have to buy right away. Take time to process your decision. If it is meant to be, the dress will be yours no matter a few hours or a couple of days.

7. Add accessories. Yes, you may not know exactly what bangles you may add but incorporate a veil or jewels. It helps you see the bigger picture. It also gives you ideas for what you like and do not like when it comes to adding trinkets to your wedding day outfit.  Adding accessories let's you experience the total bridal feel.

8. Butterflies may not happen instantly. Like I said already, give yourself time. Try on a few other dresses. Walk around in your gown. Sit and talk in your dress. Take pictures in your dress. I promise you that the butterflies and excitement will come. It just may take a bit.

9. Feel pretty. So important. So crucial. So deserving.

Remember to keep in mind the whole reason for marriage and wedding. A pretty dress is not worth frustration or tears. Your ideal dress exists and you will find it, no matter what! I believe it. Happy Tuesday loves!


  1. I totally get where you're coming from. Even though I LOVED my dress and knew that it was THE ONE I still felt guilty as my mom handed over her credit card. I know that she wanted me to have the dress (and wedding) of my dreams but it took me a while to shake the guilty feelings. It took a little bit of the excitement of finding my dress away.


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