I worried that I wasn’t going to have that tearful, this is it! moment. That unlike so many television brides-to-be, I wouldn’t know when I’d found my dress. I did know a few things though:
I would rather be comfortable than look ‘skinny’.
I wanted to have a dress that I could wear all night.
I didn’t want to need help going pee.
The hefty price tag of my dress wouldn’t be a bragging right.
I was deeply uncomfortable about the idea of spending half a month’s salary (or more) on a dress, no matter how important.
As soon as you say ‘wedding’ the price soars on most things you can think of: flowers, meals, alcohol prices, photography, shoes, accessories, cards, underwear… and definitely THE DRESS.
It’s hard NOT to feel beautiful in dresses that cost twenty times the price of things you wear in regular life. I liked them ALL, with some exceptions, and I was lucky that my small bust and tall frame meant that if it fit around my body it looked pretty good. I didn’t face the complicated support and lift issues that more ample, curvaceous brides might have to deal with, or issues of hemming. How do you know what dress is the one when they all feel so pretty?
At the time I had red hair and the contrast was striking; pale skin, red hair and cream, off white, blush… satin, lace, tulle… it was a mini nightmare of choice overload.
The aha moment came when I picked up an unlikely candidate in grey – it was a party dress, very theatrical and almost like a ballet costume. As I picked it up, I noticed that its petal pink, blush and oyster counterpart was hanging behind it. I added it to the pile. As soon as I got it on I felt like a little girl, gleeful in my desire to spin. It went quickly from ‘love this’ to ‘maybe this is the one’ to ‘this is it.’
It also really helped that it was less than half the price of other gowns. I let my gut decide and my budget concurred with a sigh of relief. I had been adamant that I wasn’t going to get suckered into a big ticket dress. This dress wasn’t what I thought I’d find, but very strangely, it had everything that I had been looking for: it was not white, it was soft and romantic, interesting and unusual, light, one shoulder, no corset, open back, the illusion of strapless without the constant need to hoist, and even before being taken in it felt magical.
It even matched the drawing I had sketched out months before I started the hunt, quite closely.When I was all ‘jacked up’ as they say, even the Iphone photos capture it pretty clearly – this was definitely a dress to which I could say an emphatic ‘yes.’