When I was a wee one, I always imagined the dress search to be the most exciting part of getting married. Luxurious fabrics! Princess silhouettes! Rooms of gowns just for me! I flipped through a fair share of bridal magazines and couldn't wait for my time to come. Oh, silly little Bethany. I've now spent two months searching and I'm done tiptoeing:
I. Dislike. Dress. Shopping. Of all the wedding planning, the things that could possibly make you want to elope...I rank dress shopping as Enemy Numero Uno.***
This loathing is a two part issue:
Issue 1: There is nothing more panic inducing than a room full of potentially too-small and whacked-sized dresses...just waiting to unflatter you. And even worse, there's usually a brood of women looking at you in all your awkward, ill-fitted glory. Grand.
Issue 2: I'm a specific gal. I need a trumpet shape...something that hugs my curves, lest I look like The Blob (I'm lookin' at you A-line dresses!!). But my biggest problem is finding the curvy shape in a fabric like organza or swiss dot, because I'm after some whimsy! Also, bonus points will be awarded for a dress already bearing a sweatheart neckline.
Last week, I bumped into a beautiful silk mikado Jenny Yoo gown. It was a sample size being cleared out, marked down to $385. It was simple, and beyond elegant. The original price was $1200, but since the designer stopped producing this pricier fabric option, they couldn't have the dress on the floor.
(Nothing flatters like being shot from below. Eek. On left: The dress as purchased. On right: Just the start of the changes I'd make...)
My bod looked bangin' in that thing...and I've never, ever said that before. Although a sweetheart neckline would have to be added, I truly felt rather hot! It was a Dangerous Curves Ahead situation and for seven minutes, I was a confident bride. In those moments, I loved me and my bod...I said yes to the dress...plunked down my $385 and was on my merry way. Dress in hand.
My best friend and her hubby agreed that it was a gorgeous gown and incredible price, a good choice. But as the day slipped by I started to doubt myself. Sure, it was a pretty gown. But was it me?
In a sleepless 3am panic, I emailed a photo of myself in the dress to Gabe. Cause there's nothing like blowing ALL the mystery out of the park! But I was desperate. I needed to know if this was a terrible idea. While Gabe commented on enjoying the curvaceous view, he backed up my fears: The dress wasn't my style. At all. He was right. Emotionally exhausted with dress shopping, I'd committed the cardinal sin: I lunged at one of the few dresses that made me feel foxy...at a price that couldn't be beat...but had completely forgotten my softer style.
My mind has played with various options--overlays or additions that might bring it closer to "me" and further from "accidental ego-boosted purchase". Perhaps we could edge toward to a softer look, like this breezy Ivy and Aster gown...perhaps it could be salvaged rather than resold? I just fear hiring someone to overhaul the thing, only to be out $800-$1000 more...and still not in love with it.
So, it's not the dress. Or at least not yet, and is hanging in my closet...awaiting the determination of its fate.
Am I alone in the accidental dress purchase? Surely others have made a similar misstep, yes? And my biggest fear: could there possibly be a bride who doesn't find "the dress" and just feels kind of "meh" on the big day?
***That was a lot of negativity in one paragraph, and I apologize. But I had to put it out there.