Well, for me the dress was complicated. I have never been the wedding dreamer type and to be honest before I got engaged I thought that all the drama and fuss around weddings / wedding dresses was ridiculous. My criteria before I started looking was clean lines, comfortable, good for dancing, reasonably priced and no beading, lace, satin or fluff. I am an averaged sized girl who generally has no problem finding clothes that flatter so I figured this would be easy and fun.
Since the nearest concentration of wedding salons is a 4 hour drive away, I started online. I ordered several dresses. As they arrived, I tried them on with FH (got to have help with all those buttons and zips); we giggled and discussed and then the dress would go back to the post office. After the 4th or 5th one I settled on a pale pale pink silk faille strapless a-line knee length dress, that looked fantastic, was fun to dance in and made me smile. Dress: check! Easy-peasy, time to move on to tough decisions like the guest list. I felt smug and happy. That was September.
By January it had become clear that the dress was not about me. My proper New England family could absorb neither pink nor knee length. There was constant distressed comment on all fronts. They wanted the standard numbers: long white dress, church, gobs of flowers, little bridesmaids all in a row etc. They gave in on the church; I gave in on the dress.
So back to J Crew I went, and soon a long parade of dresses were marching through our door. But none of them suited. Some were too stiff and some were too itchy but mostly they were all just too ivory. Fine, I thought, there are a million dresses out there, you just need to expand your horizons a bit.
And so the hunt began. Now as all of you know, there is a dizzing array of choices out there and most of them need to be ordered well in advance and then fitted 18 times before d-day. I had 5 months and no clear plan. After a month combing the online bridal jungles I had come up with a few possibilities…
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None of which were actually available.
So things were at an impasse. And the clock was ticking.
My mother, of course, was dying to lure me into the Boston salons. I was exhausted and frustrated and considering eloping.
Then ebay called. One of my dresses had just been posted. It was a “buy it now”. It had been posted for 45 minutes. I bought it. It fit perfectly. It was simple, airy and graceful. I was happy. My family was happy. My FH was very relieved.
I wore it on my wedding day and felt radiantly lovely. But I never really felt that it was the only possible dress. So I didn’t really have dress regret (I wore my little pink to the rehearsal party) but I did have dress stress and I certainly understand the difficulty in trying to remain true to oneself under all the external pressures and constraints that come to bear on the choice of a wedding dress.