“Oh my goodness, you look beautiful.” said the sales woman to the bride in the princess wedding gown.
“I think this is it. But...” her voice trailed off.
“But, what? You truly look remarkable.” she said in a high pitched chipper voice.
“It’s a 14.” the bride said quietly.
“Look past the size. This is the second time you’ve tried on this dress over the past week. I’m thinking this ‘the one’. Forget about what size it is. It doesn’t matter.” said the sales woman.
“You’re right!” she said with a twirl.
I am a wedding planner, wedding podcaster and wedding blogger. I surround myself with everything related to weddings, and it’s pretty safe to say that I’m deeply immersed the wedding world. But, until last week, I was not as immersed as I had previously thought. After all of these years, I totally missed something. Shopping for a wedding dress. Or the extreme experience of shopping for a wedding dress. You know, the experience of trying on several wedding dresses in several different sizes, several different styles and several different shapes? That one. Oddly enough, it’s an experience I had last week at a popular wedding dress chain.
As most of you know, I eloped. And while I didn’t end up wearing my wedding dress on my wedding day, I did try on wedding dresses with my mom, and shockingly, it was super easy. My pre-children body lent itself to a perfect A-Line dress; one that I found almost immediately. We were in a small little store off the beaten path, and the only two people in the shop (aside from the owner). It was luxurious. It was perfect. And, it was a total anomaly. I dodged a bullet without realizing I need to duck. Because my experience then, versus my experience trying on wedding dresses last week, was vastly different.
Last week, my experience was fun and miserable at the same time. It tested my normally confident and secure self, and made me question if I should even be trying on dresses at all. I mean, I’m not a bride. The dress was for an industry party that required guests to dress, “so extra” or over the top. And, I was going as a Bitchless Bride! So what the fuck was I doing trying on these dresses that made me feel shitty? Seriously, why make myself miserable for the sake of a party? I didn’t HAVE to go as a bride, I wanted to. But, I pushed through it. And I made myself push through because if I were a (real) bride like you, I’d have to find a dress, and that reasoning gave me the determination I needed to keep going. It forced me to change my perspective.
Once I decided that I wasn’t leaving without a dress, I started pulling every style, shape and size. I told myself that I wasn’t going to look at the evil little tag with the bullshit number testing every fiber of my self confidence. Because it wasn’t real. It wasn’t consistent. And it sure as hell wasn’t worth completely undoing years of self love for one fucking dress. So, I pulled sizes ranging from 6-16, and some were enormous and some I couldn’t pull past my thighs. And suddenly I was having fun. Well, in-between the sweating from pulling the dresses, trying them on and my irritated skin, it was fun. But, I learned something that day that I’ll never forget. I learned how powerful it was to change my perspective. My mood literally went from self loathing to fuck it in an instant. And, since I PREACH perspective on the podcast + blog, I thought I’d practice it.
Bridey, my experience could have set me back years. I mean, this experience was far worse than shopping for jeans. And we all know that jean shopping is no picnic. But, the decision to give zero fucks about a meaningless number in a dress and the decision to keep moving, changed my entire experience. It changed everything. I walked out of there with a dress (and earrings and a necklace and a headband veil). And that night at the party, I fucking rocked it! I was a badass Bitchless Bride! The best part? Several people thought I was wearing my actual wedding dress! Little did they know that I bought it the day before, and guerrilla taped the hem(s) so I could avoid falling down.
I’m sharing this story with you because I hope that by reading this article, you’ll remember to dose up with a shitload of perspective before you begin your wedding dress journey. Go in strong and stay strong. Ignore the bullshit “size” in the dress and go for what fits and feels good! Got it? Good!! Stay Bitchless!