wedding dress from backEven before I officially became a bride-to-be, there was one thing I dreaded more than dealing with family drama, a spiraling out of control guest list, or trying to stick to a potentially unrealistic budget. After hearing horror stories involving "clamps," "pulleys," and copious amounts of frou-frou pick-ups and tulle, I was absolutely terrified of ... trying on wedding dresses. That is, until, I decided I needed to face my fears and marched into a department store bridal boutique on a whim. Turns out, trying on gown after gown isn't nearly as dehumanizing as I had feared. It's actually -- gasp! -- sort of FUN!

Two trips later, I found myself with my mom at a bridal salon, wearing a beautiful dress that made me feel like a million bucks. And when I said so, Everyone around me wanted to know ... Was I saying "yes" to this dress?

The answer: No ... not yet. Although I absolutely adore the dress, feel gorgeous in it, think it meets all of the specifications I was looking for and then some, I'm still not sure. But because I'm not sure, some might say my uncertainty must mean the dress wasn't "The One." Because when you put on The Perfect Dress (just like when you find The Perfect Guy), you're supposed to "just know," right? Pffft! I don't buy it.

For one thing, at barely 4'11", I usually need petite-cut and/or specially-tailored clothing, so nothing I try on in a store is going to look "perfect" at first try. The length sure as hell is going to be a test in creative visualization, the bust probably will need to be clamped to fit right, and there are usually other little finishing touches I might want to tinker with (like adding a lacy cap sleeve to a strapless gown).

For another, sometimes it's a bit too early on in the game to call time. Being that I technically have until mid-November until I apparently absolutely must order something for our May "I do"s, why shouldn't I enjoy a few more trips to other bridal salons and see what else is out there? As my mom reminded me, I happen to live near a "vortex" of wedding fashion -- NYC aka home to Say Yes to the Dress base camp, Kleinfeld! -- so my shopping options are, for better or worse, practically endless.

The bottom-line: Everyone's dress shopping experience is different. Some brides, myself included, aren't just going to pop on a gown and "know" that that's it. They'll need to think it through, do some comparison shopping, try on a few more in order to make a decision, etc. And there's nothing wrong with that.

It's okay. I get it. Our immediate gratification-accustomed, reality show-obsessed culture being what it is, it makes sense that brides are told it'll be "love at first sight" when they find The Dress. I'm pretty sure it won't necessarily be that way for me ... Either way, this bride still has some more shopping to do. And there's no shame in that!

Do you believe it's "love at first sight" when you find the right wedding dress, or is it natural to hem and haw a bit?

 

Image via klasspieter/Flickr