One of the first things I did besides booking my venues was to go dress shopping. What an insanely mad experience this was. Wedding dress shopping is quite exhausting, both mentally and physically. Most dresses weigh much more than you would imagine and require several hands to get it on. The mental exhaustion comes from the overwhelming decision of picking that one perfect dress out of thousands, and just when you think that you have found the one you look at the price tag. These dresses are expensive, especially when you realise that you will only wear this dress for one day, it is hard to justify the expense. As a young woman I wanted my dress to be perfect, to make me feel like a princess. I wanted something unique, a dress I hadn’t seen before. Needless to say this sent me on an endless shopping journey that continuously left me feeling confused and completely worn out. There are so many to choose from that you get lost in them and forget about what it was that you had actually envisioned in the first place.
The one woman in my life who was possibly more excited about this shopping experience than me was my mother. I could understand her excitement as I am the first daughter in my family to get married. My mother brings such high energy to everything that she does; I knew that this would be an experience like none other. Every time we went out to our bridal fitting appointments my mother would mention to me how I should look for a dress in one of the small independently owned shops in my home city; Every time I would roll my eyes and decline. I just couldn’t imagine that a small bridal shop would carry the dress of my dreams, something unique and old classic. After a while I got tired of fighting with her and driving hours and hours to look at expensive dresses that I could not afford. I gave in and we set up an appointment at the local shop. Going into the appointment I was absolutely positive I wouldn’t find anything, I was not interested in the current styles and selections most bridal stores carried. When we arrived the employee showed us around and pointed out the sale section. My mother, being a major sale hunter, immediately started sifting through discontinued gowns. We pulled a few, none promising, and I went to get suited up.
Now to this day I am sure my mother is never going to let me live this down. After all the attitude and pushback that I gave her regarding this small local bridal shop. You can probably guess, this is where I found my dress. On the sale rack, at the small shop I didn’t even want to go in to.
The dress originally fit a bit snug but I figured I would lose a bit of water weight within the next few months. I was wrong. Wedding planning is stressful business and unfortunately my stress stuck to me like Velcro. When I went back to try my dress on not even two months later, it had become too small. I wish I could tell you that the dress shrunk, it didn’t, and I expanded. Stress eating is not something that I had ever taken up, in fact, in high school when under pressure I didn’t eat at all. This was a new formation and immediately added to my growing list of worries. Losing weight is never fun or easy and with only a few months to go I had to step up my game if I wanted to fit into my dress for my big day. As a bride you may have everything figured out and you may find your perfect dress. Life throws things at us, weather we should see them or not, and most times we are unprepared to deal with it. I was caught off-guard and let myself fall into a pattern that was hard to undo. Shit happens, what can we do? We pick ourselves up, compose our mind, and set out for the finish line once again. As discouraged as I was to find out that my dress was now too small, I had to realize that it was still going to be ok. That was hard for me because on top of everything else going on, the last thing I needed was to worry about my figure. For any bride this is a nightmare, and it is one more commonly seen than not. Don’t worry, we all go through it or see it, and it’s something that can be changed. It is not permanent and it is not going to ruin your wedding day. We are strong and determined and what is another bump in the road, it only makes us rise higher.
I have not been back to try on my dress since, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. However, I am confident that it will fit and this is what I tell myself. Work hard, be positive, and have hope, things will turn out ok; I promise.