That Feeling You Get When You See the Dress


Thursday, October 18th, 6:35 p.m.

I step from the cool dark sidewalk of central London and enter the warmly lit boutique. While walking to the store I see new wedding dresses fill the display windows and can’t help but think “did I choose the right one? Should I have waited longer to decide?”

The consultant greets my two girlfriends and I with all of the excitement one should have doing the job she does- helping brides-to-be find the dress they will wear on their wedding day. We make small talk and she informs me my dress is waiting in a dressing room at the back of the store.

As I round the corner I see the dress hanging- she prepared and had it waiting for me upon my arrival. And as soon as I see it, I am flooded with emotions and many thoughts- excitement, nervousness… Will it fit? Will it look as good as I remember it did? Did I make that image up in my head over the last eight months? Do I need to lose weight? Did I pick the right veil to go with the dress?

I enter the dressing room, remove my work clothes and step in to the dress. I (almost) want to cry. But I don’t let these kinds of things get to me like that.. I am more excited than ever and want to jump up and down…. Not exactly sure why- is it because I get to wear this when I marry him? Do I just like pretending putting the dress on because it makes me feel special?!

Well, I got to pick up my wedding dress last week (yay!), but the process of finding it happened months and months ago… And of course, I learned a few things on the way.

  • Every store is different. Take it all in and enjoy the ride.
    • I went to a few stores. Some big, some small. I came to the conclusion that not all operate the same. Some store owners concentrate on the wedding gown purchase as a real experience and pay close attention to every detail.
    • In these boutiques, I discussed the vision of the wedding, the bridal party, the venue, etc. with the consultant. She then pulled the gowns for me to try on.
    • I went to another store where I was greeted in a very friendly manner. She asked who I brought with me and a couple of quick questions about what I was looking for. I then had the opportunity to pull dresses by myself, and the girls who came with me pulled dresses. The consultant also pulled dresses.

So what? These two experiences were very different. In one case, I felt like I was in complete control. The other, I had to put my trust in the hands of the consultant, ensuring myself she was pulling all the right dresses and I wasn’t missing something.

  • Go to the appointment with something in mind.  Look at the boutique’s website to see what’s out there. Or, use Google!
    • I found this helped with the selection process. The entire experience can be overwhelming. So, if you go to the store with your personal style in mind as well as that dress I’m sure you’ve been envisioning since you were a little girl, you will be well on your way to finding the perfect one. Which leads me to #3,
  • Keep an open mind.
    • You might be surprised that you like something you never even considered. This is your chance to try everything and anything. If you have never considered yourself to be a ball-gown type, go for it! You will either reassure yourself, or find out that you make damn good looking fancy bride. Experiment with different materials too!

So what?  I was so close to choosing a dress with straps, and I had never envisioned myself in one like it. I ended up buying a dress made of a material I never envisioned myself in as well

  • Stick to your budget. It will help you in the long run
    • Every consultant I saw asked me my price point, which is also a great place to start. You don’t want to fall in love with something you can’t afford.
  • The type of wedding you’re having really affects the dress you choose.
    •    I never considered this would be a factor in my decision making. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I would envision the wedding day… Walking down the aisle and standing in front of all the guests. The environment and the back drop. This played a major role in my ultimate decision. If you’re having a simple wedding, it might not look “right” if your dress is over the top and very fancy and vice versa.
    • This also helps in targeting the type of bridesmaid dresses you want.