The Perfect Wedding Dress

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Wedding nightmares are a real thing. The two that I like to have are always the same.

1. Nobody comes to my wedding because it turns out I forgot to invite anyone. So at the last minute I start calling and texting people frantically asking if they'll swing by.

2. I don't have a dress. Forgetful-me doesn't buy one and doesn't seem to realize this until I'm about to walk down the aisle. And then I panic and quickly ask to borrow one from someone and when I do it's always hideous and red.

Am I nervous about getting married? Not at all. I'm nervous about planning a wedding. I missed the boat in middle school when most girls started planning their dream wedding.

Then I missed it again in college. And out of college. And I still haven't gotten on that damn boat.

Although my resume claims I am, I am not at all detail oriented. I don't know what I want for this "once in a lifetime" event, but yet I know what I don't want... If that makes any sense...

Everyone keeps asking me if I've "found the dress yet!?!" Their sweet eyes light up with this question as they stare at me expectantly, giddy to hear my response.

"Nope. Haven't even looked." It's never the response the people want. My answer is like a pin prick deflating an excited pink balloon.

Just like with the wedding itself, when it comes to my dress I don't know exactly what I want. But I do know what I don't want.

I don't want:
Strapless.
Closed back.
No tulle.
Nothing that resembles a tutu.
No stark white.
No pink.
Nothing frilly.
Nothing big.
I refuse to wear a dress that will require me to ask assistance when I need to go to the bathroom. No, thank you.

I think I'm going to be a joy to try on dresses with, what do you think?

The two things I am concerned with are finding the perfect rehearsal dinner dress and my wedding shoes. My sister wore the beautiful blue Manolos from Sex and the City on her wedding day. But I don't think my monster basketball feet are meant for designer footwear. Such is life.

The day of actually trying on dresses is getting closer and closer... Any suggestions how to survive it? The best I've heard yet is "wear nice underwear." Noted.

43 comments:

  1. I think you would look really good in a sheath type of dress.

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  2. Have some champagne before... and make sure you go to a place that serves champagne while you're trying on dresses. That's what got me through!

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  3. Don't take a huge entourage. It's easier with just a few people. And take the people that won't try and force their perfect idea on you!

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  4. I say Just Elope!! Why put yourself through the stress if you aren't into those details??? :)

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  5. I am with you on the fact that I know what I DON'T want for my wedding or my dress...but also like you, that doesn't mean I know what I DO want. Yet everyone expects me to know this stuff! My aunt is doing my flowers and asked me if I wanted ribbons. I'm still confused...she's doing the flowers, right? Where do ribbons come into play?!?

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  6. I thought I wanted to spend a lot of money on a nice designer dress. But my mom convinced me to go to David's Bridal so I could try on a bunch of styles to see what I even liked. I ended up buying the second dress I tried on off the rack for less than $300. It was fantastic and perfect. It's definitely not like me to want anything designer, so it was nice to end up with something that felt like me. Do you, girl.

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  7. Champagne. Champagne. Champagne. And maybe for some variety, mimosa's. Those are my tips for success in wedding dress shopping.

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  8. I wish someone would have told me the nice underwear part...I never thought about it until just now, but I'm sure my husband really appreciated my spanx hahaha. I still think back to High School Homecomings and wish I wore something different so I don't know if I have any good advice. We "eloped" last year..(I say "eloped" because people knew, it wasn't a secret, we just didn't want anyone to come lol) and I wore a short, strapless (sorry!) lacey kind of dress that at the time was great, I loved it. But now I keep finding myself thinking about how I should have worn something longer...maybe something "lighter"...maybe chiffon...maybe I should have worn one of those sparkly sashes around my waist? So long story short, I just wouldn't worry about it too much. And chances are ten years from now all our kids will be like EW MOM THAT DRESS WAS SO UGLY WHAT WERE YOU THINKING! Hahaha. But no really, good luck ;) Have fun with it.

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  9. I went in with a list very similar to yours. I KNEW the things I did not want and I was sure as hell not appeasing my mother and trying on what she wanted. And as I type these words (not speak them) my mouth tastes bad because....my mom was right about the kind of dress for me. I tried on a strapless ballgown with a little too much bling, a little too much tulle and when I got in front of the mirror I cried. Then they jacked me up with accessories and damnit if it wasn't perfect. So, even if your mom or the associate helping you comes over with a frilly frock and you're like WTF, just give it a whirl. And if all else fails....CHAMPAGNE :)

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  10. I was totally against a strapless dress because I didn't want to be adjusting it all night. I tried on all the dresses with sleeves before I let the assistant talk me into trying on the dreaded strapless. At this point I was pretty frustrated because even with the cinching in the back, the dresses with sleeves were swallowing me (5'1" 105 lbs). The strapless was the one I ended up choosing! They altered it really well so it fit me like a glove and it didn't feel like it was about to fall down. You may end up with a dress like you imagined from the beginning or you may surprise yourself with something you never thought you'd get! Have fun & good luck!

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  11. I online shopped as much as possible. I tried on less than a dozen dresses altogether. Any dress I found tolerable, I found what local store had it, and went there to try it on. No time wasting here. Sounds like you might find the same process less irritating.

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  12. Best advice for the day off shopping? Bring mini bottles :)

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  13. I ended up going with something completely opposite of what I thought I wanted. My mom made me try it on. I thought I'd hate it, but it was perfect. Seriously, just try on everything.

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  14. just forget what you don't want because sometimes you try something on that you weren't expecting and fall in love. Just like with LOVE. get it? okay i'll stop now.

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  15. As a fellow Chicago soon-to-be bride, I highly recommend Sarah Seven for wedding dresses. I had no clue what I wanted so I went to one of those Chicago bridal shops featured in The Knot and homegirl who worked there had zero interest in trying to help me figure out what to do. Also, my maid of honor who was with me and who is getting married in Sept. bought her dress from this place a week before I went for my appointment. She had been helped by the same person and even though the lady acknowledged this, she still brought me my MOH's dress to try on. The exact same dress. Uh, what?

    Sarah Seven (in Lincoln Park) was my second store of the day and the experience was AMAZING. The stylist let me try on every single dress in the store - seriously, every single one - and didn't rush me at all. Plus, they aren't the traditional tulle/cupcake/fluffy nightmare dresses either. Also, alterations are included in the cost of the dress.

    Good luck!

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  16. If you're more interested in the shoes, why don't you pick an awesome pair of shoes first then pick the rest of your wardrobe around them??
    My other tips are take only a couple of people. No need for an entourage and a bunch of opinions.
    And try on a bunch! Even ones you don't think look good on the rack. You never know.
    And if all else fails....drink a lot of mimosas?

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  17. Stay strong when telling your consultant what you do/do not like. Let her "pick out" a few but if it's something you're adamantly against (example: I refused anything poofy/full skirted, but was open to different necklines/sleeves) and don't try something on just to appease someone. Keep it to only 2-4 people to go with you. The more people, the more opinions you'll have to deal with.

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  18. I'm also not on that whole wedding planning boat either. Trying to do things as cheap & minimal as possible! That being said, I'm avoiding dress shopping & I actually just ordered a dress online, hah. Without trying it on so it is going to be a complete hit or miss when it shows up. I agree with some other comments, alcohol would be a necessity to try on dresses!

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  19. The dress I got married in, I found a week before I actually got married. I wasn't prepared at all. But we had a little courthouse wedding so it wasn't anything where I needed an extravagant dress. After reading your list I found this one and thought it was about right. Now the price isn't all too cute but the design of the dress is what I was getting at lol.

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  20. I was frustrated from trying on dresses and not finding anything I loved either so I went on craigslist on a whim one day (since I was living in wedding capitol of the world at the time I think) and found the perfect one for $50! lol I seriously couldn't say no. You prob think that's really gross but...everyone was super jealous that I only paid that much when I was only wearing it once. Good luck!

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  21. haha, you are so funny. For dresses I think that you should still try things on you don't think you'll like because you never know. I thought I wanted a plain dress, no sparkles nothing and was dead set against it. But then the lady at the dress shop suggested this other dress and it was complete opposite of what I thought, and when I put it on that was the dress, so you just never know until you actually get it on. So keep an open mind. :)

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  22. Let me say THIS about your list.

    Throw it out. I swore I knew EXACTLY the dress I wanted. When I tried it on, it looked TERRIBLE on me, and looked amazing on this other girl who came in. The dress I ended up with was a suggestion that was made by the consultant, who had just gotten it in and thought that she saw something in me that said that dress. SHE WAS RIGHT and I looked like a supermodel when I got married. Email me if you have any questions!

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  23. Hmm..my advice is to only take a couple people (3-4 max). If the shop lets you, take pictures. Some wouldn't let me. Know that many dresses can be altered some. I really wanted some type of cap sleeve, but couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I fell in love with a strapless dress, and they were able to make cap sleeves to match. Perfect. I will be excited to see what you choose!

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  24. Well first, I love your sense of humor! Because I watch "Say Yes to the Dress", "Four Weddings", and 'Bridezillas" so often I'd say start there! Because you don't really know what you want, but know what you don't - you might just look at a dress in one of these shows and say that you would love to get married in it or you might find one where you like the top and another where you like the bottom so then you have an idea of what to look for. :) Plus, I think seeing a wedding dress on someone actually getting married sometimes makes you envision it on yourself rather than when you see it in a magazine. Regardless, good luck with your search! :)

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  25. I used to sell wedding dresses and I just bought my own a few weeks ago, and what everyone has told you is SO TRUE. Let me just tell you though, I went to the store knowing exactly what I wanted and what I didn't want, and I walked out having bought exactly what I thought I didn't want, and I love it. You have plenty of time to find a dress. I got mine with 3 months until the wedding. If you're interested, here's the post I wrote about what to know before you go dress shopping:

    http://theotherjuliette.blogspot.com/2015/02/5-things-to-know-before-you-go-wedding.html

    and this is the one I wrote about my dress buying experience:

    http://theotherjuliette.blogspot.com/2015/06/wedding-wednesday-dress.html

    Just remember this is about YOU. Get the dress YOU want and if people tell you you're supposed to cry or something, don't listen to them. You don't need to cry. Good luck!

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  26. It's better to go in not knowing what you want because what you think you want probably won't be what you end up loving anyway lol. I went in for a ballgown and came out with a trumpet style dress. :) Just keep the group small and make it fun!!

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  27. haha i said the same thing - i dont this or that or those -- and guess what kind of dress i loved and bought? a dress with this and that and those.

    so my advice would be - listen to the ladies who work there. they're really good at their jobs!

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  28. Check out BHLDN (by Anthropologie) - non-bridal and affordable, you can order them online and try them on at home and return what you don't like!

    Wear a sticky bra (NuBra) - makes a huge difference in how the dresses look, and you won't have to be totally naked when the sales lady is helping you put the dresses on.

    Have someone take pictures of every dress. This way you can look back and see exactly how the dresses look on you. Have them just take pictures of the dress and cut your head out. My mom made sure to get my face in all of the pictures but then the bottom of the dress got cut out. I am making ridiculous faces in all of the pictures she took of me, or they are blurry-because moms.

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  29. You need a dress like Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.
    http://thedreamstress.com/2011/04/the-10-most-iconic-wedding-dresses-ever/

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  30. I would pay actual, American money
    to watch you on an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. I don't have cable, but I've seen commercials for it in hotel rooms and it looks painful, but I think you'd make that show brilliant!

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  31. Everything everyone said above is true. U will fall for the dress just like u fell for the guy u want to marry. Its love. Simples!!

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  32. Have you tried looking for dresses online? Just to get an idea in your head for what you like? That may help when actually dress shopping.


    Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird

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  33. I had the dream about forgetting to invite people quite a bit during that time. Wear nice underwear is a great tip haha! Just don't feel like you have to find "the dress" in one visit. I went in thinking I might look at 2 other shops. I only tried on like 10 dresses total, and one of those dresses was my dress.

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  34. My suggestion is that even if you don't like a dress on the page or on the hanger, still give it a try. The dress I saw online that I thought I wanted wasn't "the one". Once I got it on, it just didn't look right on my short body, so moved on. I also tried on some dresses just for shits & giggles - a REALLY big one & one that had pockets that resembled the dining room curtains at the time. Just have fun with it. :)

    Mandie ~ http://badbrewpack.blogspot.com/

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  35. Save yourself the cost of a pair of shoes and wear something that you can stand in literally all day... I spent $300 on my wedding shoes, wore them for an hour, and then put my white chucks on right before I walked down the aisle and kept them on all night, best decision I ever made.... we just got married in May, don't get wrapped up in the small stuff, its not worth it, the day goes by so fast and it at the end of it, its really about you marrying the love of your life, not what color your linens or flowers are. As far as the dress, I had horrible dress experiences and finally I went by myself on a Friday night and found my dress... I didn't have an OMG this is the dress and I didn't start crying, I loved the way I felt in it, put it on twice and I said this was it... no other opinions in the room just my own, it will all work out!!

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  36. I dreaded wedding dress shopping. I love fashion and the idea of owning a fancy, beautiful dress was exciting ... But it was also intimidating. I worried about what I would look like in the dresses and what the women helping me get into the dresses would think. I was worried I wouldn't find the right dress, or that I WOULD find the right dress but then I'd realize it was thousands of dollars over my budget. (Perhaps I watched too much Say Yes to the Dress?)

    It was stupid because I was making myself incredibly anxious over something that was supposed to be fun. I didn't love the experience the way some women do, but I did manage to have an okay time (and find the dress of my dreams in the process!).

    Here's my advice: Take only 1 or 2 people with you. Too many people have too many opinions. Make sure these people will listen when you say, "I don't like this." (Or, conversely, "I love this!") Figure out how much you want to spend beforehand and don't let yourself get talked into something more expensive. And for shoes, wear something comfortable. If your dress is long, no one will really see them anyway. I wore Toms, and I was so glad I did ... I didn't worry about tripping in heels or that I'd be dealing with blisters at the end of the night!

    You'll know when you find the right dress. I was one of those people who cried (but I'm super emotional), but I knew because I felt confident and happy and beautiful. I never feel that way, so I knew that had to be the one.

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  37. I think it's typical to go into wedding dress shopping not knowing exactly what you want, but knowing exactly what you don't want. I think, however, that using this tactic will make you able to pick out dresses that you like initially so that you don't waste your time when trying on dresses. Plus, when you're specific about what you don't want, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can find exactly what you want. I loved your post, and I believe that you will definitely be able to find the perfect wedding dress! http://www.allishawedding.com

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  38. Trying on wedding dresses was the thing that I most looked forward to about planning my wedding. However, it was also - hands down - the must emotionally painful thing to do. Wait - don't give up, yet! The good news is that I overanalyze things and figured out WHY it was so upsetting. And I have tips :) Be aware of your expectations, and consider those perpetuated by the media. Try to begin visualizing wedding dresses as translated onto your own body before trying anything on. And, if you can, have some fun out there! And - most important - bring friends who will make you laugh throughout the entire experience.

    If you want the full story (and I swear I NEVER include links in comments) it's here: http://jeansandatanktop.com/and-the-bride-wore-a-look-of-sheer-terror/

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  39. Hey dear, I was also very nervous while I was planning for my wedding. You know but I had booked nice venues for events and I had booked my dress from an online store in advance. Well, I hope you have got your desired wedding dress?

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