I hate dress shopping. Any kind of dress shopping. Having to pick out a cocktail dress for a wedding or bar mitzvah involves anxiety as well as many visits to many stores in many places. My poor friends and mother who have accompanied me on these trips have had to deal with my insane pickiness, my refusal to come out of the dressing room to show anyone the clothes, and my overall grouchy and pessimistic mood while shopping. So I have no idea why my friends Proma and Mandy, and my mom, agreed to go wedding dress shopping. Proma came all the way from Pittsburgh! And they actually seemed excited! Wow.
Is this my dress? Nope!
I was a bundle of nerves in the days leading up to the big shopping trip. I was mostly anxious, but also surprisingly excited. In classic Barbra form, I had done A TON of research beforehand. I spent hours upon hours looking at wedding dresses online. Once I had narrowed the search down to David’s Bridal (dresses in my budget AND my size? Score!), I visited their website several times a week, adding dresses to my favorites, then going through them again and again. I scoured the photo reviews to see how the dresses looked on actual people. I searched Google Images with style numbers. I read countless reviews and shopping recaps on The Tribe. I took dresses off the list. I put them back on. I removed all of the taffeta dresses. At the last minute, I added a few that were totally different from the others, just on a whim.
Did I add this one? Um, no.
As we pulled up to David’s, we saw people lined up outside. I thought I had avoided the crazy crowds by making the first appointment of the day, but apparently this is a normal occurrence on weekends. Wait—maybe all of the terrible stories I heard about shopping there were going to come true? I was instantly convinced I would have a terrible consultant who wouldn’t pay any attention to me. I would try on dresses that looked and felt awful, and they would push me to buy something when I really liked NOTHING. S**t. But then, I met my consultant. She seemed really nice and already had my list of favorites printed out. I started to feel better. Deep breath.
Will I be wearing this at my wedding? Do you know me?
As soon as I came out in the first dress, all of my anxiety went away. It fit! I liked it! It was flattering! My mom cried (sorry, Mom)! Even though this wasn’t the dress, it was ok. I tried on more dresses. We liked them all. I realized that I would be finding a dress that day. This was actually going to happen.
Can you picture me in this dress? No? Good.
In the end, I found myself torn between two dresses. I switched between them a few times. Yes, I was one of those girls. I chose the dress that made me feel the prettiest and happiest. It was nothing like what I had pictured for my wedding. It was nothing like the other dresses I tried on. But I love it. And with a few days’ reflection time, I know I chose the right one.
Is this the dress I chose? Nope, that remains a mystery.
So, after years of saying I couldn’t picture myself in a dress, after a lifetime of hating dress shopping, I found a wedding dress. After visiting one store, one time. Wedding miracles really do happen, I guess.