A friend of mine is getting married in July. Today we went dress shopping. Now, it doesn't matter who you are or what you look it, Wedding Dress Shopping can (almost) always be described in two words: Epically Frustrating.
You go in and you sit down after you've made an appointment. You end up having to wait because there are only two fitters and the girl who had the appointment before you is standing in the back, in a beautiful Oleg Cassini bawling her eyes out because it doesn't fit quite as it should in the bust and she is not going to get her dream wedding in which she looks like Jackie Kennedy at the White House. You're nervous as hell because trying on clothes is nightmare and you're going to have a stranger picking things out and shoving you into them and because you want to look just right. Not to mention that dresses are expensive and many bridal places don't let you return things should the romance go belly up, which would mean that, worst case scenario you're stuck with a taffeta, lace and bead extravaganza and a fiery ball full of hate in your stomach. And, you're not even in the fitting room yet.
Should you ever need someone to hold your hand (and your self-esteem) when trying on wedding dresses, I'm your girl for two reasons: 1. You are only allowed to get to have the weepy, "I'm so fat and I'll never find a dress that looks nice on me!" breakdown once. We'll cry. We'll talk it out. I will pick you up by your bootstraps and make you soldier on because you are not fat and any wedding dress that doesn't make you feel like a pretty, pretty princess has failed at its job. Seriously, a wedding dress should make you feel like a Queen because you're going to be wearing for a full day while you are the center of attention. And, no one puts on a burlap sack when they know they're going to be the center of attention. You get out your best shoes for that. 2. I come complete with Mary Poppins bag and kick ass sense of humor. I turned up to the fitting today with an extra pair of two and a half inch heels, a strapless bra, spanx, a bottle of water, post it notes, a pen and a camera. (Well, the camera on my phone which actually takes not-too-shabby photos that you can send to your Momma.)
Amazingly, I didn't have to have the "Look,I know you've gone completely Body Dysmorphic after seeing yourself in the funhouse mirrors, but you really do cut a mean silhouette" conversation. Which was pretty amazing. I did want to smack the woman that checked my friend in when we first got there, though. The wedding is in July and the first question out of the woman's mouth was, "Oh, are you pregnant?" Followed immediately by, "We always go one size up because wedding dresses run small." Be that as it may, you just insulted my tiny-pants friend who does things on short notice twice in one breath. Calm down, woman. Not everyone plans years and years in advance.
It turns out there is only one question you need to ask about wedding dresses and that is, "And, what about it don't you like?" We narrowed it down to three and then discovered that each of those dresses had at least one deal breaking feature. The bad news, we had to start all over again. The good news, we were able to pin point exactly what my friend was looking for because we knew what she didn't want. The dress she got, in the end, was in a size smaller than the other dresses she was trying on (Take that, first measurement lady!). And, I agreed to count calories with her from now until the wedding. She would like to drop a few pounds (and maybe pick up some muscle.) I think we can do it. I'm also particularly pleased that the day went off without any major melt downs, freak outs or morose moments sponsored by an unrealistic of view of What Women Should Look Like. We got off pretty lucky. There could have been tears.