Chances are you'll tell yourself more than five...
1. I’ll know when I put on “the one!”
Let’s get this one out of the way first, shall we? We can absolutely blame Say Yes to the Dress for this. Hear that, Randy? Our favorite guilty pleasure show has made us believe that the only way we can purchase a wedding dress is by bawling our eyes out first. Not true. A lot of people expect wedding dress shopping to be emotional, and for some, it is. It’s a big, important step in the wedding planning process. But don’t be disappointed if it’s not.
Chances are you'll know when you put on not the one. Much to my sister’s chagrin, I didn't end up choosing the BLUE Elsa dress from the Disney Princess collection. “The one” deserves to make you happy, but it doesn’t need to make you cry.
2. The dress has to fit the theme and tone of the wedding.
My wedding is on New Year’s Eve. I plan on going Pinterest-crazy with sparkly touches, and I have this epic fantasy about the whole night being like a Great Gatsby party. At first, I was so obsessed with this vintage, 1920s theme that I started searching for dresses that only Daisy Buchanan herself might wear. I tried on some really gorgeous, satin and beaded numbers, but they all felt like costumes, and I really couldn’t picture myself walking down the aisle with a feather headband on.
The important thing is that you select a dress you feel comfortable in, something that’s right for you (not a character), because you should be yourself on your wedding day, and you’ll be looking at those pictures for years to come. Don’t let the theme dictate the dress.
3. I have to include everyone.
This is another Say Yes to the Dress lie! Brides roll in with their mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, aunts, cousins, bridesmaids, nieces and female dogs. And they all end up sounding like bitches (I’m not talking about the dog…). Everyone’s got opinions, but sometimes it’s best to just pick something YOU love without all the commentary, and then when you show your family and friends pictures of the dress, they’ll have no choice but to compliment it. Trust me, this works. I kept it simple by making wedding dress shopping a special occasion with my mom and sister, who’s my matron of honor. I value their opinions the most, and it was something the three of us will treasure forever!
4. It will be the best experience ever.
It is fun to try on pretty dresses. A couple of them. I was always amazed at how tired and hungry dress shopping made me. It’s not so physically demanding (the bridal attendants do all the heavy lifting, thank God), but it can be mentally draining. It’s basically the equivalent of that eye doctor’s exam where they ask you, “Is A or B clearer?” “B or C” “A or C” “D or E” “B or E” “F or U” AND THEY ALL START TO LOOK THE SAME. Towards the end of my last shopping trip, my mother – the picture of politeness – told an employee that one of the dresses looked dingy. We quickly fled and gorged ourselves on Olive Garden. Don’t get me wrong – wedding dress shopping was awesome, but it was tough too!
5. It will be the worst experience ever.
This isn’t true either. I didn’t realize how beautiful these dresses would be in person. For someone who’s only ogled at gowns on TV and in magazines, trying them on was a once in a lifetime experience. One thing I learned is that expensive clothes fit you better. You WILL find a dress that looks awesome on you, because the designer put a lot of work into it. This is coming from someone who survives on $5 H&M shirts and gets mad when they rip two months later. I mean really? It’ll be a FUN day (or days) where you get to be in the spotlight and feel beautiful. It really is a nice trial run for the big day. And if the spotlight’s not your thing? Pick a dress and move on with planning!