This Just In: Finding a Wedding Dress is Soul-Crushing

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The title here really says it all, right? Simply put, I am having a helluva hard time bringing myself to be excited about the search for a wedding dress, & it feels pretty terrible. Here are some of the issues that are plaguing me right now when it comes to The Dress.

The Size

Let's get this part out of the way: I am not BFF with my body. Like, yes, I live in this body & we get along well enough, in that we have to spend all day every day together, but we're not, like, friends. I've gained about 30 lbs. since leaving D.C. two years ago - & if you're playing along, yes, that's almost exactly the amount of weight I lost when I did Weight Watchers back in 2012. I've gained it all back. Womp. Now, I'm planning a wedding while near my all-time highest weight. Optimal, right?

The Spotlight

The idea of having all those people stare at me on the happiest day of my life - 200 people I know & love, just looking at me for an entire day - makes me want to crawl under a rock. Or elope. I'm having a really hard time the thought of being in the spotlight that way, captured in photos that way... If I'm being honest, it kind of makes me sick to my stomach with anxiety.

The Shopping

I can't quite bring myself to go try on wedding dresses in one of those big, floofy wedding dress stores where peppy employees squee & coo & clamp brides-to-be into size 6 floor samples. That literally sounds like my worst nightmare. Instead, I've been trying to order wedding dresses online, but I've already ordered & returned three of them, & it's getting old fast. There's something equally sad, it seems, about trying on ill-fitting wedding dresses alone in the privacy of my poorly lit bedroom.

The Color

Does anyone look good in white? Wait, don't answer that. Plenty of women look quite lovely in white (& shades of) - but I am, unfortunately, not one of them. I can't remember the last time I wore a white shirt, much less a cupcake of a ballgown to be donned on the happiest day of my life. Did you know that, for the most part, I only wear black & grey? I know I don't have to wear white, but it feels like I should, which is directly at odds with the fact that I think white is awful.

The Designs

There are so many crazy wedding dresses out there, & I'm not particularly girly. I don't want a dress that's covered in rhinestones or sequins or feathers or ruffles or... any of those things. I also need straps. The last time I wore a strapless dress was by necessity as a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding in 2013; at this point, I don't even own a strapless bra! But a huge percentage of wedding dresses are strapless or strappy (which is just as bad), & what are the other options, unless I go super-Mormon?

The Self-Consciousness

What it all comes down to is that I don't love my body right now but have to find a dress for it anyway. All I want is to feel - & hopefully actually look - beautiful on my wedding day, but right now, I feel like I could find the prettiest, most perfectly fitting dress in the world, & I'll still hate the way I look when I'm standing up there in front of everyone on the big day.

I know I have to try. I can try to lose weight, try to find peace with my shape, try to find a dress that flatters me & makes me feel pretty regardless of everything. I can try to suck it up & make an appointment at a damn bridal store, even though it sounds like my personal seventh circle of hell, & when I'm there, I can try to keep an open mind as I try on a thousand dresses in search of the right one. And I will try, because as crotchety as I sound right now, I'm thrilled for this day & want it to be as perfect as possible.

It's just... damn. I thought wedding planning was supposed to be kind of magical & fun. I didn't think I would have to force myself to try to get excited about wedding dresses, of all the lovely things. This is one item on the Big Day checklist that I'll be glad to get out of the way.

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