Bridal Pressures

16Oct09

I went wedding dress shopping on Tuesday.

I am fortunate to have a body type that looks good in the majority of wedding dress styles. (I like to think the running I did a while back plays some role in this.) I tried on and liked enough wedding dresses that I almost started to hate wedding dresses by the end of it all.

I tried on dresses like this:

And like this:

And like this:

(Obviously, I didn’t try on any of these dresses, or any dresses that are TOO similar to this.)

Dresses was probably the very first wedding topic M and I talked about after we got engaged. We flipped through picture after picture on the Internet. I don’t think most girls do this with their fiances. I’m glad I did though. I discovered there are some styles I like that he doesn’t. Like this one:

He says dresses like this remind him of nightgowns.

Anyway. The point is, he has opinions. He says he’s only been to one wedding where he really liked the wedding dress, in fact, like a very typical man, can’t even remember most of the others.

But the problem is not that he has opinions. It’s not even that he isn’t supposed to see the dress before the day (doesn’t want to see the dress before the day, in fact) and therefore can’t give his opinion.

I think the problem is SOCIETY. It’s very easy to blame society for things isn’t it? I can’t remember how old I was when I first heard the ideology that no one can be more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day. Even an ugly bride is more beautiful than any one of her guests.

I didn’t realize how much pressure this puts on a bride until I became a bride-to-be myself. How can you guarantee that the dress you pick will draw the reaction you want from those watching you? And even more importantly, from your groom? More than anything, I want him to think I’m beautiful.

(Yes, I know he already does. And he’s told me he doesn’t REALLY care that much, that there aren’t very many dresses out there that really blow him away, mostly because he doesn’t care that much about the dress. But still, what if he thinks my dress is ridiculous, or boring and his favourite wedding dress is still his cousin’s from two years ago?)

Anyway, I found a dress. I found a couple dresses, really. The Internet says you’re supposed to burst into tears of joy when you put on YOUR wedding dress. I didn’t do that. Seriously, does anyone? There might have been a little more of a grin than with other dresses. An affirmation of favouritism when I tried it on a second time at the end of the day. But now, I’m second guessing myself. What if it actually makes me look dumpy and the pedestal at the store is just making me look taller? What if it’s too over-the-top, too modern, too odd, too much or too little crinoline, not enough coverage, too much fabric, too little bling, too much bling?

(The dress does not have all of those things. But, M reads this blog on occasion. I don’t want him knowing too much!)

And the biggest fear with almost all of the dresses I tried on on Tuesday… what if there’s too much skirt on whatever dress I pick and I end up standing at arms length to the man I’m marrying our whole wedding day?

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