My Fiance Took Me To Target And All I Got Was This Lousy Cold

I picked something up in Target today, and I'm not talking about a six-pack of paper towels or a pair of tights---though I picked both of those up too---but rather something germy. Seriously, I walked into the store feeling fine and walked out half an hour later with a sore throat, a stuffy nose, and horribly achy sinuses. Since I've been home, I've sneezed roughly once every 12 minutes. Is it actually possible for me to have caught a cold in Target, do you think? I mean, I know they have everything there, but I didn't really think that included picornaviruses, did you?

In other news, my parents left today, to go back to Singapore after two weeks in California, and I've been experiencing a low-grade homesickness all day. This has had the unfortunate result of making me feel like I'm eleven years old and facing my first week at boarding school by myself again, and that's something I've found about homesickness, or about missing people in general, I guess: it never really gets easier. Logically, one should build up a  hardy tolerance against this sort of thing, shouldn't one, especially when the goodbyes are always between the same people. But somehow it doesn't work like that, and here I am, turning 29 next month, still missing my mum and dad. Possibly this changes when you have your own children (does it?), but somehow I rather suspect not.

While my parents were here, I seized the opportunity to have my mother come dress shopping with me---we're talking wedding dresses here, obviously, in case there was any doubt; DO I EVER TALK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE ANYMORE?---and we hit three stores in two days, the end result being that we were both entirely wedding-dressed out by three o'clock on Saturday afternoon. I had originally thought I'd narrowed the search down to six, but having reviewed the photos yesterday with a merciless and unforgiving eye, I'd say we're actually closer to two, which is something of a shame, actually, as it put an end to my hilarious joke that I could just buy all six and change every hour ("like a Diana Ross concert," agreed my mother.)

But here is the thing, though, and married ladies, I could use your input on this: how am I supposed to know when I've found The One? (Um, the dress, I mean, not the boy. Think I'm clear on that one.) I'm fickle by nature, you see, and I change my mind often. What if I buy the dress I think is The Dress To End All Dresses, only to find myself browsing bridal magazines a week after I've ordered it and realizing I made a horrible mistake? Everyone said I'd just know when I tried the dress on---"you'll just know, trust me, you'll just know!"---but so far I don't know anything; I mean, at the time, I thought all six of my favorites could be My Favorite, but that was before I saw the pictures and realized that an empire waist (on me) has the unfortunate effect of placing me somewhere in the early to mid second trimester, so apparently my opinion is not to be trusted at all. 

There is one, though, that I can't get out of my head, and it was the first one about which I had the very succinct thought: I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE THIS ONE OFF. But then I thought that about the next one and the next one too, and so apparently I just like trying on pretty dresses, and when you're trying on pretty dresses, it's hardly surprising that you don't want to take them off, is it?

(Just between you and me, though, I do kind of think it might be The One. I find myself looking at the pictures of myself wearing it when I'm supposed to be composing invoices or writing thank you letters, which means either I'm a weirdo egomaniac or this dress is something special. Then again, I don't have any pictures of the other top contender---there aren't even any on THE INTERNET, if you can believe it---so I don't really have anything to compare it to. And both dresses are so incredibly different that it's like comparing chalk and cheese. Or Jim Halpert and Don Draper, if you will. I mean, you wouldn't say no to either, would you, but it would be pretty hard to choose.)

Anyway, I'm going back to both stores with my friends in a couple of weeks for a second opinion, so until then I shall just ruminate, and then ruminate some more, and then maybe finish up that ruminating with a half hour or so of gentle ruminating. That's when I'm not blowing my nose and hacking up my lungs every fourteen seconds, of course. That trip to Target was so not worth the deal I got on those dark chocolate oatmeal Kashi cookies, that's for sure.

Jan 25, 2009

When I was shopping for my dress I must have visited at least 8 stores, and at the last store I found 2 that I loved that were in my price range. I loved them both, but I did not have that "oh, you'll KNOW, this is the one" feeling. Part of me worried that I should keep looking, that there might still be something else I'd like even more out there. But another part of me was SICK of dress shopping. And then I was like what more am I hoping to find? Another dress I love that also happens to be in my price range? So I looked at photos of myself in the two I loved and chose the one that was more flattering. And a funny thing happened - once I chose that one and bought it and put it on so they could fit it, I did then have THE FEELING that it was THE ONE and never looked back. And frankly, you'll have so much else on your to do list that once you pick a dress, you probably won't have time to look for/see another one that you might like better!

Jan 25, 2009

I may be little help because I the dress I ended up buying for my wedding was the 4th one I tried on in the very 1st store I went to. But I just knew. I didn't want to take it off. I had tried on three previous to that and while I had liked the very first one quite a bit, it paled in comparison to The Dress. If you find yourself still thinking about it a few days later, I think you've found your answer.

Also, I thought I would have buyer's remorse and the easiest thing I did to not make myself feel like I had erred in my dress shopping was to stop looking at dresses altogether. I glossed over the dress advertisements in bridal magazines and forbid myself from looking at dresses on the internet.

Camels & Chocolate
Jan 26, 2009

As someone who has never been married, I have absolutely no idea on how you know when you've found the one. But judging by those links you sent me, they were both STUNNING (though I was quite partial to the V-neck one if I do say so myself)(and I do).

Jan 26, 2009

The missing doesn't get easier when you have kids, but it's a different kind of missing because your focus has shifted away from your parents to your kid. Funny I was just thinking about this with my visiting parents due to leave and a young daughter who will be more distraught than me.

There is something to be said for a lack of choice when it comes to things like dresses. The more choice you have, the more you try on, the more prices you compare and so on (the hallmark of a good shopper of course) the more you worry about whether you've chosen the right one. If you only had 5 dresses to choose from, you'd be more content with what you've chosen. I wish I could remember the term for this, but psychologists say that people who make snap decisions based on little choice are happier with their choice than someone who had a huge choice and made an 'informed decision' based on many factors. Anyways, the bride _always_ looks beautiful on the day, no matter what she wears.

Carol Snider
Jan 26, 2009

Oh, pictures, pictures, please! I'm sure looked stunning.

And speaking of pictures, you've been tagged! (


mama speak
Jan 26, 2009

I'd say if you keep coming back to it, it sounds like the one.

I know I had two I feeling like I could've gone either way with; one was very sophisticated, and made me feel very Jackie O., the other was more classic; A-line cut, off the shoulder, pale silk embroidery on the bottom of the dress, etc... extremely different dresses. I was so torn! But I went back a few weeks later to try them on & the "sophisticated" one looked like rubbish. And the other, well I put on a veil & felt like I could've walked down the aisle right then.

You won't have a comparison on the day of; and they fit it to you, so it will continue to look more and more incredible on you. All anyone will really see is how you're glowing w/happiness on that day. When you think about it, you could wear a t-shirt & boxers and you'll look ravishing.

Jan 26, 2009

I think the first thing you need to do is shut your eyes and visualize. I bought a dress for my wedding I wasn't in completely in love with (whoops) and when I tried to envision my wedding pictures, what was I wearing in them? What did I want to see myself wearing in those photos 5 years from now? 10 years from now? It wasn't the dress I had originally bought, so I went out and got the one I *did* see myself in- I made a beeline to it, tried it on, and that was that. I was sold.

And I agree with Julia- it's so easy to psyche yourself out and get buyers remorse. Once you pick one, be done with it. No more! Don't look at any more pictures in magazines! Don't try any other dresses on!

Just try to imagine how you want to look in your pictures. It sounds kind of dumb, but it worked for me!

Jan 26, 2009

Ironically ....
I just blogged about this myself... Missing your kids is just awful..No, I am afraid nothing in life gets easier. But then again, I am NOT the person to ask right about now..
*wipes tear from eye.

Jan 26, 2009

My mum is leaving on Wednesday for England on an open-ended ticket to take care of her elderly mum. I don't even get along with my mum all that well, and yet I'm sad that she's going. I think to some degree we all always have that feeling like a little kid and wanting mummy & daddy around.

In other news, I think you've found the dress. That "feeling" that people describe to you about saying they just KNEW... it is what you just described, about never wanting to take it off, and daydreaming about it and staring at pictures of it all the time. That dress is The One. Go out and buy it :) Oh, and then don't look at any more bridal dresses.

Jan 26, 2009

Close your eyes, think of both of your dresses (pictures help) and picture yourself doing a BUNCH of stuff in it--dancing, kissing your husband, saying your vows, etc. Figure out what one that is and move from there.

Seriously though, pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. And scrutinize everything. I had 2 contenders and I realized that though I liked the idea of a higher neckline, I had to be realistic in the fact that I'm stacked and I needed a little v-neck to show off nice assets. Think of what is realistic for YOU.

Hopefully some of this helped--any of it.

Jan 26, 2009

I found myself comparing every dress I tried on to the one I ended up buying. That was how I found "The One". Once I bought my dress, I didn't allow myself to look at dresses again out of fear of finding another one to fall in love with.

Jan 26, 2009

I ended up choosing the very first dress I tried on. Of course my mom said there was no way that could be IT so I tried on many more but it was IT. After you do choose the dress, don't look at them anymore in wedding magazines. You've made the decision so move on. Otherwise you will drive yourself crazy.

I bought a box of those cookies on a whim last time I was at Target, remembering your review and mindlessly ate 4 while driving, only to look inside the box at my next stop and realize I'd just eaten HALF THE BOX. Not buying those again. (They were tasty but apparently I have no self control.)

Jan 26, 2009

I bought the dress that made me tear up and realize that I was really going to marry the man of my dreams when I saw myself in the mirror. (In retrospect, this could have been because of the veil - I didn't think I wanted a veil until they stuck it on my head and it was like Insta-Bride.)

However, this did not stop me from having a nervous breakdown 3 weeks before the wedding at the final fitting when I decided I did not at all like how it fit across my hips and I wasn't sure about the sash and omgggaahhhh. I ended up spending a totally unnecessary amt of money ordering sash alternatives off the Internet and wearing the original one anyway! And the day of, I felt gorgeous and happy anyway because hey, getting married!

Moral of the story, buy the one that makes you the happiest, but much like The One (male edition) - don't be surprised if it isn't all sugarplums and sunshine all the time. Like all good relationships, sometimes you have to work at it. ;-)

Jan 26, 2009

Not wanting to take it off and thinking about it a lot are good signs that it's The One. I think it's easy to tell yourself that you're not sure it's The One because once you've found it, that part of wedding planning is essentially over and that can be kind of a let down. This is especially true since you've really got to stop looking/trying on dresses after you've bought one or you'll actually end up being Diana Ross, which, while that may be pretty fabulous, I think the hair might be a bit much to handle on your wedding day.

Jan 26, 2009

I have no advice on the wedding dress stuff, except maybe once you buy yours don't look at any more so that you have nothing to second guess with? Is that even possible? I don't know. What I do know is about being homesick. I moved to Australia from Canada over seven years ago and I can say that it only gets worse when you have kids. I think it is because there is more in your life you want to share with your parents, siblings, etc everyday, but can't. Things will get easier for me in the very near future, but that is only because we're moving back to Canada this April.

Jan 26, 2009

I totally know where you're coming from... I probably tried on 15 dresses total, from start to finish - and I was completely torn between 2. LOOOOVED them both, had zero idea what I was going to do... I was literally to the point where some stranger off the street could have just picked A or B, and I would have just been happy to have a decision! So, I took 4 of my bridesmaids to the dress shop with me, tried both of the dresses on 3 million times (tried sitting, walking, with veil, without veil, etc etc etc) and once I finally forced them to give up the "We love them BOTH! You'll look great in EITHER!" bullshit, and tell me which one looked better and which one they thought I should get - and they all picked the same one. And that was that!

And, I totally agree with everyone who says to just try to stop looking at dresses once you've purchased yours... you will ALWAYS find other dresses you like, so it's less torturous if you just try to avoid looking at them. That's what I've been doing. Start looking at other fun things, like flowers, and favors, and sweet tables... there are plenty of things to keep you occupied ;)

Mrs. Higrens
Jan 26, 2009

While I've never been far enough away from my parents for long enough to get homesick (apart from that one 2 week trip to Germany in HS which was certainly far enough, but not long enough what with the excitement of attending school, riding the u-bahn, spending time in beer halls...all with little supervision), I did have one of those "this is the one" dress experiences which brought tears to my eyes. Even when I went back to the store to show my future MIL and all they had was the woman's size of the style (the pictures from that visit are pretty damn funny as I took a size 4 in a wedding dress, so there was probably enough extra fabric for a 2nd dress for me), I still knew it was the one I wanted to wear as I walked down the aisle and my husband to be saw me for the first time in it.

Jan 26, 2009

Once I bought my dress, I was so glad to have that item crossed off the list that I didn't even glance at any more dresses in magazines.

I bought the dress that I was MOST certain was NOT me. The first shop I went to was run my horrid people with no pictures and no touching the dresses rules. So I went with my mom to a small town shop where they would take the pictures for you.

I wanted a sleek, chic dress and my mom convinced me to at least try on one "princess bride" dress. As soon as I put it on I knew it looked like what my husband was expecting. I showed him some pictures in magazines and asked what he thought. He pointed to a sleek, chic dress and said "that looks like a regular party dress". I knew I had made the right decision.

Jennifer R
Jan 26, 2009

I knew which one was the one when I kept thinking about this one dress. And then comparing all other dresses to that one dress. And then no other one would measure up. I just kept going back to that dress. I knew it was the one. But I only went to one store, who knows how I would have felt if I went to a bunch. If you keep going back to it, then it is probably the one.

Jan 26, 2009

I went to... [hold on I have to count] four dress stores and I can't remember how many dresses I tried on. But I know I found a few I really liked, that I felt sexy, pretty, and comfortable in. Not just "I like how I look" comfortable, but "I could wear this all day and not feel strange" comfortable. Then I tried on the veil (borrowed from my cousin, that my aunt made) with my favorite and had my mom there - and she cried, and the veil matched perfectly, so I went with that one. :-)

She Likes Purple
Jan 26, 2009

You do kind of just know, but it's also fairly easy to doubt that feeling or to think you'll find something even better in the next store/magazine/online search. I'd say the feeling that you want to keep going back to it is a pretty good sign. I tried on my dress first in the second store I went to. I couldn't imagine finding it so easily, so I tried on a gazillion more, and at the end of that day, I said, "I want to put that one back on." And just like you, once it was on the second time, I didn't want to take it off. I bought it twenty minutes later. Even though I've seen some stunning dresses since then and even some stunning dresses that I thought I could really have loved two years ago, I've never regretted the dress I bought/wore/got married in. I do regret that it's in a garbage bag in my garage right now, but when will I have an occasion to wear that thing again?

Jan 26, 2009

As someone who's gotten married (in a dress that I still love five years later), helped several friends buy a wedding dress, and who sold wedding dresses for a couple of years, I know a thing or two about this, and I have good news. It sounds like you're going to be thrilled with either of your favorites. Because, think about it -- even if you buy one and find another one later that you just love. Do you really think you won't STILL love the one you loved before? And no matter what, you're going to look STUNNING. The End.

Jan 26, 2009

I knew I had found "the one" (mind you, this was the 3rd dress I bought...the first two off ebay), when I had it on in the store and strangers stopped to tell me I HAD to buy it. So I did. Oh, and I completely lost interest in wedding dresses once I ordered it. Before- totally obsessed. After- couldn't be bothered.

Jan 26, 2009

The homesickness thing unfortunately does not ease when you have kids. For me in ways it was a bit worse when baby was small, because I was constantly up in the middle of the night with her, praying for my mommy to come rescue me. ;)

As for the dress... I really LOVED my dress, but to this day think that I could have gone with my #2 choice as well. So there was never a huge defining moment for me, either. But I definitely did not want to take it off, and it made my mom cry. So that was that.

Jan 26, 2009

i don't know. i just KNEW.
i looked at and tried on about 875 dresses. and i ended up going with one of the very first dresses i tried on...because i always seemed to be comparing all the other ones to that one...

Jan 26, 2009

I always feel compelled to comment on your blog even though I'm not typically a commenter.
I just chose my dress. I can so relate to you though, I REALLY liked several dresses- enough that the salespeople would begin writing up an invoice assuming they'd made a sale and then I'd be all- Wait, you want me to order that? now?
I was beginning to think I wasn't the type of person who "would just know"
BUT in the end I did just know. I couldn't believe I started crying, but I think it was out of sheer relief that it was over! It really helped that I went to a shop with the most above-and-beyond helpful people on earth.
My point? Not sure. But good luck and I really enjoy reading about your wedding planning!

Jan 26, 2009

Personally, I think the idea of "The ONE" is sort of a myth. The dress I chose for my wedding was beautiful and fit me perfectly and I am totally glad it was my wedding dress, but even now, two years after my wedding, I still see dresses and think, "Why didn't I wear that one?" or "How do I buy that dress and wear it without getting divorced and remarried?" The most important thing about a wedding dress is how it fits you, and if the dress you found complements you perfectly, it's the one you should wear.

Operation Pink Herring
Jan 26, 2009

I never had that "THIS IS THE ONE I JUST KNOW IT" moment. I really loved one dress I tried on, but when I showed it to friends they were just lukewarm and I realized they were right - it was the kind of dress I wish I could pull off, but it wasn't a great fit for me (and the color wasn't good for me either). Boo hoo, I went back to looking online and I kept coming back to the features of one of the other dresses I'd tried on -- one that everyone else had loved in the photos. The more I looked at it, the more I loved it. I went back to try it on again and ordered it on the spot. I haven't seen a dress since that's made me question my decision. I don't think everyone has that defining moment when they just KNOW... just keep looking at the pictures of the two you're deciding between... I bet one will edge ahead to be the winner!

Jan 26, 2009

I LOVED my wedding dress when I got it, and still do love it. I know it's not the most conventional dress in the world, but it was very me, and I still smile at me in it when I look at pictures from that day. It was funny, because it wasn't what I imagined as THE dress, but somehow, once I laid eyes on it, I was all, "this is the dress for meeeeee!"

Jan 26, 2009

If you have time for a brief story:

When I was engaged, way back in the dark ages of 1996, we planned to pay for most of the wedding ourselves and were therefore on a strict budget. I tried on a whole bunch of dresses at lots of designer boutiques on Newbury Street in Boston, mostly to get a feel for what I liked. Then, I hoped to find THE dress at the Filene's Basement gown grab, which is a horrible event that still gives me nightmares.

Anyway, I loved all the dresses at the boutiques, but I couldn't get one out of my head. It was a designer gown and cost $4000 (is that still a lot? Maybe nice ones cost $15K now) but I had a budget for less than $800 or something, so it was not to be. I was in a consignment store one day and found a brand-new, simple, lovely satin dress that I bought and decided that it was The One, because I was willing it to be The One. At $500, my husband was thrilled, and though he never saw it, was also content that it was The One.

Needless to say, it was not The One. The $4000 dress was The One. I went back to try it on again, and decided I had to have this dress somehow. I sent the dress consultant scurrying around on needless errands to find me ugly headpieces, while my sister hastily shot pictures of the dress from every angle. I then bought yards of beautiful peau de soie, and my mother made the dress. Without a pattern. And didn't finish hemming it until two nights before the wedding. While I was having a heart attack that it wouldn't be done.

The point is not whether your mother could make you a dress (I'm still amazed that mine did) or whether you spend $400 or $4000 or $10,000; you know your budget. My point was that I knew the first dress I bought wasn't the right one. And I couldn't get the designer dress out of my head--I just had to figure out a way to get it. (I sold the first dress back to the consignment store for half of what I paid, and the fabric for the $4000 mom-made knockoff only cost $350, so I still only spent $600 on the dress. Okay, two dresses.)

And the moral is, that turned out not to be a brief story after all. :)

Jan 26, 2009

Here's my advice: Once you get to a point where you feel confident in making a decision, STOP LOOKING. Whenever you pick up a bridal magazine, do not under any circumstances look at any more dresses. Make your choice, love it, and move on.

Also, the homesickness thing does not get better when you have kids. For me, it got worse. Because although I love and miss my parents, they ADORE my baby son (and he them) and it absolutely kills me when they have to say goodbye knowing he'll be dramatically different the next time they see him. Because kids change dramatically every three days, on average.

Heather Tinsley-Fix
Jan 26, 2009

I totally don't believe that "you'll know it the minute you put it on" crap. It just messes with your head. My advice is to pick the one you keep coming back to and/or the one that continues to feel, every time you put it on, that it is a deeply good choice. The first time I tried on the dress I eventually picked, my mother and sister literally gasped and then teared up. Even though I hemmed and hawed due to other options, I kept coming back to it and every time I thought about it or tried it on, I felt a stronger and stronger conviction. Also, it was only $400. LOVE THAT. Good luck! You will be stunning and queenly no matter what you pick, remember that!

Jan 26, 2009

No, you never out grow missing your parents when they leave. My mom stayed with us for a week after my baby was born and I cried and cried when she left. Two years later, I still cry when they come for a weekend, and then leave to go home after 3 days, and I drop them off at the train station. People at Union Station are probably asking themselves, who the crazy girl is that's always crying when she leaves.
As for the dress..ha! I went "pre-wedding dress shopping" with one of my bridesmaids who happens to be a wedding consultant, and we picked out 5 fabulous dresses. Three weeks later when all the bridesmaids and my mom and aunt get together, they liked NONE OF THEM! Frustrated at that point, I told one friend through gritted teeth and threatening tears, to find anything, anything in my size. The first one she grabbed turned out to be THE ONE!

Jan 26, 2009

Trus me Holy - you will just know. Like you how you know that Sean is the right guy.

Regardless, it is just a dress. and your wedding day will be perfect no matter what you are wearing!

Jan 26, 2009

Darn you, and your Jim Halpert v. Don Draper conundrum. Don Draper is smoking hot, but Jim Halpert isn't a cheating scum bag. Then again, shirtless Don Draper!?! So much to think about.

That being said, cliche as it is, follow your heart. If you can't stop thinking about it, it's probably "the one." You'll figure it out. And by the way, you could wear a gunny sack and look gorgeous.

Good luck!

Jan 26, 2009

so glad i didn't have a white dress wedding, choosing a dress would have been too stressful for me.
maybe you should buy 'the one' and not look at any other dresses after that. not even in magazines. but i really think you should wait. why do you need to get a dress so far in advance? that way if you do happen to see a 'better one'/ 'truly the one' a month before your wedding, you can actually get it! anyhoo, you would look great with just a white sheet draped over your shoulders...

Anne & May
Jan 26, 2009

Well, I'm really short, so nothing fit me in the stores. So I ended up buying the one I liked best but I worried about it until that wonderful moment when it was finally cut down to my size and I could finally see what it was really going to look like!

So I didn't have a "the one" moment. Mostly I just had a "I like this one the best and there's so much else to do and it's a great price so let's roll with it" moment.

But I loved it on that day. Loved it.

Just remember that anything you choose is going to look gorgeous and on that day, your dress is not what you're thinking about.

Jan 26, 2009

The dress I bought I tried on as a joke. It was much pouffier than I imagined I'd ever want. But the moment I put it on, I felt all Princess-y. And my friend that was with me loved it. I never had that weepy, teary-eyed moment because I'm just not that kind of gal.

Jan 26, 2009

My mom also went bridal dress shopping with me, and I gave her very specific instructions: strapless, ivory, simple. I knew I didn't want a bunch of crazy beading or pleating or gathering. She walked through aisle after aisle, choosing dresses according to my instructions. And then she shoved one dress at me, pleading with me to "just try it on." I examined the dress and saw it: ALL THAT BEADING. It was across the bust and around the skirt, and it wasn't even a simple design - it was complex and ornate, with many different types of crystal beads and miniature pearls. I remember sighing and rolling my eyes while she helped me into it, then standing in front of the enormous mirror and staring at myself.

I never took it off.

(Well, okay, I did eventually take it off, but I didn't want to. It was PERFECT, in every way. Which only proves that mother knows best. I still love that dress, even today.)

Jan 26, 2009

I didn't think finding the perfect dress was a real thing, so I basically bought the first dress that I tried on that wasn't hideous. I liked it, but I didn't love it. A couple of months later I was dress shopping with a friend of mine for her wedding dress and rounded a corner at the bridal shop and literally walked into a dress form wearing a dress that took my breath away. I begged my friend to try it on and she said I was crazy, that the dress was not her style and looked more like something I would wear. The next day secretly I went back to the salon and tried the dress on and I was flooded with feelings of "oh crap, this. is. the. one." I immediately slapped my other dress on craigslist and never looked back.

I'm just taking the long winded way of saying that you'll just know. And if the idea isn't cemented in your head right now, go try on other dresses. If they don't stick in your mind like the current front runner does, then you have your answer.

Jan 26, 2009

I can barely decide what to eat for lunch... so shopping for a wedding dress was overwhelming. I shopped for a good 2 months, going to EVERY bridal store in town, trying on everything. But I kept comparing every dress to one. I'd say, "Yeah, this is nice, but the other one had nicer lace." Keep looking, eventually it'll turn up. Oh and don't bring too many people with you. One person max. Opinions are like buttholes. Everyone's got one. (Just watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress to see how annoying it can be when one friend loves everything and the other hates everything.) I ended up going shopping alone a lot. I think that helped. I'm not only indecisive, but also easily influenced.

Good luck!!!

Oh and once you buy a dress, THROW AWAY THE BRIDAL MAGAZINES.

Jan 26, 2009

I'm getting married in July and I bought my dress back in December. I was torn between two dresses. They were completely different. One was very formal, the other very informal. I liked them both, for totally different reasons. Even though I think I liked the look of the formal one better, it just doesn't fit with my casual wine country wedding of only 40 people and so I bought the more informal one. Since then I have not let myself look at other dresses in the magazines. I can look (as my roommate is also getting married) for other people. But I no longer look at the dresses as if they were for me. Kind of like when I used to ogle them before I was engaged (yes, ok, I admit I used to look at bridal magazines before I was engaged). They just no longer hold the same appeal. I've found my one and I don't let any of the pretty magazine pictures sway me. Also the whole part about how the dress is non-refundable. That helps a lot too.

Jan 26, 2009

Like some others have said above, your dress should fit the venue/theme of the day (casual vs. formal, primarily). You can pick the place first, or the dress. And that seems to drive the rest of the details (so, no pressure in getting it right, eh?!). The pressure isn't real, but it sure feels like it. Anyway.

I bought the first dress I tried on in front of anyone (I snuck into a bridal store while on a one-month work assignment in Indianapolis. That didn't get me anywhere, fortunately, or it would have ruined the shopping with my mum and his.) And sure, I sometimes wondered if oh...a little more lace might have been nice...when we proceeded with bridesmaid dresses and I found myself back in the bridal salons. But I finally decided to just stop looking and stop thinking. And now? Two point something years later? I *still* love my dress, and still know I knew (like everyone said I would).

As for the casual vs. formal... I guess I didn't realize I wanted a formal wedding, because hoo-boy that's what we got with the dress I fell in love with. :) But with a relaxed ceremony by the beach, a relaxed by the beach (but elegant nonetheless) fits the bill. Any one dress stand out for that? I hope it's the "one"--cause I think you've found it. :)

Oh, and yes, regardless of what you wear, you will be stunning on your day. And you will take people's breath away. So just you mind that.

Jan 26, 2009

I didn't have an IT'S THE ONE! moment, and in fact, I had such a hard time finding a dress in my price range that I even wanted to try on that I had mine made. In the end, what made me choose the particular design I chose was that it was classic; I didn't want to look back on my wedding photos and think, "Ohmygoodness, who LOVED 2007??" I had a few moments of dress-chooser's remorse, but in the end it was gorgeous, and I was glad I'd followed both my gut and my brain.

Don't worry too much about it; you will look gorgeous in whatever you choose, and that dress will end up being THE dress because you wore it on one of the most important days of your life.

Jan 26, 2009

I never had the moment of angels singing and beams of sunlight falling softly (wait... can beams fall softly?) around me while trying on dresses. Maybe you don't have to totally love a dress at first. Maybe it's enough to like the dress a whole lot, because the love part will happen AFTER you get married in it and look at pictures of you in it and package it up for your daughters to wear some day.

That's how it went for me, anyway.

Jan 26, 2009

Okay, so my experience wasn't exactly a "just knew" immediately experience, BUT, here it is:

Tried on multiple dresses. Liked some, disliked others. Narrowed to two. It was about the time that I was mentally altering Dress #2 to include aspects that I liked in Dress #1 that I started to get a clue that perhaps I should just buy #1 and save the alteration costs. Then, when we found our reception site and I visualized myself in it, my first mental picture was dancing in dress #1, we left immediately and bought it.

I think your first commenter was right, though. Once you buy it and move on to other details, you'll hardly have a chance to look around and reconsider.

(And, on the missing parents note: I don't think it gets easier after you have kids of your own--just different. I think it's because you see another whole side to your parents when they become grandparents, and it's so fun to watch them with their grandkids......)

Good luck in choosing!

Jan 26, 2009

I think that whatever dress you end up choosing should be the dress that best fits in with the feeling of your wedding. I tried tons of dresses that I loved but they just didn't really go with how I envisioned the entire day. The dress I did end up choosing made me feel just like you've described: I never wanted to take it off. And once I purchased it, I stopped looking at other dresses. I think thats important to prevent buyers remorse. Even though you love the dress you bought it's so easy to think "Well what about that one....". So just stop looking and voila! Problem solved.

Jan 26, 2009

Hi, it's me, your dress buddy.

I didn't KNOW. I had a feeling about my dress but I kept looking around with one eye. And then I just got practical. There may be prettier dresses out there, there may have been a better option. But this is the dress I choose.

Although I did have a moment many months ago when I called the bridal store to make an appointment to try it on and the lady said, "oh, we sold that dress." And my gut instinct was a very strong, "YOU sold MY dress?!" So maybe I did know...

Jan 26, 2009

I knew when I kept comparing every other dress I tried on to "that one". Every store we went, everything that looked good on me, every dress I saw in the magazines...I kept comparing it to the one I'd tried on that ended up being mine.

It wasn't immediate for me, but once I realized I was comparing all the time I ran back and grabbed it before it was gone! I didn't look back...

Jan 26, 2009

I didn't really have a "this is The One" moment when I was trying on wedding dresses, but here's how I ended up buying the first dress I tried on:

I went shopping/trying on with my mom and a friend. The first one I tried on I liked a great deal. After that the rest were just "eh", at least at that store. Then I went to a second store and there was one that I reeeeally liked, almost even better than the first one. However, it was more than double the price of the first one, and it was strapless, and so my mom talked me out of it.

Later on I went back to the first store and tried the first dress on again and I just really, really liked it. So I ended up buying it. For $350, I really couldn't say no. Especially when I tried on a veil to go with it (this was 1999, by the way!) that hooked on under a bun (it didn't go over my face) and was all of 8 feet long and had two layers, both of which were studded with hand sewn on pearls. The long, under layer was detachable, leaving a shorter fingertip length one that I could float around in during the reception. I loved it so much that I ended up using the long layer as a wrap/shawl during the reception. Aaaaand, one of my best friends borrowed it for her wedding.

So, even though there was a dress or two that perhaps I thought I liked better than this dress, once I bought it and got it home and kept looking at it and getting anxious for the big day, it just became The One. And then the day came and I felt so beautiful in it (and comfortable!) and it just...worked. Nine years later and every once in awhile I'll pull it out of the back of my closet to look at it, even though it's not in style anymore.

Jan 26, 2009

Oh, yeah, as others said, I also kept in mind the weather and venue. I got married in a park in Santa Barbara in August when it was warm and I didn't want to bother with a ton of undergarments making me hot and sticky. So I went with a wispy dress of a few thin floaty layers that was nice and cool. It was plain white (white was "in" back then), simple A-line style with no decoration at all except for the straps and collar, which was a wide row of pearls. Basically, the straps were about two inches wide of pearls, which continued down around the collar, up the other strap, and around the back, if that makes sense.

Jan 26, 2009

My advice...

1. Pick one dress
2. Put your money where your mouth is

That was the ONLY way I was able to make a choice. Of course, being a plus-sized girl my options were more limited as I distinctly did not want to look like a Puffball. If I had the cute little body you do...well, I'd probably go the Diana Ross route!


Jan 26, 2009

I had a terrible dress shopping experience- I came home to the States and had one day to find the dress with my mom and sister, having only 4 months until the wedding date. I brought all these pictures of super glam, fussy dresses I thought I wanted, but we couldn't get any of them by the wedding, and they were crazy expensive and not really me. At the second store I tried on a really simple, youthful dress which looked totally like me. The day ended with my mom and sister screaming at each other and my sister in tears, so I just decided to go with the safe dress. After I got it I kept looking at dresses and thinking maybe I should have gotten something else, but at my wedding in June the dress was perfect. It was so comfortable, I could eat and drink in it and even though I wanted something very sophisticated and "not me" we can't be something we're not. Whatever you decide will be perfect, just make sure you are comfortable.

Jan 27, 2009

I loved trying on wedding dresses. I didn't find the one, i'd still be there trying stuff on if I had waited for that. Everything was just so pretty.

When you have your own kids you'll miss your parents even more. When you become a parent that's when you really understand everything they've done for you. Not the big stuff, the day in day out stuff. If you and Sean ever decide to move around as parents, you will be falling at your mothers feet in awe for managing that stuff for a family of four.

Amanda Brown
Jan 27, 2009

Choosing is so hard! I love so many styles; it's like choosing how to decorate your home a little bit...I like a dash of modern, a pinch of contemporary, a tad of French do you commit to one when you see the good in so many other styles? Quite the conundrum.
I actually bought my dress, off the rack, before I was even engaged (scandalously hopeful, I suppose?). I knew a proposal was looming and I was about to move to a new city to be closer to my beau so my mom suggested we look at dresses just for fun, so as not to miss out on that exciting moment together. It started innocently enough. Then I spotted this dress on the sale rack, for $199. On a whim I tried it on and it fit and I was thought, "I think I like this. It's only $199...if he doesn't propose I guess I can cut my losses." So I bought it. The thing is, I can't say I had this huge "ah-ha" moment about it. I liked it, it was cheap, and I took the plunge. I didn't tell my beau about the dress until after we were engaged and he had a good laugh about the whole scenario. The thing is, the longer that dress sat in my closet, the more I loved it. Each time I tried it on I grew more attached to it and it BECAME The One. That was almost seven years ago, and when I look at my wedding pictures I still think, "Dang, that's a nice dress!"
Sorry for the novella here. Just wanted to say that I don't think there's a formula for finding The One, neither in dress nor male form.
Good luck! Whatever you choose, you will be radiant!

Vampy Varnish
Jan 27, 2009


I just discovered your site via Dooce's Twitter friends list and I love it! Great writing and awesome layout. I am really glad to have a new site to read!

Jan 27, 2009

I know you’re tired of hearing it, but it’s sooo true. When you find it, you’ll know. I looked for a dress for three months! I literally went to about 29 different stores on both the East and West coast, and I didn’t “know” anything yet. I had several in mind that I liked, but jumped out and said, “Take me home!” Just when I was beginning to think this “you’ll just know” stuff was a bunch of crap, I found it…and I knew. Don’t settle. You didn’t settle for the man, so why settle for the dress?

Jan 27, 2009

Pretty much the same experience here as Beth (comment #1). I think this whole 'the one' thing is full of hokus-pokus. It's a dress, and while some might fall in love with one immediately, to others it will just be a dress - a special one, no doubt, an important one also, but a dress. Choose one that you think is beautiful, that flatters, and that you can pay for - you will love it and will he.

Then, stop looking at dresses.

Jan 28, 2009

The first dress I tried on is what I ended up buying, because everything else kept getting compared to it. I had it narrowed down to two dresses. The other was twice the price, strapless, and had a really long train, which were things I didn't reaalllly want. It was just super flattering - making my waist look smaller and chest look bigger. But my dress is a good neckline and silhouette for me and the style matches the whole feel of what I want for my wedding day and I do love it.

I do have some buyer's remorse, with the whole could-I-have-gotten-a-more-flattering-fit thing. Hopefully that will be fixed with the alterations.

And I still see other dresses on wedding blogs and go ooooh, I would love that!

Laura Pohl
Jan 29, 2009

Ok, so when I got married, I felt the same way you did. "How will I know when I've got the right dress?!!" I had a shape in mind for the dress (mermaid), I wanted strapless, and a sweetheart neckline. No lace or fruu-fruu stuff...Well, I went to the local bridal shop and the lady handed me a dress with the mermaid shape, strapless, no sweetheart neckline and it had lace as the overlay to the whole thing. I remember thinking..."Nope, no way will this be THE DRESS." But I put it on, and OMG! I didn't want to take it off. I tried on other dresses just for the sake of doing it and ok, it's fun. But every dress was compared to THE DRESS. So that's how I knew. It was the dress for me because 1) I didn't want to take it off, 2) Every other dress I tried on was compared to THE DRESS. Ironically, it was the first one I tried on!! What are the odds?!

Jan 31, 2009

The dress is SUPER IMPORTANT. But the relationship following? More so. As awesome as it is, the dress will go in an airtight box, and live in your attic or basement, or under your bed one day. I was between two, one twice the price of the other. I picked the less expensive. Again, as great as it is, the wedding day is ONE DAY. Albeit huge, it is just the precursor to the rest of your life with your love. Try to feel what you feel most yourself, plus some awesome romantic stuff in...then, consider your budget, what it's worth to you, and close your eyes, and PICK. Your day will be so incredible, believe it or not, what you wore may actually fade in your memory. When I remember? 16.5 years later? My husband's face as I walked towards him. And kissing him as we were pronounced. My dress? Great, but actually a side line sort of thing in the aftermath. Blessings, good luck, and have a great time.