Wednesday, October 10, 2012
what you should know about wedding dresses
My brain has gone through some angst over the last week.
Don't mock the cranial wedding dress duress, until you've had to choose between two wedding dresses - where both make your heart flip with joy. It'll keep you up at night. You'll sweat. You'll be paralysed by choice - you'll focus on one, then the other, then the one, in excruciatingly obsessive detail.
It'll be all you can think about for days on end, whether you like it or not You'll be utterly bored while being anxious. Your friends around you will just be bored.
It was a terribly tough decision. All I can really rely on is that I've paid the deposit - so there's no going back now - and that I think this dress was primarily the winner from the start. (I tried it on three times, so it was one I kept going back to.)
The day before I had settled on the other one - most of my bridesmaids seemed to prefer it. Then another contingent came in and insisted the one I ended up choosing was best.
I never had a clear-cut "yes this is the dress!" moment. Was I meant to? Twenty seven dresses later and here I am. I am pretty darn happy though, and without giving too much away - it's quite traditional in many senses, and I feel just a little bit like a princess wearing it.
You'll feel like you're in a sausage factory
Choose a bridal store that actualy gives a shit. That's my advice. Some stores may stock lovely dresses, but they'll only allow you to try on two, make you wait months for an appointment, be a little bit rude and push you through.
My two final dress choices were at stores that allowed me to take photos (many have policies that won't allow this) but let me do so as my brethren is in South Africa. The ladies were also nice, patient, and allowed me to try on all sorts of stuff, sometimes twice.
In the end, I wanted to support good places, not the industry itself.
You need to have ordered a dress six months before your wedding...
IF you want lots of choice and don't want the chiding "tsk tsk, you're leaving things a bit late aren't you?" from the various assistants. Sometimes you don't have time on your side. It just means you have less choice.
Less choice in the wedding dress world is a blessing in disguise. Because there is almost too much to choice from.
That said. You probably will end up choosing something someone has worn - more or less - before
I did it for years. "There's no way I'm going for [that], everyone wears that, it's so boring." I'll be brutally honest. If you want something original - so a dress that's a different colour, or has funny things hanging off it, or different sleeves, etc, this is going to be very hard to find. It also mostly is more expensive.
Also, you might find, like me, that you feel you've had the 'original' Matric dance dress or been generally 'quirky' your whole life, and that you want to be more traditional on your wedding day.
The secret sauce. What brides tend to do is give their dresses their own unique stamp through the small embellishments they can find. I know this, only because I have done research on what 'accessories' are out there. Some of that research has included going through my friends wedding photos on Facebook in intricate detail to really observe what they did to their dresses. (It's amazing what you can find if you really look closely - something I obviously didn't take much notice of until now.)
There are tons of amazing things you can add to your dress. You might buy it as a blank canvas, and then add things like straps, belts, sashes, brooches, flowers. So you don't need to get everything all in one.
What you're willing to spend
I tried on a £4000 dress without knowing. It was beautiful. But I'd suggest you definitely don't do that. I set myself a budget, and not a ridiculous one, for two reasons.
One - I'm only wearing this thing once. It seems a shame to spend tons of cashola on a frock you get to wear once. For two, there's other shit at the wedding that I think is way more important and deserves more cashola-injection. Like an amazing DJ and endless bottles Diemersfontein pinotage. For example.
........Although, I did spend a lot of time studying Vera Wang's 2013 wedding collection, with dollar signs coming out of my eyeballs.