Oh, the wedding dress. Two months before my wedding, after a long and arduous search (which weirdly turned out to be worth it) I still had no idea what I was going to wear to our wedding. I felt, in a word, nuts. But I wasn’t nuts. All those websites I was reading that told me that everyone had at least the dress figured out were totally lying. And also? All that crap I was reading about how the dress had to be bridal to make you look like a bride? Also totally false, as proven by my friend Jamie, who has never regretted rocking a short cotton dress, and who looked every inch the Jamie-bride. So, today we have Katie here to tell us about a dress search with two brides and MIB (yes, you can hum it).
Lately I’ve been casually looking at wedding dresses online, but I’m having trouble getting into the dress shopping spirit. The wedding’s not until September, so there’s no real rush, but the reason I haven’t tried a single dress on is actually this sneaky little lady who lives inside my head. Let me introduce you.
A while ago I was perusing Anthropologie’s website, and I saw an adorable dress and thought, Oh my gosh, I need to get this! Now! It’s casual and short, exactly what I’ve been looking for. It was perfect. At the time I didn’t even know our wedding date yet and we had been considering a winter wedding, so I reminded myself to slow down a bit. Cute or not, short and strapless would be a no-no in January.
Of course, that didn’t stop me from imagining myself in the dress at my wedding. There I was cuttin’ a rug at the reception, shaking it around, having an awesome time. But when I went in reverse—back to the moment of walking down the aisle, something went terribly wrong. I came face to face with… My Inner Bride. I call her MIB for short. She’s a treat.
Her problem with me in this adorable dress?
I look too normal. I’m not… wait for it… glowing. That’s right. I’m not glowing. According to MIB, when I walk down the aisle on my wedding day, jaws should drop. Everyone watching me should think to themselves, “Oh. My. God. How have I failed to notice all of these years that Katie is the most beautiful woman to ever walk the earth?”
And when my fiancée Navah sees me, she should be overcome—o.ver.come.—breathless with her own brilliance, thinking to herself, “Wow! This is the best decision of my life. I’m marrying someone who looks exactly like Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman, and Halle Berry all rolled into one. Impossible! And yet, here she is!”
I have tried to reason with MIB, to explain to her that I look exactly 0% like any of those people. I mean, I have hair and eyes and boobs, but that’s about as close as it gets. And no wedding dress is going to change that. What’s more, I’m pretty sure if Navah were running this little celebrity wedding-day fantasy, it would involve me tripping as I walk down the aisle, catching myself as I make a witty and self-deprecating remark, and Navah thinking, “Wow, this is the best decision of my life. I’m marrying someone exactly like Tina Fey.”
But MIB doesn’t care about any of that. She’s completely consumed by whichever wedding myth it is that says The Bride is supposed to look more beautiful than she’s ever looked in her life, more beautiful, in fact, than anyone else has ever looked in the history of the world. You know that scene from Love Actually where Kiera Knightley’s character watches the video that her husband’s best-friend-who-actually-loves-her made of their wedding? And she looks sort of disgustingly ethereal and shimmery the whole time? And perhaps she’s wearing feathers?
That’s what MIB’s looking for.
The whole thing reminds me of when I went to pick up my high school senior pictures from the photographer. I remember driving over there and being all fluttery. I had never had professional photographs taken before—at least not as a semi-adult and not of just me—and I was so excited to get them back. I waited to look at the proofs until I got back into my car, and then I sat and slowly opened the cover to reveal…me. All the pictures just looked like me. It was a huge disappointment. I was sure that when I opened that cover, I’d see a super model staring back at me. So perhaps MIB is just plain old-fashioned vanity run amuck.
The ridiculous thing is that I’m not The Bride here. I’m A Bride. There’s another one—my intended, the person I’m super excited to be marrying. I’ve always been bothered by the Focus On The Bride—like maybe the groom wishes everyone at the wedding would come over and tell him that he’s never looked better instead of making jokes about how ridiculous it is that he ever got someone as great as the bride to marry him. That’s something we don’t have to worry about at our wedding, so you’d think that maybe I could do away with the whole be-the-most-beautiful-person-in-the-room/ever business. You’d think. But that vanity is a sneaky little lady.
The truth is, I can’t remember a wedding I’ve ever been to where the bride didn’t look stunningly gorgeous. Not a one. There’s just something about the day—the energy, the excitement, perhaps the nerves. Everyone is kind of glowing. Tears running down their faces, huge smiles, panicked grins. No matter the dress, they shine.
So hopefully I can keep talking her down and MIB will take some time off. I’ll finally try something on, and I’ll end up in a dress that’s comfortable and makes me feel good. I’ll get funky on the dance floor. When I walk down the aisle, I’ll be thinking about how fabulous my lady is and maybe about how not to trip on anything. Or at least coming up with a witty line for when I do. If I’m lucky, perhaps I’ll even glow.
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