Zen: The Dress Rules

I made a lot of rules for myself about The Dress, because I loooove dresses and I was a little afraid of what I might do when unleashed in a world of lace and tulle. They weren’t rules with any rational basis; they were just rules based on the fact that part of me still guiltily believes that an intelligent human being has no business being interested in what she wears.

Rule: I would not spend anything close to $1,500 on my wedding dress, because that would be silly. (Note: No rational basis, since I can afford it, and hey, fashion is art. If Damien Hirst’s preserved corpses can command large sums of money there’s no reason Oscar de la Renta’s lace dresses shouldn’t.)

Rule: I must not have to wear Spanx in order to look good in the dress.

Rule: The dress must be slightly different, but not so much as to cause unfavourable comment. However I must also feel like myself and not just some generic bride when wearing it.

Rule: I wouldn’t buy more than one dress. I’d just choose one for the English wedding and stick with it. (For the Chinese wedding it’s usual for brides of my socio-economic background to wear more than one dress in the course of the day.)

My search for the Dress started well. I went dutifully to one bridal salon, out of a vague concern that I’d be sorry to have missed the experience of twirling in pretty dresses before admiring friends. To my relief, I found that wedding dresses are just like other dresses—one feels exactly like one’s ordinary self in them. I’d worried that it would be a Say Yes to the Dress kind of transcendental experience in which I’d be convinced to part with huge wads of cash because the dresses made me feel so pretty, but this didn’t happen.

Reassured, I bought a vintage dress on sale on Etsy. The measurements seemed correct. It had a few quirky details, but it was floor-length and in the neighbourhood of white—eminently suitable, I thought. There were a few issues with it due to its age and delicacy, but nothing a clever seamstress couldn’t fix. I found the clever seamstress by dint of Googling, left it with her to correct… and plunged into a slough of despond.

The dress was pretty—wasn’t it? I looked at the blurry shots I’d taken of myself in the dress over and over again. A high collar didn’t really suit me, did it? Those strong late ’30s shoulders… didn’t they look kind of silly?

I was not helped by the fact that the intimates to whom I showed the dress responded with stricken silence.

“It suits you … I guess,” said my mother.

“Maybe you can get the seamstress to change the sleeves so they don’t make your arms look fat,” said Bridesmaid S.

This is not the sort of talk to inspire confidence in a wobbly bride. Cephas, being old-fashioned, refused to have a look at the dress. In desperation I showed the pictures around a larger circle of friends; the feedback was largely encouraging, but it didn’t help. The seeds of doubt had been planted.

When the dress returned from a stint at the drycleaners, I put it on and felt confused. I couldn’t look at it objectively. It was associated with months of worry and insecurity—and embarrassment, because I felt like an idiot worrying so much about something so relatively unimportant. But I knew I didn’t feel pretty in it. I wasn’t even sure I could go out in it without attracting ridicule.

This is where the story gets a bit absurd. You may have read about Meg’s Great Dress Search, which ends unexpectedly with a ’50s dress she just happens to pick up in a neighbourhood vintage store. On holiday in San Francisco, I strolled into my third Haight Street vintage shop of the day and started browsing. Half an hour later I strolled out with a grin and—a dress.

Oh, not the Dress. Just, you know, a sleeveless cream chiffon ’50s dress with a poufy skirt and boat neck and ruching at the waist. I’d only tried it on on a whim.

So you know when you try an outfit on and you start peering at yourself from different angles and making faces at the stunning vistas of new hotness that are opening up before you? Yeah. That.

I hadn’t even wanted a ’50s dress! Forgive me, but I felt like the ’50s full-skirted dress was overdone. So many people wear it. (Yeah, Zen, because it’s totally flattering for a ton of different body shapes and wearing it makes people want to dance. Maybe that’s why.)

Equipped with a backup, the original dress I’d bought suddenly looked much cuter than it had appeared in my panicked imagination. But unfortunately I’d given it a bath to try to get rid of the stains the dry-cleaning hadn’t dealt with, and the bath had spoilt it—all the self-covered buttons were stained with rust. So I have an excuse, if anyone bothers to ask me why I’m not wearing the dress I showed them.

But actually, I have no excuse. I just like my new dress better.

I comfort myself with Meg’s dress journey, and her words in the book:

You shouldn’t spend a fortune on your dress, but you might want to fight to wear a dress you like a lot.

The dress isn’t the most important thing in the world. But I’m interested in clothes and the wedding is kind of a big day for me, so I want to wear a dress that makes me wriggle with excitement. I wouldn’t feel guilty for changing my mind multiple times about an outfit I was wearing any other day, so why feel like changing my mind about my wedding dress is somehow a reflection of me as a person? (Provided, of course, I don’t bankrupt myself in the process.)

I didn’t stick to all my rules, but to be honest, those rules don’t matter to anybody in the world except me. So I forgive myself. Maybe next time I can worry about something more important than a set of arbitrary rules I just made up—like centrepieces, or wedding favours, or indeed artichokes.

Photo by: Julie Randall

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  • I tried on 60 dresses at 5 different bridal salons and was hating life before stumbling upon “the dress” in the window of a Goodwill shop while out running other errands. Sometimes, the dress finds you.

  • PA

    I love this story! My mother said it best (and not about wedding dresses, but it stuck with me): “Wear something you feel gorgeous in. Feeling like a million bucks will do more for you than tailoring will.” I’m willing to bet that you would have looked beautiful in the first dress – but you wouldn’t have felt beautiful, and really, who wants to spend their entire wedding day (two! Two wedding days!) worrying that they don’t look beautiful?

    Rock on, Zen!

  • My dress recently came in, and I’ll get to try it on for the first time in a couple of weeks. I’m so nervous! What if I hate it? You’re right that there’s so much pressure built up around The Dress. I’m glad you found something you love.

  • Contessa

    I had this SAME experience but with a veil. I had rules and opinions about rules that only exist in my own head and when I gave in to being happy I found what I loved.

    Buuuut…This weekend I tried to convince my girlfreinds that my hairstyle will be important because the veil MUST be attached lower because “I’m 35 for heaven’s sake” and it can’t just sit on the top of my head like I’m 19! Which is a new rule I just made up about veils.

  • Lynn

    I thought the dress didn’t matter a whole lot. It wound up mattering.

    We tried on a few to get an idea of what would look good on me and then found a pattern similar to one of them. My mom made a great dress for me. Gorgeous with everything I wanted it to have and be. I just didn’t feel beautiful in it, and it was too late to do anything about it (it was literally finished in the hours before the wedding). Those are my body image issues, though. I’m pretty sure I would have had them regardless of what dress I was in.

    I don’t regret having my mom make the dress (it was a promise she made to me a really long time ago and it was important to me that she make the dress), but the way I looked that day taints my experience of the wedding. Everyone said it was beautiful, but I can’t see that when I look at the pictures.

  • MadGastronomer

    We’re just super lucky, my fiancee and I. We know multiple costumers who do SCA and steampunk garb as a sideline. My matron of honor (maybe — we’re still talking about this whole bridal party thing) is making mine basically for the cost of materials*, and another friend has agreed to make my fiancee’s and swap labor for me catering her 50th birthday party!

    This is just awesome for us, as both of us really hate clothes shopping. I’m short and fat, and she’s tall and broad-shouldered. Shopping triggers nasty awful body issues and even panic attacks for both of us, and often days of depression afterwards, and I couldn’t picture a boutique visit not ending in tears. But no! No boutiques for us! Nor vintage stores, which never have anything that fit us! No! Mwahahahaha!

    *This is a story in itself, actually. I was taking her to a really unfun appointment, both as moral support and as driver, just in case she couldn’t manage it after. We were sitting in the waiting room, and she looked like she was about to start crying, and really needed a distraction. So I popped out with, “So, I’m going to ask Kate to marry me. Um. Want to make my wedding dress? Oh, and be in the wedding party if we have one?” And she said, “Really? You want me to make it? Of course I will!” and then she did start crying, but they were happy tears, and the topic kept us happily distracted until the appointment, which went very well, and was not nearly as bad as she had been worried about, and all the news was good. So. Not just awesome and useful for me, but happy for her when she needed it. *does a little dance*

    • Teagan

      you deserve a hug, for being a awesome friend

  • 2nd time bride

    Thanks so much for sharing this, as I too changed my mind about my dress and changing my mind was a source of angst for me.

    As a second time bride who loves color and– like the OP–loves clothes (yes, I’m a Project Runway fan), I was convinced I wanted a colored formal (like a red carpet gown). I tried on a lot of them, and while they were all beautiful, I had to face the fact that none of them felt right–none of them made me feel great, and while I knew part of my expectations were fueled by (unrealistic) wedding media, I have also purchased enough clothes in my life that I know when clothes are right (or wrong) for me. So, after a longish search, I ended up with a real, live, wedding dress (with a train?!?) in ivory that also got the stamp of approval from my Mom, sister, best-friend, AND best-friend’s husband!

    Yet, after buying it, I agonized w/ the fact that I had not kept to my original vision, especially when even for my first wedding I wore an off-the-rack formal (in shades of blush pink and oyster it did look bridal, but still…it was off the rack, no train, etc). Also, it didn’t help that, after finally purchasing the dress, my fiance asked, “So, what color dress did you get? My sister in law wants to know so she’s not wearing the same color” and when I replied, “I actually bought a real, honest-to-goodness, ivory wedding dress,” he looked at me and said, “Oh, wow. And I really thought of all people, you could pull off a colored gown.” Ouch. But the money was already spent, so there was no turning back.

    Yet, I realize now that he said that because while he could care less about clothes, he knows I care a lot about what I wear (regardless of how shallow that may be), and he wanted to make sure I was happy. And now that 10 months have passed since I purchased my dress, I realize that while I can easily envision myself sitting in a chair waiting for the bedekin (Jewish wedding veiling ceremony where the groom veils the bride) in the dress I own, I cannot envision this happening in the colored gown I thought I wanted and in the end, I bought the dress I wanted.

    Read more: http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/05/second-thoughts-about-the-wedding-dress/#ixzz1tdde772G

  • Sarah P.

    The first few months of my engagement I was quietly freaking out a teeny little bit about this whole getting married business. I’m the kind of person that needs to sort through major life events inside my own head so it was just taking me some time, there was no doubt that I wanted to get married…it was just SCARY. The first time I went dress shopping I was petrified that I was going to put on a wedding dress and realize I was a huge fraud and not ready to be married at all. That didn’t happen, but I also didn’t find a dress. I liked everything, it was all fine…but I didn’t want to buy any of them.

    When I finally did find my dress it was like a switch had flipped. I wasn’t scared anymore. I was ready for this huge life event to happen.

    Now, I don’t know if the switch flipped because I had found the dress or if the switch had already flipped which allowed me to finally pick a dress. I never would have expected my dress shopping experience to play such an integral role in everything about my wedding. I expected it to be easy!

  • Cali

    Soooo true! I just had a whirlwind weekend of dress shopping with my visiting-from-out-of-town mother. The one I bought is a long, flowy, Grecian-esque type of thing that I just love and that feels like me. My mom tried to talk me into getting one that was a little more traditional (and twice as expensive). When I said that the one I loved just “felt like me,” my mother’s oh-so-helpful response was, “But you want to feel SPECIAL on your wedding day… not just like your everyday self.” Which then plunged me into 24 hours of anxiety, fretting that the dress I loved wasn’t “special” enough. Then I went back and tried it on again, and still loved it, so that sealed the deal. Crazy how an article of clothing can be so fraught with emotional peril!

    Congrats on finding a dress you love and feel awesome in! Feeling totally beautiful and badass is what’s most important (when it comes to clothing, anyway) on your wedding day. :-D

    • I had the exact same experience! I found a dress that was simple and classy and totally unlike what my mother had been picturing. I found myself justifying my choice to her throughout the planning process, to the point where I started to doubt it myself.

      I was almost ready to panic and go buy the second choice dress when I realized how silly that was, and that I should stick with the dress that made ME feel like ME as a bride.

  • Oh wedding dresses. How I both loathe and love them.

    I have some mixed and complicated feelings about my dress. It was actually my mother’s best friend’s wedding dress, that will still need some extensive alterations but is GORGEOUS on me. Most importantly, every time I put that dress on I feel like I’m wrapped in love. Which is a great feeling from a dress.

    But I’m not sure it’s really me. It’s certainly not a style of dress I would have chosen for myself. And I really can’t justify spending more money that I’m not comfortable with on a different dress. So now I’m playing with the idea of a (re-wearable) reception dress.

    Part of my problem you so eloquently described in your first paragraph: “part of me still guiltily believes that an intelligent human being has no business being interested in what she wears.”

    I have something beautiful, and comfortable, and that I feel loved in. Demanding anything else seems like I’m asking for TOO MUCH.

  • Teresa

    I just bought my third dress! my bargain shopping ways kind of led me to buy the other two. I should have listened to the voice in my head with the first one that said, satin isn’t exactly my thing. The second dress I bought because it was so damn cheap ($150! Holy sh*t!). The third dress I LOVE LOVE LOVE. Bought it at a sample sale. When I realized it had all the components I was looking for and that I would have regrets if I didn’t buy it, and I asked two friends for their opinions, I pulled the trigger. The next day I tried it on again in my bathroom and I LOVE it even more. YAY!!!

    • HA! Yes! Congrats on finding a dress that makes you feel good!

      I did the same thing. I had a vague idea of what I wanted, and when I saw something that vaguely resembled that online, I bought it because it was under $100.00. I never tried it on. I never tried on anything that looked remotely like it. I just bought it and called it a day. I then patted myself on the back for being so practical, unemotional, and no nonsense about it.

      When the dress came, I didn’t like it. At all. But I thought it was nothing a clever seamstress couldn’t fix. The seamstress did exactly what I asked, and did a fantastic job. But, I still didn’t like the dress. In fact, I kind of hated it. I had a picture in my head of how this dress should look on me, and it didn’t come close to how it looked in real life. It was matronly and trampy at the same time, and I felt like a linebacker covered in frosting!

      I felt so awful about not liking it at first. It seemed like not wearing it would make me a spoiled brat who didn’t care about frivolous consumption, and I just needed to stop being so vain.

      My future mother in law was able to make me feel much better about the whole situation. She told me to stop feeling so guilty, because it’s not unreasonable to want to look good on any day that you consider important. There’s a difference between that and insisting you have to have a dress that’s totally out of your price range because you deserve it on “the best day of your life.” She also told me not to buy something online if I’ve never tried it on in real life, or at least tried on a similar fabric and silhouette, and she offered to take me shopping and offer her honest feedback.

      Luckily, I found a dress I love-at Banana Republic of all places. On sale! When I put it on for the first time, I felt gorgeous! I could wear it again with different accessories to plenty of events without feeling silly, it was affordable, and I didn’t feel like a walking cupcake!

  • Joanna

    I’m in the middle of making my dress. Some days I’m terrified that it’ll be impossible to finish, or it’ll fit poorly, or bunch up in a way I can’t control. Maybe my boobs will fall out during the ceremony.

    But then I pull out what I have so far, and I can see it looks awesome so far. I can do it. And even if I can’t do it, the world will keep spinning. No kittens or puppies will suffer. I even feel guilty for even thinking my wedding dress is such a big deal. These are first-world problems, right? Ah, but the pressure.

    My mom made an ivory blazer and skirt set for her wedding. It was in the early 1980s, in communist Poland. She didn’t like the way it turned out. I think it looked super chic.

    • Kat

      I don’t know if worrying about wedding outfits are first world problems. I think people who don’t live in the first world also worry about what they are wearing on their wedding day, especially if it is being made for them, which is probably more likely in a non-first world situation.

      Basically what I’m saying is there’s enough craziness with weddings to not have to heap the guilt of “first world problems” on ourselves, which yeah I know, can be really hard cuz I think like that too when I hear that $50k or $15k was spent on a wedding day.

      Also be glad it’s not usual for a bride to present a “dowry” to her fiance’s family before they accept them or the other side of it, be glad that it’s not customary for a guy’s family to have to give the girl’s family 100 head of cattle! There’s a first world problem I’m glad I don’t have to think about! :)

  • efletch

    This post it is very timely as I just survived round one of dress shopping. I too had a set of Rules for my dress(lace, v-neck, vintage…) When I found THE DRESS that matched all my rules and was in my price range I was really disappointed by how meh I felt about it once I put it on. I was on the verge of still buying it because well it was everything I thought I wanted. It feels weird like I am letting down myself and breaking all my own rules. I’m so glad I didn’t, because even though it was so right in so many ways it just felt so wrong. To all my fellow brides out there on the hunt I would say go with your gut, and cut yourself some slack if you freak out/second guess yourself/change your mind. I will try to take my own advice while I keep looking.

  • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

    My wedding dress shopping has begun, and I’m not really having all that much fun with it so far. By that I mean that I would have just as much fun shopping for everday clothing. After having my mother pull numerous dresses that were far out of my price range I announced “If shopping for a GD wedding dress turns out really stressful, I’m just going to pull that awesome champagne colored cocktail dress out of my closet and wear that!”. This seemed like an even better idea after I was rather aggressively told “No, you aren’t wearing floral shoes, you’re wearing cream or ivory colored shoes” by mom. Oh my. The expectations come out.

    That rule about ‘I must feel like myself when wearing it’-this is my number one rule. The other’s are flexible. If I don’t feel like my awesome self in the dress, I ain’t buying it! Something about wedding dress shopping makes me feel like a slightly sulky child…

    • I’m laughing in sympathy about the parental shoe expectations. When I relayed the story of my bff’s mom being horrified at her red wedding shoes to my father, my dad replied, “Well, colored bridal shoes are kind of shocking. Red is just rubbing it in.”

      • megan (from nova scotia)

        Thats just rubbing it in. That sounds exactly like something my father would come out with!!

      • I had no idea some people think of colored shoes with a wedding dress as a no-no… In fact, before beginning all my wedding dreaming/planning/research, I figured colored shoes were the way to go.

        Either way, I’m wearing green (jade?) Converse sneakers at my wedding. They match the cropped cardigan I bought to wear with my dress. Though, if I hadn’t had my heart so set on the sneakers, it probably would have been red flats.

        • megan (from nova scotia)

          I have discovered that if you pick any aspect of a wedding, there is someone out there against it. What has surprised me, however, is the very heated reactions tothe smallest details.

          • Christy

            I agree — people have bizarrely strong opinions about other peoples’ weddings.

          • Yes, people do get worked up about seemingly small details (I had red wedding heels), but I think on the day, most details that people were so worked up about pre-wedding become “cute, quirky details” because people tend to see things more favorably when they see all the happiness and love around. :)

      • Christy

        OMG, that made me laugh out loud – “rubbing it in.” whooo boy. I especially love it since the woman on the cover of Meg’s book is wearing beautiful red sparkly shoes, if I recall.

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  • Christy

    OMG, I love this post and every single one of these comments.

    For the record, I am not a clothes-horse and I don’t consider myself particularly vain. I used to be very self-conscious about my body but I thought I had reached a level of peace and comfort and knowledge about what does and does not work on me. I think I’m reasonably attractive. I normally can find things to wear pretty easily. I had originally planned to wear a short cocktail dress that I already owned. Then my wedding got larger and more formal and numerous people convinced me that it was not special enough, and that it was too casual and then I wore it to something else and it was stained…and thus launched the journey of a thousand dresses.

    First, a dear friend dragged me into That-Chain-That-Shall-Remain-Nameless, and I found myself in a vintagey lace dress that in a haze seemed just right for me. I bought it and was happy. Six months went by and I was all, “lalalalala… the dress is off the to-do list…I’m so glad that’s taken care of… la la.” Then…THEN… my first fitting happened. There ensued three hours of discussions about the discontinued bra that I had tried on with the dress and that they had told me I could purchase on the day of the fitting and that was the only one available at Nameless-Chain that would work with the plunging front and back of the dress, and of the cups that would not really work if sewn in because of the lack of fabric on the back and front of the dress to hold up cups, and numerous people — some the mothers of other brides — tugging on my dress and discussing my D-cup sized boobs. I left traumatized with instructions to go to Victoria’s Secret and buy a bra that would work with the dress. Well, there is no such bra. Anywhere. On earth. Believe me. I now know everything there is to know about bras. Now I’m not even sure that the salesperson didn’t do something clever to hide the bottom of the bra when I tried on the dress, because there is no evidence that any bra in the world has ever worked with the dress based on numerous reviews and comments on Nameless-Chain’s website. I wish I had read them sooner. Doh.

    Back for a second fitting after having purchased $300 dollars worth of bras that I was assured by Nameless-Chain’s online customer service would work with the dress. More discussions of how to hide the part that was peeking up over the plunging back of the dress. More boob discussion. Three more hours with the mothers of other brides and seamstresses clucking and offering advice and fretting about what to do. No solution, but another appointment scheduled. I left a shriveled mess, a mere shadow of my former self. I had discovered my inner 13-year-old. And she really hates her boobs.

    That is when the Odyssey Phase began. There were trips to Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s and Belk, Saks. I tried on every single thing that was white, ivory, gray, beige, gold, silver and some in other colors. I bought at least three dresses on the first day. I knew in my heart, though, that none of those would really work, either.

    Then the online shopping started. I bought one dress from zappos.com, one dress online at Neiman Marcus, three dresses from Macy’s, one from Dillard’s and I’m almost positive that I am forgetting at least one, maybe two. Macy’s is actually sold out of one of the styles of dresses I considered, and I am convinced it’s in part because I am hording them (in different sizes).

    My browser is now covered with smart ads filled with white formal dresses. I checked Overstock.com daily for a time. I have a Greek chorus comprising my mother, the friend who convinced me to buy the first “real” dress, a woman who has worn nothing but jeans and flannel shirts for at least 40 years, a statuesque dancer who looks good in everything, and my own inner 13-year-old who won’t seem to go away — for whom for a time I frequently modeled my newest dresses for comparison to the others. It has been utter, sheer, madness! And I’m waaaaaaaaay past wanting to “look the best I’ve ever looked” or even “pretty” for that matter — I will gladly settle for “She looks sane. Well, not insane, anyway.”

    My wedding is on May 19, and I am now I am in the process of sending most of the dresses back. I’m between two (neither the gown from Nameless-Chain for which I am scheduled ANOTHER fitting on Friday — don’t even ask). I am driving myself, my florist, my mother, and my hairdresser absolutely nuts.

    Is there a lesson in all of this? Abso-f*cking-lutely not. Except that I will never, ever, EVER seek advice or opinions from anyone else about my clothes. If I like it, other peoples’ opinions are really none of my business.

    • Edelweiss

      I just want to give send you a huge hug,

      • Christy

        Aww, thanks.

    • I wish you a successful dénouement to your dress journey… (And I really enjoyed the way you told your story in your comment.)

  • Jen B

    I felt like the ’50s full-skirted dress was overdone. So many people wear it.

    I think it’s funny you should say this, Zen. I wore a full-skirted 50s/60s style dress for our wedding, and I had a moment of thinking this way, too. Then I realized: few people ever really say that about floor-length dresses with trains, right? And I’m the only person I know irl to wear a shorter wedding dress. So… maybe we just *think* everyone is wearing one nowadays? And whether “everyone” is or not… . Let’s wear whatever makes us feel as awesome on the outside as we are inside.

  • Allison

    You guys are killing me with your tales of perfect vintage dresses. I don’t have a figure that fits vintage, so I’ve been spending all my time looking for new dresses with a vintage vibe. I want to feel like myself on my wedding day – and for me, that honestly does mean a frilly tulle ruffled lacey 1950s full-skirted cupcake of a party dress. And while I know everyone is wearing them on the blogs, I’ve yet to see one in the wild at a wedding, so to me it’s still something that is just very much “me”.

  • Oh God, wedding dresses, I hear you Zen. I’m still in the middle of the hunt (now with added time pressure because apparently five months before the wedding is too late?) and it’s preventing me from moving forward on other wedding-related decisions, so it really needs to be over already. My rules are very much like Zen’s. You wouldn’t think those would be so hard!

    First I thought I wanted a colorful dress in more or less the traditional shape. Then I wanted a traditional white dress, but not poofy. Then I started to think the traditional white dresses with poofy skirts looked nice after all (possibly as a result of trying on every shape of wedding dress imaginable and realizing the fuller skirts were actually more flattering), but I still wanted something that looked unique and not too tulle-licious and also didn’t break the bank.

    I’ve visited six bridal stores and haven’t fallen madly in love with anything, despite everyone telling me “When you find The One, you’ll know.” Then again, I’m not generally like that (including with choosing my fiance), so why would it be different with dresses?

    I’m on the verge of either:

    (a) going to look at colorful dresses after all (except that would necessitate starting over and throw open a whole huge range of options, which is the last thing I need)

    (b) buying one of the traditional-style dresses that have made me feel like “Hmm, this doesn’t have the THIS IS IT choirs-of-angels factor but it’s pretty and flattering, so good enough.” (except this is The Only Wedding Dress I’ll ever wear, knock wood, so it had better be the most amazing dress ever and I had better love it and feel amazing in it)

    Argh. Anybody else in the same boat?

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