Ask Team Practical: I Found The Dress by Liz Moorhead My long engagement has gotten me into a bit of a pickle. I’m lucky to have the benefit of lots of time to plan ahead and consider our options. The trouble is, I already found my dream dress. It’s at David’s Bridal and the consultant said that the dress takes about fifteen weeks to come in after ordering and she had no idea when the style (CKP558) might retire. I know that if I don’t buy it “reasonably” soon, there is a chance that it will disappear before I get the chance. I am lucky to have a MOH with big closets who is willing to store it for me, away from prying groom eyes. But I am worried that if I purchase it now, I will turn into a balloon over the next year and no amount of seam allowance will allow a seamstress to squeeze me into it. I haven’t had huge problems with my weight in the past, but about two years ago I had a partial thyroidectomy that added ten pounds like magic. I have managed to lose five of that, but I am still nervous that something like that may happen again. It doesn’t help that my surg-iversary is actually next week, so I am feeling extra anxious (i.e. big blubbery baby over here). The remaining half has been behaving itself over the last two years of surveillance, but the sheer possibility of having to have another surgery as well as not fitting into my wedding dress is horrifying. I’m trying to figure out how to reconcile two scary potential consequences, and I would really appreciate some practical advice about a purchase timeline. Thank you, Wanting Help Easing Nerves Dear WHEN, I don’t usually encourage people to dwell on the worst-case scenario (especially since I am inclined to think about that, and only that, and drive myself crazy with worry). Buuut, let’s think about worst-case scenarios, here. If you don’t buy the dress, the absolute worst thing to happen would be staying the same weight and going back to David’s Bridal to find that they don’t carry the dress any longer. In that situation, you’ll be thrilled that you haven’t gained a bunch of weight from thyroid issues, but bummed that you have to look for a different dress. If you do buy the dress, the absolute worst thing to happen would be gaining some weight so you can’t fit into this dress you already spent a bunch of money on. You’ll probably (if you’re like me) be facing some body image issues as you adjust to a few extra pounds, but also will need to come to grips with some lost cash, and like in the other situation, still will need to look for a different dress. When I compare those situations, that second one is about triply worse, which makes me think that you should skip on the dress. Plus, the wonderful thing about that terrible old WIC is that they’re constantly pumping out more gorgeousness for us to drool over. There’s a pretty healthy chance that if you pass on this dress and they stop selling it, there’ll be something else brand new and breathtaking when it comes time to actually buy something. I married years ago, and every season since, I find a new dress or invitation suite or veil that I wish had been available way back then. But those aren’t the only two options! You could buy the dress a size or two up, and then start saving now for the cost of alterations (which would probably be necessary anyway, with or without changes in weight). You could just watch that David’s Bridal website like a hawk. They seem to work pretty similarly to other retail, with last season’s styles making their way onto a clearance rack before totally falling off the face of the earth. Or if they do discontinue the style while you aren’t looking, the beauty of big box stores like David’s Bridal is that it’s usually pretty easy to find used dresses online after they sell out. So you can always keep an eye out on sites like preownedweddingdresses.com or even eBay to see if they’ve got your dress available. And I’m sure there are even more great ideas just itching to make their way into the comments. In the end, skipping on what you love right now doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never find something else. Hurriedly scooping up everything pretty that you find in some flurry of wedding-planning panic is just the sort of thing that fuels the grosser corners of the industry. The truth is: if you pass on one pretty dress, there will always be another. And even if that second dress isn’t quite so perfect as the first, you’ll still be okay. ***** Team Practical, how did you determine when to buy the dress? Is it worse to risk missing out on something you love, or to spend money on something you never use? If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Liz at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off! Liz Moorhead Staff Writer Liz is an illustrator and writer who paints custom stationery and types up impassioned opinions about weddings, etiquette, feminism and motherhood (usually while shaking a fist and mumbling expletives around mouthfuls of cheese fries). Her spare time is spent sipping bourbon with her husband and playing Don’t Throw That in the Toilet with her sons.