Ever since my fiancé and I announced our engagement, I’ve had to deal with what seems to be an inevitable preoccupation of many brides: what sort of dress will I be wearing on the big day? I must insist that this preoccupation has had very little to do with me as I already knew I wouldn’t want a “traditional” dress – white and meringue shaped – as I can only imagine they’re awkward and uncomfortable to wear. Also, I’m the kind to – at best – end up either dragging the dress through a puddle or spilling something like ketchup down the front, and at worst, put my heel through the bottom while stomping on the dance floor and then drunkenly dropping half of the back in the loo! No, something shorter with very few frills allowing me to move around and enjoy my day to the fullest it would need to be.
And even though no one else will have to wear this dress on my special day, and even though the decision on the kind of dress I ultimately wear will be mine, everyone else seems to have an opinion. I haven’t been able to talk to many of my girlfriends about the big day – which is still over a year away based on current plans – without being asked “what kind of dress will you wear?” Now, if I don’t know what I’m going to where tomorrow, what makes you think I’ll know what I’m going to wear next year?
I know that this is going to be one of the biggest, most important days of my life and that most brides-to-be take the “dress” VERY seriously, so seriously that the average price of a dress is anything between £1000 and £3000 – and yes, it is an important part of the budget. I know that’s why people keep asking me what I’ll be wearing, but even though I want to look gorgeous on our big day, it’s not really the main priority for me as far as planning goes.
To me, so far, the location and guest list is already keeping me up at night (I know, showing major “bridezilla” signs already..) but the dress for me right now just isn’t an issue. Especially the preoccupation with big, white dresses – it just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s almost as though people don’t realise the whole white wedding dress thing started with Queen Victoria.. time for something a little bit more modern, right? Anyway, somewhere between the constant questioning and suggestions, as well as the surprised reactions when I say “I don’t plan to wear a traditional dress” (and I do get them!) I decided to check out a bridal boutique on my way home from work one evening.
I guess I wanted to see what all the hype and excitement was about, to see if I would be overwhelmed all of a sudden and understand why it was so important to look like a marshmallow on my wedding day. This shop was wall to wall with dresses as tall as curtains. I explained to a very friendly shopping assistant that I just wanted to browse. I headed to their basement thinking I’d be able to look around without too much pressure and was immediately swallowed up by the frills and bows covering the place! In one corner a bride-to-be was trying on a selection with what seemed like her entire family. Instead of catching any of the bridal excitement in the air, I just felt more awkward and put off the idea than ever!
At the moment I decided to make my escape I was asked again if I needed any help, I turned and smiled that I was okay, just looking, and to my horror discovered the that velcro on my bag was attached to one of the gowns. The lady walked off and I tried to delicately remove myself but inevitably made a ripping noise (nothing was actually damaged – it just sounded worse than it was!) which attracted the attention of literally everyone in the store. A more grumpy assistant appeared from out of nowhere, arms full of cloth glaring at me and demanding to know what I was doing. This is only a guess since I don’t speak Dutch and so have no idea what she said – it could have been “You’re gonna have to pay for that!” but I prefer to think it wasn’t, because I didn’t.
You know those moments when you’re so mortified that you literally can’t speak or move. I had one of those. All I could do was give this ridiculous grin. I know it was ridiculous because conveniently, at that particular moment, I noticed a mirror amongst the full skirts and veils and could see just how stupid and suspicious I must have looked to everyone else. When I finally managed to detach myself and headed back upstairs, I had another browse to try and make up for the velcro incident. However, I found myself only reconfirming that I didn’t want to wear a big, white dress – or any kind of big dress for that matter. Too much hassle if you ask me!
That said, I don’t know what I am going to wear. I guess knowing what I don’t want to wear is a good start. I’m sure this drama is going to continue and that at some point over the next 15 months there will indeed be more dilemmas and crazy scenarios that I’ll find myself in. So all I can say for now is, look out for part 2.