This is Barbie’s fault. At a young age she taught us that we wanted the clothes, the shoes, the Barbie dream car, the Barbie dream house, and of course, Ken. Then when Barbie got her plastic coiffed, asexual hunk of Mattel perfection, next came the wedding. Beautifully perfect (if not completely anatomically unrealistic) Barbie strutted down that aisle on her tip toes in the perfect white dress and veil, like a miniature Princess Di. Only better. Because she didn’t have those giant sleeves and Ken’s ears were proportional to the rest of his head. Glorious, perfect Barbie, what every little girl wanted to grow up to be. Or at least look like. So when our real live Ken doll came along and decided to make us his Mrs., dreams of that perfect dress immediately popped in our heads!
Or not, actually. Ok, I’ll fess up. I was not in love with wedding dresses. Not at all. I didn’t cry when I found it and it ended up being a decision based on reasonable deduction, which made me think that a lot of the crying done by brides during this process is more from frustration and exhaustion than actual sentimentality. But before you write me off as a cold, callous, robot bride, you should know that no matter what your feelings about it, that dress will become very important to you. It is the essence of who you are on your wedding day. It is the wrapping paper for the heart and body that you are forever entwining with another soul. And if it doesn’t make you well up with tears of joy, it will at some point. I got me. It was a slow gradual process, but one day I found myself alone with my dress bag, hugging the tufted laden skirt as if it was going to transport me into my perfectly wedded future.
I could tell you all the styles that are hot right now and I could tell you which ones look best for your body type, or what websites to go to find the best deals, but you are going to be bombarded with that information. It might be the one really fun thing you like about planning, too. I will say for the sake of your sanity and time, refrain from taking your entire sorority pledge class and all your 2nd and 3rd cousins along for your fitting. This is not their decision and how could they possibly know what dress is really ‘you’? Also, be reasonable. If your fiancé is footing the bill on a grad school budget, don’t turn into a child when the hand beaded Vera Wang is a few zeros too much for your budget. You will find something perfect and it will not cause anyone to have to file for bankruptcy. Lastly, be open-minded and free yourself of the pressure to behave any certain way. This is your dress, so find what looks good and what feels good. That is all that matters. You will know it when you find yourself, alone in your closet, hugging that dress bag.