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The Misery That Is Wedding Dress Shopping

One of the first questions people asked me after getting engaged was “Have you gone wedding dress shopping?” And that would’ve been a weird inquiry if I didn’t have three vendors already locked in before he popped the question. But no, I hadn’t. It was something I was going to put off because it’s just a dress. I’ll find one eventually.

Then family members started asking if they could come whenever I began to shop for dresses. Honestly, I didn’t want a crowd there. I always imagined it would just be my mom and best friend because I don’t care for a lot of opinions on something that has nothing to do with the opinion-givers. Plus, I prefer the intimacy of that event. It’s picking out the dress that is worn as you go from ceremonially single to ceremonially and actually married. This dress, for whatever reason, is a big deal.

So then I decided to comb through my Pinterest boards and actually put a date on the calendar to go dress shopping. I had an idea of what I liked and didn’t like in mind, but wanted to be open to whatever. I booked three appointments for one day. In hindsight, that was a lot but I assumed I would’ve found *the* dress at one of those stores. 

I didn’t. 

I saw a lot of pretty dresses. I noticed a lot of trendy dresses. But nothing gave me immediate feels. 
So I scheduled another weekend of dress shopping. Three more stores. This time, more deliberate. I looked up stores by designer instead of a random “bridal shops Atlanta” Google search. Same result. Sadness quickly came over me as I realized I have now visited six different stores and found 0 dresses. 

Is it me? Are my dress dreams impossible?

I frequently remind myself that most of the gowns in the stores I visited were trendy. The colors weren’t the colors I cared for, the appliqué was blah, and some just plain didn’t fare well on Black skin. It wasn’t me, it was them. The dresses I admired from my Pinterest board were from 3-4 seasons ago. 

There were some gowns that piqued my interest, however, designers make it impossible to see other color combinations on dresses unless you order (read: buy) which, no, I am not blind purchasing the most expensive outfit I’ll ever wear. 

Bridal shops, I quickly learned, love to lure brides in to their stores by mentioning that they carry gowns by a particular designer only for you to get to the store and realize 1) not the gown you actually want to see, 2) not in the size you actually wear, and/or 3) not in the color you are interested in wearing. And that’s if they haven’t stripped the gowns of the designer labels altogether. 

Now I’m back to square one. I will again another rotation of gown shopping soon in hopes of finding the one. If not, I quit. I’ll just buy a dress from one of the shops I’ve already visited and pray I don’t have buyer’s remorse before next fall.