Wedding Dress Success
As I mentioned in my blog “Break Free of your Wedding Paradigm”
Weddings can be very expensive. The average wedding in the United States today costs $35,329 dollars (www.theknot.com). The average wedding dress costs $1,564. This weekend, my partner and I, went wedding dress shopping. Jessica and I were hoping to use a skirt that we already had in our closet. We mentioned this to her mother who responded by saying: awkward pause”......uhmmm.....why don’t you have Amber look through your clothes and see what she thinks”. Now that is her way of saying, “none of your current clothes are acceptable for your wedding”. I am no judge of fashion. I lived in baggy t-shirts and jeans my entire school career. After looking through our closets and realizing almost all of our clothes were purchased over 10 years ago, we decided to go shopping.
This is something most women look forward to. Jessica and I, on the other hand, were absolutely dreading it. Jessica suggested a store, and that’s where we made our purchase, Dress Barn. I walked in and started to sweat as the first dresses I saw were covered in huge floral designs. Inside I felt like that 9th grader in Junior High School being forced to buy a girly dress for my first school dance. “How can anyone enjoy this?!” I thought.
Eventually we came across a dress that was simple yet elegant. Not too elegant, because our wedding is being held outside in a park. More of a picnic like atmosphere. I grabbed the size I thought I was, a size 12, and with hope in my heart also grabbed a size 10 of the same dress. Jessica was sitting outside the dressing room while I went inside to change. With great hope and faith, I started with the size 10 dress first. I got the dress on and looked in the mirror and thought.... “dang, I think I look pretty good”. Wanting to get Jessica’s approval, I stepped outside the dressing room and she revealed a huge smile as I walked towards the lighted mirrors. At that moment I felt a sense of what brides must feel when trying on wedding dresses. I felt BEAUTIFUL. I felt comfortable. I felt I could impress some of Jessica’s relatives at the wedding.
As I was floating on cloud nine feeling so pumped that I looked so good and fit into a size 10, the dressing attendant came along and asked if she could give her opinion. We agreed, feeling confident that she would shower me with praise. Then she said, “I think it’s too small on you, I suggest moving to the next size up”. For the women in the audience, there is just something gut wrenching about having to move to the next size up. I did as I was told, and the dress attendant said it looked like a perfect fit. I looked over at Jessica and she was still looking at me like it was Christmas morning, so I agreed to purchase the size 12. Grunt.
Once the dressing attendant found out why we were shopping for dresses, she became elated. She seemed like the girl in high school who always wanted to do your hair or makeup. She was excited to play dress up with a couple of fashion deprived lesbians. We did not protest as we needed the help.
Now it was Jessica’s turn. The dress attendant came back with 8 dresses for her to try on. Jessica mentioned that she is a size 8 – 6. I told the attendant to only get 6’s. The attendant came back with mostly size 6’s but brought a few size 4s. Jessica was doubtful, but tried on the size 4’s. They fit perfectly. I thought she looked so good! The Calvin Klien dress made her look like she was giving her acceptance speech after winning the presidency of the United States. Ok, that was my biased opinion.
With the very generous help of the dressing attendant we found two beautiful dresses that fit us perfectly. Now comes the price. Drum roll please...… $129.05 for two dresses, a shrug, and one pair of shoes. Compared to the national average of $1,564.
I’ll be sure to give a detail summary of the cost of our wedding once all the numbers roll in. So far, we are spending way more than I had anticipated. I had hoped to simply go to the county clerk and get married. Pay the fee and walk out. I see marriage as a government acknowledgement of a relationship that already exists. I can see how family needs to be involved to celebrate the union. Especially when you have a family the size of Jessica’s.
Society tells us that a dress from the Dress Barn is too low brow for your wedding day. They also say you should wear white, or a dress if you are female. This is your wedding. You decide what makes you comfortable. For example, I hated the idea of making my friends and family show up to a wedding ceremony dressed in very uncomfortable clothes. Jessica and I made the dress code casual. Jeans, shorts, polos, etc. We want our family members and friends to enjoy the moments of the day and not be worrying about if your underwear just went on display, your boob fell out, or if you can swallow that piece of pie thanks to your tie. For those friends and family who made me sit through your weddings in an awful dress, I still hold a small grudge. Just kidding, kind of.
My brief thoughts for tonight as I’m preparing for my wedding this Saturday. Here’s to a future with my best friend and life partner. Wish me luck.