Dress Me in Lace and Awkwardness

Shopping for a wedding dress is awkward. vulnerable. Fucking scary.
First of all, they make you write all of your identifying information down on a pretty piece of paper.  They even ask where you keep all your porn, so you know they really have you by the ladyballs.

Each boutique is different on purpose, because they don’t want you to get too comfortable.  Who are they, you ask?  They are the The Powers That Be.  The bridal industry.  Those doctors who insist you get an exploratory colonoscopy “just to rule some things out.”

What do I mean by different?  I mean that all the rules change, bro.  In one place I was allowed to paw through the gowns like my cat paws through a pile of dead rodents.  Expensive albino rodents.  And in another place I wasn’t allowed to touch anything.  Indeed, I couldn’t even scratch my own ladyball without my keeper attendant yelling at me and swatting my hand away.

Another variable involves unmentionables.  When I first went dress shopping, I didn’t know what to expect, and so I made sure I wore my best skivvies with minimal amounts of unsightly holes and skid marks, just to be safe.  You know, I even removed my leg hair and made sure my head hair was in socially acceptable condition.  The preparation that went into this expedition wasn’t unlike the grooming needed for a blind date where you were promised some second base action good conversation.

Once I was half naked in front of huge mirrors and cold because I was missing all my winter leg fuzz, I had to actually put some dresses on.  Getting into a dress was like trying to claw my way up through an igloo that had collapsed on top of me.  I could feel my world closing in on me.  It was hard to breathe.  My arms were stuck up over my head, groping through endless, fluffy white matter.  I could hear my attendant, just barely, reassure me from the other side.  Don’t worry, she said, I’ll get you out.  Even if I have to cut you out! 

I requested that if she couldn’t get me out to please refrain from cutting of any kind and call some hot firefighters to sexily rip me out.  And have some cold glasses of milk ready and waiting.  At that point, who needs a bachelorette party, amirite?

Once I emerged with a second degree tulle-burn from the white abyss, a complicated pattern of zipping, tugging, lacing, and clamping ensued.  For a moment I was not sure if I felt more like Kate Winslet in Titanic when her mom is doing up her corset and reminding her -yet again- that the money’s all gone, or if I felt more like the stuffing in a Thanksgiving turkey.  Eh, the latter involves more butter so I’ll go with that.

Then I was made to stand there displayed on a platform while people took my picture and commented on various parts of my body as if I were that amazingly tasty-looking pig from Charlotte’s Web.  And don’t get me wrong, because I am rather tasty, but where the hell is my motherly, not-at-all-creepy, talking spider who is supposed to save me from torture and almost certain death?!  You and your web of lies!

Taking all this into account, I am somehow supposed to have an opinion about which dress I like the best doesn’t make me look like a Big Fat Greek sparkly snowstorm.  There are so many things to take into account.  It’s gotta be slutty, but not too slutty.  Pure and chaste, but not too pure and chaste.  It’s a delicate balance. And remember, all this is provided the dress costs less than what Oprah’s “s” shaped poop goes for on eBay.

So there you have it.  I feel like a poor barnyard animal lost in a snowstorm.  With no firefighter milk and no under the shirt action in the car on the way home from that cheap restaurant with the colorful crap on the walls because Blind Date Man “thought it would be fun.”

I must be a masochist, because even after all this, I am still going back for more.  I have an appointment at yet another new boutique for a week from Sunday.

Wish me luck!

122 responses

  1. Pingback: Blogroll Inductee – Psychobabble | A Clown On Fire

  2. You were tight. I was totally whoa-ed.
    Every time I stop by here, I seem to get lost in a sea of awesome covered in chocolate and end up needing to change my pants. Thanks for that, btw.
    Now I’m off to read about the firefighters with milk because I’m pretty sure I haven’t read that one yet either.

  3. Reblogged this on Eagles On The Wedding Path (Ooh, Ahh) and commented:
    Yikes. This is slightly terrifying, seeing as I’ll probably get dragged out to go wedding dress shopping over Christmas. For those of who who are thinking, “Damn, girl, YOU should be doing the dragging,” I fear that I’ve been looking at dresses online on beautiful models for so long that nothing will measure up in person/on my box-shaped and short-legged bod. And I remember all too well the momentary terror of getting stuck in prom dresses I was trying on, so there’s that, too.

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  5. congrats on the fp, ladyfriend. it is SO deserved. and christ on a cracker, this is funny. i sincerely don’t know how you straight ladies do it. wifesy and i through on some cute blouses and dress pants and it was done! looool. at least in the state of mass, anyway. xoxox, sm

  6. Happy Freshly Pressed, Bride-O! This was so good that I already cried all the tears from laughing that I was saving for your walk down the aisle. Crawling out of an igloo that collapsed on you…sheer poetry! I have a hunch that this post was nominated for the FP promotion because it’s that good. Now I’m off to go shout it from the rooftops.

  7. …how did I end up here lol… I must have ended up at your blog because you’re a therapist and I’m a..well.. mentally ill person! Haha.. But hey! You’re a really good writer! I lol’d when you said ‘ladyballs’ and even though you were writing about a subject I have no interest in, you hooked me in, I read the whole thing and giggled throughout! Congrats btw.. don’t get so caught up in whats expected of a wedding that you forget it’s a celebration party!

  8. Really identify with this, but you didnt mention, how they give you champagne to get you giddy, so they can sell you a terrible dress. This happened to me and then they refused to give me a refund when I went back five minutes after leaving the shop, crying because I shouldn’t have bought it, because it was too small and there is no way I could loose enough weight in time.

  9. Pingback: Dress Me in Lace and Awkwardness « Elliot Claire London

  10. When my mother and I went shopping for my dress less than a month ago I felt so pressured to pick a dress in the first store I almost started having a panic attack. Not even mentioning the fact that half the dresses I tried on were no where near my size and either had to be clipped to me so I could envision it (yeah my fat ass hanging out in front of 50 strangers is really how I envision my big day?), and the other half were so big they had to be clipped closed but were making me feel like I was a 70 year old spinster getting married to get it all over with. I was ecstatic when I actually found my dress in the weekend of crazy. I am so glad to have that over with. If trying on dresses was the worst thing I could have to deal with while planning my wedding, then I would be more than happy to deal with that. But alas, the issues are popping up like road kill on a Texas highway. Good luck to you!

  11. Great post! When me and my mum went shopping for her wedding dress she kinda felt the same… This post reminded me of the times when we came out of a boutique, hurried into the car and sat a few minutes in bewilderment but then had the greatest fun about the things the ladies had told her. :)

  12. Oh, this does bring back fond memories of dress shopping. I particularly loved being told I should like dresses because they were “in style”. I had just decided I was either going to go naked or buy a white bridesmaid dress when I finally found “the” dress. Woo hoo! And I didn’t have to sell a kidney to pay for it.

  13. I’ve gone with a couple friends for their dress shopping and it was a zoo of white poofy stuff! I didn’t wear a dress when I married, we hiked to the top of a waterfall just us and an officiant so I was in workout gear :)

  14. hahaha lol I think “was like trying to claw my way up through an igloo that had collapsed on top of me. I could feel my world closing in on me. It was hard to breathe. My arms were stuck up over my head, groping through endless, fluffy white matter.” was you being unborn or rebirthed :p

  15. I had a fabulous experience with dress buying. My attendant was Anita. She was from New York and was highly opinionated. When I put on one less-than-satisfactory dress, she shouted to my mother “UGH! Mom, we are NOT coming out in this one. UGH!” She proceeded to rip the thing over my head and tossed it in a corner. I would go dress-buying again in a heartbeat if Anita attended me!

    Congrats on FP and on needing a wedding dress and stuff. Best of luck!

  16. This cracked me up. I recently went wedding dress shopping myself and found it to be super awkward as well. Being given specific bras and having someone in the changing room with you? Not weird at all.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  17. Do yourself a favour and figure out what dress looks good on your body and than pay a seemstress or student fashion designer to make your dream dress. You’ll save money and no go through the hell that is dress shopping. :)

    • Wow, I seriously doubt that building a dress from scratch would cost less than just buying one. If you find a cheap dressmaker who takes orders and doesn’t mind getting paid in M&Ms, send him/her my way!

      • M&M not so much, but some of my fashion buddies are happy to do a dress for $500 or less, especially if you do a photoshoot for them so they can put it in their portfolio. Then again you may get the worst student of all and that’s not so good. :)

  18. Pingback: I. Have. Arrived. | Psychobabble

  19. True story- when I went wedding dress shopping I was standing in my underwear having tried on at least 50 not great dresses when my keeper informed me that her daughter was “also quite large” and retrieved
    the same dress her daughter had worn. I didn’t buy that one.

  20. I just got my dress, and it didn’t feel like a huge chore, but I can definitely see that it depends on the place you go to. Although it wasn’t a huge chore at the time, it turns out that the “minor tuck” that the sales lady assured me would be no big deal, is actually a very big deal…so that’s fun.

    But back to the point, get a dress you like. Don’t bother with what “people” tell you it has to look like, because you’re the one who has to wear it. If you like it, it’ll better express you, and you’ll look all the better for it.

  21. stellar exaggeration! best of luck on the dress hunt. My first wedding had two dresses. One made locally of lovely satin and the second of white leather. Second wedding was a quick stop at a store for a cocktail dress after the realization that buying a month away from the date was impractical for the wedding shops. Who knew??

  22. Holy cow, that was funny. And true.

    There is more awkwardness involved if you happen to be – like me – a “plus sized bride”. Instead of clamping they do weird bungee shit with dresses that are seven sizes too small and then ask you to access your imagination to envision what it would look like if it fit.

    Worse than that view of myself in the three-way mirror of a dress that has been bungeed and stretched across my ample boobage was the fact that the gaping unzipped maw of the back of the dress was facing my future mother-in-law.

    • Can I just say that I kindof hate you for finding a dress so quickly. I know that the longer I take, the harder this is going to get. At the same time, I like trying on pretty dresses. So let the adventure (or madness) continue……and thanks!!!

  23. Step. Away. From. The. Bridal. Salon.

    I mean it. I’ve gotten hitched twice, neither time in anything white that subjected me to this madness. I tried, in NYC, searching for a dress with less than $2K and being bigger than a size 12. The loathing! The sneers. I kept coming home every week empty-handed in floods of panicked tears and finally, with maybe six weeks to the day, said ‘fuck it’ and found a gorgeous vintage (1905) dress, and petticoat and shoes and exquisite earrings — all of which cost less than $1,000 total. I looked fab, felt lovely.

    The second time (last year) I wore a lovely bias-cut soft pink/purple Ghost dress, full-length, I bought in LA a decade ago, with new Manolos and a stunning silk overblouse. Wear what makes you feel gorgeous and comfortable. No one looks good in white and only size 00s can even look decent in layers of tulle. In all my photos, I simply look happy as hell and very pretty. Meh to the white dress dictatorship.

    Good luck!

  24. You are totally bringing me back to my own dress-shopping ordeals. As your online bridesmaid, I am really sorry I wasn’t there to protect you against the bridal shop handlers, but just know that I have taken note of your penchant for tasty firemen in my notes for your bachelorette party.

    Also? FRESHLY PRESSED! The other half of me that is a mommy and not a bachelorette party planner is really proud of you. If that comes off patronizing, just remember that you were the one who wanted me to be your mom ;)

    • You just made lolz for realsies. I really, honestly wish you had been there to protect me. I’ll bring my ipad with your blog keyed up on the screen so that you’ll be there in spirit this Sunday.
      Honestly, I am cool with this blurring of roles. Blogmom, online bridesmaid, my personal envelope licker (I hate doing that).
      And THANK YOU!!!!!! I am very excited and I feel more validated than the average parking ticket thingy.

  25. Good luck, indeed. As it seems, you’ll need it. Where I live, it’s always wedding season, and there are couples aplenty sat down with planners discussing. I’m often stopped at little expos and I think… My god, I’m just too young for this.

    On a more positive note: Congratulations. I wish you well.

  26. Alas, it truly is remarkable the insulation winter leg fuzz provides…which you totally take for granted until it has been stripped away. ;)

    “In search of the big white poofy wedding dress” is a rite of passage. Enjoy it. And know that no matter what, you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever do this again. Did I mention: EVER.

    Congrats and best wishes to you!

  27. Wedding dress shopping was the worst. Not only was there pinching and whatnot, but everything made me look fatter than I actually was. Pfft. White. I eventually found something that was fabulous (and ironically, the cheapest thing I tried on.) Just say NO to the petticoat. I did. But also- don’t tuck your spanx into your bra/girdle thing. You will not be able to pee all day. I know this from experience.

  28. “A big fat Greek sparkly snowstorm.” hahaha Best description ever. I got married at the justice of the peace and wore a Jackie O style fuschia dress that I bought at Nordstrom Rack. lol It was awesome, but still, I like living vicariously through people having “real” weddings.

  29. Ah! Wedding dress shopping! Did they make you wear the corset? They did when I went and it was even more unbearable. I wasn’t aloud to breathe, or so very little! I can’t wait for the next round! You’ll look fantastic in any dress! Love ya!

  30. See, I knew all those girls on TLC were lying through their capped teeth! Thanks for keeping it real (and hilarious). Can’t wait to hear about the next round!

  31. As a guy, I might not be qualified to comment here, but shouldn’t you be more interested in a dress that’s comfortable? That was the overriding concern for my girl when we got married.
    And the dress looked beautiful because she was in it, not the other way around…

    • Awwww!!! I want to calm your very sweet and genuine concern by reassuring you that this post (and most of my other ones) are hugely exaggerated.
      That being said, I did try on a dress that I physically couldn’t sit down in. Good thing it was out of my price range.

  32. I found my dress shopping experience to be awesome. Wait, is awesome the right word? Oh, I think I meant “horrifying.” I vaguely remembered being crammed into a dressing room with a dress that was larger than the dressing room and feeling like I was drowning in tulle.

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