Since a date has now been set for my wedding after the world’s quickest betrothal (hey, he made me wait nine years for the ring, I’m locking this down before he changes his mind), the to-do list has been made, the menus have been chosen, and so began the dreaded ordeal that is wedding dress shopping.
I am very excited to get married, I’m just going to make that disclaimer now, but I absolutely hate wedding dresses. I don’t know why, but I always have. Every time I see a bride or a white dress I immediately think ‘that would look absolutely ridiculous on me’, and even after weeks of looking at every gown on the whole entire internet, I still went to this appointment absolutely convinced I was going to end up getting married looking like I had a sheet over my head like a low budget ghost Halloween costume with cut out eye holes. As someone who hates satin, lace, the colour white, that nasty netting material veils are made of, trains, poofy skirts and dresses in general, this was never going to be an easy or a pleasant task. Also, I can’t stand shop sales people, I know they have a job to do, but I hate going into shops to browse and having someone come up to me to look my body up and down, judge it, and tell me what would or wouldn’t look good. In summary, a bridal shop is my smear test – painful and uncomfortable with me in a vulnerable position while someone reassures me that this is a necessary evil.
Bridal shops are a bit odd, if you’ve never been to one -which I hadn’t before yesterday- it takes a while to get used to not being able to pull clothes off the racks to have a look and having someone telling you what to choose, who will then watch you undress. I have a personal bubble of steel – I don’t even like being hugged, so this was going to be a challenge. Having said that, even though I went in with a ‘why is this woman who does not know me telling me what to wear, who does she think she is?’ attitude, it has to be said that bridal shop staff (or at least just the ones I experienced) have an absolute superpower. I now want this lady to come with me when I buy everything. Next time I’m in Sainsbury’s wondering what to have for dinner I am going to get her to come and work her magic, because she knew what I wanted before I did.
We started off by choosing about three or four dresses between us (myself and my bridesmaids) and it seemed to be going okay, I wasn’t really gushing over anything but the lady who helped me get changed worked her magic fingers on each dress and clipped it in at all the right places. Who knew I had a juicy bum and hourglass waist? Certainly not me! I want her to come and put pegs on the back of all my clothes – let’s just say the two pains au chocolat I had for breakfast were nowhere to be seen. She could have clipped me into a bin bag and I would have felt fantastic. Then, after a couple of okay-but-not-quite-the-one attempts, she put me in an a-line poofy disaster. I had said from the second I walked into the shop that I didn’t want a-line, it just doesn’t fit my body very well, so why this lady insisted I try one was totally beyond me, but I was intimidated by her, and all the expensive dresses in the pristine room, so I went along with it. I hated it as politely as I could, dishing out my best ‘umm, I’m not too sure’ and trying to neutralise my expression of pure revulsion (I’m fairly sure this is how they train politicians to downplay things that are obviously going to be a disaster *cough* bedroom tax *cough* Brexit), but once I freed myself from the poofy nightmare and got back into the style I actually liked, suddenly said style started to look bloody amazing. I see what you did there, dress lady. I’m definitely going to start doing this when I cook a meal I’m not too sure about – feed my other half some pure coriander (devil’s herb) before dishing out a delicious microwave meal (hey, I’m a busy girl I work full time), because then that pile of reheated, processed chemicals will become pure nectar. No offence, a-line dress, but you were an absolutely huge meringue. Cue ‘Scarlett, you’re blind…’ and the rest.
So in summary, bridal shop lady is some sort of warlock, who managed to locate a dress that has no icky satin, icky lace, icky netting or blinding whiteness to it, so there won’t be a meringue in sight on my big day. And my figure is going to look totally amazing, for the first time ever without the help of Spanx – always a win. Honestly, if you’re ever feeling like you need a confidence boost I strongly advise rounding up your closest friends, slapping on a fake engagement ring and going into a bridal shop because it is like a tidal wave of compliments and ego massage – even for a loyal follower of the leggings and big t -shirt brigade like me. It’s safe to say I now fully understand that line in Bridesmaids – “this is awesome, just makes me want to go out and find another dude to marry”, because I would now happily spend every Saturday morning buying a wedding dress – it was so amazing that it actually eradicated the burning stress of having to whittle down Jack’s endless list of relatives, well, at least for about three hours.