Last weekend, I did it.
I nonchalantly went into a dress shop, and bought the first dress I put on.
Haha, I kid, I kid. I did actually buy the first one I put on, but BOY were there some fun hoo-hahs along the way. Nonchalant is not my style.
So my first error was not knowing what I wanted in the first place. This was the first dress shopping trip I had ever been on (for myself), so I had a vague idea what I didn't like (not too many Things on it, no beading, no crystals, not The Usual if I could help it..) but turns out there is a whole world of dresses that fit that category, and dress shop assistants don't respond too well to Um Well I'm Really Not Sure What I Want So I Have No Idea How To Choose Between These.
Also, dress shop assistants don't respond well to their worlds being subverted in any way either.
"You don't want to be the centre of attention?"
"You don't want to feel like a Princess??"
"You DON'T want a tiara???"
"You want to WEAR A CARDIGAN WITH YOUR DRESS??"
All of the above are true for me, which makes it difficult for them to use their usual sales lines, unfortunately. One poor lady was literally speechless after I told her that the reason I was unsure about one particular dress was because it was rather conspicuous.
"But you WANT to stand out - you are The Bride!"
"Except I don't. That's exactly what I don't want to do."
"Don't you want to feel like a PRINCESS?"
It would have been more humourous if she wasn't deadly serious.
But I did try on a few wonderful dresses. In third place was Ian Stuart's Sancerre:
Gorgeous, exactly what I had thought I would love.. and I did really like it. Lots of bows. Bows are good.
I loved the dress in abstract, but I had difficulty loving it on me.
Second place, and very nearly first place, was Maggie Sottero's Carmella:
Please ignore the model's mangled photoshopped body - this dress is beautiful. I felt beautiful in it. I felt so lovely that I was incredibly close to buying it. In fact, if I hadn't tried on the dress I now have, I would have bought this, I'm sure of it. The issue was that everyone who saw it on me thought it wasn't bridal enough, and in the end I figured I could always buy a dress like this to wear to someone else's wedding. But there is a twinge of sadness because honestly? I felt so comfortable and lovely in it, and it's hard to turn that feeling down.
I took my best friend back with me the day after and we just stared at me in this and my final dress for about an hour while I ummed and ahhed. I have difficulty deciding what to eat for dinner, so deciding between these was torture. I had no idea on what criteria I should be making my decision. Comfort? The general feel of the day? The weather? The price? Both had equal points.
I hated that hour.
However! The dress I bought literally makes me more excited to be having a wedding, which is an amazing feeling. This is she:
Premiere by Ian Stuart. The gift of a loving grandmother who cannot come dress shopping with me, but wanted to give a wonderful, meaningful gift. And I love it.
Although it appears that I accidentally bought Belle's dress? Turns out I will be a princess after all.