Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Terror of the Wedding Dress

I blame television and films mostly for the fact that I thought shopping for a wedding dress would be about champagne and glamour and my mother's eyes welling up at every turn of a swishy gown. But alas, there was no champagne nor glamour, though my mom did tear up a little and I ended up bawling in the car. Mind you, I did not bawl because of the beauty of the whole experience. I bawled because it is all so very stressful.

Imagine: a room full of a zillion white dresses. Now: choose one. Mind you: it must be perfect. This is your wedding day, after all and you only get one of these (God willing).

Bridal shops are dirty and low and stinky. This is my opinion and I am using those words both in the literal and metaphoric sense. Sales staff are either unavailable or pushy; the dressing rooms are either too small or embarrassingly cavernous; and the other brides shopping are spiteful rather than generous. It is a strange, strange thing.

All that having been said, I did find a dress. This was after three or four harrowing store experiences and one meltdown during which I really should not have been driving for the safety of all others on the road. My mom and I were driving down 44th Street and we passed by yet another bridal shop, one that was not on our schedule/radar. Let's do it, I said through tears. Maybe they have the most magical and perfect dress.

One frightening u-turn later, lo and behold, we find that they did. The store was full of beautiful dresses and sales people who gave us just the right amount of attention. I found my dress after one day of shopping for it, but I waited to purchase it to be sure. One day, despite how painful, did not seem long enough. But it was. I went back and it was still the most magical dress in all the stores.

And so above is a picture of the beading alone. If I included the whole dress, my fiance would destroy me, so the beading is here for your viewing interest.

Lastly, a word of advice about local Grand Rapids shops:

1. Avoid Kim Kriner's whose sales people are not only disinterested and annoyed, one of them is also remiss in her use of deodorant.

2. Despite what the commercials tell you, you will not love David's Bridal. There is a reason their dresses are so cheap. There is no construction to them whatsoever. When we walked in, we were interrupted by an aggressive woman who asked if we had an appointment. (An appointment? At David's Bridal?) She proceeded to generously give us an appointment and we were forced to walk around with a sales person who told us they wanted to create the whole look. Um. No. It's my wedding. I get to do that.

3. Bridal Gallery on 44th is very, very good. As is Bridal Espinosa on Plainfield.

4. Don't listen to anyone who says it's going to be magical. It probably isn't. It's overwhelming and stressful and full of desperate searching through a mountain of white. Breathe. Drink beforehand. Breathe.


Nik said...

It's gorgeous. I can't wait to see the whole thing. You are so right about the shopping for the dress. In Utah, it was horrid since the place is mostly populated with 20 year olds. They shriek a lot, the 20 year olders do.

Anonymous said...

I have a web site you to check I have heard, though I do not know for sure, they have great invites and the like.

The dress is absoluty FABLOUS, I can not wait to see it in person. Will you have a veil also? Where is the dress now? I do hope you will have an over the top shopping experience for the honeymoon outfit. Won't make up for, but may make it easier to overlook, the crap wedding dress shopping experience.

I love you and I'll see you tommorow!