Shopping for a wedding dress is like shopping for a man

I've seen all of the bridal shows like "Bridezilla" and "Say Yes to the Dress." Before you get engaged, it's easy to assume these women are crazy, but that's before you're tasked with the responsibility of planning every detail of the biggest day of your life.

A few weeks ago I walked into David's Bridal with my Maid of Honor Natalie and a friend, Mireya. One of the many sales reps came up and immediately asked what kind of dress I was looking for. I knew the style I wanted: either a tube top or a halter type. However, these details were about the extent of the wedding dress style that I was able to articulate to her. She kept asking questions about cuts and lengths and embroidery that I had not prepared for. My palms were sweaty. I felt like she was testing me to see how serious I was about getting married.

As I waited for this woman to return with some dresses, I turned to my girls.

"Aren't we supposed to be sipping wine or champagne or something?" I asked.

Apparently not every bridal boutique is like the ones on TV, at least not for those customers who don't plan on buying a dress that costs as much as a new car.

[image-1]When the saleswoman returned with over 10 dresses I started to become overwhelmed. They were all the same style I wanted but all looked very different. Some looked horrible and others were gorgeous. Some made me look fat and others skinny. I always thought you're supposed to cry when you find the dress, but at this point I was more likely to cry because of nerves, or because there was more than one dress that was beautiful and I couldn't decide.

Nonetheless, I did find one dress that made me cry like I’ve never cried before. It was an amazing feeling. Looking in the mirror, for the first time I truly felt like a bride. The problem was that the dress was more elegant and formal than I was looking for, and the price also gave me reason to tear up.

I didn’t get that dress. I'm not one to settle. Shopping for wedding dresses is like shopping for men; some women fall in love with the first beautiful one they see no matter how impractical it is and no matter how different it is from her original specifications while other women aren't afraid to hold out and search around. I have more appointments set up in bridal boutiques all over the city like a series of blind dates. Just as I knew I would eventually find the man of my dreams if I waited long enough, I'm confident I will find my dress. When I do, it will be love at first sight, just as I hope to make my fiance feel when he first sees me walking down the isle, transformed into his wife.

As a little girl I always knew the type of wedding dress I wanted, and the type of bride I wanted to be. I wanted a long dress that would outline my body and illuminate my soft brown skin. Now, I'm finally ready to pick out my dress and I'm freaking out because my body doesn't match that of all the anorexic models in the bridal magazines piling up in my house. To start with, I have huge breasts. While these are handy in the bedroom they make it difficult to find a supportive dress, or even a shirt. I'm not as skinny as I was when I was 15 and I bought a bridal-like dress for my quinceañera. At 26 I'm no where near close in finding a dress that fits who I am.

I've gone shopping in the past for bridesmaid dresses, prom dresses, every dress imaginable EXCEPT a wedding dress. I knew it would be hard, I just didn’t think it would be this hard. Nevertheless, I was still a bit antsy about kicking off the shopping process. This dress has to be the one. Just like husbands, if you do it right you only get one wedding dress; the dress in which you get to be a princess for a day; the dress your husband will see you in for the first time; the dress that will stand with you in all of your wedding pictures, coloring your memory and the imagination of your family to come for generations. This dress has to make a statement. It needs to help me look so beautiful that my fiance cries when he sees me walking down the isle, removing any last minute fears he may have had about committing to one woman for the rest of his life.

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