Wedding Dress Shopping Oh the Horror

On some level, it seems so pleasant, doesn’t it? Put on your nicest bride-iest underwear, grab your best gal pals, your mom, your sister, anyone composed of at least 65% estrogen or willing to pretend, and descend on Kleinfeld’s. Spend an afternoon blissfully afloat in a sea of taffeta and lace, then, after some false starts (necessary to build suspense), get eased into the perfect dress. Cry tears of joy that turn into opals on your cheeks, and waltz out of the store with your Dennis Basso Sweetheart Mermaid Gown in Silk Organza. Cost: $1500 – $10,000+. Experience: Priceless.

And yet, as this beautiful xoJane essay* makes clear, the fairy tale can turn into a horror story all too easily. What if your mother is no longer around to help you and shopping without her is so painful it becomes a coming-of-age experience all its own?

There are more mundane problems to contend with too. What if your mother-in-law sees a picture of you in the dress you chose and tells you you’re too “round” to wear it? What if you’re so concerned about pleasing everyone that you end up posing in couture before an entire Supreme Court of opinionated females? What if you don’t have $1,500+ to spend on one damn dress?

How did you navigate these choppy waters? Ebay, sample sales, J. Crew: What are your recommended wedding dress shopping hacks?


*Full disclosure: The author is my cousin-by-marriage, but her writing has been vouched for by no less than Cheryl Strayed.



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