This may come as a total shock to you, but there are a lot of hideous wedding dresses. I expected to see a bunch of them when I went on my first wedding dress shopping trip, but, as an admitted shop-a-holic with a pretty decisive “style”, I didn’t expect to find the whole process so difficult. Not to obnoxiously reference that TV show, but you know that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie is engaged to Rub-Mah-Belly-Baby-Aidan and she and Miranda try wedding dresses on and she gets a crazy case of the hives? Well, my reaction to putting on my first bridal gown was not that extreme, but I did get a bit of the clammy palms, cold sweat, and “holy crap”-need to swallow hard. As I think I’ve mentioned before in this column, I haven’t spent much time thinking about how I wanted my wedding to be “someday”. When I was a teen and my wildest fantasties consisted of falling in love with Stone from Pearl Jam and riding off into the rock ‘n’ roll sunset, I still didn’t really think about weddings. And despite my love of clothes and fashion and pairing wacky things like red Michael Jackson-esque jackets with violet shoes, I’ve never put much thought into what i would want to wear on the day I got married. So when I stepped into the bridal store and started thumbing through the racks, I couldn’t stop making a “blech” face. So much poof! So much crinoline! So much tulle! And beading! And rouching! And doohickey-ing! And rosettes! My god, the rosettes. One dress we saw has a bejeweled corset that much have weighed ten pounds, with a skirt with so much poof it made Scarlett O’Hara’s look like pencil skirts, covered in gigantic satin rosettes. It was barftastic. I should have tried it on.
What I did try on was pretty, mostly. I discovered sexy wedding dresses floated my boat the most, which I guess shouldn’t be so surprising considering my day job. Beading, even on the most “refined” Vera Wang dresses, felt and looked cheap and tacky. Lace could be very beautiful — who knew I was a lace girl? Low-backed was better than low-cut, while stretchy satin did no favors for me in the thigh dimple and VPL departments. My hands got clammy when I tried on my favorite dress of the day — trust me, no matter how Bridezilla-since-birth that you may be, as many wedding album clippings you may have snipped, seeing yourself in a bridal gown is BIZARRE. It’s like looking at a totally different version of yourself that you’ve never seen before or met before. I wondered if my feef would feel the same when he saw me in something like it on our wedding day. Then I kind of realized maybe that’s what’s exciting about getting married — you’re still the same person obviously, but you’re also becoming someone just a little different too. Something about the dress is sort of signifying of that.