Friday, February 26, 2010

I kind of want to punch the wedding industry in the face

***Warning - this is a very venty and un-Jane-like post***

Dear Internets,

I still don't have a wedding dress. The wedding is four weeks away.

In normal life - normal reality - four weeks is plenty of time to find a dress. In normal life, I go into a store, try on a dress, and see if it fits. If it doesn't, no big deal! There's probably another size or another style of dress that will fit perfectly. And if I don't like anything? Well, there are always other stores. Whatever dress I find, my friends and family are unlikely to express strong positive or negative opinions about it. I have rarely, if ever, felt ugly or flabby or disgusting trying on everyday dresses. I know I've never ended up in tears.

Finding a wedding dress is completely different.

I'm convinced that no matter when you start shopping, people act like you're waiting until the last minute to shop for a dress. I started in October and was treated like I'd waited until the last minute. "Wedding dresses take at least six weeks to come in." Why that long? It's not like I want something custom made. The dress is right there, on page 23 of your catalog. It's being shipped from your distribution center. I have ordered items from Hong Kong via regular mail that arrived within two weeks. Maybe it takes so long because that's how long it takes your dresses to be shipped from Chinese sweatshops? Maybe you just want to gouge people by charging "rush" shipping? I just don't know.

Trying on dresses is even worse. They are designed not to fit off the rack. "You'll want to order a size larger and get it altered to fit you perfectly," the salesperson says. No, you want me to spend $300-$400 on alterations, on top of whatever exorbitant amount you're already charging for the dress. I have found dresses on the clearance rack at Target for $7 that fit me perfectly and make me feel like a million dollars every time I wear them. Why can't stores carry dresses like that?

What makes it worse is that when you're trying on wedding dresses, everyone has an opinion. "I really can't imagine you in anything other than a strapless white A-line dress." "You need something that isn't too plain." "You should order a simple silk dress from J.Crew."

If I try on a dress that doesn't make me feel ugly and out of shape? My mom or sister or friends or the salesperson tell me all the reasons it's entirely wrong.

I'm so done, Internets. My goal, originally, was to spend less than $300 total on dress, hair, shoes, and makeup. The dress everyone else likes (that I bitterly despise at this point, partly because I was baited-and-switched by the bridal shop) will cost $300+ just to alter.

I love Achilles. I like most of the wedding plans we've made so far (although people have definitely tried to me second guess myself whenever they have had the opportunity). I guess I should just wear the stupid dress that everyone likes just to shut them up and get this all over with. I just wish I didn't have to be there.

Thanks for letting me vent, Internets.



texpat said...

NO! You find the dress that you want. Who cares if other people don't like it, it is your day, and if you don't feel comfortable on this big occasion, there is no point in being one of the stars. Fuck the bridal stores and just find a white dress somewhere else. I'm having my dress made for me and it is only costing 100 dollars. My mom doesn't like it, and neither does most other people, but I love it, and it makes me feel good, so that is all that counts!! Damn the man!

Katelin said...

i'm with texpat, i say you wear the dress you want, it's your wedding! if you can find a dress you love you should definitely wear it!

Laura said...

Oh my goodness, I understand completely how you feel. So many of the things about the wedding industry are designed just to squeeze money out of brides & grooms. I am so in awe of how you've managed to do everything without breaking the bank. IN AWE.

Not that you asked, but I absolutely think that you should wear the dress you want. I think you may regret it if you don't. Your friends mean well, they will shut up if you tell them how upsetting their comments are to you.

texpat said...

lol - sorry for my wedding rage out. i'm pretty much trying to figure all of it out for myself and could relate a little too much on this one. haha.

Laura. said...

You know, every other post about your wedding seems to be about you compromising to do something to appease someone else. It's YOUR (and Achilles') wedding!

Buy the dress that you will feel the best wearing - it won't matter anyways, because you'll be a glowing beautiful bride and that's all that anyone will remember.

You're also going to have to wear the dress from dawn to midnight, through photos and the reception and dancing and drinking and speeches and the ceremony and all the waiting (I've never been married but I *have* been a bridesmaid / maid of honour 5 times).

Make sure that it's not too restricting and for gods sake wear comfortable shoes that you can stand on for 16 hours, possibly in a field or a beach or while climbing rocks or chasing dogs/horses/kites because the photographer will drag you wherever he/she pleases with no regard to the weather or your poor feet. And the pictures will work out and you'll be gorgeous because you will be so happy because it's your wedding day!

Her said...

Okay--here's what you do. Wear this dress, and do your hai...

Just kidding...but really, stand your ground on this one. I didn't particularly care about my dress, and ended up with two, but if this is how you're going to remember the day, do it your way. No matter what, it will be an amazing day.

SavingDiva said...

I'm sorry that the dress situation is so stressful! I couldn't imagine what I would do (aside from sitting on the ground and crying)...Good luck!

Kim said...

Dress shopping can be frustrating. Alterations can be even more so. I gained weight in between getting my dress and having it altered and I ended up having to get an entirely new dress that wasn't guaranteed to come to me in time. So I know how you feel. It sucks.

Anonymous said...

This part made me sad;

"I guess I should just wear the stupid dress that everyone likes just to shut them up and get this all over with."

You should be looking forward to this day and you should wear a dress that you feel good in. I vote you go alone (or with a close friend you could kindly tell to keep her opinion to herself haha)

I hope that it all works out for you!! xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Your going to be the one wearing the dress and paying for it and staring at it in photos for years to come. Wear what makes you happy and tell everyone it makes you happy end of discussion.
I hope you have a wonderful wedding day.

PS elope?

Lauren Towers said...

I;ve never understood the whole thing. In my rather niave little mind, it's about showing commitment to the person you love, surrounded by the people that you want to be there.

Wear what you want to wear, do what you want to do, and the only one who you really have to worry about is your groom, and if he loves you as much as he should, he'll think you look great whatever you wear.

Have a great day, and choose for yourself, it's your day.

sara l said...

There are some places where you can buy a dress off the rack. Buy something you feel beautiful in and ignore everyone else.