Absolutely hate wedding dress shopping!

Sci-Fi NerdSci-Fi Nerd Posts: 56 New bride
edited March 2019 in Emotional support
First of all, sorry for any formatting issues, I'm on my phone! I've so enjoyed reading all your lovely plans and posts, so after my disastrous shopping day yesterday I've finally decided to ask for your advice/rant!

I've been steadily planning my wedding with H2B who has been utterly lovely and super involved. I've had to be talked into a wedding quite a lot - I absolutely hated the idea of it and it took a LOT of convincing from H2B before I agreed. We've also been planning the whole thing together, which has helped and now I'm finally in a space where I am enjoying the planning AND I love everything about our suppliers. I don't have a planning thread but I will put one together when we get a bit further along. Pretty good place to be, right? 

Wrong! Enter wedding dress madness! From the first moment I knew I would hate wedding dress shopping. Mostly because I've not had one "lightning bolt" moment all along. Not at the venue, not at the theme, not anything. It's come together and I am happy but it's definitely not been a "wow, this is IT" feeling all along. I've massively been dreading going shopping for a dress because I knew I wouldn't have that feeling, and there is so much built up to the day and the dress! 

I also have serious body dysmorphia. I am a personal trainer and nutritionist and I still have trouble looking at myself sometimes. I love working out, exercise 6x a week and eat a healthy, balanced diet - but because I was very overweight for many, many years almost my whole life that's still the image I see in the mirror. I'm also a 'normal size' in her 30s and I'm surrounded in the gym by super young, super thin PTs - so this doesn't help! 

So, onto yesterday. My wonderful friend/bridesmaid and I decided to go to Wed2Be to just try on lots of dresses. This is my first shopping foray! I can't fault the service in either places, I went to the one in Surbiton and the one in Marylebone (London). They were super lovely- if anyone is looking to go definitely do it!

What I can fault are the dresses. It was everything I hated: frilly, lacy, ill-fitting. I know you need to have imagination to know what they will look like but my god, I looked like Mr Bobby in white 😣😣😣 I just wanted a simple, elegant dress that didn't have too much embellishments...but it was impossible to find!

I tried on about 12 dresses in the first shop - everything from an A-line, to mermaid, to ballgown in various styles. Whatever style, colour, lacy or non-lacy there is, I tried it. 

I have a super odd body shape, in that I have a very small waist, but long legs, big hips and a very curvy bum. SO NOTHING FIT. Everything was far too big on the top and so tight on the bottom 😮😮. I felt super self-conscious in everything, even though everyone kept insisting I should wear a mermaid dress. I can't think of anything more off-putting. I absolutely hated the curve of my lower half in it

When we went to Marylebone, I tried on all non-lacy dresses. Again, over and over - everything made me feel super self conscious. I couldn't imagine myself wearing any of it out of the shop let alone in front of everyone 😣😣😣😣

Finally, I tried on a very simple, Grecian dress. Now, it doesn't fit - but it was the only thing that made me feel good. The ONLY thing that made me think: hang on, this is cute. There's quite a few alterations that need to happen to it - but because it was ridiculously cheap I decided to go ahead and buy it.

But now I'm sitting here thinking: Have I missed out? Should I go ahead and look in the more expensive boutiques? The dress isn't a ''wedding" dress - it's simple and elegant.  I'm very lucky in that I have a great business and we've been very good with the other costs - so I can certainly spend a few bob on a dress (nothing crazy mind!). 

What I'm struggling with most is that I do love the dress but I didn't have that WOW moment...but I also am not sure I would. I feel like I wanted a super elegant simple dress, and now I'm worried people will think it's too simple. ARGHGHH. 

Sorry for the rant here...I don't even know what I am asking! I guess...how did YOU guys handle the whole dress shopping?

Posts

  • Jesus, what a long post. Sorry for the long rant!
  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 1,311 New bride
    Honestly I’ve never had that lighting bolt moment. Still haven’t and I get married in May! I chose my dress because it looked nice, was comfortable and I found it on eBay for a bargain aha. 

    I also bloody hated dress shopping. I’m far from overweight but nothing fit right. It’s built up to be this amazing experience where everyone cries and drinks champagne but in reality you’re stood in your knickers in front of a stranger trying on something that’ll cost you a months salary. 

    My only advice is to take it slow (id say only go to one shop a day to save getting overwhelmed) and just don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You’ll look incredible whatever you chose. 

    Best of luck!
    Our planning thread: We're completely winging it.
    Our report: A fun, classic May day in navy and blush
    My weightloss thread: Diet denial! 
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,949 New bride
    I didn't 'just know' it was my dress and burst into tears either. Lots of people don't. I found a dress that I liked the style of, that suited my body shape and was within my budget. Job done! It's ok to not have an experience like an episode of Say Yes To The Dress.
  • Honestly I’ve never had that lighting bolt moment. Still haven’t and I get married in May! I chose my dress because it looked nice, was comfortable and I found it on eBay for a bargain aha. 

    I also bloody hated dress shopping. I’m far from overweight but nothing fit right. It’s built up to be this amazing experience where everyone cries and drinks champagne but in reality you’re stood in your knickers in front of a stranger trying on something that’ll cost you a months salary. 

    My only advice is to take it slow (id say only go to one shop a day to save getting overwhelmed) and just don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You’ll look incredible whatever you chose. 

    Best of luck!
    Oh my god, yes! "You're stood in your knickers" literally made me laugh out loud there. It's ridiculous that there is someone dressing you, I'm almost 33! Haha! 

    Everyone I spoke to says they 'knew' instantly or 'bought the first dress they tried on' or whatever. But actually, I have no idea what I'm meant to be looking for! I just want something that is comfortable, suits my body shape and will allow me to enjoy the day...
  • Sci-Fi NerdSci-Fi Nerd Posts: 56 New bride
    edited March 2019
    MrsCToBee said:
    I didn't 'just know' it was my dress and burst into tears either. Lots of people don't. I found a dress that I liked the style of, that suited my body shape and was within my budget. Job done! It's ok to not have an experience like an episode of Say Yes To The Dress.
    I feel like a lot of the wedding experience is built up like an episode of Say Yes To The Dress. It's amazing if that's the experience other brides have...but honestly, my wedding so far has been super relaxed. We're not bowled over with all our choices - but we do really like each one of them. If that makes sense. 

    Thanks so much @MrsCToBee and @GinAndBling...!
  • I’ve not had lightbulb moments about most things either, I like our venue just fine and am happy with the suppliers we’ve chosen and that’s enough. We don’t really have a ‘theme’ as such beyond ‘in Dec but not too Christmassy’ and the colours were chosen because the bridesmaid dresses were super cheap. 

    I didnt expect to have ‘the moment’ with the dress either, given that I’m pushing 40 and a size 18-20 and not one for ‘the one’ type moments anyway. As it turns out, after trying on various options, I did have a ‘yep this is the one’ feeling about the dress I chose. Not tears and champagne and joyful hugs with the sales assistant or anything, but just very calm and not questioning myself like I was with the others, and it made me feel happy. Maybe there was another dress out there that would have been even more perfect, but I picked this one, it looked nice and I could afford it. 

    I think people have the big fairytale ‘this is the one’ because they’re partly already primed and expecting that on some level. Equally it sounds like you’ve been having all these thoughts about how you’re going to hate dress shopping, you don’t like your body, you’re going to feel uncomfortable, there won’t be dresses you like etc etc - and so it’s no surprise you weren’t loving the experience. 

    So now youve picked something but youre still telling yourself lots of negative stories about it - it’s too simple, it means you’ve missed out on something else etc etc. Maybe go back and try it again, picture yourself walking towards your OH in it - how does that feel? If you still have doubts then maybe think again, but it sounds like you knew what you wanted and picked something that fit the bill so believe in yourself and trust your instincts. Also a simple dress can mean you get to go all out on killer accessories if you fancy it! 
  • @CavalierBride, you're so right. I did tell myself I wouldn't enjoy it. And the first dress shop we tried had exactly everything I didn't want, so it reinforced the negativity around the shopping. 

    I've since sent images to my other bridesmaids (they've both recently moved to another country) and they both love it. So maybe I'm just piling pressure on for no reason. I read here that someone said, that once you find a dress to just stop looking. So maybe I will. 

    Thank you for your lovely words. And yes, now I've spent a fraction of what I thought I would, I can go nuts on other accessories/alterations! 🤣🤣🤣
  • MrsCarnegieMrsCarnegie Posts: 509 New bride
    Just wanted to throw my experience into the mix. We got married in February in a non-traditional way and I never went wedding dress shopping. I am overweight and over 40 and I just wanted a dress that we both liked and that suited our day. Mine came from a catalogue and cost £35. Our wedding day was perfect for us, so I guess what I'm saying is go with your gut instinct, don't worry about anyone else's ideas of what a wedding dress should be xxx 
  • @MrsCarnegie I loved your wedding! In my ideal scenario, I would definitely do the same. Thank you for your lovely comment, it's definitely making me feel better about my choice!
  • Red_LHRed_LH Posts: 21 New bride
    I actually visited three shops and the first two were horrendous, in the first  the sales woman was really really pushy and didn't care if I was happy or not she just wanted a sale I just couldn't wait to leave. They even made a suggestion for me and when i liked it they told me it was discontinued and I had to buy it that day... I later found out that it hadn't been discontinued at all!  The second one I went to because a family member recommended it and honestly it just was not me at all.  All the dresses didn't fit me and they had me parade through the shop in front of other customers with my bum literally hanging out the back of a dress!! I remember looking at myself in the mirror and all my arms and chest were red and blotchy from getting so worked up.  I started to think i just wouldn't find anything, but the last shop was a different experience so relaxed and calm, they helped me so much and made suggestions, one of them actually ended up being my dress but they wouldn't allow to buy it until I'd had a second appointment and was completely sure about it. I think definitely find out from other brides in the area what shops they bought from/ recommend because the right shop made all the difference for me. 
  • MrsPope2018MrsPope2018 Posts: 1,341 New bride
    Just wanted to echo what everyone else has said really. I got married last May and although I loved my dress and felt amazing on the day, I also didn't have that overwhelming emotional "this is the one" moment. I chose my dress because it suited my body shape, I felt like I looked good in it without having to worry about losing weight etc and it was comfortable and I could imagine spending my whole day in it, and sitting, eating and dancing etc (which I did, and barely got off the dancefloor all night!) 
    My mum got a little emotional when I tried it on, and i kept going back and forth between a couple of dresses, but in the end the one i chose made me the happiest each time I put it on. 

    I still had moments where I would look at the picture on my phone of me in it and wonder if I had chosen the right one, but on the day once my hair and make up was done I felt amazing in that dress! Lots of people commented on it, but mostly they commented on how happy I looked! 

    Sorry not much help, but just wanted to reassure that it's ok not to burst into tears at "the one". And you will have an incredible day regardless of what you are wearing. Hope the rest of your planning goes well! 
  • Sci-Fi NerdSci-Fi Nerd Posts: 56 New bride
    edited March 2019
    Actually @MrsPope2018, you are massively helpful. I think because my entire wedding planning has been a pretty laid back version of: "ooh, that looks good! Let's get it! Job done." I'm now wondering if I should be feeling more thunderbolts along the way. 

    I've been pretty obsessively looking at the pictures of me in the dress and actually, I do like it. Like you said, I can dance (which is massively important to me - it's one of the main reasons we chose our venue as it's a music venue that's licensed to 2am!!) and it makes me feel elegean, so I should just stop my whining! 

    Thank you @lucy414 - I'm sorry your first 2 shops sound horrid. Wed2Be was lovely, the sales advisors were so warm and encouraging. It was just the dresses. Like I said, I am actually lucky that it's all going so well. I should just be grateful! 

    ...Having said that, I do have a second wedding for religious purposes that I am completely avoiding planning so that is where all the stress will go. Hahaha! Story for another day though! Thank you all again! 
  • SlySly Posts: 36 New bride
    You sound like me haha. I hate weddings, and wearing dresses, being sporty and casual. I also suffer from body dysmorphia and looking at myself not looking like me in a full length mirror under glaring shop lights would be absolute torture for me. I am already dreading seeing any photos of the day😕 When I actually do dress up though I like clothes to be simple, classic and elegant. I have been married before and it was reasonably laid back and non traditional as I hate all that. This time it's the same, hotel, close  family only for the ceremony and afternoon tea, but I had to be talked into an evening reception as to me it was too much fuss. I have agreed on condition it's a party and nothing traditional or expected 😁 I hate doing the same as everyone else!  My friend is marrying again for the second time just after me and she is just doing registry office and a close family meal in a local pub then home, which is heaven to me except our registry office is crummy awful! I had a foul experience in a wedding shop years ago as a flouncy bridesmaid and vowed that would be the last time I set foot in one. Had my dress made for my first wedding and hated it. Fortunately this time around so many high street stores have started bridal ranges so I have been shopping online at everywhere from Ted baker to chi chi. My dress is actually a bridesmaid dress from ASOS. I am not totally cock a hoop with it but hey, it isn't a £2000 trad number I wouldn't feel comfortable in. I did actually relent one afternoon and thought I best try at least one shop but they had all the usual suspects and I didn't see any of the clean simple lines I had found on Pinterest..  do those dresses actually exist? Anyways, I have bought a lovely palazzo pant jumpsuit from boden which I will very probably change into for the evening party😂
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