One of the things I’ve wanted to do on this blog, is reflect on the year leading up to my wonderful wedding.
Yesterday, I was speaking to the wonderful Rhiannon about how the famous TLC show Say Yes To the Dress (SYTTD) paints really unrealistic pictures of how brides will feel when finding THEIR dress. I’ve had a few conversations with fellow-brides about this and have also seen this topic pop up in the blogging world, such as in Daniella’s post!
In my case, I knew from the start that I would be wearing two dresses on my wedding day. The quintessential beautiful white wedding dress when I walked down the aisle to my Arjun, and a gorgeous lehenga (straight from India!) when it was time to party!
So when I first started my wedding dress hunt, I was actually searching for used dresses. I went to The Bride’s Project, a cool enterprise here in Toronto, with my mom and sis in tow – the BP sells donated used/new wedding gowns, with proceeds going to Breast Cancer Awareness and Research! Unfortunately, after my first hunt, I didn’t leave with anything that I particularly loved. Being petite, with almost over-exaggerated curves (I only complain sometimes…bear with me), I realized this search was going to be like searching for jeans – tough. We decided to go to a “proper boutique” – Becker’s Bridal – to try on a few dresses until I found the right silhouette for this body of mine!
At Becker’s the first gown I tried on was this Pronovias. It was breathtaking!
Since we didn’t have an official appointment, we weren’t able to try on any more dresses, and I wasn’t sure if this grand gown was me right now, i.e. I could see myself getting married in this gown when I was 28, but not at 23. Also, I wasn’t sure if this was the gown for a beautiful clubhouse on a golf course, it seemed more suited for a ballroom wedding. So my sister and I made an appointment to come back to the boutique!
And when we did, we grabbed almost 20 dresses to try on. I remember, just before going in, I found a very unique dress, and almost walked by thinking it was a tea-dress. My sister stopped and said “Try it on! Just for fun! It has this whimsical, country vibe that you do!” In the dressing room, it was one of the last ones I tried on. And oh my, from the second I heard the zip hit the end of the clasp, this dress, Watter’s Lasara, took my breath away. I remember prancing around at the sheer beauty and uniqueness of the dress, and my sister kept repeating “You’re glowing! You’re glowing!”
It was me now, a 23 year old bride-to-be! More than that, it felt amazing. All the other dresses weighed at least 5 – 10 lbs, but this one was like walking around a cloud in thin sheets of silk. We decided we would need my mom’s OK before I could proceed AND I wanted to try on more Watters gowns!
I found a boutique that had a more extensive Watters selection and as fate would have it, they were having a Watter’s Trunk Sale soon! As my sis was out of town, I dragged my mom and best friend/bridesmaid with me. We had fun trying on a few gowns. I stepped out in the Lasara and they proclaimed – yes this is the best one we’ve seen you in yet! The salesperson grabbed my elbow and said, if you love this, you’ll love the Devenport, it’s in the newest collection and has a silhouette perfect for your body. She pulled it out and I thought it was lovely… but it seemed so typical (lacey, A-line). But what the hey, I was having fun so I tried it on.
As soon as I stepped out, my bridesmaid clutched her hands to her face and tears started pouring out. My mom said, “this dress was made for your body.” It had a corseted top, so it gave the ladies better support than the Lasara. As I looked at myself in the mirror I thought, “Well, it’s nii-iice. But I look like the bride on top of the cake.”
I then proceeded to try on the Lasara and Devenport in succession, I’d say at least 15 times. Finally an Italian nona came up to me and said something in Italian, her granddaughter (a fellow bride) translated, “she says this is your dress.”
And that is the story of how I said YES to my dress. Nothing like the TV show. To be honest, I felt sort of numb afterwards (I think after paying the deposit). Here I went from “I’d like a used gown” to a 2011 Watters full-priced gown!
Between that day and my wedding day, I did have many doubts about the Devenport. I even had my seamstress dramatically change the butt part of this gown till I liked it. To this day, I say the Lasara was definitely more “my gown” and I had dreams of cutting it short around the knees and into a cocktail dress that I would wear on our first-anniversary date *sigh* you can picture it can’t you? (I may secretly still be looking for a Lasara at a steal-worthy price to chop it up into my vision!!)
So for me, the whole SYTTD moment was about having to let go and accept that my body would have certain limits (and that I didn’t want my boobs on display on my wedding day (except for husband of course, but that came later 😉 hehe!) and embrace a dress that enhanced its beauty! And on the day of my wedding, I did feel beautiful in the dress, but mostly because Arjun said so and because of all the love around me 🙂