Ring my bell curve
What Clay and I Did for Veteran's Day


I wouldn’t want anyone to worry out there, so let me reassure you! Yes! I went shopping for a wedding dress today! I will PROBABLY not walk down the aisle either naked or in my blue jeans.

What’s that you say? You weren’t actually worried? Well PAY ATTENTION. We are T minus three months and ten days, and I have no dress.

This might be because I am such a terrible shopper. Oh dear me, I hate the shopping. I can enjoy it if it’s purely recreational, but I choke under pressure. If I NEED something, I have a tendency to walk into a store, fall into a hypnotic trance at the sight of all the pretty colors, and wander away in search of a pretzel.

So far, in my search for the perfect dress, I have searched online, clicking aimlessly through seven cotrillion pictures of wedding dresses, and tried on exactly…um…one. Can you believe I STILL haven’t found it? Bizarre.

Based on my experiences, I have concluded the following about wedding dresses: 97% of them all look the same. 2.9% of the remaining dresses are malevolently ugly. Good heavens. All the rest are made for freakishly tall people.

Plus there’s this whole culture based around getting married. I’m not just engaged; I’m “The Bride,” which makes me feel like I’m expected to sit with my legs crossed at the ankles, and write charming notes on embossed stationary. This is not me. Here’s how good I am at writing charming notes: I just found a thank you note I wrote to a good friend back in JULY. It has her name, but no address on it, and I suppose that’s why she’s never received it. Heh. See what a bad Bride I shall make?

As far as the dress goes, I will probably end up doing what was sensibly suggested to me by a far better mind than mine, and have one made for me. Which I should hop right on doing, because did I mention the wedding is happening in FEBRUARY? HUH?

But no, before I take the sensible route, I’d like to torture myself a little more, hence the clicking aimlessly. Today I decided to kick it up a notch, and actually WENT INTO a bridal shop.

To be entirely honest, I should mention that I carefully orchestrated this event so that I had only ten minutes to peruse the shop. Yeah. Let’s consider it desensitization therapy, huh?

I walked in, and was immediately greeted by a woman who worked there. She was walking past, holding a dress aloft, lest its plastic zippered case trail in the…carpet.

“Oh hello there, dear. Can I help you?” She smiled warmly, happy to be of assistance to The Bride. I considered bolting, but decided to throw myself on her mercy instead.

“Yes. I need a wedding dress, only, well, I’m short. Petite. You know.” She nodded sympathetically.

“I see, I see. And when is the wedding?”

“February 18.” Her eyebrows shot up.

“Oh dear, we need to get right on this, then.”

While I nodded guiltily, she swung into action. She swooped the dress in her hand onto a safe perch on a bar near her, and started rifling through the dresses on the racks. I trailed her, weakly poking at various plastic bags and answering her rapid-fire questions.

Rather informal, I think. But I want it to look like a wedding dress, you know? Ivory, I suppose. No, have pity, no train. Or veil.

She yanked one dress of the rack and displayed it for me with a smile.

“Something like this? You think?”

It was…fine. It fit in the 97%. Pretty. All princessy and bridal. I sighed.

“Sort of.”

“Sort of?”

“Well, no.”

She looked truly deflated, and sadly tucked the dress back on the rack. She stood there; petting its plastic case for a minute, then squared her shoulders and started trolling the racks again. I, however, had to give up. I looked at my watch showily, and made disappointed noises.

“Oh dear, look at the time, I have to run!”

“Are you sure? Here’s a line you really should consider! They make a lot of dresses in petites!”

“I’ll come back! Later!” I was backing toward the door, nodding reassuringly. “Tonight, probably!”

“Ok!” She called brightly, “and don’t forget to ask about THIS line!”

I nodded, and then I was SAFE in the parking lot outside.

I checked my watch again. Eight minutes. I’d been in the store for eight minutes.

I can’t believe I still haven’t found the right dress.



Just bite the bullet and have your dress made. I just came off of a maid of honor tour of duty and finding the dress was a nightmare.


It sounds like you may be slightly allergic to weddings. Maybe you should have a few of your closest friends throw you a surprise wedding.


I was having difficulties finding a wedding dress when I saw a poster in the window of a (closed for the day) bridal shop. The bottom half of the dress was in the 97% category, but the top half was just... ME. I took down the name of the shop, called them, came in for a visit, asked about the dress in the picture in the window, and they had one in the store, 2 sizes too small for me. I tried it on anyway, confirmed that this was the ONE, and then it turned out that the warehouse had exactly ONE dress left in stock in my size, because the style was being discontinued. I bought it. Such are the travails and vagaries of dress shopping. (Thankfully, my good friends later spontaneously confirmed that it was a very "Sarah" dress. It's good to look like yourself when you marry!)

I (second? third?) the motion to look into having a dress made for you. I've had friends who did that, and the results were always distinctive and usually very good.


Heehee. You totally need me to come shopping with you. I promise I won't make you get married in ugly boots. ;)


Another option is that if you see a bridesmaid dress that you really like you can almost always order it in white. There are actually pretty bridesmaid dresses to be found nowadays (I swear!) and they are WAY less expensive than bridal gowns. I went that route and only spent about $120 pn my dress and it was exactly what I wanted.

laura (another one)

Great Lauras think alike - my sister had two weddings last year (one in Texas, one in Mexico), so of course she needed two dresses. Both were bridesmaid dresses and they were perfect. Perfect casual elegance.


I had the best tip to give you--then came here to the comments and saw that 2 other smart women beat me to it! Definitely look at bridesmaid dresses. I got a gorgeous, very simple, ivory bridesmaid dress off the rack at a very upscale bridal shop--where their bridal gowns were in the 1000s of dollars--for about $150. It was perfect for me because I wasn't a young thing when I married and I didn't want to go in for all the fluff, however pretty it was. Just not my style. Watters & Watters is a nice brand.

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