Home Thinking How Do You Pick a Wedding Gown?: You Don’t!

How Do You Pick a Wedding Gown?: You Don’t!

8 min read

My wedding dress saga would be quite a story to tell if I was to ever decide to bore someone with the entire convoluted tale. Sure, I had a “dream wedding dress” in mind when I started planning the event. But I soon realized several disturbing facts that stood between me and this dress:

  • I am fat and this limits my choice of dresses substantially as most dresses are exclusively made for straight sized women, some are made for straight sized women and then scaled to plus size, and those that are made for plus sizes represent a small fraction of available dresses
  • I didn’t want a white dress and this limited me even further
  • I didn’t have the money required to shell out on a traditional wedding gown
  • I started reexperiencing body image issues while searching for and trying on dresses that I basically hadn’t touched since the height of my eating disorder
  • I might be ridiculous, but am entirely too practical to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a dress I’m going to wear once
  • I felt terrible about myself in every sense of word while searching for a dress that was supposed to make me feel amazing

I finally decided to settle for a dress from a custom online store. It was blue, it had pink flowers it showed some cleavage and was generally the style of dress I like. Although at this point, I really just figured that if I couldn’t feel good, at least the dress would look nice independent of me. I placed my order with a $30 off coupon code and waited for it to arrive.

When it finally did, I allowed myself to get excited for a few brief seconds while opening the box. Maybe this was it. It was going to fit me like a glove. It would look nice and I would feel good and everything could actually turn out okay. But as soon as I opened the box, my heart sank.

The dress was the wrong fabric.

Any rational person would simply have returned the dress and gotten on with their day. But this literary symbolism, this inescapable realization that fate, the universe, whatever, was telling me this wasn’t meant to be, felt as subtle as being struck with a flaming chair.

This dress had broken me.

I decided almost immediately that this was still going to be my wedding dress. I was going to wear this outfit to my wedding because the thought of heading to the post office to ship it back to the online retailer seemed as impossible as me actually finding what I wanted (or thought I wanted) in a wedding gown.

I attempted to try the dress on, but because the zipper went up to the nape of my neck, I couldn’t get it zipped all the way. What I managed to secure seemed to fit fine. After several minutes of twisting my arms into uncomfortable positions, I realized I wasn’t going to get the dress zipped by myself. Neither of the cats volunteered to help.

  • Is the dress the universe’s continued joke that I will never find what I want?
  • Is is a symptom of the fact I had unrealistic expectations walking into this plus sized fashion endeavour and a dress was never going to fix the underlying issues I face regardless of how attractive it might be?
  • Is it just mistake someone made when they grabbed the wrong gown to ship out, with no idea it was ever going to cause this much thought?
  • Is wearing the dress admitting defeat or triumphing over the absurdity of life?
  • Will I regret not donning my dream wedding dress one day or will I simply be glad I didn’t spend a paycheck on an outfit for a few hours?

A Facebook meme popped up in my feed the night before the dress arrived. It had the letters “L ST” with text below stating your brain will fill in the missing letter to spell out a word. That word represents where you are in life. The original poster saw “list.” Some commenters saw “lust” or “last.” I saw “lost.”

I continued my Facebook scroll, wondering if there was ever a time in my life when my brain wouldn’t have come to the same conclusion. I didn’t know. But I doubted it.

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