I bought my wedding dress in the Netherlands, at a wonderful store in Arnhem, with my mom and sister and two really good friends.
I didn’t particularly enjoy a lot of wedding planning. I didn’t care about so many of the details, I don’t like being the center of attention, I was overwhelmed by all the options (take the usual options and multiply it by three to account for our different cultural, national, and religious backgrounds), my family was so far away and I never have been very good at asking for help so I did most of it by myself, and I thought about eloping every time we figured out how much something was going to cost. I thought about eloping extra hard when we moved to California and suddenly I had to plan the wedding all over again, or so it felt. In the end, I wanted a marriage more than I wanted a wedding.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with how our day turned out, I don’t regret not eloping for a second, and as soon as we get our pictures back I’ll share some of the details I did care about with you.
But this day? This I enjoyed. I had the support of my favorite people, I came home with the best dress (and so different from what I imagined!), and although I never really experienced the manic joy that movies show brides having, I did have the magical “say yes to the dress” moment.
I thought that was complete and utter bullshit made up by the wedding industrial complex, but it wasn’t–at least not for me. I thought I’d end up with a short, A-line, practical dress, something pretty and inexpensive, but when I tried some on, I just felt meh. I felt fine, but not especially special. After I tried on a couple longer dresses, but still wasn’t really feeling it, the saleslady came bearing a dress that didn’t look like anything I would like. But because I am very non-confrontational, I tried it on anyway. And as soon as it slipped over my head, I knew it. I hadn’t even seen myself in a mirror before I knew I’d found my dress.
We ended up spending more money on the wedding than either of us really wanted, but I don’t regret buying the dress one bit. It was made all the more special and meaningful because I got to buy it with some of my favorite people. In that sense, it was a good foreshadowing of the day: everything that I loved about our wedding is tied to the people who made it possible.