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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Three Incidents indicate that "Say Yes to the Dress" is a big, fat lie.

Its true. "Say Yes to the Dress" is a big, fat lie. Everything about it is a lie, basically. At least in my experience. Maybe that's because of my personality or my resting bitch face or drinking too many mimosas in the waiting area...but seriously ladies, I've never been so deceived in my life.

These days, single ladies have an image of what wedding dress shopping is going to be like because of the huge amount of wedding shops that are trending across the cable networks. With the expansion of Pinterest, you can plan your dream wedding from the comfort your couch while snuggling your cat and answering your Tinder pings (#foreveralone). However, the reality of the situation...well, at least, my experience, is that you've been fed a terrible, terrible wedding deception.

So, this past weekend, Tiffany and I decided to go out browsing wedding dresses to get a feel of what's out there at what price point, etc. Also, because I am of tall stature and what I call "athletic" built, I had no idea what the best silhouette would be on my body (Bridal Boutique Terms: amazon, plus sized, only should wear ballgowns in order to contain DAT ASS). Like most women, I had several specific dresses at each boutique I wanted to try on. I was as prepared as I could be and it was time to make my appointments and head out. Let me share with you several separate incidents that occurred while visiting 3 boutiques in a weekend.

Incident 1

I was recommended a boutique by a co-worker that catered to "plus sized" bridals, meaning their gowns start a street size women's 12 (huge, right? There's something inherently wrong with this philosophy). I thought, "Great! I'm a street size 10, so I will be able to try on basically any dress in the entire store because even the smallest sample will fit".

You see, I'm a former fat girl (FFG). I might still be fat by some people's standards-- I don't really care. I can run 10 miles and lift a heap of weight. I'm athletic and consider myself not fat. Being a FFG, you have an innate fear of things being too small because when you were a FG, you were usually trying to squeeze into the largest size a store offered. If it didn't fit, too bad, so sad-- head over to Lane Bryant. That was my life for many years, and something I am still very in tune with. That said, the thought of a bridal boutique only having size 4-6 sample dresses (Read: the approximate size of my thigh), was terrifying and embarrassing all over again. It doesn't help when your skinny, married friends talk about how they were "swimming" in sample dresses because the samples were all 8's and 10's. THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT, FRIENDS.

So, I call up this boutique and they basically tell me to fuck off. "Oh, you're a size 10/12, you really won't need to come here. It might ruin the experience of our other shoppers". So, regular shops basically think I'm too fat for their samples and the plus size store thinks I'm too thin. Fabulous. I was fat shammed and thin shamed all at the same time. A swing and a miss. #bridefail

Incident 2

So, Tiffany and I head out to a mid-range boutique. Maybe a step up from David's Bridal, but certainly not high end. They had a large selection of Maggie Sottero gowns, which can cost up to $7500, but plenty sale and wholesale sample items as well. I thought it would be a great place to get my feet wet with a variety of styles and sizes. As suggested by the appointment maker, I brought a short list of dresses I wanted to try.

First off, the consultant they gave me was an older women who had about a 42% grasp on the English language and was about 42% of my 6'0 height. I don't even think she could reach the top of my head with her arms up and on her tippy toes. So, I showed her my list. She pointed to the vast racks and said, "Oh yes, they're all in there, you can pick them out." and walked away. UMMMM, what? I was already on my second mimosa and feeling a bit snarky, so Tiffany and I set out to find some of my dresses and have some more mimosas. The consultant failed to mention they were sorted by size AND style...so we had to start over twice. Thank god for mimosas.

Because the consultant couldn't even carry those 150 million pound ball gowns, we were hauling them all over. Then Tiffany would help me get into them while the consultant stood in the corner looking overwhelmed by the huge person in a huge dress standing in front of her. WE MEANT BUSINESS.

Let me describe what getting into a ball gown wedding dress is like. Imagine a tube sock. How you have to put it on your foot and scrunch it up and pull up little by little until its up to your knee. Now imagine that you are the foot. Getting into a wedding dress is like rolling through a white tube sock with your entire body. Now imagine that you are a foot wrapped tightly in toliet paper layers and you will put the tube sock over yourself and over the layers and force it on smoothly, without clogging up any of those delicate layers...and then remain in there while hot lights blaze down on you forcing you to sweat uncontrollably from a mixture of claustrophobia and hell, its a damn work out getting in there. That's what putting on a ball gown wedding dress felt like to me.

Needless to say, ball gowns are out of the running. Also, Tiffany sustained some serious arm scratches from beaded bodices. Those things are dangerous.

Incident 3

 Let's discuss David's Bridal. I have no issues with David's Bridal. They have many beautiful dresses for a reasonable price in many sizes, which is what I was interested in. They also have some lovely higher end, designer lines available. A couple of those dresses sparked my attention, for sure. Once again, just looking, trying, etc. to get an idea of what even looked good on me and put some of my FFG melodrama to rest.

Tiffany and I went to a David's Bridal store nearby. The attendant in the front immediately tried to get me to fill out a credit card application and then informed me that they had neither of two designer line dresses I wanted to try on because only a select few DB's carry those lines. This is not indicated anywhere on their website, which I kindly informed her, and she laughed and said "I know, isn't that weird?" Um, not weird, irritating and inconvenient. Moving on.

My consultant was assigned to me and I showed her the style of the dresses in the designer line I loved. She asked what else I liked which I explained to her that I had an open mind but I wanted something with some pizazz but not too trendy. I spotted a modified ballgown on a mannequin immediately and asked to try the sample. She said they only had it in a size 4. FFG insecurities were creeping back in full force.

I tried on four underwhelming gowns. Pretty but not stunning. The consultant basically told me they had nothing with more "flare" and I should go try to find the designer line I liked at a different nearby store. She gave up after 4 dresses and 25 minutes. She didn't even try to sell me anything. I must be a real bridezilla bitch. #bannedfromDB

Conclusion

I knew that wedding dress shopping wouldn't be easy for me. I have my FFG issues and I'm picky as hell. I've never been a person to make a quick decision shopping. I usually pass a pair of nice heels up and then I think about them for days and days and days until I finally give in and go back to buy them. I lust over things. I let the obsessed bubble up and boil over before making a decision.

On "Say Yes to the Dress", women try on four dresses and fall in love. They burst into tears and and know this is THE dress. They have bridal consultant who ask about every detail of their wedding fantasy and go on wild goose chases to find the dress they just know the bride will love.

That is television. The above is real life.

While I obviously picked three "this could only happen to me" incidents, I don't think that this is only happening to me. There were so many positives that came out of this shopping trip. And I found a dress that I absolutely loved and had a consultant who was all parts funny, supportive, truthful and professional. The dress lust is growing...but I'm not done looking yet.

I don't think I'm going to have that tearful moment when I put on a dress and know its the dress I'll get married in. I've accepted that reality. I apologize if I ruined your day by revealing the ugly truth about "Say Yes to the Dress". Surely there are brides who have the perfect wedding dress experience, but it wasn't me. I'm proud to come out and say that. I hope that some one else out there doesn't feel like they're the only one who just can't "say yes to the dress".

Someone really needs to give me a wedding reality show, seriously.

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