I wish I'd had this blog when I started my search. Maybe writing about it would've helped me make up my mind. But I didn't, so I'll start now.
Just like with the guy, "they" say "you just know." There are supposed to be oohs and ahhs, and your mom is supposed to cry.
OK. So all of that has happened, several times over, but I still haven't decided on a dress. I've figured out that, at the end of the day (to quote a friend), the dress isn't that important to me. What has been important to me is spending time with my sister, mom, and MIL-to-be. What has been important is playing with all of the pretty dresses. And meeting the nice people in different stores. And gossiping about the not-so-nice ones afterwards.
My search started waaaaaaaaay back when, three weeks after The Big Engagement. My mom practically begged me to go shopping. I was feeling fat and ugly, and was in no mood to try on dresses that I knew would be 33 sizes too small for me. (For those who haven't gone through it, the first weeks after telling the world you're engaged are pure @#$%. Happy, of course, but @#$%. Trying on the trial dresses is certainly the last thing you want to do.)
I was about to write a whole lot more about my journey. Then I stopped. My fiancé's sitting right here. I'm not particularly traditional about this wedding thing, but for heaven's sake, he's not going to know about my dress - not even about what I didn't pick!
What I will say is that the journey has gone around and around in circles. I've tried on every possible type of dress. As I tried on more, I thought I could say what didn't work. Then, recently, I tried on some of those things, and they worked. I was totally confused for about two months. Then I realized that I'm loving the process. I loved going to NYC and having the LaraHelene experience. I'm loving Elizabeth at Promise...for the saavy bride, and I'm loving Reiko at Rizik's. Two opposite ends of the spectrum - in establishments, in people, and in dress. But what they have in common is that Elizabeth and Reiko have the patience of Job, and want me to feel wonderful, be happy, and have fun. Reiko was the one who said "it's what you bring to the dress, not what the dress is." She's right. I'm down to two choices, and I know that I shine in both of them. I stand up tall and strong, and I look like me. Not the 10th grade me (as a girlfriend said when she saw me in one of The Unchosen Dresses), but me now - who I am.
Now I'm going to get mushy. No matter which dress I'm wearing, I'll love it. But the most important thing, really, truly, is that I'll be standing at the side of the man (who'll be dashing in his navy suit) who's somehow decided he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. And if I searched Paris, Milan, and Lawrence, KS, I couldn't find a more "it" accessory than that.