I’ve never watched one bridal dress show in my entire life. Seriously. Never.
Until yesterday, when I realized I’d be taking my mom with me to this magical fairy land I keep hearing about called “Kleinfeld” which, apparently, is the home base to TLC’s wildly popular “Say Yes To The Dress”. So I tivo’d it. And watched this completely foreign collection of bratty brides, demanding mothers, pushy sales people & trillion-dollar piles of fussy white fabric.
I’ve already told you how completely overwhelming this whole process is to me. Unlike the girlie girls who grew up dreaming of their big day and have magazine clippings and full sketches of some giant poofy white thing they’re obsessed with, I had ZERO idea what I wanted in a dress. I know more what I don’t like than what I do. Generally, I “Say Eff No To The Dress”.
So, I made an appointment (Yup. I know. Seriously. You have to.), and checked in with the concierge at the front desk while my mom & I waited in the grand lounge (where the hell AM I?!). I was relieved when a completely cute & non-intimidating chick named Jillian got us and walked us through a show room of frothy white sh*t to her private office SLASH dressing room.
Jillian sat us down & we talked. I showed her pictures of our venue & told her how I thought the distinctive vibe of the location should influence the kind of dress I wore. She took a couple notes, told me to strip down, handed me a silk robe & sashayed out of the room. Mom & I looked at each other. I’d call her look excited anticipation. I assume my look was somewhere along the lines of uncomfortable curiosity.
Jillian came back with 5 dresses & clamped me in them. Literally…clamped them as tight as they would go. I felt crazy skinny. I’m considering investing in real life skinny clamps, perhaps we can bring them into fashion. The first dress was stunning. It took me a minute to process how beautiful it was. I don’t know what I thought it would feel like to look in a mirror with a wedding dress on, but I wasn’t prepared. It caught me off guard & took my breath away a bit.
We tried on more. Jillian told me to think out loud, to tell her everything I was thinking, what about the dress I loved & hated. Every time she came back, her choices got better. I was starting to get some clarity on what I liked. And before long, I’d narrowed it down to two. Ironically (and despite the continuously improving dress choices) I just couldn’t get the first one I’d tried on out of my head.
She had me try my favorite two dresses on again & head out to the main gallery mirror on the showroom floor. I felt really…something I can’t describe…walking around in those dresses, walking past the other brides’ families and bridesmaids, past the salesgirls and stepping onto the raised platform under the perfect light in front of the full length mirror. Jillian put a veil on my head, and I have to admit it…I got teary. This whole thing is real. I’m really getting married. Made me think of what my dad’s reaction will be when he sees me like this. What Richie’s will be. I don’t know, the whole thing…it just got to me. I could see my mom tearing up too.
Officially the girliest moment of my life. Sigh.
I didn’t buy the dress. I “Said Maybe To The Dress”. I love them, but I want to see more. I love Irina Shabayeva’s designs so much – she & I went out for drinks last week & talked about her designing something custom for me, which is a HUGE honor. And I’ve gotten emails from a couple designers who are interested in dressing me, I need to look into everything & be sure I’m making the right decision. But that first dress is still haunting me. We’ll shall see.
I can at least say I wasn’t horrified by the experience (wait! I mean “Say Not Horrified By The Dress”). It was actually kinda cool. It’s all starting to sink in.
I’m gonna be a bride 🙂