October 2, 2008

Reindeer games?

A-line, trumpet, mermaid, empire. Full skirt or figure hugging skirt? Chiffon or taffeta, satin or silk? And do I want beads? Lace? Embroidery? Appliques? Sweetheart? V-neck? Strapless? Halter? A train? How long?

The dress shopping has begun.

Now I knew there were lots of options out there. The wedding biz is big biz after all. I’ve seen the magazines and their ads, drooled over various designers’ websites, checked out the real brides’ dresses on various websites, and boned up on the lingo and prices.

I figured I knew what I wanted… the colour had to look good against my fair skin and as a backdrop for my crazy curly red hair. The cut and shape had to make my stocky Scotch/Irish frame look as hourglass as possible. The bodice had to lock and load my generous bust, keeping it firmly under wraps and hidden. Ideally I wanted a corset back to accommodate weight fluctuations and possible overeating on The Day. The skirt had to be full length and not at all ballerina-esque and needed a small train if any at all. I’m not a fan of chiffon so I knew I wanted satin or soft taffeta. Finally, I didn’t want the whole thing to look too plain but nor did I want to look like I’d stepped out of an 80s wedding. Elegant, glamourous, sexy, distinctive yet still me.

Seemed obvious and doable.

So, armed with that knowledge and an apparently respectable budget, I made appointments during this last week with a few salons that are nearish to my home town. I say nearish because apparently my town is the city that weddings forgot and there are very very few boutiques actually in the city itself. I resigned myself to driving up to two hours for one store that was doing a trunk show for Maggie Sottero gowns.

Upon departing said trunk show, I must humbly report that I don’t think anything quite prepared me for the sheer quantity of options overall however or incredulous attitude I’d meet upon politely informing the store attendant of my wishes and hopes.

Nor did all the advance research prepare me for the continuous crushing disappointment of being told that the 6 pretty dresses I wanted to try on did not come in Madame’s necessary size, or in fact in any size close enough to allow me to get it anywhere past one thick thigh. Apparently, a trunk show is industry lingo for “you must be Kate Moss to try these on”. I am not a size 0 (size 4 in wedding dresses) so I could not try on the trunk show samples.

I felt a little like poor Rudolph, who couldn’t join in the reindeer games.

I kept at it though and after 5 stores, I’ve found 5 decent possible dresses that bear little resemblance to one another other than the fact that they’re strapless and have ruching on the front.

None has jumped out at me though as The Dress. There have been no tears, no glow, no fast-beating heart or happy smile. All five would work for me, in five different ways.

But none has me saying “That’s it. That’s My Dress”.

So the search continues.

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