Now that the bar exam is behind me, I have much more time on my hands. There are only so many hours in the day that can be spent looking over the same lack of new job postings, or reading creepy “job listings” on Craigslist that may or may not be solicitations for sex work.
But I’m getting married! Shouldn’t that fill up hours of my time? Shouldn’t I be hand-crafting centerpieces or learning calligraphy or something? Well, in case you haven’t been reading my blog lately, I’m mainly focused on finding a dress at this point. And that worries me.
I worry that August 2010 is too soon to look for a dress to wear at a July 2011 wedding. Having read more than my fair share of wedding blogs, it seems like a lot of people have wedding dress second thoughts, and I don’t want to. I don’t want my dress to suddenly not fit either; I think staying the same size for a year is a challenge for many people, but for me it is extra intimidating because ever since I unintentionally lost a good bit of weight a few years ago, I’ve been expecting it to come back any day now.
On the other hand, I am, as mentioned, unemployed. In addition to having time to fill, dress shopping while not confined by a regular workday has its perks.
Additionally, the Cleveland Running of the Brides is August 27, and I don’t want to rule that option out. It might not be a great solution for me because I’m (right now) a lot smaller than a bridal sample size, which unsurprisingly seems to make up the bulk of the sale stock. But just in case I do strike discount dress gold in Ohio, I’d kind of like to do a more traditional shopping trip before that, mainly for my aunt’s benefit; she’s been looking forward to this since I was a wee girl learning gender performance in my Superstar Barbie costume playset.
So… what does the Internet Jury say? Should I dive into dress hunting now? Should I put it off? Until what point?
If not dress hunting, what sort of things should a young lady of leisure do with her time? (I will accept non-wedding related ideas, happily!)
August 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm
Put it off. I bought mine ages ago, and am feeling like I should have waited because I am suddenly having White Dress fever. Hopefully I will get over it and the dress will still fit. Still wish I had waited.
August 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm
The thing about white dress fever… and you picking your particular dress early… is that you will definitely find another place to wear your beautiful blue dress should you stumble upon the great white wonder for the wedding day. And if you don’t, well, I love your blue dress SO MUCH. So I will not be disappointed at all.
August 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm
Oh ROBIN…..are you ready??????????????? Go dress shopping, the more you look the more you learn what you like and dislike, go to Running of the brides (what do you have to lose…but to have great memories!!!!…and maybe, just maybe find a dress!……go to garage sales looking for vintage jewelry for your bouquets, go have lunch with Collin, go buy a new outfit,call your almost mother in law, apply for a few jobs, go have lunch with one of your adorable girlfriends, check out a rabbi,look for brides maid dresses with Carrie, give Carrie a kiss and a hug from me,call Collin at work, go look at a few more brides maid dresses, go to st louis and look at a few wedding dresses there , go out to lunch with Collin, go buy him a tshirt with a skull on it!!! go apply to a few more jobs…in person! call your grammy…tell her you love her…read a great book on your kindle, do yoga….life is good….life is SO good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
August 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm
I like all of your suggestions for things to do, MOST ESPECIALLY buy Collin a shirt with a skull on it. He needs a closet full of those, right?
August 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm
I got engaged on July 25th. Went “looking” on the 26th. Bought a dress on that date…and loved it every time I pulled it out of the bag to check it out. But I wore a tea length dress and I certainly haven’t seen any (because they don’t make that many) that I like better than mine.
August 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm
Awesome! Also I am impressed you found a tea length dress in the middle of the country. I thought that was some sort of coastal fantasy.
August 4, 2010 at 5:46 am
I bought my dress about a year ago. I loved it and still do. It was also a huge burden off my ‘to-do’ list. You will always find dresses you love even after you buy your dress. The key is stop looking
August 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm
I will stop looking… but I will not stop reading wedding blogs. There’s the rub.
August 4, 2010 at 8:27 am
I say look around and do some research and even go to Running of the Brides. If you find a dress you want to commit to, go for it. Doesn’t hurt to look, right?
I put off my dress hunting/buying to two months before the wedding. And I love my dress. I was also worried that if I bought a dress way before the wedding I would hate it. For me, my style changes and so does my body. So waiting a while made sense.
August 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm
Two months! BRAVE. If I put it off… I’ll put it off for two months FROM NOW. Or nine months before the wedding.
August 4, 2010 at 9:05 am
I ended up buying my dress in June 2009 for my August 2010 wedding and I’ve had zero regrets. I was not at all sure what I was looking for, so the first day I went looking with my mom and sister and tried on probably 20 dresses, didn’t find anything, and we ended the day with nachos and margaritas – it remains one of my favorite days of this whole wedding planning process. I ended up finding the dress on a rainy Friday – it’s a sample and we got a great deal on it. I’m 5’2″ and about a size 4, so it had to be altered quite a bit. I didn’t do any alterations till this summer, and I left the dress at the bridal salon, so I didn’t get bored or sick of it. Of course, YMMV, but one good thing about buying it last summer is that I fell in love with it all over again this summer when it was time to do the alterations (I have a fitting today, in fact!)
August 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm
You got a sample altered down to your tininess? Did that cost as much as the dress?
August 4, 2010 at 9:48 am
As one of the examples of “what not to do” when dress shopping, I say this:
- Go try on a bunch at some shops. Don’t even bring money. Make buying not an option. Just learn what you like and what styles look good.
- With that info in mind, go run with those brides and see what you find! If you find something you love for a good deal…then thats awesome!
- Listen to yourself. listen! Listen! LISTEN! This is what I did not do. I knew what I wanted…didn’t find it for super cheap, bought a dress that was ok for pretty cheap and then regretted it ever since. I should have just known that a little more money would make me a lot happier. (Not trying to get you to spend more, but just telling you what I did wrong!) I wanted so back to be practical and not get sucked into spending lots of money on a dress. And now I’m spending more to make my dress lovely so I don’t dread wearing it!
Lesson is: don’t buy a dress this soon unless you LOVE it.
August 4, 2010 at 3:47 pm
Thanks for this advice. My dress heart beats very loudly. I should be able to listen to it. I just hope it can fall for something that isn’t outrageously expensive.
August 4, 2010 at 10:26 am
Viki Diedrich’s plan sounds fun.
I say looking now will help you figure out what you like and don’t like. Plus, it can be less stressful because there is no pressure to buy a dress Right Now. You can wait and buy one later when you find one that meets your criteria.
August 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm
I didn’t even consider the delightful non-stress of not having a time crunch. I am all about things being made less stressful.
August 6, 2010 at 1:21 am
You will be a great litigator.
August 4, 2010 at 11:02 am
I agree with all the above advice! And you could always buy now if you really fall in love with a dress and alter it closer to your wedding date. I think the key really is to STOP LOOKING once you’ve bought a dress, and maybe not to buy until you’re ready to stop looking so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.
August 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm
I am ready to stop looking! I am pretty bored with bridal fashion by now.
August 4, 2010 at 11:17 am
You’re such a CUTE!
August 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm
You’re alright I guess.
August 4, 2010 at 11:31 am
So happy that my insanity can be a lesson learned for someone else. But really, I’d recommend looking now, without any intention of buying, just to get a sense of what you like and don’t. If your budget is salon-level – even lower-end salon level – you can fall in love and not buy. You can get excited because you found a perfect dress and wait until six months out (or a trunk sale or second hand sale or whatever) to be sure and then buy it. 6 months is the recommended time for ordering a salon dress, so looking now isn’t out of the question. Just let it be “looking only.”
I never had a YESYESYES moment. But I finally, last week, had a “this is right and I feel happy” moment. I had that same moment with my first dress, and that was the problem. It was right (in both price and size-ish) but then the size no longer worked and it hadn’t been “the one” to begin with. But if you find The One, like some of the commenters mentioned above, then I think you’re safer to buy now, especially if you find a deal. Then alterations are worth it.
Use this time to find out what you really like. Go to a salon before Running of the Brides to get to know your body and personal style in weddingdressland. And then, if you fall in love with a great deal, you can feel confident in taking it.
August 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm
Sound advice. I think getting some sense of what I look like in wedding dresses in a non-chaotic setting would be an important precursor to Running with the Brides. And if I find a reasonably-priced salon dress, I save myself a trip to Cleveland. No complaints about that.
August 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm
YES on the salon thingy – I found a dress in June for my end of May 2011 wedding. This weekend, my friend is coming into town to come see it. I was going to try and track down a trunk sale or a sample to get it discounted further. If I can find a trunk sale before October, Im good to go and I save 10%. One little tip – if you find a dress in a salon – double check that its not on the chopping block – Apparently, they do big discounts on dresses that are no longer going to be produced the next year…Actually maybe get ready to buy in December and get those dresses on sale?
August 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm
One thing I will say is that the #1 reason I hear from brides with “dress regret” is that the style/tone/formality of their party changed and the dress is no longer a good match.
My advice would be to start by thinking about what kind of party you want, and maybe even finalizing the venue so you’re sure, and THEN wedding dress shopping.
Dozens of dresses will look good on you, but imagining the party will be what helps you narrow it down.
August 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm
Great advice. I definitely couldn’t even begin to think about dresses before we knew when and where we were getting married. We’ve got the venue, and it definitely pushes my dress ideas in certain directions. Plus I know I’m walking down steps for the ceremony, which means I need to avoid crazy trains.
August 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm
I wish I would’ve waited…how I felt about our wedding budget and re-wearing a dress changed dramatically between purchase date and wedding date, so I’d say wait.
August 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm
For what it is worth, I thought your dress was super gorgeous.