Switching Articles


You might have missed this news because it was slipped in-between some eyebrow-raising photographs, but I bought my wedding dress on Friday.  I bought it that day instead of waiting in order to secure the floor sample and the shop’s August promotion of store-paid sales tax, because if I was going to buy the dress that was not inexpensive, I wanted to inch as far toward the direction of inexpensive as I possibly could.

But I admit on the drive home from Ohio I was plagued with doubts.  Not just about spending more, but about making a selection.  I knew, having just tried on dozens of dresses and having seen hundreds, that my dress was something special.  But was it special enough?

I wear dresses like other people wear blue jeans.  This actually increased the amount of pressure I felt about finding a magical, life-altering, perfect-in-every-way dress to wear to my wedding.  I felt like because I hear “I love your dress” so often (I just spent like five minutes trying to revise the beginning of this sentence to inject some modesty and couldn’t work it, so try not to hate me because my dresses are beautiful), for my wedding dress, the one dress in the life of a blue jeans type that everyone says “I love you” to, I needed to, as Dowdy Friend so memorably rapped in Teen Witch, “top that.”

But I got over it.  Part of that is because my wedding dress is pretty awesome, and will be unique after the extensive (and probably painfully expensive) alterations we have planned.  But it is also because I realized that my wedding dress is not the last awesome dress I’m going to wear in my life.

I’m going to go to other people’s weddings.  Life willing, I’m going to be a philanthropist and patron of the arts (you know, if all my money doesn’t go to buying my own mental health care for the rest of my life) and go to fancy fundraisers.  I’m going to find roof access to my friends’ apartment buildings and put on dresses for random photo shoots, because that is one of the things we do for fun.

When I turn 35, I desperately want to throw a huge inaugural ball themed birthday party, because my birthday was the date of George Washington’s first inauguration.  I haven’t decided yet it if we’ll wear period attire.  But either way, I will have an awesome dress.

My wedding dress is a dress.  It is not the dress.


  1. OH MY GOD dear Robin….your dress is absolutely unequivicably ( I don’t know how to spell this word because this is the first time I have ever used it in my LIFE!!!) definitly (cant spell that either) the most magical, life- altering,perfect in every way dress to wear to your wedding wedding dress!!!!!!!!!!!!….by far

  2. My dress wasn’t THE dress. But it was mine and I felt pretty. I like your outlook.

    And also, I just want to say… “I’m king. And they know it. When I snap my fingers everybody says ‘show it.’” … what a hunk.

  3. I both very much enjoyed the Running of the Brides report with photos as well as this story of reaching a healthy outlook on the THE dress. I feel like there’s a lot of angst tied up in finding THE dress because if you can find THE dress that means that you’ve found THE partner.

    • What an interesting idea! With divorce rates what they are, I often feel like all us marrying types are trying to convince people in a variety of ways that we’re actually going to last. Which is hard to do, especially with a dress!

  4. There is no way I missed that you bought your wedding dress. But I love your article distinction (and I love dresses too, despite the fact that I am reading this while wearing jeans today for the first time in, like… hold on. Two weeks? Three? Fourteen? Something like that).

    Despite the fact that this is all we hear about, I’m not sure when a dress is EVER “the” dress. Well, maybe for the princess ballgown type? But there I go, hypothesizing about stereotypes again.

    I get the pressure. I don’t understand it, but I have fallen under its black spell. Clothes shouldn’t ever be life-altering. It’s what we do while we’re wearing them that makes the magic. Nod nod, wink wink, finger gun, tongue click.

    • I also wore jeans today for unshaven legs reasons, only to discover it was hot enough outside that I think I literally burned my hand on our front doorknob. Dresses are my favorite because you don’t have to match them to anything, and they are much more forgiving of small weight fluctuations than pants.

  5. Wow, I think you just helped me figure something out. I’ve been thinking about dresses, and why I want my dress to be so different and special. And it’s because I wear a lot of dresses too (like you) and get complimented on them a lot. So it’s kind of like you figure you have to up the ante. Because if they like the dresses I wear in everyday life (and I like them too), then we all have expectations that my wedding dress will top them all. Oh my, I think I need to lay my head down because that realization is a little mind blowing.

  6. Have you considered giving copies of your blogulations as a wedding favor? It is chock full of excellent attention to detail* and I for one think it would be a hit.

    *See, for example, the title to this one.

  7. My dress was just what I wanted and looked nice but I didn’t weep when I put it on or anything. The only time I could see myself doing that would be if I had enough dough to buy some adorable designer sundress. One of my favs was $20 at Target

  8. I totally feel the same way. This had better not be the fanciest/most expensive dress I ever wear. Fiance is working on getting into the film industry so I’m holding out for some couture action at the academy awards someday! Or if not, at least some super awesome birthday soirees I’ll throw for myself.

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