As a girl who’s never dreamt of her wedding day and scoffs at the idea of ever referring to her fiancé as “prince charming” I went into wedding planning refusing to fall victim to the pitfalls so often talked about in wedding planning. Starting with over paying for a dress or torturing myself to fit into it.
“Shedding for the wedding” was, and is, such an upsetting notion for me. I want to look and feel great on my wedding day, but not in a way that devalues who I am now or the person and body my fiancé chose to propose to in the first place.
With that in mind, I set up my first try on session. The day should have been a combination of all my favorite things, Sunday brunch, my mother, my best friend and my all-time favorite thing, me as the center of attention. Turns out, wedding dress shopping is its own special form of torture hidden behind hoop skirts and “off- white” lace. (By the way, are there really that many shades of white? “Barn Yard White” - What is that and who’s falling for it?) While some brides might love the princess vibe on their big day, I wanted to opt for a more toned back look, casual, bohemian and the less traditional lace the better. After two bridal shops I felt totally demoralized, like nothing existed that complemented my body without totally covering it up or changing my sought-after vibe entirely. I wasn’t overwhelmed with choices, in fact, I was underwhelmed. It seemed like even in stores packed to the brim with gowns, unless I was going to come around to liking tulle real quick, I was outta luck. So, like any good quitter does - I tabled the wedding dress search. I was not going to let stress become the vein that ran through my wedding planning experience.
Then, on a lazy afternoon my biggest fan (my mother) suggested that instead of wondering target aimlessly (buzzkill) it was time to give it another go, and why not? She thinks I look good in everything (although sometimes she takes issue with my love of leopard print) so off we went to Flora’s for a no pressure try on session.
Unassuming from the outside and pleasantly decorated on the inside (complete with Instagram flower wall and Persian throw rugs) Flora’s doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be special, but more like it actually *is* special. Their selection is well beyond the mountains of lace that I was met with previously and their team could not have been more enjoyable to work with.
Even though my explanation for what I was looking for was less then clear and included brilliant idioms like “lace adjacent” and “Bohemian with a touch of Jackie O” the girls were able to amass an impressively large try on pile.
Laughing along with them and my mother as some dresses failed and joyfully snapping pictures as others hit it out of the park – Flora’s naturally offered the “special” TLC moment that couldn’t be manufactured for me elsewhere.
Some tips learned that day:
- The dress you want DOES exist. Yes, you should be open to trying on suggestions because you might be surprised BUT listen to you. If it’s not the one, it’s not the one. The opinions of others, or feeling like your body is wrong should be the last thing on your mind and the right bridal shop won’t make you feel that way.
-The dress is ordered to your largest measurement, so don’t *freakkk* out when you wear a Target size ten but the dress is ordered in a 14. They will alter it down, but cannot order the bottoms as a 10 and the top as a 14 or vice versa.
-You don’t need to try and make it memorable. It will be all on its own. Bring the person you love most. Your mom, your best friend, whoever that is to you. Maybe that’s your fiancé! Who cares! Bring who you want, just having fun with them will make it all it’s cracked up to be.
-Keep things in perspective. The dress, the flowers, the cake, it’s all great, but remember above all its about your love, and finally getting on his great health insurance plan. . .
a Flora's Bride