How do you say yes to your dress when there's no teary-eyed "this is it!" moment?

October 23 | Guest post by Rachael Stanford
Dress by Miss Brache

Everyone who has watched "Say Yes to the Dress" knows about the expected "ah-hah" moment in the bridal dress salon. You know the one… after trying on dress after dress that she hates, finally — on the verge of having a nervous breakdown — the bride tries on the one perfect dress. She sobs at her beauty, as does the entourage, and maybe even the bridal consultant. Teary-eyed and aghast, she realizes that, out of the thousands maybe even millions of wedding dresses out there, this is her perfect dress.

As I sat in the bridal boutique, dressed in a gown, that I really liked, I waited for it… that moment of joy to wash over everyone in the store, and for me magically and tearfully to be transformed into a bride.

Nothing happened.

Everyone agreed, I looked pretty. But there were no tears, no declarations that I had to have this dress. I didn't feel anymore like a bride than I did the moment before I stepped into the dress.

I could picture myself in this dress on my wedding day, but, I also knew that I couldn't say for sure that this was "the one." After all, there were thousands if not millions of dresses out there, which makes it very probable that there was somewhere out there a dress I liked better.

I didn't have long to make up my mind, though. The dress was an out-of-date sample, and on clearance, marked down over 80% — which was important because my fiancé and I are on a very tiny budget — which also meant that if I didn't get it now, I might not ever get it.

But without the cheers, shouts, and tears, saying "yes" almost seemed like a failure. Would I be doomed to a lifetime of regret and staring at pictures wishing, if only I had bought another dress?

Then I had a reality check. What did it matter if there were other dresses out there that I might like better? I liked this one.

And in the end, I reminded myself that I could wear a potato sack and would still be gleefully happy on my wedding day and all the other extra stuff, was just that, extra stuff. I wanted to marry my fiancé. I didn't care if I was a model, or a pretty-pretty princess, or whatever else TV told me I should be.

Don't get me wrong: months later I am still gleefully happy with my dress. I made the right choice for me. I didn't need some special moment to validate my decision. They might make for good television moments, but in the end some teary-eyed declaration of love for an inanimate object is the least of my concerns.

Did you cry when you found your dress? If not, how did you know it was "the dress" without the reality TV moment?

  1. I tried on 6-7 dresses and ended up going with the first one I tried on. No tears, no ah-ha moment. There was sort of a quiet "oooh you look pretty" moment in my head, and then I went home, thought about it for a few days, and then went back and bought it.

    22 agree
    • Exactly what happened to me. There was no crying from me, only a wow I look good moment. I bought my dress 4 days later.

      3 agree
    • Same here! I was happy, but there were no tears… I only cry when I'm upset or distressed, anyways, so that would have been weird for me. Mine was the second one I tried on out of six and I ordered it a week later after quiet reflection. :)

      1 agrees
  2. I recently found my dress and I didn't have that moment either! It was more like a "wow i actually look good in this dress and I have a figure! It's mine" — the tears came when she showed me the coordinating flower girl dress for my daughter lol

    16 agree
  3. I really liked the 3rd dress I tried on but because I hadn't tried on any others I even kind of liked I couldn't decide. I tried on some more and just felt exhausted. I realized I just needed to go and get some tacos with my mom- take a break from dress shopping- and when the food arrived my mom and I decided to call the shop and order it (over the phone!). It was a great moment- the eating good food and jumping up and down with my mom in our favorite taco chain. That moment was far more special than any of the actual trying the dresses on. In the store with other people trying on dresses that were beautiful but so far out of my budget, I couldn't make a decision. But with hearty food and comfort I could. Sometimes the moment can come later.

    7 agree
  4. I TOTALLY relate here. I tried on about 8 dresses, then came right back to the first one. I kept thinking "But I didn't cry over it, I didn't feel an overwhelming rush or joy in it.. surely I can't just be.. done already? It can't be the first one?!?" 16 months later at the wedding and now a year post wedding, I do LOVE my dress, but I didn't cry over it.

    6 agree
  5. I tried on one dress, liked it, and bought it then and there. There were no tears, but I knew the dress was right for me because it met the criteria for what I wanted in a wedding dress: v-neck, thick straps to allow for a supportive bra, defined waist, ivory color, zero beads or other embellishments, floor length but no train, a-line but not poofy to allow normal bathroom usage, and within budget. So yeah, maybe not the most romantic thing ever and certainly not a good plot for a TV show, but two years later I'm still totally happy with the results.

    5 agree
  6. I think it all has to do with personality. I still haven't bought my dress but after having tried on a few dresses…two of them made me cry. Neither one was particularly, me, they were beautiful, just not me. It's just the mindset that I've never actually thought I'd be getting married, and here I am in a wedding dress about to marry the perfect guy for me.

    Also, TV shows thrive on drama, those tears are just a portion of it.

    5 agree
  7. I probably had a more typical/mainstream/WIC dress shopping experience in general, but I still definitely didn't have a crying moment or a rush of deep, unending joy when I put on THE ONE. I did feel giddy in one dress more than the other, and couldn't wait to dance in it.

    What DID make me cry was when my mom looked at me and said, "You know, you look beautiful and I can tell you feel beautiful, which makes me happy. But what makes me happiest is that you've found someone who you love and who loves you so much, and who I know you're going to have an amazing partnership with. And that's what matters, right?"

    Ultimately, a dress is a dress. What matters, like you and my mom said, is that you're blissfully happy with the one you love. And if you get to rock a great frock because you want to and it makes you feel good? Cool!

    36 agree
  8. I feel like this is an example of the wedding media really messing with people's heads, and putting weird expectations into the minds of engaged folks. Sobbing "OH MY GOD THIS IS IT!" moments make for great television… but so do alien invasions and zombie outbreaks, and no one expects THOSE to happen in real life.

    69 agree
    • I agree, although I am totally expecting a zombie outbreak eventually.

      31 agree
    • It's so important to reality check reality TV: they film a LOT of brides that never make it on air. You calmly picked out a dress that was the smart choice for you, with no family drama or personal meltdown? Welp, you wouldn't make good TV, but you ended up with a great dress that's going to be THE dress once you're getting married. Enjoy!

      21 agree
    • Thank you sooooo much!!! I am so sick of people thinking there will be this amazing moment when I try on a THE dress. THE dress is the one I will walk down the isle in, it's THE man waiting for me who matters (and I'm sure he wouldn't care if I showed up in a white trash bag). Don't get me wrong I want a nice dress it's just at this point I am completely frustrated with people equating reality TV to reality!

  9. I bought either dress 72 or 73 (I know, that's ridiculous), and there wasn't any tears or magical bride transformation. I was going to be a bride no matter what. What sold me on it was the fact that it felt like ME. It felt like something I could have had hanging in my closet amongst all my other favourite dresses, but it just happened to be white and black. My mum said she was sold on it, 100%, when I wouldn't stop twirling around in front of the mirror and playing with the skirt. It was like I was five years old again, and that was also a great feeling.

    10 agree
    • I didn't try on as many dresses as you did, but I think I picked mine because of the same feeling! I know that my dress actually comes in other colors and I'm considering purchasing from the designer rather than the bridal boutique just to possibly send it back and get another color to wear for everyday life after the wedding!

      2 agree
  10. I tried on 3 dresses at David's Bridal and they were all ok but not awesome. The rep asked me what would make the dress awesome so I described what I had in mind and she said, "ok I think I have one dress that would fit your idea". She came back with the dress and it pretty much fit and looked fine. I didn't get all teary though, the dress to me wasn't a big aspect of the total picture. As a matter of fact the only thing I kept from my dress was the corset strap. The rest of it was donated to Brides Against Breast Cancer.

    6 agree
  11. I'm going dress shopping for the first time this coming weekend. I'd love to get a dress locked down but I just keep thinking, what if I don't have THAT moment, even if there is a dress I really like? Thanks for putting it in perspective.

    (Besides, I think I might feel a little silly looking in a mirror and having to hold back tears due to my overwhelming beauty, know what I mean?)

    15 agree
  12. I'm not a "teary-eyed squee!" girl, so it helped to have guidelines as to what I needed in a beach wedding dress. Once I found the sweet spot of "light, breathable, and fun" I fucking bought that bitch. And then high-fived my mom. No tears necessary.

    24 agree
  13. I am a fashion designer and I LOVE to make wedding dresses. I have made over 10 for dear friends, and I made mine too! When you are getting a custom dress there isn't an "Ah ha!" moment until very far along in the process. This can freak a bride out.

    I worked with a bride who was very freaked out about the possibility of not likeing the dress that I was makeing for her, even though I was giving her exactly what she asked for. In the end she was stunning, and LOVED her dress.

    I guess what I am saying is that there are many ways to get, "the dress", and it is not always the way TV shows say it will be.

    9 agree
    • "I guess what I am saying is that there are many ways to get, "the dress", and it is not always the way TV shows say it will be."

      Exactly, since we can't edit real life.

      I love that you made your dress :)

      3 agree
    • I am currently in the process of having a dress made for me… and slightly freaked out. The designer is being very nice, but I think she is thinking: Don't worry, I get it, just choose the fabric and let me start sewing.
      But at the same time I keep thinking: Oh god! Did I make the wrong choice???

      2 agree
      • Having a dress made is not for everyone. You have to be willing to trust the person making your dress, and you have to make sure the person you hired really knows what they are doing.

        I like to shop with my brides for their fabric, I will sketch with them until they have a drawing that they like, and I also send them photos of the progress. This helps them to see where I am in the progress, and can calm some fears.

        What most brides don't expect with a custom dress is the time line. Unless negotiated, most dresses are not finihed until just a few weeks before the wedding. I had two dresses that were not finished until the night before (as I was making the dresses long distance, and needed last minute adjustments).

        The best part of having a dress made is you can get what ever you dream up, and it should fit perfectly!

        1 agrees
    • BLESS THIS COMMENT. I recently got married and my mother (who is a very talented seamstress, though she won't admit it) made my dress. And you know, she gave me exactly what I asked for, but it wasn't until the thing was basically done that I knew it was perfect! It was really hard to make the leap to visualize the finished product when all I kept seeing was fabric pinned here, tucked there, etc etc. So my advice would be to be patient, and don't be to hard on yourself if you're struggling with enjoying the process.

      2 agree
  14. Nope, no tears, no knowing this is the one, none of it. I actually only tried on 4 dresses at one store and never tried on dresses again, it was the most miserable experience ever. I am not a dress lover and I lean more towards tomboy than anything else. So, instead I found a dressmaker who could take all the details my (now) husband and I loved from other clothing articles I owned and make one dress that I would feel comfortable in.

    So much of it is WIC created expectations and personality. I'm just not a crier, my sister-in-law on the other hand totally cried and knew that one was the one she wanted, but that's what I would have expected from her personality. There's no right or wrong way to pick your dress or even to feel about your dress. Just know yourself, trust yourself, and have the dress that's right for you.

    1 agrees
  15. I never had that moment as I never went dress shopping, bought my dress on ebay and it was a sample reduced to about $200.00. However, I felt a little giddy when I found it under a search for "black and red wedding gown" and knew I could totally pull off the style. It just needed a little altering and a hoop skirt to make it work. Go with your instincts, tear ducts are so overrated lol.

    2 agree
  16. I didn't even try on my dress until I ordered it! Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a plus size sample in tea length? I just picked one I liked on the straight size model and hoped it worked out. I was so nervous because I never had that moment either, but as long as my husband was at the end of the aisle, nothing else mattered. Good post!

    6 agree
  17. I found my dress almost completely on accident. I was just hanging out with a girlfriend at a vintage store she hadn't been to and just started grabbing wedding dresses and prom dresses to "see what I liked". I saw my gown hanging on the wall from the back and just thought it was pretty. The friend convinced me to try it on. The moment it was zipped up and I looked at the mirror I thought "Well, crap, I wasn't expecting this." No tears, no jumping up and down, just the friend coming over and saying very matter-of-factly "I think that's the one" and then calling my mother to send her pictures and have her assure me I wasn't out of my mind. Even she was very calm and having me make sure the dress (a 50's wedding gown) was in good condition.
    It's interesting, because I also didn't tear up when my Fiance proposed. He was worried because he's seen me cry at plays and movies and at friends' weddings, but no tears from me as he serenaded me at work with the help of our best friend and my coworkers (it was epic) Good thing the snog I gave Gibby as soon as we were home assured him I was very happy.
    I think that when something exciting happens to me I go into "writer" mode and start recording everything as best as I can so that I don't forget anything. On the outside this looks like I'm apathetic, but on the inside everything's so exciting that I must focus on every detail.

    9 agree
    • I also found my wedding dress entirely by accident. I ended up in a bridal consignment store because my anatomy lab got cancelled and I had a free afternoon, and I found this Renaissance-style destination wedding dress for a hundred dollars. No tears, no alterations, and a sweet price tag. I don't think it could have gone any better.

      3 agree
    • I found mine by accident too. I was at goodwill looking for clothes with my mom and grandmother, and I saw it on my way to the dressing room. I thought "that looks like its my size". I decided to try it on after the other clothes, but as soon as my mom saw it she was like "try it on now". I did and it fit perfectly. there were no tears, no real "this is it!!" moment; it fit, was pretty and the price was great. ($30 for the dress, which was brand new.) Grandma said "it fits, lets get it." and that was that.

      2 agree
    • I totally get that. I'm often told that I look too serious when I'm just what I call "processing everything." To each, their own. Oh and when I found my dress all that happened was that I nodded my head to myself and went, "Yep." So, yeah.

  18. I tried on about 6-7 dresses also. I tried on 2 of them twice, both extremely different. I liked them both but didn't have a sob-fest moment.

    One dress I tried on was elegant and form fitting, I felt sophisticated and glamorous. The other was bouncing and funky and fun.

    I could've chosen either and been happy with my dress. The one I chose fit the mood I want for my wedding day – fun and funky and happy.

    So, without the ah-ha! moment I went with the feeling I wanted to have on my wedding day. I wanted to feel giddy and silly and happy and bouncy and the dress I bought reflected just that.

    4 agree
  19. Your life isn't a half scripted, corny reality show.
    When I went shopping for dresses I brought just my mom. Nobody else.
    We went to 4 places the first day, and I tried on a ton of stuff. After like 4 or 5 dresses, the consultant took my mom out to a rack and they picked another out. I tried it on, I loved it. I loved it more than the other ones. I could picture myself in it. I did not cry. My mom did not cry. I did not jump up and down (though I have a bad knee so that would have been terrible anyways). I just liked the dress a lot and so did my mom. It also wasn't the FIRST dress I really liked. I just liked it more than the others.
    We went to 3 more places where I found a lot of ok dresses, but none as nice as that one.
    The next weekend we went to 4 other places in a different town. Since that dress was the best from the first day, I just compared everything I tried on to that one. I didn't find anything I liked more.
    So I decided on that one.
    No "Ah ha!" moment, I just went with the dress that I really liked, was very comfy, and that my mom liked too.

  20. I found a dress I thought was alright online. It was affordable and cute. My mom made a few additions to it, and while it wasn't the perfect, most beautiful dress I own, it was comfortable and my husband thought I looked beautiful in it, and really…that is all that matters.

    1 agrees
  21. I had a moment when I tried on my dress, but it was because trying it on reminded me of *why* I was going to be wearing it. It's a pretty dress, but he's an even better guy :)

    8 agree
    • Yeah, I'm in the minority here, but I had a little cry. This comment is why. I was very quiet when I put on the dress I thought I loved, and I quietly examined myself and it in the mirror for a long time in front of 4 girls and my mom. Then I put a few more on, went back to this one, quietly examined myself again and then sat down in the dress. And thought, this is the dress I'm going to be wearing next to my husband on our wedding day, and started to cry. I did the same thing the day of the wedding, though when my bridesmaids saw me start to tear up one of them yelled "chicken dance!" and for some reason that was the greatest thing ever and we went with it and I was all better and ready to meet my handsome man down the aisle!

      3 agree
  22. my wedding dress shopping trip was on a whim- a friend and I went to browse for dresses and MAYBE try some on. Since it was the winter season in the evening hours, business was slow, so I actually got to try on a few dresses! I loved the very first dress I tried on, but tried on a few others to validate my choice. There were no tears, just screeches of excitement and "oh my god, this is the dress!" I was able to personalize the dress to fit my wedding theme- a little Green Bay Packers football- adding a green color inset to the dress, and selecting ivory over white for the dress color! I also had to order it with over a YEAR to go til my wedding, since the style was going to be discontinued at the end of the month! I'm glad I said yes to that dress, and I cannot wait to wear it on my big day! :)

    2 agree
  23. I looked at HUNDREDS of dresses online, but only tried on maybe a dozen in person. I'm short and curvy, and when I put on longer dresses I felt like a f'in cupcake with my head sticking out. I would stand on those stupid platforms and the dresses were still too long and billowed out around me. I'm sure it was comical from the outside, but to me it was just frustrating. Then I realized I needed to give up finding something that would make me look taller, enter the tea-length (AKA, twirly) dress. I searched and searched online, made an appointment to go try on what I hoped was my dress, brought my best friend, and then made myself try on 2 cheaper dresses just to be sure before I stood there, twirling in the mirror, for 20 minutes. I -still- wasn't convinced, no butterflies, no tears, just a happy, twirly, swishy dress. So I went home and ordered shoes to wear with the dress, and accessories (all returnable!) and made another appointment to try on the dress. I was that girl that needed to see the whole 9 yards on me, but in an affordable way (it didn't feel real in a borrowed $200 veil with $300 shoes), I needed my very own $45 veil and $70 shoes to prove to myself that I could afford the look I wanted for our wedding.

    Three years after our wedding and I still love my twirly dress and am a little sad that it doesn't fit anymore (had to loose weight for health reasons and now my dress is too big). I was really hoping to dye it blue and wear it to some fancy bitch-worthy event some day!

    2 agree
    • All the tea length dresses went the whole way down to my ankles and would have required lots of alterations!

      Speaking of alterations, maybe you could get it taken in? Dyeing it would be awesome.

      1 agrees
  24. Rachael, I had the exact same experience! I wrote a blog post about it http://asweetstart.com/blog/2012/2/24/the-wedding-dress.html. I never had that a-ha moment but ended up being very happy with my dress. The most important thing about it now is that it's a timeless dress and I realize that when I look back at photos of my wedding (from 7 years ago) it's just perfect!

  25. I had mine made for me, and had the fitting on a hot, sweaty 34 degree day in Bangkok when I was trying to rush them so I could catch my train to the airport to fly out to France. I'd been up all day, walking, I had a 20kilo pack on my back, covered in sweat and grime, and my FH was grumpy and snarly. Not exactly prime conditions for crying. I was happy with it though, and it was beautiful, exactly what I wanted. When I got home and tried on the finished product they'd sent to me, again, I felt happy and beautiful but no OH MY FREAKING GOD moments. And I LOVE my dress!

  26. "Then I had a reality check. What did it matter if there were other dresses out there that I might like better? I liked this one."

    This has been more or less my motto throughout my wedding planning so far. Wedding planning is 50x easier when you're not fixated on getting the absolute best of 500 options. I am wearing the second dress I tried on and we only looked at one venue before signing a contract. Is there a better venue out there? Probably. Will this one be lovely? Very.

    As someone who hasn't spent her whole life fantasizing about the perfect day down to the very last detail, who also has a lot going on in life outside of wedding planning, I am so happy to be taking this approach. Checking things off the list. I didn't cry when I put on my dress, but I did sigh in relief – this looks lovely, now I can cross the dress off my list.

    11 agree
    • Thank you for this comment. I planned my wedding to Orlando Bloom as a tween ( we were going to get married in Ireland next to the ruins of a windmill on a sunny day with only our parents present) but before and since then have yet to think about wedding planning. Many, many times during this process of planning a wedding I feel a mix of guilt, isolation, stress, and confusion as to what I am supposed to be feeling, doing, thinking about, etc. Yesterday I talked to my fiance about it and felt a ton better, but I sometimes still feel uncomfortable and out of my league when it comes to wedding planning. Reading about other women who haven't really given much consideration to their wedding before getting engaged helps a lot, as does visiting sites like OBB.

      Basically, I appreciate this:

      "Wedding planning is 50x easier when you're not fixated on getting the absolute best of 500 options."

      Amen!

      3 agree
  27. One dress and I was done, and I even bought it before trying it on. I knew exactly what I wanted–ivory, beaded lace, halter-neck, open back–and found that exact dress (on sale, no less!) after about 10 minutes of searching online. I ordered it, it came, I tried it on with my mother there as a witness, and we both said, "Yep, that's it" with not a tear in sight from either party. I still look, but nothing's come even remotely close to how much I love the dress I already have. It's like what people say about their partners: "When you know, you know."

    4 agree
  28. I had two dresses and two shopping experiences (things beyond my control took dress #1 out of the picture with one month to go). Both times I chose the dress that didn't make me cry. I was a street size 18, and finding anything I could really try on was a challenge. There were a lot of 'nothing fits, I feel like a failure' tears, or 'this might zip but I look like one of those crochet toilet paper cover dolls my great grandmother loves' tears. When I found a dress that zipped up, didn't bulge in weird areas, didn't require massive alterations, fit, was pretty, and I still looked mostly like myself only fancier? The moment of 'oh yeah, it's just a dress' was such a relief. It might not have been the dream dress I would have described, but it worked – and the whole saving me from Bridal Fever + body insecurities made me like it even more.

    1 agrees
  29. I knew from the start I wouldn't have a Moment[TM] with my dress, and I warned my mother. I knew she probably wouldn't either. She's on her third marriage and for the last wedding, she wore jeans and got married in her living room. We aren't too sentimental about weddings around here.

    I didn't even have a Moment[TM] when we got engaged, because I 'planned' (for lack of a better word) it… bought the ring, picked the date and location… all he had to do was show up and say things that sounded like a proposal.

    I'm just not a person who has Moments[TM]. (Except on behalf of fictional characters… I am definitely a crying-while-reading type of person.) And to the credit of my dress consultant, she admitted that she didn't have a Moment[TM] when she got her dress either, and she said she liked that I knew what I wanted, no muss no fuss. So I didn't have to feel weird about my Moment[TM]-less-ness.

    3 agree
  30. I need to start looking for my dress soon and I'm worried that this will happen to me too. I'm really nervous

  31. I didn't have a 'moment' either but I hadn't set myself up for one. I went to Gallery Serpentine after work with my bestie and tried on giant pouffy skirt/corset combos. Because mine was going to be made for me it wasn't a complete matching ensemble I tried on. I liked a different corset style so tried one on in a different colour. What I had to do was imagine what it would all look like when it came together and trust the people who were making it for me.. Even once it was made it wasn't till it all came together on the day with all the extra bits that I finally got to see what I had imagined! And over a year after the wedding I am still over the moon with my choice :)

    1 agrees
  32. I found my dress on Craigslist; it was listed for $100. The dress had what I wanted; off white (very pale person here…who looks even paler in pure white), straps that were not spaghetti straps, A-line, simple, squared neck. My mom and I went over to the very nice lady's house , I tried it on, low and behold! It fit! I liked it, it flattered me, it was in good shape. As I was looking in the very nice lady's full length mirror in her hallway wearing the dress, she informed me out of the blue that "she was willing to negotiate some, but would not take less than $50." I was like "will you take $80?" She said yes, I gave her the $80, and that was that! No tears, no OMG! THIS IS THE DRESS! moment…but that was fine. I needed a dress, I found a designer dress for $80…..Writer Boy thought I looked beautiful in it, mission accomplished. It was the only dress I tried on.

    Was it my "dream" dress? No. My dream dress cost more than my entire wedding budget. I'm quite content with the choice I made. :)

  33. No "a-ha!" moment here either. I went to 5 or 6 stores (by myself, which felt curiously lonely) and tried on loads o' dresses. Some were laughable. Some made me feel like a meringue. Some were really lovely. Some made me think, "maybe this one?" But I frequently didn't recognize the woman in the mirror staring back at me. I looked online and found a jaw-droppingly gorgeous dress…for a price I couldn't and wouldn't pay. I was grumbling to my mom about the difficulty of finding a dress and she shot back with, "You're not marrying the dress, are you? Why are you worried?" Nope. No, I am not. So I ended up buying a perfectly nice dress from an online wedding dress resale site and asking a seamstress to make a few alterations. I still feel kind of meh about it. But it fit the budget. And that makes me happy. And while wearing it, I'm going to cry my way joyfully through marrying the person I adore…and that is going to feel amazing.

    (I'll note that my mom asks me about the dress every time we talk, though. Grrr.)

  34. My experience was pretty different. My mom helped pay for college by designing and making wedding and formal dresses, so I grew up sewing, and made both of my own prom dresses. I had fully intended to buy my wedding dress, though, and went to several shops to try them on. What I discovered was that I liked this part from this one, and that part from that one, and a different part from a third one. . . I started sketching and putting together an idea of what my ideal dress would be. I looked everywhere, and every dress I tried on just wasn't quite right. I finally took my sketches to my mom, and asked, "Can we make this happen?" She was thrilled! We drew, we designed, we selected off-white matte satin and vintage-y lace, and together we made a dress that was "the dress." No teary moment or screaming involved, since it was a slow process, but in the end, I had exactly what I wanted, made exactly to fit ME. It wasn't how I thought it would happen, but I wouldn't change a thing!

    7 agree
  35. I think that a magical moment can be authentically had in any situation but that doesn't mean you HAVE to have one. It doesn't mean you shouldn't get a dress that flatters you just because you didn't SWOON when you put it on.
    I didn't have a teary eyed magical moment. It was more of an – oh crap this thing makes me look amazing – moment. It was more of an eye roll because I honestly wasn't expecting to have and didn't really want any kind of moment at all. And the fact that I sort of kind of had a moment made my friends laugh since I was so anti – The Moment. So I rolled my eyes at myself and told them that, well, heck, can't believe I'm saying this but it looks like this is The Dress and you can stop with the laughing and told you so's already.

    3 agree
  36. It took me 40 mins and trying on 4 dresses for me to pick one. It's a nice dress and I'll look pretty. Wish it cost $200 less. I also didn't cry. For me, it is just an expensive pretty dress. My prom dresses cost less and, though they were less fancy, made me more excited. I'm missing the part of the brain that weeps over wedding stuff. BUT I totally have the part that creates tears for especially touching kleenex commercials or those damned abused animal ones. (F-you McLachlan)

  37. Thank you! I needed to see this today. I may find a dress that I like very much, but no fabric is going to make me cry unless there's a winning lotto ticket in the pocket 😀

    3 agree
  38. "how did you know it was "the dress" without the reality TV moment?"

    Silly as it sounds, I knew it because I wanted it very much and I bought it.
    If I hadn't bought it, it wouldn't be "the dress" !
    Just as if I hadn't said "yes" to the proposal my husband wouldn't be "the one" for me.
    I really feel that your actions and decisions strongly affect that sort of thing, so, I knew it was the dress because I knew I wanted to buy and wear it. Yes, I look at other dresses and think "ah, what if?" but really, I bought this one because I wanted it to be 'the dress' and so it is.
    Did I kno

    1 agrees
  39. We had a similar situation. We bought a red satin rockabilly style dress online. We knew enough to know the cut suited her body shape, and the colour would pop against her fair skin. When it arrived I helped her try it on because her best girlfriends live interstate. It sat okay, but it wasnt until she bought some shapewear to wear with it that it finally came together and looked great. In the end her dress looked amazing and she felt comfortable in it.

  40. I haven't even seen my dress yet! I ordered it from a designer on Etsy. I had already known of her and was a huge fan of her work. When I saw the picture I thought to myself, 'this is it' but continued looking at styles online. I kept going back to look at that dress, sometimes dozens of times, a day for about a week. Finally I polled my bridesmaids and they agreed that it was definitely my dress. I hope I actually look good in it haha! The funny thing is I am a shoe freak, and I had my heart set on Charlotte Olympia pumps and a less expensive tea length retro type dress. I ended up finding a good sale on different, perfect Charlotte Olympias and spent much more than I planned on the dress. I'm not sure if I will have that moment when it finally arrives, but if I don't I will be fine.

    1 agrees
  41. I totally had a teary-eyed "THIS IS IT" moment with my wedding party and the woman who helped me pick my dress. I tried on 5 dresses, and the first one I tried on was the one for me. I didn't want to settle on the first, so I went on to others. Didn't like them near as much. The lady who helped me try on my dress (Jackie!) said she got chills the first time I put on the dress I bought and had to walk away because, "You look like a totally beautiful bride." It was amazing, and I'm glad I got to experience that moment. (:

  42. Mine was a largely rational decision – I looked great in it, it was probably the best deal I was going to find, and I knew I needed to get dress buying off my plate, since I fret over things (this was 16 months before the wedding, which is now 9 months or so away). I had my moment when I went back for my fitting after I bought the dress: my girlfriends were there, helping me with the dress, and then my mom made me try on a veil (which I was against at first). I put it on and went, "holy shit. Bride." School girl faces ensued, complete with doubled-over happy smiles.
    Trust your gut and don't worry if you're making a thinking-choice instead of a feeling-choice!

    1 agrees
  43. This was basically me. There were tears but not for the dress. We saw one we liked online when my FH and I were looking but it was slightly higher than what I wanted to pay; he said I should just try it on anyway. I tried on about 7 or 8 dresses and looked at thousands online but I think I tried that one on 3rd. It fit the best and flattered my figure the best. I do love my dress and think it's beautiful. But this being my second marriage and I'm many years older than the first one – I feel like too much pressure is put on "the dress" moment. I'm a bride regardless of what I wear. I actually went with my FH and my MOH to get it. I didn't get teary until I saw my FH goofy smiling grin. Even then, it wasn't over the dress and more over the realization that I have a pretty awesome relationship and this is actually happening. So, to me it feels less like I said yes to the dress and more like yes to the goofy grin it gave my FH.

    1 agrees
  44. This is funny, because I just noticed Say Yes to the Dress was on Netflix and started watching it for shits and giggles. I am buying my dress online. I did a lot of research, read a lot of reviews and I am totally comfortable with my decision and absolutely love the dress I picked out. No tears, no nonsense. Which, no nonsense has been my approach to planning my wedding. I have two jobs, so my time is precious and I simply don't have enough of it to go out and try on dresses. And for the tears? I am saving those for the ceremony because I know I am going lose it then.

  45. I cried a lot before finding my dress. Why? Because the dress shops I visited seemed to have variations on the same five plus-size poof dresses that I didn't want, and it was driving me into multiple anxiety attacks. I knew that being a bigger gal was going to make dress shopping a bit more stressful than it should be, but I was really dismayed by the sheer amount of crazy emotions I felt. I wasn't expecting an OMG THAT'S IT!!! moment, but I was expecting to find at least one dress that I didn't hate. I'm not sure what the dress shop ladies thought when I said 'something simple, not outrageously priced, and not Cinderella-y,' but the dresses they brought me were so huge, with so many layers of tulle, I thought I would die under the weight of them. And if the tulle didn't kill me, the price tags definitely would have done me in right then and there. I was about ready to throw in the towel and resign myself to wearing a freaking bathrobe to my wedding. But before that, I decided to just take a break.

    When I relayed the story of the shop hell I'd been going through to my FMIL, she took it upon herself to look around and see what she could find online. She sent me a couple of links to dresses she thought I might like, and the last one had this comment next to it: 'The others are nice, but I think this is you.' Sitting in my high-rise office, I clicked on the link and saw a simple, flowy but not too flowy, a-line dress with sleeves (!) and a v-neck. And it was $200. The online shop had free returns, so I said 'what the hell' and ordered it. When it arrived two days later, I put it on in my little office and asked a colleague who's a good friend to come and see it. When she came in, she took two moments to size it up on my and replied, 'yeah, that's your dress.' She took a couple of pictures for me to be able to see it on myself and for me to send to FMIL. It was comfortable, looked nice even sans shapewear, and most of all, it felt like me. Very soon after I sent the picture to FMIL, she called me crying saying how gorgeous I looked and that she absolutely loved it. I told her I liked it, too, and that was that. So, no tears from me after finding the dress, but plenty of FMIL happy-tears and my own overwhelming sense of relief.

    3 agree
  46. I spent far more time looking for a dress than I had intended. I wanted something knee length with fluttery sleeves that didn't cost a fortune. I could not find that! I did try on a couple of dresses that were more formal, had the "Damn, I look goooood" thought. But then I couldn't wait to take them off. The 5-10 minutes they give you to parade around in front of the mirrors was way. too. long. There was no way I could get through even our super short ceremony in one of those.

    In my quest for a simpler dress that still looked wedding-y, I ended up going to Alfred Angleo because, unlike David's Bridal, you can order their bridesmaid dresses in white. And I think they are much higher quality than David's anyway. I tried on my dress in pink, and made the leap of faith to order it in off-white. It fit off the rack because it was a simpler dress. The one size fit me PERFECTLY, skimming but not hugging. But the saleslady was trying to get me to order the larger size because my hip measurement was actually the larger size. But when the dress is an A-line and flows out, the bust and waist measurements are more important. I guess she was just trying to get me to pay for alterations anyway? And at the counter, they kept making odd comments like "Enjoy your bridesmaid dress, oh, I guess wedding dress…for you." So, whatevs, I spent about $120 on my wedding dress.

    So I basically hated the entire wedding dress shopping experience. And I found a dress I tolerated. With my long hair down and a bouquet you can only the parts of the dress I liked. And I wasn't having extensive photography work, either. But I was comfortable on my wedding day and nothing could distract me from the excitement and the rush of the ceremony! No jabbing stays or tripping over a train.

    1 agrees
  47. My mom and I cried when I tried on the dress I DIDN'T buy! I was torn between two very different dresses, and ended up getting the one I wasn't emotional about because of Comfort and Fluffy-ness rather than an emotional moment. At the time I was worried I'd be saddled with regret, but two months later I have my dress and I know I made the right choice. Can't wait to wear it!

  48. The very first dress I ever tried on, made my mother cry. I'm her oldest, so I knew it was coming. But then the rep was sniffing and telling me how pretty i looked. It was like all the elements were there, but I looked in the mirror and went "eh". I just didn't feel it in the dress. I never had a moment, but I had a light bulb when I found one that worked for me. It was more like "oh! this one isn't poofy, and I feel better in it, not like a pumpkin wrapped in tulle" so that's what I thought was important, feeling the dress, not the emotion.

  49. I just bought my dress a day before this article came out and I wish it was out sooner because I went through the same thing. I had gone with a close friend to look at dresses before I went with my mom and whole entourage. When I did go with my mom and such I tried on a few dresses that I had tried on with my friend. I really liked one of them and I was considering getting it. My mom wanted to see me in a floor length dress, specifically one she saw me in during a previous impromptu dress shopping experience, but they did not have it or anything similar. I was put in a floor length dress which I really likeed but I had my heart set on tea length. When the consultant pulled a tea length dress I immediately liked it and when I put it on I really liked it. But I was waiting for that feeling of THIS IS THE ONE! It did not come and I was slightly disappointed. Everyone was asking me what I liked and didn't like about each dress. My sister in law even said that I must be good at hiding what I am really feeling. I think I was nervous that my mom would find out that I had gone dress shopping with out her. I went the dress I did because I felt comfortable in it. After leaving the store is when I got really excited about my dress.

  50. My mother and I had the messy, crying moment in David's Bridal over an Oleg Cassini trumpet dress. When the consultant put the veil on, we both lost it.

    I went home, looked at the pictures, and ended up buying something else.

    6 agree
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