I got legally married in July of 2005. I remember so clearly shopping at plussizebridal.com (which no longer exists). It’s where I bought my fabulous purple wedding dress (it was sold as a prom dress). I loved the site — it didn’t body shame, it didn’t make me feel like a hippo trying to fit into an evening gown cut for a giraffe. There were many options, cuts, and colors to choose from.
There was a section on the site, though, that gave me chills. It was called “Bride Again.” Dresses in beige, off-white, and tans, each more matronly then the last — dresses that looked like something you might wear to an Easter church service but somehow more conservative. Like bizarro funeral garb. Some of the ugliest off-color dresses I have ever seen. I just remember thinking, “I don’t want to do this twice… Breathe, cross your fingers, shut out all the doubt, and get on with it.” And I did.
By 2010, I was 30, and my marriage was over. I should have listened to those doubts. I should have never tolerated being treated the way I was treated in that marriage. Even on what I thought was the worst day of my life (being both my 30th birthday and the day my husband decided to tell me he was never coming home and had a new girlfriend), those voices of doubt could be heard screaming, “This is the best thing that’s ever happened!”
I grew up with family-oriented parents who’ve been married an epic 47 years. So it was hard for my parents, whom I had never really shared the reality of my marriage with, to understand that I was getting divorced. I grew up believing that no matter what, you can work it out with your spouse. I felt compelled to make it work, not to fail at staying married. So, here I was thinking I just can’t get divorced.
Fast forward to almost 10 years later, after I had put in the work to figure out why I felt that way — after having to face the shame and figuring out my own values instead of just accepting what I’d always been told. I was fairly sure I’d never get married again and that children and family were not in my future. And that’s when I met my fiancé.
Now here I am, a bride again. I'm dealing with thoughts like “Maybe I shouldn’t buy a fancy wedding dress, because it’s a ‘re-marriage.' Maybe we should just go to the city hall?”
But the truth is, there is no reason to be ashamed — to not be proud of having made some difficult decisions.
So I’m having my second wedding dress handmade for me. I love the design, the color (also purple), and I haven’t once looked at a page selling horrible “Bride Again” dresses.
Never feel that you have to wear something ugly or downplay your outfit because things didn’t work out the way you planned a different life ago.
Any other “Bride Agains” in the house? What are you wearing (or did you wear) on your wedding day? Did you feel pressured to wear something you didn't like?