I have recently noticed a growing epidemic on the Offbeat Bride Tribe. I have seen this disease before and it aims to infect every bride at some point in the wedding planning. It's known as the dreaded Dress Lust (also called, Dress Envy, Dress Regret, etc). The symptoms start when you've bought your dress and you find yourself browsing designers websites for “better” dresses, asking for second, third, or fifteenth opinions, going through every single piece of wedding porn thinking “I wish I looked like her” or “Oh wow, that's THE dress I should have picked.” [Editors Note: When to stop looking at wedding porn.) While these are extreme examples, symptoms can be as mild as thinking about “the dress that could have been.”
As brides we are thrown into a cruel world of “your wedding has to be perfect” and “you chose THAT?! What were you thinking???” The worst part is we tend to pander to one another. It can be as simple as replying to a post where the bride decides she “hates” her dress. She posts her dress against another. 90% of the time replies will consist of “get the new one. Get your dress. Buy. Buy. Buy.” While seemingly innocent, and made with good intent, we're discouraging our sisters-in-planning from listening to the instincts that possessed them to get their dress to begin with. It's a fine line where we stop helping and start hindering the planning process.
Constantly told to second guess ourselves, it's not a surprise when the dress becomes our security blanket.
I, myself, am guilty of indulging my “you'll regret that” mindset. I had a dream dress, within my budget, that I LOVED. This dress was the only one I could see myself walking down the aisle in and my safety blanket of bridedom. You see, as long as I have this particular dress, I was a bride. I would marry my perfect match. All my dreams would come true. Then I bought a different dress. gasp I tried it on and felt beautiful and confident. Then, doubt reared it's ugly head. “It's not the one you wanted,” “it was so cheap you can get the other one and not feel bad,” “you can always resell it to another bride,” “get your dream dress,” “get your dream dress,” “get your dream dress!!”
Finally I couldn't take it anymore! I went to my mom's and tried on my dress. Not in comparison to the other, but with an unbiased and open mind. How did it make me feel? Beautiful.
Something clicked at that moment. My fiance wasn't going to know the difference. He wasn't going to say “You would have looked good, but I would have preferred you in that Joli I saw in your Pictures folder on the computer or that Maggie you saw when we walked by that dress shop.” I realized that he would think I am the most beautiful woman in the world simply because I am walking down the aisle to him, my perfect match. No dress would change that.
Besides, I'll just have my “dream” dress made in a different color when we have a Christmas party to go to, or a Gala to attend. It may not be ivory, but it will still be the same dress. Which makes me realize, it's just a dress… and now I get to add two more days to my honeymoon by NOT buying a second one. A dress I'll wear once or time alone with my then husband? Which is really more important?
Now, stop second guessing your choices, put down the dress as a security blanket, and go have your future spouse wrap their arms around you. I guarantee it's a lot more comforting!