When I got engaged last December, I prepared myself for all of the usual questions: How did he propose? Have you set a date? What venues are you looking at? But the one question I didn’t expect to get from nearly every close friend and family member: Can I go with you to try on dresses?
Let’s get this out of the way first: I’m not having bridesmaids. Or tossing my bouquet. Or doing that garter thing. I’m probably not even having a first dance. In fact, my fiancé and I aren’t going to do anything at our wedding just for the sake of tradition. If something doesn’t immediately feel like us, we’re ditching it in favor of something else we love (goodbye, DJ; hello, six-piece jazz band).
But above all, I didn’t want to be influenced by anyone else’s expectations of what a wedding dress is “supposed” to look like. My mom got married in a long-sleeved lace gown. My aunt tied the knot in a poofy taffeta number (hey, it was the ‘80s). My best friends have worn all sorts of wedding dress styles, featuring everything from rhinestones to halter-tops to 30 pounds of princess tulle. I’m easily swayed by other people’s opinions, and as much as I love my family and friends, I knew I’d have a hard time sitting in a room with all of them, trying to make an important decision while navigating their differing tastes and the memories of their own weddings.
So I went rogue. I told everyone I wasn’t sure when I was going, then secretly booked a bunch of weeknight appointments for myself. Just me. Alone. Solo. I live in New York City, so I had no shortage of shops to try. The places on my shortlist? Schone Bride, BHLDN, Lovely Bride and Catherine Deane, which all had flowy, bohemian dresses in my price range.