It isn’t easy holding out for the perfect dress

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EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – When my fiancé and I became engaged in January I hadn’t given much thought to a wedding dress. And when we set a date two years in the future, I figured I had time.

While it’s probably true that I do have plenty of time to find the perfect dress for me, I am having trouble pin-pointing in which direction to go.

It doesn’t help that at every turn I am inundated with new ideas and various persons’ perspectives on what they think I would want. It’s a confusing venture for someone who never really considered a wedding dress until the moment she became engaged.

Don’t get me wrong; I love fashion and I love shopping. But this is the biggest shopping struggle I have ever faced.

When I first started looking, I immediately thought low-key. Nothing too poofy, or too glittery, or too expensive. So I went on a spur-of-the-moment trip to David’s Bridal in Mays Landing with my sister and a close friend to try on dresses in a few different shapes and styles. I thought this would help me to get an idea of what I like.

In addition to finding out that I did not want to wear a wedding dress that was too heavy or too long, I also learned that pockets are a nice touch.

One dress I tried was the perfect combination of short and long, in a beautiful taffeta material – this is the dress that talked me into pockets – but was maybe too modern and too bright white.

Another was gorgeous and ivory with a drop waist and full bottom covered in rosettes – this is how I discovered a dress can be too heavy.

A Grecian-inspired dress with an empire waist of a flowy chiffon was relaxed and simple, but hard to walk in – here I learned that the I need to make sure I won’t fall walking down the aisle.

None were perfect.

Thanks to my sales representative, Sawyer, I felt comfortable and not pressured into making a decision that day, so I left, optimistically empty-handed.

I figured if I knew what I didn’t want, finding what I want would be easy. What a false assumption.

It seems that having two years to find a dress only leads to more confusion. I am eight months into the process and still have no idea what is right for me.

In the spring I decided that I wanted something bohemian and short, because that is the style I truly love. I wanted off-white because bright white was just too bright for me. Sleeves seemed good because I didn’t want to worry about my arms in photos. I thought I knew what I wanted.

My ideal dress was also not too expensive. I just cannot wrap my head around spending more than $1,000 on a dress that I will wear once. Most importantly, I cannot wrap my head around spending $1,000 on a dress compared to size of my modest budget.

This was all making my low-key dress seem perfect to me.

And with just one comment, I am back to square one: “But it’s your wedding day!”

So I went online to look at more traditional wedding dresses to find a style that’s right for me.

With the current selection, it seems as though unless you are the type of bride that wants a full gown with all the glitz and glamour, there’s barely any options for you.

But if you follow the non-traditional route for finding a dress, which can lead you to a variety of places like designer outlet stores and department stores, it feels like a wild goose chase. And a sour taste is left in your mouth from the impersonal-ness of the experience.

I want the special feeling as much from where I buy the dress as from the dress itself.

As of right now, I am still struggling with what route to choose. I am hoping that the right dress will find me. Who knows: it may have already.

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