Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And By the Way, Who is David?

Since I finally bought my wedding dress on Sunday, I wanted to share my experience of NOT buying a dress. Naturally, it happened at the center of all things unholy: David’s Bridal. Here is the post I made on a wedding-related Livejournal community shortly afterwards. (FMIL stands for Future Mother-in-Law.)

Mostly because my FMIL demanded it, I went to David's Bridal yesterday to try on dresses. I've pretty much decided to buy my dress from a local shop that specializes in proms, because they have a lot of designers that I like and are much cheaper since they cater to broke high school students rather than fanatical brides. But with my own mom shunning me for marrying an atheist (HE IS NOT A CHRISTIUNNNNAAAAH! etc.), FMIL has basically been a surrogate mother to me for the last year. Plus, she was paying for dinner. I couldn't say no!

We headed to the David's Bridal on Erie Blvd. in Syracuse. My first thought was OHMYGOD MIRRORS EVERYWHERE. I imagine that's common to all DBs, but it was very unnerving for someone who doesn't like to look at herself. Every time I rounded a corner, ME! I browsed the peripherals for a while, because I wasn't quite ready to plunge into dress shopping yet. They had a pretty paltry selection of shoes. I don't know how many lines they actually produce, but their s320x240 shoe section was small and they barely had anything in my size (9). Of course, each style of shoe fit VERY differently and none of them were comfortable. But that's pretty normal for me, Miss Widefoot.
Looking at the veils up close, they seemed like a massive ripoff. $120 for a pile of tulle on a comb? They sold some nice airy shawls for $20 that were actually made of a nicer material, so I got one in Apple and decided to make my own damn veil. TAKE THAT BRIDAL INDUSTRY.

The dress trying-on was inevitable. I picked out a few styles I liked, one in my street size and one in the next, just in case. Of course, you have to register to try on dresses. Why? Are they afraid you'll run off with it, veil sailing in the wind? The process was relatively painless, although when I told the employee that I had 4 bridesmaids, she immediately wrote in 4 groomsmen as well. We don't have groomsmen. We don't have any male attendants. Do they never get slightly offbeat weddings in their store, or what? It just seemed like an odd presumption to make.

I also had to give my bra size, which I accurately reported as 38C. Within a few moments, I found myself locked in a stuffy dressing room, surrounded by pounds of fabric. I was instructed to put on my shoes, THEN the corset, THEN the slip. I think. (This was wrong, as I later found out.) So I stripped down and started attempting to wrap the corset around myself. It was a no-go, unsurprisingly. Apparently, the undergarment industry doesn't believe in the existence of fat women, because OBVIOUSLY EVERYONE WITH A 38C HAS THE jordan_aka_katie_price_wedding_dress11 SAME SIZE STOMACH RIGHT? I don't. I ended up having to throw a few garments back on and yell for help, which came in the form of a bigger corset with a bra that was several cup sizes too big. Awesome.

The dresses were the same story - tight in the belly, big on top. Huge ego boost there. They assured me that alterations in the bust were no big deal, and that I was OH SO LUCKY to be tall enough that I wouldn't need a hem, which is the most expensive alteration for some reason. (Personally, if I were a seamstress, I'd rather do a hem than anything else. Diff'r'nt strokes.)

I didn't really like how the dresses looked on me, but it was fun to dress up as a bride with a saggy top for a while. I did get to see the tiara I was interested in, plus one of their ridiculously overpriced veils. (The shoes I picked were a living hell, and only lasted about 10 minutes before my Birkenstock feet needed a break.) My face was all pink and sweaty from struggling with the voluminous undergarments, but I WAS A BRIDE!!!11111eleventy!

I was happy to get back into my street clothes. I worked with a few of the salesladies, but the one I was around most often smelled strongly of acrid smoke - not typical "I just took a cigarette break" smoke, but more "I smoke every half hour when I'm at work and I've been wearing these clothes for five days in a row without washing them." It was just ugh. Her attitude was a little unprofessional, which I didn't mind so much, but I didn't really like it when she pointed out my giant hips. You know, "the reason we need to go a size up is because of her hips." Yeah, I know I'm fat. kthx. I know she meant zero offense, but it made me feel vulnerable while standing on a pedestal in front of dozens of strangers.

I do have to give her credit for not being too pushy. I told her I 8428994-peopleareshapes hadn't decided which dress I liked best, and she said she'd call me sometime. It was pretty painless to weasel out of buying something.
Overall, not a terrible experience, but not the Magical Fun Time that a lot of brides seem to have. I'm just not into the idea of dropping $700 on a dress that doesn't really look that great, and weighs 30 pounds. I'm kind of glad I didn't bring a camera...I know I looked awful.

Dinner was at Friendly's. Nothing but an A+ review there!


Anonymous said...


I want to see!