In the TLC reality show, Say Yes to the Dress, Ronnie Rothstein, the co-owner of Kleinfeld's uttered the phrase, "It's sometimes harder to commit to the dress than the fiancé." Here are stories of three women who agree:
The Bride Who Went to the Ends of the Earth
"Yes I know this sounds a tad crazy but I am only going to wear one wedding dress in my life so it absolutely had to be perfect," explains *Diane before launching into her over-the-top quest for the dress. "Even before I was old enough to date I was spending hours scrolling through page after page after page of gowns in Brides magazine."
By the time she became engaged Diane had the image of the perfect gown in mind replete with beaded lace ivory detachable straps and trumpet skirt. "My heart pounded with excitement when I found it on Pinterest." The only problem for the Denver-based beautician — the gown was only available in a London-based bridal salon.
Diane put down a deposit but didn't actually see the gown for another three months when she flew to England with her sister for fittings and to purchase matching accessories. "Thank God it worked out perfectly. I got the requisite 'Ooohs' and 'Ahhs' from my fiancé when I walked down the aisle a month later back in Denver!"
The Bride Who Bought More Than One Dress
*Andrea admits, "I tend toward obsession especially when it comes to themes and costumes." Thus when she got engaged six years ago she had an impossible time deciding what to wear.
"I bought three wedding dresses," she laughs, adding, "Yes I only had one wedding."
Two of the garments were vintage — one an actual bridal gown and one a brown dress from the 1930s. Andrea drove 200 miles to check out a different vintage gown but couldn't find parking! "In the meantime I did plenty of online searching."
The dress she ultimately wore was a last-minute purchase. "We ended up with a very small ceremony before four witnesses — our parents — and then went to lunch at the Four Seasons. The brown 1930s dress wasn't appropriate, nor the $1200 bridal gown because I feared tripping over the long train."
The winner? A simple white dress she bought online. "It was only so-so but I dressed it up with a detailed scarf that helped quite a bit!"
The Bride Who Tried on 65 Wedding Gowns
When Ivonne became engaged last September she knew she wanted a gown "unlike anything I'd seen anyone wear... It had to feel like it was right for me and be perfect for a fall wedding." Her wedding date is next October.
This search involved five cities — Austin, Texas (her hometown), Houston, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton. Sometimes she shopped with her mother; other times with friends. These expeditions proved fruitless. "No one could get on the same page of what dress they liked."
She bought several wedding books including one devoted solely to saying yes to the dress, looked online and in magazines. The result? "I felt so overwhelmed." Finally Ivonne decided to go with her gut. While shopping alone she found "the" dress. "It feels like it was made for me. Best decision ever!"
*Names have been changed
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.