When I began the hunt for my wedding dress I knew very quickly I wanted it to be a simple dress; partly because I loved the idea of a minimalist wedding dress and partly because I needed it to match my Nike Huaraches I’d be changing into mid-reception. I looked online at a few of my favorite stores and found myself coming back to the same dress again and again but wondering what other people would think when they found out I had 1) ordered my dress from an online retailer and 2) I got it for a $200 price tag. Would they question its’ quality? Think I was cheap? Corny? It didn’t have tulle or a train or all the crystals that wedding dresses have but it was so perfect for me. I debated for a few weeks before eventually pulling the trigger and ordering the dress. When it arrived and I tried it on, I was elated! It fit nearly perfect and would only need some simple hemming done. I relented from showing people what the dress looked like because I’ve always thought traditions of showing off your engagement ring, wedding dress, etc are kind of pretentious and have never felt comfortable obliging when others ask. The few times I did show it to people I got a few “that’s so beautiful!” but I also got a few stale “oh that’s nice” comments. And I won’t lie – the latter comments dismayed me a bit. Now I know what you’re thinking ’cause I thought it too: Why should I let the opinions of others matter if I think the dress is beautiful? But what makes other people think it’s okay to make such patronizing comments about any of my wedding decisions? I would have girls ask me “it’s your wedding day though, so don’t you want to be extra glam?” What if I feel the prettiest when my hair is down and the dress of my dreams is the exact one I got?
A wedding is such an emotional experience. Everything from the planning of it to the day of requires so much thought, time, and money and regardless of what anyone thinks no one is as invested in your wedding as you are. There will always be brides who have done it before you who think they know more and know better and there will always be friends who offer their unwarranted opinions. My message to them and you and ME is this: Let people define what makes them feel beautiful. When my husband saw me for the first time on our wedding day and cried, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. So if someone wants to wear an extravagant boutique gown on their wedding day, pay someone $500 to do their hair and makeup because it will make them feel like the belle of the ball, then that’s their prerogative. But know that the girl who grew up in that small town, was raised playing sports with all boys, and who hated wearing dresses her entire life, made all her dreams come true with that $200 dress.