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Are brides-to-be supposed to love wedding dresses? Unfortunately I'm not one of them...

I’ve recently gotten engaged and have since come to the (unfortunate) conclusion that I completely detest all wedding dresses.

Jenny Conlon

SO YOU’VE JUST gotten engaged. You’ve booked the ultimate venue and the date of your wedding will remain one of most highly anticipated of your life.

One of the next steps (for the ladies) will probably be to search for ‘the dress’, the one you’ve dreamt of your whole life, then floating down that aisle as family and friends from far and wide gasp at the vision bestowed upon them.

Your radiance lights up the room and the sun comes out just as you start the littlest but biggest walk of your life. Pictures being taken left, right and centre, yelps can be heard amongst the crowd as everyone has been waiting to see ‘the dress’. Tissues and tears are flowing as your nearest and dearest almost collapse, overcome with emotion. Not a dry eye in the house. You’re looking the most stunning you’ve ever looked in your entire life because this is the one day of your life where you get to wear ‘the dress.’ You’re the most beautiful bride anyone has ever seen. The dress is spectacular, it’s indescribable, and nobody has ever seen anything like it.

REALLY? Seriously? Is it just me or does anyone else hate wedding dresses?

I’ve recently got engaged and since then I’ve started to look at wedding dresses, online to begin with. I’ve never been that person who dreamt about or knows exactly what she would want wear on her wedding day. I didn’t really think that far ahead. But now I have to think like this. I’ve googled, Instagrammed and even revived my Pinterest account for the occasion, searching for celebrities, the Royal family, everything, anything… and still nothing.

I am trying to remain open-minded

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I actually hate 99% of wedding dresses. They literally bore the head off me. I’ve also been wedding dress shopping, into boutiques with friends and family so I know the drill. I’ve seen the dresses up close and personal. And still… nothing.

I have a few bridal shops near my house and I walk past them on a daily basis. I’ve even booked an appointment for later this month as I am trying to remain open-minded. I know I need to start somewhere with something tangible even if it’s only for an idea or to rule 99% out of everything in the shop.

But I think I’m going to have to cancel it, the thought of stepping inside one is as exciting as Monday mornings. The sheer weight and material mass is putting me off. Oh, and not just that alone – some boutiques, well the ones in London, charge £50 per appointment. Yes, this is just to try them on, nothing else and nothing more. There ain’t no champagne on arrival. You’re ushered in and shuffled out to ensure you don’t intrude onto the next slot.

I know you can get your dress made and you can take elements from the one or two dresses you’ve seen and half like, the bespoke approach. But that’s a risk in itself. It’s quite hard to explain to someone else what you want, when you’ve never actually seen it, and have nothing to compare it to. And imagine… you do get it made and then you hate it. What do you do then? Hundreds or maybe thousands down the drain. Besides, I’ve contacted two designers already but they haven’t even responded*… so that already has me starting out on a bad note.

Too much choice, not enough information 

I watch programmes like Don’t Tell the Bride when it’s on TV. The groom gets to choose the dress and the bride does not get to see a thread of it until the day before. Their reactions are priceless. Some love it and some hate it but maybe not seeing ‘the dress’ until the day before isn’t such a bad idea. I mean, at least if your other half chooses it, you can just blame him if it looks awful.

Yes, of course, don’t need to wear a traditional white wedding dress – you can wear whatever you want, whatever colour you want, and you can even wear a suit or nothing at all if that’s your preference. But I genuinely do want to wear one… I just don’t like any of the ones I’ve seen. I even had that typical bride nightmare recently where I woke up on my wedding day in a foreign country with no dress and all the guests were on their way in their fine attire. (Unfortunately that scenario is looking more and more likely…)

Does anyone else in Ireland feel like this? Are there some bride-to-be tips that I’m missing out on? I mean, maybe we can all help each other out here!

*In the interim, one designer got back to me and quoted me £10,000 for a dress. I think I’ll go in my pyjamas!

Jenny Conlon is an Irish journalist living in London.

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Jenny Conlon

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