We’ve seen it in movies, and read about it in books, some of us have even watched friends experience it, a bridal rite of passage. It’s that moment where the bride is shopping for their wedding dress, they walk out of the dressing room with this huge nervous smile and experience this AHA moment – they cry and say “this is it”, their family and friends cry and remark at how beautiful and perfect it is and suddenly they’ve become a bride and all feels right in their world.
While shopping for my gown I kept searching for that special moment, and each time I tried on a dress and didn’t have this picture perfect moment my anxiety would rise. Was something wrong with me? What if this is a sign? Why am I not crying and hugging my friends and family? Isn’t everybody supposed to experience this dream wedding dress moment? It was only later, once I had processed all the emotions from the day, that I realized not everybody has to experience this AHA moment – surprisingly, it’s not required to find your perfect wedding dress (I know, I was shocked too). The wedding industry and the wedding planning experience is full of expectations – you’re expected to have this picture perfect proposal, you’re expected to cry when you first slide into your wedding dress, you’re expected to come up with the perfect wedding hashtag. I’ve come to learn that trying to meet all these unrealistic expectations is only going to disappoint one person – yourself.
I did not have an AHA moment, I did not cry, or jump around with happiness. What I did have was a moment perfect for me, my dress was the first one I tried on and the only one to give me goosebumps, I instantly felt beautiful in it. I tried on many other dresses at different boutiques, but I kept coming back to the first one. My reaction to my dress was internal, I didn’t have much to say to the friends and family who sat around me, because for me there was no reason to say anything. My moment was private, it was a feeling of thankfulness that I even had the opportunity to stand in this dress, it was and is perfect, and I didn’t need tears to know that.