A Dress by Any Other Name..

I woke up hearing my mother on the phone, obviously with one of her friends. “And she’s getting married in a white dress! Not black leather!”

Okay, so I could understand her surprise – and pleasure – at my decision to go “traditional.” After all, I’d been wearing ripped jeans, Doc Martens, Megadeath t-shirts, and a leather jacket since I was a freshman in high school. In fact, the man I was marrying had met me while I was wearing a “New Kids Suck” t-shirt.

Supposedly every little girl grows up wanting a big wedding with a big white dress in a big church and a big party afterwards. I wasn’t all that different. Growing up, I watched so many soap opera weddings that I’d memorized the “deadly beloved,” and I got to intone the part when we had our Barbies get married. In fact, the weddings were so much fun with our Barbies that since we only had one Ken doll, we would have the Barbie killed off in order to let another Barbie get married in her place.

Unfortunately, I spent some years working for a wedding photographer. Going to one or two weddings a week and seeing people spending tens of thousands of dollars for parties they were too drunk to enjoy had convinced me to go my own way. My own wedding was going to be on the steps of my local city hall, and it would be followed up with a barbeque in the backyard.

But what was I going to do about the dress? Go my own way.

I ignored all the big bridal shops, grabbed a few friends, and hit the malls. I found my perfect dress in the JC Penney’s. It was under $100, beautiful, and while it might not have been intended to be a wedding dress, it worked for me.

Now, when so many people are learning that it’s not that important to follow tradition, and wedding rings are moving from diamonds to meaningful stones and rings, maybe it’s time to move the dresses, too. The things I had in mind for my dress were comfort (I was going to be wearing the thing for a while!), cost (why spend more than I had to for a dress I would only wear once?), and couture (gotta look good!).

Don’t let anyone tell you what you need to buy for a dress. Buy something that fits you, whatever that happens to be.

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