In my early 20’s I would binge watch TLC’s reality bridal boutique show “Say Yes to the Dress” for hours. I imagined walking out of a dressing room in a beautiful gown surrounded by my family. A look of awe would cross their faces and unanimously we would decide that I had found the perfect wedding dress.
When I got engaged, the desire to live out that fairytale moment only grew! I walked into a bridal store with my sister prepared to spend the day searching for the dress of my dreams. After trying on several dresses, I tried on one I loved and showed it to my sister. Her eyes lit up, just as much as mine. We decided we found the one.
But then I looked at the price tag and saw my dream dress cost $1200.00. That’s just about the average amount American brides-to-be spend on their wedding dresses. But with our tight wedding budget, I just wasn’t prepared to fork over the cash. I simply couldn’t say yes to that dress.
My sister and I walked out of the store empty handed. I had no clue what I was going to do! Did I have to spend that much money to feel beautiful on my special day? What if I couldn’t find a dress I loved for my budget?
My family heard about my dress disappointment. During one of our get-togethers at my aunt’s house, my thrifting queen cousin walked in with a beautiful, floor length white dress in her hands. She told us she found it at Goodwill for $4.00. The dress was in perfect condition—it even still had the tags still attached. Everyone urged me to try on the dress.
I walked back to the bathroom and slipped the gown over my head. The white, soft fabric cascaded to the floor. Buttons covered in the same material lined the right side of the dress and tapered the fabric perfectly around my hips. I took a look at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t believe it. Here I stood with a dress that fit me like a glove and needed no alterations. It was perfect.
I walked down the hallway back to the room where everyone was gathered like it was a runway. My family was all around me with looks of awe spreading across their faces. We all said yes to the dress! Even though it wasn’t exactly what I expected, I had the moment I had always dreamed of with the people in my life who matter most to me.
On my wedding day, I remember walking down the aisle in my dress and feeling so beautiful. My soon-to-be husband Ben’s grandma told me I looked like a 1950’s movie star and I felt like one too! I looked up at Ben as he stood there waiting for me. He smiled and started to cry. Ben still swears he had something in his eye, but I know that my dress was part of what made our ceremony so special. I started to cry too! Nothing could have been more perfect than that moment!
There is so much pressure for women to buy an expensive gown for their wedding day. Sometimes the dress of your dreams can be found at the most unexpected places. My bargain dress was the perfect fit for my perfect day! I learned I didn’t need to go to a fancy boutique to have my perfect moment, both with my family and with my husband.