Back when I was a bride-to-be, I received two questions with alternating frequency: “How did you know Joe was The One?” (Easy: never called me crazy, was fastidious with laundry, put up with me even tho am, in fact, crazy.) And: “How did you find the perfect wedding dress?” The answer to this question didn’t come quite as easily. In fact, it never really came at all—I’ve been married for over a year now, and I’m still not sure my wedding dress was The One. Don’t get me wrong—I loved it, felt amazing in it all day, and can’t help but smile every time I see it billowing in the breeze in my wedding photos. But still—”The One?” How can I know that when there are millions of dresses out there—thousands I’ve never even seen, and hundreds of new ones being dreamt up every day?
Step one of figuring out whether you’ve found The One in a dress is to give up trying to find The One in a dress. There may never be a dress you think is 100 percent the very best one for you, compared to all others, without a doubt, literally so perfect that you never will feel a single hint of emotion while looking at a single other wedding gown ever again. So why’s it so (relatively) easy to feel this way about the person you’re marrying? Probably because they are… alive. And have, like, a personality. That makes the criteria a little more specific. A dress can’t do any of that—all it can do is look nice on you—which is something tons of dresses can do (because you’re a total babe). To circumvent all that pressure and those impossible standards, try shifting your approach from finding “The One Dress” to finding “A Perfect Dress” instead. You’ll feel just as amazing in your resulting dress, minus a metric ton of anxiety.
Here are some tips on how to find the perfect wedding dress, and how to know when you have:
1. Try a little bit of everything.
You may go into dress shopping with one silhouette—or even one specific dress—in mind that you’re pretty sure will look [insert 100 emoji here] on you. And, you just might be right! But don’t cheat yourself out of the experience of seeing what the rest of Wedding Dress World has to offer. Try on at least one dress in every silhouette (your stylist at the dress shop will be able to help you with that) and make sure to be a little adventurous and try on styles you’d normally not gravitate to. It’s important to do this because you’ll never find a perfect dress if you don’t get a sampling of all of what’s out there—your favorite one could be a lace mermaid, but you’d never know it if all you tried on were satin ballgowns.