In my previous post, I discussed my belief that one needn’t wait till engagement to go wedding dress shopping. I’d like to take this opportunity — however undercut by current betrothal status — to speak out against Big Taffeta and others who would like you to be swept up in the unnecessary restriction, superstition and costs of delayed dress shopping.
Let’s dismantle some of the key arguments in the anti-early dress shopping campaign.
1. They say:
“If you buy a wedding dress before becoming engaged, you’ll jinx yourself out of ever getting to wear it.”
I say: We must stop treating weddings and engagements like Precious Prizes that women (or men) can only hope to earn after enduring a damn Odyssey-like series of proving their worth while studiously avoiding tipping their hand.
If you see a wedding in your future, then why is it a bad thing to make reasonable preparations for your it? I won’t countenance nuptial exceptionalism. People don’t frown when an overweight person resolves to get into shape and then signs up for a marathon several months hence. Friends applaud when a woman who’s stagnating in her career announces that this will be the year she’ll obtain her dream job. And despite the fact that college admission gets exponentially more difficult with each passing generation, I’ve never seen a parent react with anything but giggles and joy to the bestowing of a infant onesie emblazoned with an elite school’s logo and the words “Future Class of 2036!”
Human beings admire self-actualization. Making the binary shift from “not married” to “married” can be a goal like any other. We absolutely need to stop shaming people — again, mostly women — for possessing the wherewithal to know what they desire and envisioning the fulfillment of their positive objectives. Which leads me into my next point.
2. They say:
“Dress shopping is an important rite of passage that necessarily involves extensive fitting, fussing and financial outlay. The volume of celebratory champagne drunk will be surpassed only by the number of happy tears shed.”
I say: Well, that sounds nice. I’m glad some people have a lovely time. Perhaps these people view the high cost of purchasing a dress this way as the admission fee to a soaring and unforgettable emotional experience. Personally, I fear the white wedding dress is a white elephant. Realistically, what are you going to do with this high-cost garment outside of the 8-12 hours you get to wear it on its designated day?
As far as re-wear prospects, I know some brides do “Trash the Dress” photoshoots. But those — along with smashing cake in your newly minted spouse’s face and engaging in the whole public garter retrieval — are way beyond the pale for my moderately pearl-clutching self.
This leaves only the secondary dress usage of going as Miss Havisham for Halloween. I fully support that, but how many times could you get away with it before people call you out as a one-trick pony and/or pityingly begin to regard you as the jilted Dickensian bride herself after you sink your teeth into the role just a bit too deeply? Answer: surely not enough times to bring your cost-per-hour-of-wearing figure down to a livable figure.
Buy now! Mate later.