Elapsed time to find my wedding gown: two months
Elapsed time to find my fiancé’s tuxedo: 20 minutes
Context clue: “I’m sure it will be fine,” he said. “I don’t need to try it on.”
Let’s back up. When I ventured out to find my bridal gown, I had a stack of cross-referencing Post-it-tabbed bridal magazines, coveted 10 a.m. Saturday appointments, and an entourage—one of whom was armed at all times with bottled water and a piece of fruit should I find myself lightheaded. Had it not seemed a tad excessive, I think they would have hired two interns to walk behind me carrying a fainting couch should the need arise. (It’s not that I’m high-maintenance. It’s that I’m incorrectly perceived as being high maintenance by my family. Important distinction.) Over the course of two months I traipsed through eight shops in D.C., Maryland, Texas, and New York, and was shimmied, slipped, and sucked into approximately 120 gowns. I suffered all manner of indignities, from being asked by one consultant what my weight goal was for the wedding to being told by another that I looked “breathtaking” in a ball gown that in reality (as in, off commission) lent the impression that I thought Melania Knauss’ gown was a tad understated for my taste.
By contrast, my fiancé and I strolled over to the men’s clothier near his office after work the other day. We walked in, he pointed to one, and said, essentially, “That’ll do.” When he delivered the pronouncement about trying the whole thing on being unnecessary I pointed out that we were about to drop several hundred dollars and perhaps he might want to at least see his way into it once in the store. Ever the picture of restraint, I refrained from wheeling around and peeling up my blouse to show him the scars from where eight different bridal consultants had yanked zippers up my back like they were hoisting the mainsail in the America’s Cup. Speaking of sales, adding to the Twilight Zone vibe of the whole experience was the fact that the tuxedo was $300 off. As I cut a swath across the Mid-Atlantic’s bridal shops, I never once had anyone say, “Oh and by the way, these gowns are on sale today.”
Granted, he still has to get the accoutrement—shoes, tie, cufflinks, etc. But again I’m guessing we’re looking at a 1:72 time ratio. (In my defense, how was I to know that I was getting the perfect, destined-to-be-a-family-heirloom hair ornament if I didn’t spend several evenings doing online research?) All of this is to say: I enjoy being a girl. Really, I’m not even being sarcastic.