Today I went wedding dress shopping with a childhood friend of mine and the other bridesmaids and the mothers of the wedding couple. As an Indian-American girl, I have long awaited the day that I would have the opportunity to attend an American wedding – most of the weddings I’ve attended have been distinctly Indian. I’ve never been to a wedding wherein the bride wore a white dress; despite that, popular culture has instilled within me the idea that a white wedding dress is A Big Deal.
So I went shopping, awaiting a day surrounded by luxurious white dresses, where a girl I’ve known since I was eight would pick out her own dream dress.
And I realized exactly how frustrating this whole “surrounded by wedding dresses” thing is, because my friend knew exactly what she wanted. Down to the last detail, she knew what kind of dress she wanted; the only problem was, that exact dress existed no where outside of her mind – not really. She came out looking beautiful in dress after dress, and she kept getting more and more frustrated because as amazing as she looked, she had not found the dress of her dreams. She didn’t feel the big overwhelming feeling we’re supposed to feel when we find The Dress.
Come on, you’ve seen the movies. A pretty twenty – something girl shops for hours, searching for the dress that sets her world alight. And she searches and searches, and reaches the point of exhaustion. And then, suddenly, there it is. The Dress. It calls to her, screams her name, and she puts it on and she’s different. She’s no ordinary human – she is now a Bride, and her very soul has been blessed by the beauty of this moment. Her friends look at her with tears in their eyes and napkins and flutes of champagne are passed around as they bask in the perfectness of this dress.
Even I dream of this moment, and I’ve never planned on having an American style wedding – it’s a ubiquitous dream, but a rare happenstance.
And this dream feels destructive to me, because ultimately it is not even MY dream – not an original one, anyway. It is someone else’s dream, and this person video-taped it, and made a movie out of it, and then several hundred other persons imitated this movie, and suddenly I believed it was my dream as well.
So to all the brides out there who haven’t found their “Aha!” dresses, or the perfect place settings – it’s okay. It’s quite possible that you’re experiencing the correct feelings for YOU in regards to YOUR WEDDING. Leave all those other weddings alone, and focus on yourself, your partner, and your moment – don’t settle for what someone else felt. You deserve so much more than that.