A million things were against me while planning my wedding. My wedding dress was one of them.

The fact that I spent the last few months of my engagement in China, in a city where there are no wedding dress shops, for example. No wedding dress shops anywhere! I looked around, surfed the web, asked my married friends and the conclusion was that there weren’t any.

Apparently local people buy their dresses online, or rent them, as part of the photography package. Since my wedding was going to be back in my country, renting was not an option. Buying the dress back home was a major gamble, because I would only have a couple of weeks between my arrival and the wedding day.

So it seemed that the Internet was my only hope.

Firstly as a rather chubby and insecure person, buying the most important dress of my life without a chance to try it on was distressing, to say the least. A lot of clothes look awful on me (whether it’s real or my imagination, who cares). Therefore, I needed a dress that would accentuate the good features and hide the problem areas. But how can you chose? When you see the picture online it’s always modeled by a gorgeous skinny thing with a heck of a waistline.

Secondly, it wasn’t just the fitting that worried me, but the suiting. What if the dress is pretty, is the right size, but the line, style, design or shape don’t flatter me? It is so hard for me to feel good in a dress. So I reviewed 7,000 designs online, four times. Over and over I checked the whole listing to the end, discarding and considering, until I managed to narrow it down to a few runner-ups and made my choice.

Buying my wedding dress online -not my ideal situation

Of course between looking for bridal shops and then looking for models online, the time went by and I was three months from my wedding. The fear of the dress not being good enough was terrible, because it left me with very little time for a plan B if I didn’t like it.

Moreover, buying blind, I went for a cheap option. I would gladly spend thousands on a good gown, but if I had to get something that I could not see or try on, I didn’t want to get anything expensive. If the dress sucked I’d rather lose $200 than $3000. Ironically, that year I had enough money to splurge on a dress. Had I had the option to go to a shop and try on a dress, at least to know if the style was right for me, I might have bought a really good designer dress.

The dress finally came and with fear and hope I opened the package. The fabric was good, the stitching was good, the lace, the beading, the design looked just like in the picture. Thank goodness! I tried it on…

It fit like a glove and it looked fantastic. I was so relieved and couldn’t wait to wear it on the big day. I turned from every angle in the mirror and could not believe how well it suited me. It was a mermaid silhouette, that hugged my waist and showed off my hips just nicely. The body had a gorgeous hour-glass shape in it and the skirt was smooth and fluffy with a really long train.

Little did I know that my happiness was not to last.

That year was very bad for me body-wise and my wedding dress was a challenge

I had always been a rather curvy figure, but that year (of all years!) I put on a lot of weight. Partly because I was in China and the new diet was confusing (rice, three times a day!), maybe because I was stressed over planning my wedding and got the munchies, or because I got ill several times and had to stay in bed instead of working out every day, as I had wished, and also because my illness required a lot of antibiotics, which always make me puffy.

I put on 12 kgs that year. Twelve!

So it was a total miracle that I actually liked my body for the first time in months.

A month before my wedding, I went back home, taking the dress with me. There were a few days to get ready for the wedding. I tried to lose weight, but the stress of the last minute planning my wedding kept me snacking. However I weighted myself every day and measured myself often to make sure I was not putting on any new weight.

And it got worse!

One week before my wedding I took the dress to the dry-cleaners to press. It had gotten a little wrinkled with all the travelling and I wanted it to look perfect. I picked it up two days before my wedding and didn’t want to try it on so I wouldn’t wrinkle it again. Noone will never know what happened in that shop or what the hell they did to it, but it shrank at least one size.

My body had not gotten any bigger, that I know for sure, but the dress certainly was not the same.

On my wedding day, after I was done with my hair and make up and my bridesmaids were all dressed up, I put on my dress… and it didn’t fit.

One hour before the ceremony is the worst time to learn that your dress doesn’t fit. There I was, all ready to go, with a photographer waiting at the door to snap pictures of my sisters lacing up my corset, and the stupid dress didn’t fit. It was a real battle to squeeze myself into it. And that’s exactly how I looked: squeezed. My boobs, my butt and my belly were bulging out like the dress was about to pop. I could hardly move in it or breathe when they managed to lace me up. It felt totally uncomfortable, but most of all it looked hideous.

The beautiful dress that gave me a nice hour-glass body now looked like a suffocating wrap. Because it was mermaid shape I could hardly walk in it and I had to pull the skirt up to get to the wider part, which also made the dress shorter: instead of softly brushing the floor, it was right above my ankles. The whole look was…


And what can you do? There was no time to do anything! I had to wear an ill-fitting, uncomfortable dress the entire evening and looked fatter than ever in the photos because the tight dress made my curves seem out of proportion.

Every time I turned to the side all I could see was my bottom and belly sticking out like and air conditioner. All my friends said I looked beautiful, but I’m sure more than one thought the dress was wrong for me.

Believe it or not, that didn’t ruin my wedding. I enjoyed myself, managed to dance a little, smiled for everyone and felt like the undisputed center of attention.

As for the pictures I Photoshop-ed them all and erased my extra curves from the dress. In 20 or 30 years when I look at them it won’t matter much if they’re real or not.

As for the dress, I might wear it again for some wedding anniversary, when we’ll have a photo session, because we didn’t get to do the “trash the dress” after the wedding. By then, maybe I’ll have lost some weight and will look right in it as before.

If not, for our ten-year vow renewal, I’ll have a second chance to find the dress of my dreams.

Or visit my Etsy Shop

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