By the time I left my first wedding dress shopping appointment, I was teetering on the edge of becoming a homicidal lesbian terrorist. By the time I got home, I was sad and deflated and needed emotional rescue.
It was my first time inside a bridal salon, and my first outing trying on wedding dresses. Before going, I researched salons, found a lovely boutique in a progressive Marin town, had recommendations from friends and Yelp, made the appointment weeks ahead, and emailed clarification in advance. “I’m a mature, curvy bride, and my fiance is female.” I wanted to help them avoid the mistake of presuming I’m hetero, and I wanted them to be prepared with styles that would be appropriate for an older, curvier client. I was confident I was going to be a great appointment.
Um, well, not so much. The sales agent, who proudly told me she was the owner’s mother, first off asked me “what are the men wearing?” Ugh. And here we go. Once I told her there was no wedding party and my fiance, who’s female, would be wearing a midnight blue three-piece suit, she became less than enthusiastic about helping me. I should have walked out then. She proceeded to half-heartedly pull some dresses for me, without adding any consultation or value, and practically rolling her eyes. Their floor samples were all in small sizes. She was herself thin and bony, and her fat phobia was palpable. For a moment, I thought I was maybe being too sensitive, and mis-perceiving homophobia, weight discrimination, and a hint of ageism all at the same time. But then, in walked two young, slender, straight women, without an appointment, and she *flew* over to them, passed me on to the shop girl (who was sweet), and started fawning over her new customers. I overheard they had just started casually looking around for dresses, and the wedding was in over a year. Mine was in a few months, and I was ready to buy that day.
Frustrated and infuriated, I left the salon, muttering curses and composing the negative Yelp review in my imagination. Off with their heads.
Worse yet, by the time I got home, I was a tearful mess. The experience had touched some really tender nerves. I felt dissed and a lifetime of body image issues came tumbling down on me. I wanted to crawl into bed and never come out.
A few weeks later, after resurrecting my self confidence and appreciation for my zaftig figure, I ended up having an amazingly wonderful experience at David’s Bridal in Pinole, CA. Drake and daughter accompanied me, we had a queer- and curvy-positive sales agent, and they had acres of beautiful dresses that both fit and flattered. I walked out with a dress I was thrilled with. Five stars.
In the end, I was disappointed with the alterations, and cringed when I saw some of the photographs, but that’s fodder for another post about how to avoid dreaded dress regret.
Enjoy your Queer Wedding!
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