I’m not a crier. At least not in real life. Give me a sad book or let me watch the end of a particularly touching movie and I’ll bawl like a baby. I’ve even cried watching MasterChef. But for the real stuff? I’ve got some of the driest eyes around.

That’s why I was so surprised when I broke down in tears at my most recent wedding dress appointment when I finally, finally found my gown. I wasn’t sure if that elusive “moment” that TV shows like Say Yes to the Dress are always talking about really existed– but I can tell you that it does and when it hit me, it hit me hard.

I got engaged last June, in 2015 (for the record I didn’t cry then, either). I’ve been kind of floating around since then, not really thinking about the eventual wedding or doing much in the way of planning.

It was a shock, therefore, when I started shopping for my wedding gown in August and was told I needed to find one soon in order to have it made and altered in time for my June wedding next year. As it turns out, I was cutting it really close by waiting until 10 months before my date; wedding gowns can take up to eight months to come in after being ordered.

Shopping for my wedding gown started out really fun. One of my close friends is also getting married next year, and we had a blast trying on dresses together. We’d book back-to-back appointments and pull dresses for each other, often joking about our collective indecisiveness.

I went to Sinders Bridal House in Carleton Place five times before I found my dress. I cannot speak highly enough of Sinders and its staff. My consultant was ever patient and helpful, and she stuck with me through every directionless appointment.

Part of my problem in choosing a wedding dress was that I wasn’t sure at all of what I wanted. I knew what I didn’t want (strapless, mermaid style) and how I wanted to feel (timeless and classic but comfortable), but other than that I was really flying blind. I tried on every silhouette from ball gown (so big and fun!) to my dreaded mermaid style (which I actually loved) and was getting nowhere fast.

By the third appointment, I had three “favourites” in vastly different styles. Despite input from my friends and family, who all had a sure favourite, I wasn’t ready to commit to any one dress and started to get frustrated and stressed.

Part of my problem was that I knew I needed to find a dress ASAP. It’s the end of October, and there are only eight months until my wedding. Sinders could pull it off, my consultant told me, but we were getting close to the point of no return.

My friend and I booked what would turn out to be my final appointment on Friday after work. We decided to share the appointment; I would try on dresses for the first half and she for the second half.

I tried on my three favourites and still felt nothing. I was ready to throw in the towel and get married in jeans. But as I was watching my friend parade in and out in her favourites, I noticed a mannequin in the corner wearing a dress that met all of my criteria. When my friend was done, with 20 minutes left in our appointment, I asked our consultant if I could try it on and she graciously agreed.

As soon as I put it on I knew it was different. I kept saying that my wedding dress needed to make me feel beautiful even if I couldn’t see it, since I wouldn’t be looking in a mirror for my entire ceremony. This dress did that for me. In case my fiancé sees this I won’t go into detail, but it just felt right. When I went to show my friends and family in the showroom I asked them for their opinion, but it wasn’t long before I realized I didn’t care what they thought (sorry friends!) – I knew that was the dress.

I turned to my reflection in the mirror and said, “I think I’m going to say it: This is my dress.” Immediately, I started sobbing. I’m not sure if it was from happiness or relief that I had found it, but I think it was some lovely combination of the two.

The moral of the story speaks volumes: you don’t have to settle. It may take longer than you think, but you’ll eventually find the perfect dress (or job, or partner or whatever it may be).

So that’s it. I finally have my dress, and I couldn’t be happier.Read more at:graduation dresses | prom dresses manchester

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