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An Open Letter to Wedding Dress Designers and Bridal Stores


Dear Wedding Dress Designers and Bridal Stores,

I recently had the experience of shopping for my wedding dress.  It was something that I had been looking forward to.  I’m not big into the “Here Comes the Bride” stuff but I do love a pretty dress.  Plus, I enjoy any experience that can unite my mom, my sister and me for the greater good.

I’ll admit, I was nervous about the whole…ordeal.  I’ve never considered white to be my best color.  I’m rather fair and, like most women, I have some curves.  So how was I going to find a white dress that didn’t make me feel like a white whale?  If there was ever a day that a girl wants to feel pretty it’s on her wedding day.

So why does it seem like you don’t have the bride’s interests in mind?  Do you want us all to look like cupcakes or cocktail waitresses?  Before I went dress shopping a friend of mine told me “I’m going to wedding dress search for you!  I’ll send you pictures of the ones I think are awesome and really ugly ones.”  Needless to say, my inbox soon filled with pictures of dresses more at home in a Tim Burton movie than in a wedding ceremony.

Can we start with the strapless?  When is this trend going to end?  Not since the return of the tights and shorts combo have I been so vehemently over a trend.  Don’t get me wrong: some ladies look GORGEOUS in strapless dresses.  They have delicate bone structure and look like angels.  Hey, some women also look good in the tights and shorts get up (far fewer, I’d wager).  That doesn’t mean that the rest of us shouldn’t have options.  I decided early on that I wanted a wedding dress with sleeves.  I am not one of the women that look good in a strapless dress.  Sleeves make me feel more comfortable and anything that prevents the wearing of a hideous strapless bra is good with me.  However, sleeves were easier said than done.  Many dresses had what I like to refer to as “an ode to sleeves.”  That is, they had the barest hint of a sleeve.  Sleeves seemed to be verboten in bridal culture.

Well, I take that back.  I saw several knock offs of Kate Middleton’s bridal gown, sleeves and all.  I’m sure we can all agree that Princess Kate had a stunning wedding gown…but what commoner really wants to wear a knock off?  Why invite that comparison?  “Oh, she looked pretty but not as good as the future Queen of England!”

I’m also curious when the tight, sheer and low cut trend came about in bridal.  I know that not everyone gets married in a church but it’s still not appropriate to have something cut down to your navel.  It used to be that conservative equaled boring but that is no longer the case.  Look at Drew Barrymore’s wedding gown.  Very elegant and very covered.  Now, Drew was married in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony so she probably had to cover up more than the rest of us.  However, there’s no denying that classy is preferable to tacky on your wedding day (every bride on Say Yes to the Dress that buys a see through gown…I’m looking at you).

Ultimately, I did wind up finding a beautiful dress.  I’m thrilled with it.  It fits my personality and my wedding day requirements.  My mom and sister like it.  However, I noticed many other brides in the store that did not have the same luck that I did.  It’s time for more options, bridal world.  Women comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities…so should wedding dresses.


Elisabeth Fitzgerald

About the author: Elisabeth Fitzgerald

Elisabeth Fitzgerald is a Chicago born, Los Angeles based writer. In addition to writing fiction and non-fiction, she also works in the entertainment industry. When not holed up with a pen in her hand or a script at her side, she enjoys Tejano music, vintage clothing and tricking herself into exercising with yoga. Her dislikes catalog a number of prominent ZEROS.

Elisabeth has written 63 articles for us.

One Response to “An Open Letter to Wedding Dress Designers and Bridal Stores”

  1. February 25, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I love this article, it is exactly how I feel!
    I’m looking for a wedding dress with sleeves but not having much luck.
    I have never wore a strapless dress and I definitely don’t want to feel uncomfortable on my wedding.
    I hope more options will be available in the future.

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