Confession #1: I've never been inside a David's Bridal before.
Confession #2: I've never bought a Bridal magazine.
These two truths might be the reasons why trying on bridesmaid dresses in a large, girl-centric store (as opposed to a small, boyish bridal store - I don't know what I'm talking about these days,) is such a challenge for me. Or maybe it's because the walls are LINED with mirrors, and there are little pedestals on which you're supposed to stand and knock everyone senseless with your beauty, but I just get up there and feel weird. WHY is everybody looking at me?! Go about your business, please. Dress shopping is not for the faint of heart or the shy.
Anyways. So we walk into this strange land of large poofy dresses encased in plastic, softspoken ladies, monochromatic bridesmaid dresses in every possible color... and mirrors. Did I mention the mirrors already? Because it's OUT OF CONTROL. The doors are mirrored, the walls are mirrored, I'm pretty sure there are mirrors attached to the price tags, should you desire an itsy-bitsy glance at yourself. If you're at all insecure about anything on your body, you should just leave now, because it's will be shown off in glaring detail from several angles.
Be that as it may, I tried on a couple of cute flowy numbers with little straps that went with my comfort zone. "OK," I thought. "This works. These are short, they have straps. I can do this."
Then the Bride says, "I'm not crazy about straps..." at which point my face falls and I look around in terror at the many mirrors and my sweet bikini-strap tan lines from too many hours on the kayak and by the pool.
So we try on the long, a-line strapless dresses, and even though my bikini lines need some work, one look at the Bride's face tells me that this is THE dress. And you know what? I'm OK with that. This is her vision of the wedding she's always dreamed of, and I'm so excited to get to be a part of it - even if that includes braving the world of plastic and straps and tulle and and scary bras and all kinds of fabric-y terms that I don't understand.