The Reluctant Bride

Please note that I did not call this post “The Reluctant Wife”.

When I was much, much younger, dreaming about my would-be wedding day was the norm. My Barbie dolls often fought over a lacy wedding dress. In my teens I scooped up every copy of Martha Stewart Weddings I could get my hands on. TLC’s A Wedding Story was a must-watch throughout most of my 20s.

When J and I first became engaged in Hawaii this past December, I had already purchased my first bridal magazine before we were wheels-up out of Kauai. Shortly after, I registered on The Knot. A few weeks later I received a wedding planning book from my mom. And only a few short days after that, I had finally had enough.

Childhood dreams are different from adult realities. I love and adore the man I’m preparing to marry and I am excited to be his wife. But to be his bride? That’s another wedding story. Once my life transitioned from being a “single dreamer” to a “betrothed bride-to-be”, I was truly surprised to learn what actually mattered to me as a woman and to us as couple embarking on marriage.

The wedding industry, as it is, has become a lucrative part of the biggest parties of people’s lives. That’s not at all to critique those who host huge wedding celebrations nor those who are employed in the industry. However, J and I very quickly discovered that it simply isn’t for us.

The average wedding in Canada today costs $28,000. That’s also a fair chunk of a down payment on a home. Our priorities quickly became abundantly clear. It isn’t that we won’t be having a wedding celebration. What we do have will be small, simple, elegant and very affordable. We certainly don’t need to spend a lot of money to genuinely celebrate, and so we won’t.

But you really didn’t think I wouldn’t get a wedding dress, did you? Whether it was back-to-school shopping, my prom dress or even keeping above water with current style trends, I am always the last to the party. I bank on the very last minute available to me. Finding a dress was the first thing I wanted to do – needed to do.

And so, this past Tuesday, I set out to the brand-new David’s Bridal in Langley with my mom and my matron of honour, Rebecca, hoping to say “yes!” to a dress.



Filling out the paperwork…

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Measure twice, dress once. Checking our lists.


For as long as I can remember, I envisioned a slender, lacy gown that was entirely subtle. Once I actually set out to find the right dress for me, I quickly realized I wanted lots and lots drama.



Did I find the dress? I found two. Both lovely, both high on drama and style but still squeaking into my very reasonable price range (thanks for that, Mom). Neither dress is pictured here so you’ll just have to wait… and wait… and wait until after we’re married to figure out what I chose.

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13 Comments on “The Reluctant Bride

  1. I still think you should buy both and mid ceremony do a dress change 😉 Looks like you have fun though!

    Cant wait to see the photos from your wedding!

  2. For both Chad and I, we were way more excited about our marriage then we were about our wedding date. And even though I knew I couldn’t get away without having a rather large Italian wedding (it’s not my fault my family is huge!) we still knew that it was just one day in the rest of our lives and there was no sense in spending gobs of money. No matter your budget, your wedding is going to be beautiful and it’s going to be about the love that you and J share!

  3. OMG you are so gorgeous! What a fun time in your life… Good luck with your dress decision and all my best for lots of fun planning in the months ahead. Or as much as you want to. :)

  4. THE dress is so beautiful on you as well as the alternate. I can’t wait for the day to get here!

  5. It’s funny how what you originally envisioned changes. It did for me as well.
    BOTH of those dresses look stunning. I cannot wait to see the end result. xo

  6. No matter how low key, I know it will be stunning because it is you!…and you know, you could always forego another element and get both dresses :) Hey, if the Chinese can do it. 😉

  7. Good for you for focusing on what is right for you and your husband-to-be to make the day special for you both. My husband and I had a very simple wedding – married in Stanley Park rose garden with just immediate family present and a lovely lunch afterward at the tea house with elegant gift bags for those who witnessed our wedding (we declined gifts). Best day ever and it was incredibly affordable and so special.

    You look gorgeous in those pictures! You will be a beautiful bride no matter which dress you choose!!

  8. I love this post! I couldn’t agree more about not wanting a big wedding; the cost of hosting one is outrageous and isn’t the day supposed to be about marrying the person you love most!? I hope my future husband is ok with the idea of saving for a down payment vs. saving for a “big day”. But a small gathering sounds lovely… can’t wait to see the dress (and pics of the whole day).

  9. Looks like a fun wedding dress day! I know your actual one is secret but I love the one with the ruffles. I also love the socks you’re wearing with that dress. :)

  10. Congratz on the engagement! Our wedding was a very small one and it was perfect. You really don’t need to spend that much money for a perfect wedding.

  11. Congrats on your engagement and upcoming nuptials. I have no doubt you will be one beautiful bride in whatever dress you choose!

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