Getty/Raydene Salinas Hansen
ICYMI: Bachelor alum—and our resident Bachelor Nation recapper—Ashley Iaconetti is getting married! Ahead of her August wedding to former Bachelorette contestant and fellow Bachelor in Paradise star Jared Haibon, Iaconetti is writing a monthly-ish column for Cosmopolitan, chronicling the fittings, cake tastings, Pinterest-ing, and everything in-between leading up to the big day. Oh, and the tears, too.
I’ve been a Say Yes to the Dress devotee since I was 19 years old, so, naturally, I assume it’s basically required that you cry when deciding on the dress you’re wearing down the aisle. As the noted that crier I am, I figured I’d bawl when I put on the first dress, my sister would be a sobbing mess, and my mom would have to awkwardly excuse herself to the bathroom. But none of that happened.
I worried that meant I didn’t go with the right two dresses (yeah, two, we’ll discuss that later). I asked one of the bridal consultants I met with, “Is it weird that I’m not crying?” She told me only about 1 in about 100 brides she meets with actually cries when she says yes to her dress. So there.
Lots of things about the dress-shopping process surprised me. I always told myself that I would only have my mom and my sister present when trying on wedding gowns. They know my style, what looks good on me, and what’s going to make me happy. I imagined I’d want to avoid having an opinionated family member or friend there who would make clear that her favorite dress was not my favorite dress.
But guess what I did when I got an email from Kleinfeld’s Bridal asking if I wanted to come in and try on dresses?
I asked my aunt, cousin, grandma, and best friend which weekend in July would be good for them to meet the three of us at the New York City salon made famous by TLC. It’s such an exciting life moment, and I wanted to share it with all the women in my family.
I went into the salon thinking I wanted an off-the-shoulder, sweetheart-neckline ballgown in white satin. Think Kim Kardashian on the cover of Vogue. After trying one of these on and not being super impressed, I broadened my search to include lace. I love the soft romance and femininity of lace.
My deal breakers: I was stanch on not entertaining a form-fitting dress. I can wear that anytime, on a red carpet or gala; I can’t ever wear a cupcake gown again. I’m also not into “bling.” I want to shine in the dress. I don’t want the dress to shine on me.
Alas, I didn’t find my dress at Kleinfeld’s, but it was a very cool experience. Unlike what you see on TV, most brides go to multiple salons and try on more than three dresses before saying yes to anything. My wedding planner set me up with appointments at Monique Lhuillier, Lovella, Kinsley James Bridal, and Ryan & Walter in Los Angeles two weeks later.
Of course, between the four of these salons, I found two dresses I just couldn’t choose between. I never thought I’d be that extra AF bride with two dresses. I thought I’d want to love a dress so much that I would never want to change out of it. In reality: I have two separate styles and I want them both on The Big Day.
I obsessed over the clean, sleek, New England–esque dress I found at Kinsley James, but I also *needed* to fulfill my dream of walking down the aisle in the traditional, Cathedral dress I found at Lovella or I would forever regret it. I figured you only get to wear a wedding dress one day of your life if you’re lucky…so might as well wear two.
And no, not a single tear has landed on either dress . During the dress-shopping process, whenever I tried something on I really liked, I lit up rather than break down. It’s sad to realize I will never go wedding-dress shopping again. I looked forward to it, fantasized about it, basically my entire life and in just a couple of shopping trips, it was done.
Oh, and it was way more fun than, say, shopping for jeans. All the consultants I worked with were delightful and incredibly helpful and supportive—and the cookie spreads, chocolate-covered strawberries, and ever present Champagne were truly dreamy.
In the (sort of) words of Carrie Bradshaw, I couldn’t help but wonder, Will I even cry at the alter? I mean, how ironic would it be if I didn’t cry at my wedding?!