The moment he proposed you knew you would be together forever. Or maybe, you felt a tiny tug of uncertainty somewhere in the pit of your stomach that you forced down and ignored, holding it at bay with dress shopping, bachelorette party planning, and stacks of bridal magazines—until the point where you just couldn’t ignore it anymore, and you knew the wedding had to be called off.
It’s a heartbreaking scene that plays out in boutique dressing rooms all across the country: A beautiful future bride, surrounded by her mom, sisters, and best friends, sits on the floor of a dressing room, a poufy taffeta and satin wedding dress surrounding her and making her look like a melting marshmallow, sobbing hysterically. Every little girl fantasizes about walking down the aisle in a gorgeous wedding dress, so why does the dress search—part of the wedding planning process that should be the most thrilling—leave so many women in tears every year? The pressure to look Instagram-worthy, coupled with seemingly endless styles of wedding dress, amplified by the opinions of friends and family is enough to make any bride crumple.