Jack Her Up! Or, Five Things I’ve Learned from Say Yes to the Dress

Y’all, I have had the delightful (not sarcastic!) but also bizarre experience recently of being the second set of eyeballs for a delightful friend shopping for her wedding dress. Because my friend is the most low key bride in the world (“I don’t have Pinterest. I like the color blue,” was her response to the “what’s your wedding going to be like?” interrogation by the various bridal consultants), the experience was pleasant and anthropological, and I was grateful to be of some limited assistance to her wedding journey….

However, the experience reawakened one of my more shameful addictions…. It’s hard to admit publicly, but Say Yes to the Dress is basically my version of bath salts. I say I’m going to watch a little, and then a little turns into a lot, and soon I’m rampaging through the streets biting off strangers’ appendages because TRUMPET GOWNS MAKE ME DISSOCIATIVE.

In an effort to find a silver lining to this problem, I have compiled a list of five lessons I have learned over the years from watching SYTTD…..

  1. You don’t do your kids any favors by spoiling them. It’s shocking how many parents act both surprised and resigned when they realize that their daughters are monsters who have no impulse control and can’t fit themselves into a world that doesn’t always give you want you want, even if you REALLY REALLY WANT IT. Adult spoiled brats are not a force of nature and do not spring into being fully formed. They come from child spoiled brats. If you don’t want a daughter who insists on a Pnina Tornai beaded gown with see-through mesh abdominal panels that is $11k over your budget, then get in a time machine, go back twenty-odd years, and DO SOME PARENTING.
  2. Off white is for whores. Same for ivory, blush, eggshell, or anything else that is not true white.
  3. Never give your true budget to a wedding-dress salesperson. Their go-to move is to put you in something much nicer that is 10-20% more expensive than you want to pay, so that anything that’s actually in your budget looks like trash afterwards. I’ve only ever seen one bride say no to a dress for being over budget.

    Also, alterations cost money.

  4. Nothing sells a fantasy more effectively than a veil…. if a bride is on the fence about a dress, the correct strategy is to shout “JACK HER UP!” and cover her with blingy belts, jewelry, etc. Then, a veil is placed upon her head, she dissolves into tears thinking about herself walking down the aisle, and she has imprinted upon the dress like a baby duck.
  5. Taste is subjective. Things can simultaneously be very expensive and very, very ugly.



  1. The fact that you don’t know is a sure sign of your sanity. A trumpet dress is similar to a mermaid, but whereas a mermaid is gathered at knee level (ensuring a “fish tail”) a trumpet is gathered mid-thigh, such that the skirt flares out like the bell of a trumpet.



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