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Part 2: Agony, Crohn’s and Wedding Dresses – Oh My

Recap of Part 1: Agony, Crohn’s and Wedding Dresses – Oh My

My first appointment trying on wedding dresses didn’t go as planned. The bridal clerk assigned to me at first acted like she heard my needs. I went to her store to try on a specific dress. I was told it would be there in the size needed. When I arrived, it was not there. Eventually, she came out with the dress but it was two sizes smaller than what I needed. Due to this Crohn’s flare, I’ve been on and off of steroids since 2012. I also have thyroid disease. It’s been very hard to get back to the size I feel most comfortable living at, and it has run a doozy on my body image.

At first, I was okay with the thought that the dress was two sizes smaller than needed. On TV, you see the bridal shops with attachments that make it possible to see what the fitted dress will look like. That totally did not happen at this appointment.

It spiraled out of control from there, when the bridal clerk stopped listening and kept pulling any dress except for the one I kept asking for. As a result, my guts were on fire and my anxiety was at an all-time high. I was ready to crawl into a hole never to be seen again, someone else could attend my wedding for all I cared. But I still had another appointment scheduled, and a poor fiancée who did not want to get married alone. That would be awkward.

Appointment #2 – The Beginning

A few days later, my friends and I set off for appointment #2. We were meeting my mom there. She arrived early and began the check-in process. She made sure the bridal clerk assigned to my appointment was aware of my having Crohn’s, and the possibility that I may need to retreat to the restroom quickly. If my anxiety level was a 7-out-of-10 during the first appointment, I was rocking a solid 11 for this one. I didn’t want to take meds for my guts or my anxiety. I wanted to be present. But at the same time, I didn’t want to be there at all.

When I walked in, the bridal clerk introduced herself. We chatted for a few minutes. It all rang similar to the conversation I had at the first appointment. Dread dripped from my brain down to my toes. I couldn’t shake it. She mentioned the dress I went to try on at the other store was still referenced on my sheet. I told her what had happened at the previous appointment and how awful I felt when we left. When she asked about style and fit, I told her, “I don’t know what I want anymore, but I know I don’t want to look like a cupcake and a fitted dress was most likely not in my future. And I’m sorry if I sound difficult.”

She told us where to start looking for each type of style and then pointed us toward the room assigned to the appointment. Not terribly far from the bathroom. She then looked me square in the face and said, “You’re walking out of here having found your dress. Relax.”

And just like that, she disappeared into the stock room to pull some things she had in mind.

The Dress Came Back

Like you see on TV, my two friends, mom, and I took to the racks of dresses and pulled selections. The dress I saw on the mannequin at the first appointment was there on a mannequin.

Is it a sign?

I admired it some more but kept quiet. We brought our selections from the show floor to the room. The bridal clerk met us at the room with two things – the dress from the mannequin in my size and the dress I tried on at the other store. This time though, the dress was the right size!

“She might be magic,” I thought.

I was able to relax a little.


She told me to try on the dress I had been coveting and said it’s not the right dress for me, but we need to get it out of my system. It fit. I may have thrust a fist in the air and gave a soft shout, “Redemption!”

She was right. It was not the dress for me. The cut was perfect, though, in my eyes. The dress wasn’t too poufy or too fitted. It was easy to move in and it felt oh so flattering. However, the color was wretched against my skin pallor. But hey, the dress fit perfectly.

From there, it became a little easier to reconcile that the first appointment didn’t go sideways just because I wasn’t happy with myself. That bridal clerk definitely played a role. With this epiphany, I was ready to try on more dresses with a little more confidence. My anxiety began to dial itself down.

Next, we moved on to the dress I first saw on the mannequin at the other store. You know the one that the first clerk wouldn’t pull for whatever reason. I slipped into it and it was perfect. It met all the pain points I could think of… and it had pockets! Yes, pockets!

This Bridal Clerk IS Magic

The magical bridal clerk pushed for me to try on a few other cuts of dresses. She wanted me confident in my dress selection, and I enthusiastically obliged. Trying on the other dresses went well enough, but I kept gravitating back to the dress with the pockets. She helped me slip it back on.

She was right. I was walking out having selected a dress.

No, I did not cry. I also did not take one of those pictures you see posted on social media with the bride holding a champagne flute in one hand and chalk sign in the other that reads, “She said, YES!”

IBD Gives You a Lot of Feels and Fears

While I still struggle with self-image issues, the dress redemption definitely placed my head in a better place than where I started at during appointment #1. To be completely honest, one of my biggest fears between the bridal appointment and the wedding itself is having my thyroid, arthritis or Crohn’s disease flare-up causing the need for steroids once again. Or worse, if all three hit at the same time. I’ve seen enough reality bridal shows with the bride not fitting into her dress and don’t want to be in that boat. It’s yet another cause of anxiety to add to the pile, courtesy of life with Crohn’s. Therefore, the dress won’t get altered until the drop-dead date, as suggested by the shop’s seamstress.

I would like to say that I’m also participating in lifestyle changes like stress reduction, but we are in the middle of moving into a new house with four months left before the wedding. Right now, stress is my middle name!

Anyway, like mom used to say, “Do as I say, not as I do!”

This is a day devoted to making you feel good. If it starts to go sour, consider looking for a new bridal clerk or store. In my case, I did both and the new bridal clerk was magic.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    8 months ago

    So happy you found your dress and worked with a bridal clerk that was understanding and efficient.

    I like that you had your mom with you and she was able to sign in and disclose the fact you had Crohn’s to the sales people. So smart and it helps ease anxiety levels. Great tip!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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