Seems that there is a disorder for everything these days, right? There are learning disorders, eating disorders, drinking disorders, work place disorders, sleeping disorders, physical and mental disorders, social disorders, well - you get the picture. I could go on and on.
Dare I present to you another disorder to add to the growing list. I call it Bridal Gown Disorder, or BD Disorder, for short.
This disorder happens when a stressed out bride forgets what her wedding is really all about. This usually happens because too much importance has been put on superficial aspects of her upcoming wedding. Symptoms of this disorder may include, but are not limited to - showing unreasonable impatience in the ETA of her bridal gown. She may call several times a day to see whether her gown has arrived yet at the bridal shop. When said dress does not arrive on ETA, the affected bride may go ballistic and begin making threats and demands. At this point, it is usually fairly easy to calm the bride down, and reassure her that there is still plenty of time for her dress to arrive and still have any needed alteration done.
However. Should your calming voice and words not do the trick, you may choose to have your seamstress give her a call to give added assurance that the gown can and will be ready in time.
Another symptom on this disorder is when the bride tries her gown on for the first time. Normally, this is a happy, perhaps tearful event, in which the mother and bride share 'a moment' when they both see the bride in her glory. It is a moment of shared memories, and hopes for the future. Normally, it is a very special time. If the bride has this unfortunate disorder, though, any tears shed will be tears of another kind. Perhaps she see's herself differently than she had hoped. Perhaps the dress doesn't fit, yet, as she expected it would. Perhaps, the dress isn't what she thought it would be. Whatever the reason, she will find reason to be unhappy with the dress. Again, reassurance is needed. Your seamstress can be quite helpful at this point. She can help to reassure the bride that fit issues can be fixed, design issues can be looked at, discussed and worked on. Most of the time, the bride can be reassured adequately at this point.
A third symptom of this distressing disorder is much more difficult to deal with. Often, at this point there is nothing that can be done, but to let the bride go. This symptom shows itself, usually at the final fitting; although you will usually get glimpses of it at earlier fittings, and thus be able to prepare for it.
At the final fitting, your bride may show lack of enthusiasm when trying on her gown. Upon having it on and standing before the mirror, her lack of enthusiasm will manifest itself in frustration and even anger. She will find fault with everything about her gown. She will find invisible threads that are distorting the smooth look of her gown. She may find a bead out of place, or a seam that is too visible. She may find that the lace at the hem does not graze the ground at the perfect angle, or that while the dress fits well, it doesn't show off her cleavage just right. The sash may be just a tad too short or too long. A pick up may not be in the right place. There may be too much rusching on this side, not enough on that. You get the picture. The best thing to do at this point is to reassure your bride that the imperfections she is imagining are just that - imaginations. Compliment her on how beautiful she is in her gown, suggest some lovely jewelry, have her put on the veil. It will be a good idea to get mom involved at this point, in helping to convince the bride that everything is really ok.
Hopefully, your bride will leave the shop, gown in hand, feeling that she will be the most beautiful bride to ever walk the aisle. But there is also a good chance that your bride is so deeply submerged in her disorder, that nothing you or anyone else can say or do will help her to feel better. Her only 'cure' is to get through the wedding, and wake up the next morning and realize it is all behind her, and that nobody noticed those tiny imperfections she was so sure were going to ruin her wedding day.
Your reward, however, for surviving her disorder in one piece, is a glass of wine and a warm bath. And maybe a hot fudge sundae while you're at it.