Like the majority of brides, my daughter is using the Internet to its fullest potential to research her wedding options. Although the Internet didn’t even exist when I got married, I’ve already forgotten how we survived without it.

I’m not going crazy looking at centerpieces, invitations or any of that stuff, but I am tracking down every photo or illustration of a vintage gown I can find. Of course I’ve also taken the centuries’ old option of purchasing books on Victorian fashions. Believe it or not, I own a Kindle – which was a Christmas gift from my husband. This was a thoughtful gift and I’m sure I’ll use it eventually, but I’m still enthralled with the pleasure of holding a real book in my hands and flipping through the pages. I briefly contemplated downloading/uploading/outloading – whatever kind of loading – one of these fashion books. (Every time I say “upload”, apparently I should have said “download”, so I’ve given up trying to figure out the proper terminology. At least I know there’s some kind of loading involved.) I’d rather stick to the outmoded option of waiting for a flesh and blood–or I shoud say–paper and ink version to be delivered to my house. Hey, at least I ordered it online. Don’t I deserve a bit of applause for that?

Many brides not only research their “needs” online, they also purchase them. Now, don’t get me wrong; I, too, have been known to type out those magical credit card numbers and then wait for the mail carrier like a kid waiting for Santa. It’s fun; it saves time; and it offers limitless possibilities. However—and this is a BIG however—there are some purchases that should only be made up close and personal. The wedding gown tops the list, but there are plenty of contenders for second place – like shoes.

One of my brides had fallen prey to an online sale of a pair of Manolo Blahniks. She was beyond excited at how totally awesome they’d look with her gown—and they only cost $200! (I wondered if she was going to invite her guests to crawl under her skirt because otherwise no one was ever going to see them.) I was trying to be enthusiastic about the magnitude of her find but I hadn’t yet become a fan of “Sex and the City” , thus rendering me clueless about this god of footwear. The most I’ve ever spent on shoes was $220.00—and they were for my HORSE! Personally, I think I maxxed out at maybe $120.00 and I blame that blunder on PMS.

Blunder? Yes; they ended up being so uncomfortable, they could have been used during the Spanish Inquisition to extract confessions from martyrs. I still blame PMS for forcing me to buy them because I did not purchase them online nor was I labouring under any delusion that they’d feel as good as they looked. I went to a store, tried them on, cringed as I minced around in front of the mirror and bought them anyway. At any other time of the month I would have left them on their glass pedestal. (Hmmm, now that I think of it, maybe they were supposed to be displayed on a shelf not shoved onto a foot.)

At least my bride didn’t knowingly purchase torturous footwear. Since she ordered them online, she hadn’t a clue what they’d feel like—and therein lies her blunder. She also couldn’t return them since they were a final sale item. Blunder # 2. Fifteen minutes into her fitting, her toes were numb and her arches were screaming to be set free. Thankfully she didn’t compound her error by ignoring their plea. She regretfully put her Blahniks back in their pretty little Blahnik bag and box and bought something comfortable—and a heck of a lot cheaper. (After she had decided not to wear them, I took the opportunity to point out that the size of her skirt would render her feet invisible anyway. I encouraged her to splurge on something more important – like her jewelry.)

I have plenty more to say about the virtues/vices of Internet shopping—like purchasing wedding bands online—since I mentioned jewelry, but I want to google “beaded trims” before heading off to New York City with Sara tomorrow.