Learning To Say I Do
Wedding Dress Fiasco
Ever since my sister got married five years ago, I’ve looked forward to wedding dress shopping. I’ve heard the story of her wedding dress shopping experience at least twenty times. Laughing, she and my mother would speak of all the dresses she tried on that day, but still had fallen in love with the first dress she tried on. Mom knew it was the one when she saw Kris’ face light up.
And I was sure my dress day would be just as much fun. As a child, playing Barbies was one of my favorite pastimes. I knew I’d have just as much fun trying on wedding dresses as I had accessorizing Barbie. Comfortable with my budget and armed with the addresses of every bridal store in a sixty mile radius, Mom, Kris, Grandma, and I set off on Black Friday to find the perfect dress.
I knew my ideal dress was a-line and not strapless. Since I’m personally not comfortable wearing spaghetti strap tops without a cover-up, I knew I didn’t want to wear something on my wedding day I wouldn’t wear on a “regular” day. Besides, I want to keep the skin I typically don’t show to others for Justin’s eyes only – beginning on our wedding night.
Walking into bridal shops, many clerks looked at me strangely when I said I didn’t want a strapless dress. My mother began to explain to the clerks I wanted a “conservative” dress. Although this helped the clerks understand my tastes, I disliked the idea of “labeling” my preferences.
Three bridal shops, and numerous dresses later, I was extremely frustrated. Not only did they not make a dress exactly like I wanted, I couldn’t find a dress I didn’t feel like an ugly duckling in. All the “conservative” dresses they showed me didn’t look like me. They looked like something I pictured someone twenty years older than I wearing. We decided to give up for the day.
After we headed back to Mom’s place, I decided to try on once again the first wedding dress I had tried on – my mother’s wedding dress which she had worn over thirty years ago, complete with veil. I had tried it on the night before, and I had liked it, but didn’t LOVE it. As we slipped it over my head, I suddenly knew this was THE dress. The lace was beautiful. The sleeves were gorgeous. The neckline was amazing, and had beading that looked like a necklace. Although the dress covers a lot of skin, much of the material is see-through, so it doesn’t look so “conservative.” And, as my sister pointed out, my face lit up when I wore it.
Although the dress fit very well, I found an experienced seamstress to make some minor alterations. The only thing I did to change the look of the dress was to take off the headpiece very popular in the 1980’s and replace it with a more modern looking comb. I’d love to post a picture of my dress on here, but I want it to be a surprise for Justin on our wedding day.
In addition to loving the dress, I can’t help but continue to reflect on the symbolism of wearing my mother’s wedding dress. I’m so excited to take a tiny piece of my parents’ marriage with me as Justin and I begin our married life together and as we both take the examples of our parents’ marriages with us into our marriage. To further showcase this, we plan to put pictures of both of sets of our parents on their wedding days on display at the reception. And, although my wedding dress shopping day was initially harder and a lot more frustrating than I expected, I did get what I wished for –the perfect wedding dress.
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