Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wedding Dress Shopping

I have carried this clipping from Victoria magazine around with me since high school of my ideal wedding dress - layers of fabric, beading, even little orange blossoms sewn onto the top edging. I have to say - I still love it. Only one problem. It just won't work for my wedding. See, my new plan requires manicured toes squishing into the sand, gardenias tucked into upswept hair and salt spray on my cheeks. I'm getting married in Fiji!

Beyond my magazine clipping, I had not a clue what I really wanted for a wedding dress for my island ceremony. I recently met a new employee at work, Nancy, who made wedding dresses - this seemed to be fate! She suggested we go wedding dress shopping to see what styles fit me well and looked good and either go home with the perfect dress or she would make me my "new" perfect dress. She suggested I invite someone along that knew me and could help out with their advice.

I invited a friend that I learned wasn't able to come at the last minute. I found myself driving to Tacoma, feeling absolutely sorry for myself, tears streaming down my face. I was a blubbering mess. I honestly didn't realize until that morning how important that day would be to me and how much I really needed someone close to me to be there for support. What was I thinking scheduling this shopping trip the day before my first Mother's Day without my Mom? I made some futile attempts to try to find someone else to accompany me. Francie - Why did I not invite my future-mother-in-law in the first place? She was busy. Evelyn - my second Mom. Got her voicemail. Lynn - my good friend. Preparing dinner for a crowd that evening. Sue was working. OJ would come in a flash as soon as she figured out I was crying, but I couldn't let her drive that far. I'd just have to do this on my own. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this!

I arrived at Demetrio's and Nancy asks, "Where is your friend? Oh, that is too bad, it would have been helpful to have a good friend with you." Tears return. Things didn't get much better as I started trying on dresses. We didn't want to "let on" that we weren't there to necessarily buy a gown once we saw the price tags - $1,500.00, $2,200.00, $3,000.00! There was no way I could fathom spending that kind of money on a gown that would become sandy, sweaty and wet with salty ocean water! I began the process of trying these gowns on. I learned that wedding dresses run small, so the size I was sure would be too big resulted in me "sucking it in" and them still not zipping closed. Even my Spanx were no consolation! I knew I'd soothed my grief more than once this past year with calorie-laden goodies, but this was ridiculous!

David's Bridal. This was an experience. I can see why it is popular - the prices! While I was relieved to see these smaller price tags, the experience here was more reminiscent to shopping trips at Wal-Mart, chaotic and frustrating, but for which I continue to brave simply for the fabulous prices. David's was filled with young girls in dresses chatting with their groups of bridesmaids, Moms, Aunts, sisters, cousins... Girls repeating, "Oh, that is way too big on you!" Mothers rushing to the cashier with their credit cards. And the men! What were all the men doing there? Am I the only one that thinks that is weird?

Overall, the day turned out OK. Nancy was an incredible help and very encouraging. I didn't come home with "the" dress. But, I tried on some decent ones. Dresses that didn't make me feel like a giant satin sausage. We have some definite possibilities and even picked out some patterns. It is going to be OK. Fact is, Mom was with me all the time and in just four short months, Bill is going to love me no matter what I'm wearing when we finally get to say, "I do."


Sara said...

got tears in my eyes when I read this! I wish I were even in the same country so that I could have been on your emergency phone call list! Hope you find some happier wedding preparation memories to cherish soon! Love you, friend!

Robert said...
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