Journey for a White Dress

Two weekends ago, I tried on my wedding dress for the second time. When the seamstress called me to let me know that my dress was ready for my first fitting after alterations, I became incredibly nervous. For some reason, I had forgotten about the dress. This is probably because I was scared and had buried it in the back of my mind.  Let me start from the beginning of the hunt for my wedding dress.
After I became engaged, my sister made an appointment for me at a very nice, clean, and quite bridal boutique. I was welcomed with coffee, fresh baked cookies, and chandeliers. They even had a pedestal for me to stand on and view myself in each of the dresses. My sister is all things wedding. She loves weddings… and when I say love I mean LOOOOOVE! She took charge and pulled dresses and told the nice saleslady what to put me in. I figured the best part of the whole wedding planning process would be to try on all these dresses since I am all about fashion, well I was wrong.  I had no idea what I wanted in terms of a dress. So many options, so many designers, I was actually overwhelmed when it came to clothes! I knew my wedding was going to be a garden, vintagey theme and I thought I knew what type of dress I wanted. I tried on tons of dresses. The ones I thought I would like, I hated. The ones I thought I’d hate I kind of loved. I’m usually great at this but I was feeling overwhelmed.

Some of my many choices

Everything looked so pretty and special on. I was torn. I fell in love with 3 dresses by the time I left, but wasn’t willing to commit to any of them. I knew that once I bought my dress that was it. No returns. No going back. That is the only dress I get. For the first time in my life I didn’t know what I wanted in fashion. I had a headache. I was tired. I didn’t want to try on anything else.  I was bummed that my expectations of having this incredible time trying on beautiful gowns and knowing exactly what I wanted weren’t met.
My sister on the other hand didn’t want to give up. She wanted to take me to a sample sale. Really? I’m tired! We get to the sample sale and it’s the total opposite of what I just experienced. It was chaos, madness, brides gone crazy with racks and racks of bridal gowns in no particular order. Seeing the fear and annoyance in my eyes, my sister takes charge again, she starts pulling dresses.  I have no idea how she can even tell what would look good when everything is all enclosed in plastic garment bags and hanging all ugly and squished together. I tell her she can pull 3 dresses and I’ll wait in the corner to try them on. She brings me the 3 options and strategically puts me in the first dress. She dresses me better than the professionals at the store do. I’m shocked. She even made a space for me to step into the dress without having me step on the dress. She clamps me in because they are all sample sizes. I step out and look in the mirror. I’m staring at myself, not sure what I’m seeing. But it’s dirty. It’s got snags, it’s missing beads, and the corset is torn. It’s a size 12 dress and I’m a size 2. I hear my sister ask me if I like it in a little bit of a panicked voice. Long silence…. I absolutely love it. Despite everything…it’s perfect. It’s the one…AND my mom loves it! She never loves anything.
Then we find out it’s the last one. We can’t order this from the designer anymore because it’s been discontinued. So if I want this dress, I have to take it “as is”. My sister inspects the dress, trying to see what can be done with it. Meanwhile I see a gaggle of brides eyeing me in the dress, wanting to have me take it off so they can try it on themselves. I’m angry, I don’t want anyone to touch this dress. I refuse to take it off. We come to the conclusion that if I love the dress, we can spend the money to really have it cleaned up and fixed professionally. Can you even take it down 10 sizes? We were told it was possible. It’s also ridiculously discounted and way below the budget we had planned for my wedding dress. Okay we buy it. I’m REALLY NERVOUS. My mom says we can sell it and get me another dress.  But I love this one. What if it doesn’t work out?
So after lots of research and some refusals to work on my dress, we find a wonderful lady who says it’s no problem and that she could “make it like new.” This is where I panic again. I’m suppose to just trust this woman to take my dress, send it off to the cleaners in NYC, take it from a 12 to a 2, and fix everything?! Yes. So I did and I left scared. I made myself sick with worry.  Months went by and I forgot about my dress. Then came the phone call…my dress is ready for the first fitting. My sister is across the country and my mom can’t make it. My Matron of Honor has a gig and can’t come either. Thank God one of my bridesmaids could make it. It was also fitting that I was with her for her wedding gown purchase and we’ve known each other since kindergarten. She is supportive, helps me get dressed, and takes pictures, I’m not alone. I put the dress on, it’s beautiful and actually frames my body perfectly now. Well almost, we still have a few inches to take in. The dress is actually ivory and clean, not the dingy yellow it once was! The corset is perfect! I’m not scared anymore. I’m happy! It’s beautiful, it’s everything I wanted, and it’s mine.
I’m not sure why it was so hard for me to commit to one dress or why I had such anxiety over it, but in the end everything worked out. I knew the right dress when I had it on. It’s kind of like all things in my life, my gut instincts usually are right and I never end up regretting them. Being impulsive is good if you listen to your gut and heart.  You just kind of know when it’s right. It’s like when you find the right guy to marry, you just know. 

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