Back in January my mother took my sister and I to the Bridal Show. An overwhelming event held at the Convention Center where all of the big shops in the Metro area rent booths and try to convince brides-to-be that if they don't book every aspect of their wedding five years in advance, their wedding will be disastrous. It's a cross between wandering through a mall full of kiosk vendors who want to put smear you with crappy lotion and shopping for a used car. But we endured, and I managed to get all the information I could possibly want or need without committing to anything that day.
The most important parts of the wedding, to me, were my dress, location, and the photographer. I confess, since confirming these three essentials I've kind of slacked off on everything else. It got really frustrating at first. It seemed like every vendor I called was already booked, or had booked up in the time it took me to call them back. Apparently, Christmas was not early enough to get engaged in order to plan an August wedding. (Seriously, one vendor all but said that.) Fortunately, things are coming together. We got a great outdoor venue that includes catering, and booze! (SCORE!) Our photographer has an incredible portfolio! The flowers are handled. The cake is ordered. All I really need is a minister, and I still have 4 months to go so... Whoever said it takes a year (or a decade) to plan a wedding is just trying to get your money before anyone else does.
Which brings me to, The Dress!
Almost immediately after The Cowboy proposed, I started looking at dresses. I didn't really have anything in mind at first, but I knew that something super extravagant was just not my style. I got a couple of ideas, and while meandering though the Bridal show, I saw a dress that stopped me in my tracks. I walked up to the lady at the booth and said "I have to try that dress on." She smiled, opened her little appointment book and penciled me in for the next weekend.
Fast forward seven days...
We booked two dress fittings that day. The first in Clackamas at 9am the other in Longview at 1pm.
Coffee ingested and a little weary, we entered the first shop. It took an hour just to look though all of the dresses. Each cut has a section, and each section had between 10 and 25 dresses. Once I had picked one or two from each section we proceeded to the dressing room. The process of elimination had begun. Many were easy to nix before I even looked in the mirror. I never felt like such a princess (I kinda liked it.) (shhhh.) Trying on wedding dresses is a lot like playing dress up! (maybe that's what it's all about.) I narrowed it down to two and had to put them both on twice before I picked the one I really liked.
I knew it was nothing like the dress that I had seen at the bridal show, but I really felt like Cinderella in it. I almost cried when I had it on, then I felt silly for being all girly, only to be reminded by several strangers that brides are supposed to get all excited and emotional when they find the dress. We took down all of the information about the dress and told our attendant that I needed a day to think about it. She tried everything she could to get me to order that dress that day, but I told her if it really was the one that I wouldn't need to rush... I still had 8 months!
We stopped in Vancouver to pick up my Grandmother, on the way to Longview. All the way up there all I could think about was how I felt in that dress, and how incredibly exhausted I was.
We got to the cute little hole in the wall shop. There was a tiny (in comparison) section to the right, a platform with 3 mirrors to the left, and a larger room full of hideous prom dresses to the left of that. The dressing rooms in the back. The owner checked us in, I told her I wanted to try on the dress from the bridal show, she said she knew the one and told me to go ahead and look through what she had hanging just to see if there was anything else I liked. I picked 3 other dresses, and almost immediately discarded them in comparison to the dress from the Clackamas store. She saved the one from the bridal show for last. She said she just had a feeling about it.
It's not extravagant. It's rather simple actually. It doesn't have a bustle, it doesn't require a slip, the train is an accessory that I later decided to add.
The minute I put it on I knew it was The One, as assuredly as I know The Cowboy is the one. I wasn't emotional. I didn't feel like a silly girly princess. I felt like a confident, beautiful woman. I went out to the platform and imagined the look on his face when he sees me for the first time on our wedding day. It was (is.) perfect! I found a simple veil on the rack that didn't cover my face, but is a hair piece, with these clear sequined "daisyesque" flowers all around the trim, which completely matches the detail on the dress. The shop owner was a little surprised when I showed her. She said she couldn't have picked a better one for that dress.
I made my decision. My mother was hesitant. She said I didn't look as excited about it as the one at the other shop. I told her I was tired, but I knew this was my dress. The shop owner told us it could take 12 weeks to get the dress in so we needed to order it as soon as possible. I didn't want to drive back up to try it on again so I decided then and there to just go with it. As she made her calls to place the order and started all of the paper work, my mother just looked at me with questioning eyes. She was trying to read me, to see if I was settling. Upon passing her silent quiz, she paid for the dress.
I slept so hard that night. I dreamt that the dress came in and I hated it. That I wished I had picked the other dress, and that I felt awkward on my wedding day and everything was just awful. I woke up a little panicked, but reassured myself that I picked the right dress and would have had the same thoughts about the other dress had we decided to go with that one.
The dress came in two weeks ago. (12 weeks my ass.) I took Monkey with me to try it on again, and you know what? I LOVE IT more than I did the first time I tried it on! When Monkey saw it she said, "Oh Mommy, it's perfect."
It Is Perfect!
(and since this blog is my secret... I can post a picture for you to see!)
(no that's not me.)
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