Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Dress

Oh. My. Gosh.

I am watching a TV show talk about the latest trend of trashing your wedding dress!! Seems brides are trying to outdo each other after the wedding by jumping in water, traipsing through dirty city streets, and even playing paintball in their $1,000+ bridal gowns. And hiring photographers to capture every minute of it, of course.

Oh. My. Gosh.

This will not be happening to this bride. We have plans to paint our bedroom soon. I can guaran-dang-tee you I will not be doing it in the most expensive and gorgeous dress I have ever, ever owned. Or ever will own.

My dress was so beautiful. Ahhh. I bought it the very first day we looked. My friends Shanna and Shelly and future sister-in-law Laurel accompanied me to a bridal shop one Saturday morning (real) soon after my engagement. I had two rules that I was determined to stick with: my gown would NOT be strapless and I would NOT wear a tiara.

Um hum.

Shanna, who did my hair and makeup and a million other things for my wedding and who is also self-admittedly very bossy, saw It very soon after we arrived. I refused It because It was strapless. We - and I do say we, because it took all three of them to lift those heavy gowns on and off my body - tried on 23 gowns. All were beautiful. None were quite right. I was ready to call it a day when the salesgirl brought back the dress Shanna had seen first. I said no, It's strapless. Shanna said, "JUST. TRY. IT. ON." I told you she was bossy. I tried It on.

In the dressing room mirror I saw that It was pretty, really, really pretty. If you were into strapless, which I decidedly was not. Puffy ballgown and pretty bodice and showed off my back, which Shanna had said twelve times was my best feature. Oh, well. Too bad.

I walked into the showroom, and down the raised mirrored platform to show the girls.

Shelly started to cry. Laurel started to cry. Shanna started to cry. They all dabbed their eyes and whispered, that's It. The sales lady stood silently watching, then said, I think that's It. The mom and daughter customers we had befriended 23 dresses ago teared up and said, that's It. Four other store workers - some of them male - stood by the runway and said that's It. Three other customers stood and watched me walk and said, that's It. I stood on the platform and looked down at about twelve people, some of them dear to me, some of them complete strangers, all looking glowy and sweet, nodding and whispering, that's It.

It was totally freaky! Now it was also the closest thing to a Miss America moment I have ever had, and of course I did enjoy it thoroughly, but I am telling you, it was w-e-i-r-d weird.

"Ok," I said, and shrugged my shoulders. "Um, I guess this is It." And then do you know what that salesgirl did - she said "wait, wait!" and came and put a tiara on my head! And, well, the rest is history. Once you have seen yourself in a tiara, there's really no going back.

I grew to love that dress. Oh, it was so beautiful. At my wedding reception, I did not want to leave because I knew I was never going to be able to dance around in a gorgeous ballgown, wearing a tiara, ever again. Starting at about 10pm, my friend Juli kept saying, "Missy, it's time to go!" and I would say, "Ok, five more minutes." Finally, Juli stopped me, grabbed my by the arms, looked me in the face and said, "Listen to me. You have to go. Your husband is ready to get it on. You have to GO!" "Oh," I said. And do you know, I actually did think....we have the rest of our lives to get it on...but I will never be able to dance in this dress again!! Ha! Sad but true.

I did get to wear it one more time after the wedding. On our one year wedding anniversary, I put my dress back on, and we invited our family to wear their wedding day dresses and eat the top of our cake. Then we took pictures holding Shepherd, who was by then four months old (he was born nine months and four days after our wedding!). They looked quite scandalous! (and, boy, does that bride look tired!)

Since then, It's been hanging in my mother's closet. But the shawl that accompanied the dress and the altering remnants were used by my mother and aunt to make the christening gown that our four children have worn the day they were baptized into the Body of Christ.

And that is as close to water as It is ever going to get!

More photos here


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