It's no secret that when Adam proposed, all I wanted to do was elope. Then I found out that Adam's idea of a wedding wasn't just something small for our immediate families and closest friends, but a huge party including every friend he has. (I like to joke that this includes every friend he has EVER had, and a plus one for each of those.) The thought of that was (and secretly? still is, a little bit) paralyzing. How am I ever going to put together a wedding that I love but also makes 200 people feel like they are important to us? I was completely overwhelmed. So once we booked some of the big stuff (venue, photographer, musicians) I started to ignore the whole process. I had my checklist and my checklist said there were no big decisions to make during the months of October and November. So I went on my merry way and wedding planning went to the back of my mind where it seemed vaguely daunting but not immediately important.
But then December came, and there are some big decisions to make this month. We need to find an officiant, and we're meeting with the caterers to decide what kind of food to serve. And those are stressful decisions to make, but the one I was dreading the most was the beginning of shopping for a dress. I was positive I was going to hate it. They would all be too expensive, or unflattering, and the people selling them to me would pressure me into picking something I didn't like. For some reason I also thought they would be mean or rude to me.
Thankfully, none of these things were true. I discovered a sample sale at a small bridal boutique, so I made an appointment thinking that I would just go in and get a feel for what was out there. (A sample sale is when bridal stores sell the dresses that they have in the store for people to try on before they order the newly-made dress they'll actually purchase. Sample sale dresses are just sold straight to you, so some aren't in the best shape, but they are deeply discounted.) I was convinced that I wouldn't find anything, and there wouldn't be anything in my size, and they would all cost more than a small car. But each dress the boutique manager brought me was great. In fact, by the end of the night I had picked out two dresses that I thought were gorgeous. But since this was my first shopping experience, I decided not to commit to anything. We took some pictures of me wearing them and headed home.
And then a funny thing happened. I looked at those pictures and I could not get one of those dresses out of my head. It was part of the sample sale because it's discontinued, so this was a now-or-never situation, especially since it was like 80% discounted - I couldn't afford this dress anywhere else. I was so excited, I looked it up online and ogled the pictures. I sent those pictures and the ones of myself to my mom, my sister, and some of my friends so we could discuss it. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it.
Obviously, I knew when I woke up the next morning morning that I needed to get that dress. I called the minute the store opened to see if it was still there, and thankfully, it was. When I rushed down to pick it up at lunchtime, they had me try it on one last time to make sure. And you guys, I am about to get all introspective and mushy on you, which is not something I normally do. In fact, I hate to admit what I'm about to say, but here goes: I teared up when I looked at myself in the mirror, wearing my wedding dress.
This is not something I expected, at all. In fact I kind of rolled my eyes at myself just a liiiiittle bit. I thought to myself, it's just a dress, and I snapped myself out of it so I could go face the person who was ringing me up. (And then later, I gave myself a minute to tear up as I put the dress into my car.)
I always thought that brides-to-be cried when they found their wedding dresses because they had some kind of all-knowing moment where they envisioned themselves standing at the altar, or because of some shallow, superficial "I am so beautiful" moment. But my moment was more about finding something for my wedding that felt 100% like me. That there are things to do with my wedding that can and will make me feel good instead of stressed out or overwhelmed. That, unlike I had feared, I could actually feel pretty in a wedding dress. I have a lot of anxiety about walking down the aisle. Why? Because at that point in a wedding, people are so focused on watching the bride do an activity that I am pretty bad at (walking) that they STAND UP to get a better view. And I didn't know that an article of clothing could make me less anxious about that, but this dress most definitely did.
(I'm sure you're all dying to see a picture, but you're just going to have to wait. I don't want Adam to get any sneak peeks.)