Planning A Wedding (Without Losing Your Mind) Part II: The Dress

I had never tried on a wedding dress before getting engaged. Wedding dresses had this power for me, like they were sacred and NOT to be worn until it was for real. In retrospect it was kind of silly to feel this way considering that I’ve worn white dresses before and there’s certainly nothing sacred about tulle, but in any case, that was how I felt.

I got engaged on a Saturday, and quite a few people flew out to see the show (unbeknownst to me). Jeff and I had talked at length before getting engaged about when we’d like to be married, so I knew that whenever we got engaged, it would not be a terribly long engagement. Let’s just say I was not going to waste time–I was going to get my girlfriends together in the next week or so to drink copious amounts of champagne to watch me try on both good and horrific dresses.

I woke up the next morning to my mother telling me in no uncertain terms that she was devastated that she would not be able to see her baby try on wedding dresses. She was flying back to North Carolina that day and although she could fly back out, it wouldn’t be until after the dress shopping, champagne bingeing fiasco had commenced.

Sob (both of us).

Me, “Well, there is this one bridal shop that I’ve always thought was cute. We could swing by there on the way to the airport and I could at least try on a dress or two so that even if you don’t get to see the final dress that gets picked, you can see the first one I try!”

Mom, “Great idea, let’s go five minutes ago”

So into the car we went, suitcases in the trunk, to The White Dress in Costa Mesa, where we arrived 30 minutes later with no appointment and me begging, “Please, just let me try on any old thing you have here so my mother will stop crying”.

They saw my mom’s sadness and my desperation and they allowed me to pull a dress in my size to just put on.

And I put it on.

And it was the dress.

Now, if you knew me, you’d know that while I can be impulsive, I rarely make decisions that I regret afterwards. So when I bought the dress on the spot to the shock and surprise of the girls at the store, you may or may not be shocked to know that as I sent my mom on her way back to the South, I immediately started to have dress regret.

The dress was not interesting enough, not cool enough, not dramatic enough. I didn’t get to do the running around town trying on dress after dress champagne fest, I didn’t even try on anything else. Oh, and I had to tell Jeff when I saw him that night that yes, mom got off okay and yes, I know we just got engaged yesterday but I already bought my wedding dress. The dress that will be immortalized for the rest of my life!

A few months passed and I finally got the call that the new dress ordered for me was in. By this time, I knew that I was going to hate it and had almost come to terms with the fact that I would probably need to plunk down a fairly large chunk of change to buy something new.

But I tried it on, and I loved it. And it was the one.



{All images by the wonderful Jose Villa; gown by Amsale}