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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On the Way to a Wedding Dress

There have been so many exciting things going on here, but this is the first time I’m posting, so I’m pretty revved up. It’s got me thinking about how things often look when you begin something. I don’t know about you but I start out having this pretty solid idea of just how things are going to be, but (you can see this coming, can’t you?) I tend to be wrong. A lot. I take a turn I didn’t expect to take and I end up somewhere I never thought I’d be. Which, since we’re all about weddings here, brings me to remembering an unexpected turn I took once, the turn that took me to THE DRESS. Specifically, my wedding dress.

I had been dating my husband-to-be forever (and I’m not saying how long forever actually was, but trust me, it was forever). But despite the length of time I hadn’t even thought about what happens when a person gets engaged, the whole wedding planning scenario. Now I was. I had to, because we were old enough that we felt we should pay for and plan our wedding ourselves. I was totally clueless, but I knew one thing. I had to have a really great dress. It was going to be the dress that would make everyone in the room go temporarily blind and actually believe that I looked like Scarlett Johannson (or the equivalent beauty of the time). In other words, I had to have a total, magical miracle of a dress that was capable of mind control. I was only going to do this once and I was going to do it right.

The hunt began. I bought bridal magazines (of course) and flipped through them until they were ragged. I discussed THE MAGIC DRESS with my friends and my family as if it were a living being. And then reality hit. I could have the dress I wanted, but my future husband and I might have to give up eating for the next fifty years and we would have to live in his parents' basement for the rest of our lives. It was a pretty nice basement but…

In the end I gave up the magazine versions of perfection, but I still got the dress I wanted. It might not have had any super magical properties and it might not have been the dress that would have been right for others, but it was exactly the right dress for me, because it came to me through an act of generosity from someone close to me. One of my best friend's mothers owned a shop that rented wedding dresses. She cruised all the designer shows, studied styles, bought the best stuff she could afford and then rented out the gowns. These were dresses I could never afford and, frankly, I probably couldn’t have afforded to rent one, either. They were one of a kind (meaning you had to actually fit into the dress—no alterations). But, being a friend, she pretty much let me borrow one of these sparklers for the cost of wear and tear and cleaning it. For a woman like me who wanted to be a princess for a day and couldn’t afford it, it was a small miracle.

Looking back, I've forgotten who designed the gown. Does it matter? What matters is that this was the perfect gift from a generous lady who knew how much a dress means to every bride-to-be. Thank you, Mrs. B. You made me and a whole lot of other brides who stumbled into your pretty little shop happy.

And just so all of you reading this can see what I've been talking about, I've included a shot of the dress. All right, yes, it is out of date (we won't say what year this was, discuss why there's a shadow behind my head or…please don't make me explain my hair!) but for a day this dress was all mine, and I loved it.

I hope this brings back memories of your own wedding dresses (or dreams of the ones you hope to wear)!

Myrna Mackenzie

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Blogger Debra St. John said...

This brings back wonderful memories!

Debra St. John

March 26, 2008 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Oh, Myrna! I love the story of your wedding dress. I remember weighing the cost of the gown I wanted vs. what I had budgeted for one. I know many brides face the same dilemma.

That is so wonderful about Mrs. B renting designer dresses like that. And so cool about her letting you wear it for so little. You do look like a princess!


March 26, 2008 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

Princess indeed. Even now, the dress is gorgeous. You were incredibly smart to get a great dress without spending your first mortgage to get it!

Linda g

March 26, 2008 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Merrillee said...

What a great story about your wedding dress. How cool to be able to rent a fabulous dress. When we were looking for dresses for my daughter, I never even thought about the rental kind. I just sold that dress at a second hand shop. They had had it for over a year, and I suddenly remembered it was still there. I was a little worried that they had had it so long and never phoned me about it. I stopped by on a trip to Jacksonville to check on it, and the woman told me it had sold the previous Saturday, and she just hadn't called me yet. I'm so glad someone else will enjoy that dress, because it was lovely.

March 26, 2008 at 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great story, Myrna! My dress story's a little unusual too - will tell next week!

Melissa J

March 27, 2008 at 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Denise Swanson said...

What a wonderful story! My grandfather left me money for my wedding dress in his will. Considering he passed away when I was 15 and I didn't get married until I was 23 there was also a nice bit of interest:)

March 27, 2008 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Marianne Arkins said...

Oh my... I bought my wedding dress from a western-wear catalog! LOL...

Great story.

March 28, 2008 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I love the story of your wedding dress too!

My dress story is kind of sad...

I went dress shopping and almost immediately found a dress I loved...on a Clearance Rack! I'm not kidding. It was $15 and it was beautiful.

But I couldn't see myself spending only $15 on the dress for the most important day of my life...so I went back to the racks and found one for about ten times as much.

To this day every time I look at my dress I frown and pout. I should have purchased the one that was on sale.

Sniff! Sniff!

March 31, 2008 at 12:40 PM  
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