Sunday, October 6, 2013

Say Yes to the Dress?

Even though the main event is over a year away, I have been eager to lead all wedding discussions back to the one I am most concerned about...the dress! If I am going to create this focal point of the entire day, I want it to be perfect. And by perfect I mean-I want my daughter to feel like the most beautiful bride ever while she is wearing it!

I know my daughter has been looking at wedding dresses for years, but now it's the real thing. As she pinned dresses she liked to her Pinterest page, we thought a pattern would emerge. We assumed it would be fairly easy to determine what style she was most interested in, giving us a place to start. That turned out not to be the case. The dresses she liked ranged from lacy, ivory gowns with traditional buttons up the back, to flouncy ball gowns that would fit in at Cinderella's Ball. There were modern white satin gowns with touches of bling that hugged the body and soft romantic gowns that spoke of innocence. Clearly she had no idea what she wanted.

So we made an appointment at our local discount bridal shop. We were on a quest to find out what exactly she wants in a bridal gown. There is no other moment like this--the best part of the wedding experience thus far!

I am not normally a sentimental person. My husband is the hopeless romantic, the complete sap who cries at Hallmark commercials, movies, and any of life's tender moments. And at first, I was fine. When she stepped out in the first dress, she looked beautiful. She had this excited smile on her face-like she couldn't quite believe this was really happening--that it wasn't just a dream. She waited for a reaction from her best friend and I; we didn't disappoint. At first were speechless-both grinning from ear to ear. It is quite something to see your little girl, the one who always had to do the spin test whenever she bought a Christmas dress-to make sure the skirt got just the right amount of air, standing in front of you in a pure white satin gown. She had a look in her eye that I remember from when she was a little girl playing dress up. The one where she knew she was the most beautiful maid in the kingdom, and the prince only had eyes for her. And I was fine. Thrilled, proud, reminiscing, until the saleswoman walked over and put a veil on her. That was it. I felt hot tears welling into my eyes, spilling over onto my face. Nothing can prepare you for that moment. It was like reliving all of the most touching moments of your life all at once in that tiny second and you think you're going to burst. I wish I could put that feeling in a bottle and savor it forever.

But we were here on a mission. We all took a few deep breathes, got our composure, and got back to the business at hand. After she tried on a few, a pattern did start to emerge. With the excellent help of our consultant, Emily started to get an idea of what she did, and did not like. What we do know is this: Ruching looks great on Emily. A fitted bodice that hugs her curves flattered her body the best. The sweetheart neckline is perfect for accentuating her shape without calling too much attention to it. And she likes a significant amount of pouf in the skirt. The ones that hung straight down just weren't dramatic enough to give her that "I'm a princess" feel. She also found that a small amount of beading added to the drama, but too much just felt gaudy. We made a great deal of progress for one day. It was very successful.

But we still don't know exactly what she wants. There was one dress that put a wrench in making any hard and fast decisions. The Ball Gown. The Ball Gown is the quintessential princess dress. Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty all rolled into one. Putting on a ball gown makes you feel like royalty. You can't help but imagine yourself floating across the dance floor in the arms of your prince charming. She lingered in that dress a while. A long while. Everyone, Emily included, said that the fit and flare dresses all flattered her figure and made her look fabulous-with the appropriate ooohs and ahhhs whenever she modeled one for us. But when she wore the ball gown, there was a look in her eyes. It was the dress that every little girl who grew up imaging herself as a Disney princess pictured herself wearing in the wedding of her childhood dreams. That is a strong pull for a dress.

So while we do not have a definite decision, we had a wonderful experience, and Emily is going to have satin and lace-filled dreams tonight. Hopefully when she wakes, the perfect dress will have appeared to her in midnight slumber. Sweet dreams my love.


  1. Well, now I know why Í never received an answer to my text. I thought about you and Emily all day Saturday. I am glad to hear it was a positive and productive experience.

  2. Such a special time! Enjoy every minute!