The dress shopping has begun.
For my sister, anyway! I don’t know what my exact hang-up is, but I’m nervous about heading into a salon. Perhaps because I generally hate trying on clothes and only do it under duress (like if I’m shopping far from home with no option to return ill-fitting items). I also feel like the dress is such a big decision that I’d rather handle 2,456 of the vendor bookings and other little things before I wrap my head around making that huge choice.
Plus, I’m having a hard time finding styles I like. Though I haven’t been picky about too many things, the one aspect of the wedding I have visualized from the start was Spencer in a gray tux with a red tie and yours truly in a tea-length, lacy vintage-inspired dress. With red shoes. And red lipstick. And a birdcage veil.
It’s my requirement. My vision. The one thing that could possibly shove me into Bridezilla territory.
And my local options? Well, they’re limited. A popular chain store is the only place within a reasonable distance with prices I can actually afford, so I’ve been funneling my energy into perusing their inventory and not even considering dresses available elsewhere. But I don’t want strapless, don’t want a billowy ballgown. I detest rhinestones and sparkles, and I am — for all intents and purposes — a pretty simple lady.
I want something classic, elegant and unique. With lace. That’s tea-length.
Of course, I could show you photos from our big day in November where I am frolicking in a bedazzled ballgown, covered in glitter and wearing a tiara . . . because I’ve watched enough bridal reality shows to know that you just don’t know until you actually try these dresses on. I could slip into some satin confection and think, Hot darn, this is the one! It’s unlikely, you know, but I won’t stubbornly rule it out.
But as a bride on a budget (who isn’t?), I have to be careful — and thrifty — with my choice. I want what I want, of course, but I’ll decide I want something else if we’re stretching well into the four-figure area.
As anyone who has been subjected to wedding planning for five minutes can tell you, costs can quickly spiral out of control. Our initial budget was laughably tiny as soon as I began doing some research; I’ve never done so much math in my life. Every calculation was sending me closer and closer to a panic attack, but those initial days of anxiety — and uncertainty — have faded.
• booked the venue
• booked the caterer
• booked the photographer
• booked the videographer
• booked the DJ
• booked the pianist for the ceremony
• sent save-the-dates
So what’s next?
Oh . . . everything.
All kidding aside, I think we’re doing well! It’s only February — and though the fall will be here in the drop of a leaf, I’m not feeling as crazed as I did a month ago. With my sister on track for her September nuptials, I’m tracing her footsteps to keep track of everything we need to decide — and when.
The baker is next. And Spence and I are totally saving our Weight Watchers points for that.
So yes: my sister and the wedding dress shopping. After a few hours and a half dozen styles, we had a winner! Though it was emotional being there as she transformed into “a bride,” I didn’t freak out as much as I expected. Partially because my family was there and I didn’t want to set off a chain reaction . . . but mostly because, as the months progress, I’m feeling more and more at peace with the fact that we’re both taking this huge step together.
My sister is my best friend. Though it’s sometimes hard for me to articulate, I feel a sense of both tremendous excitement and impending loss at the prospect of both of us tying the knot just five weeks apart.
But excitement usually wins out. And every day, I choose joy. And I know that, no matter what, my family will always be my family — just with two bonus gentlemen!
Plus, Spencer — my soul mate; my handsome, thoughtful guy — is working on the shelving for our combined shoe closet/workshop/clothes storage space as I type. No rhinestones necessary.