The big dress acquisition

The Dress

I had a vision.

Though I haven’t gone into wedding planning with too many preconceived notions (whatever my Pinterest board would suggest), I did know what sort of wedding dress I wanted. Watching countless episodes of “Say Yes To the Dress” and simply admiring others’ gowns from afar, I knew which trends I liked — and which made me cringe.

I’m a rather simple lady — with simple tastes. When others asked what sort of look I was going for, I answered the same way: something vintage-inspired, tea-length and fun. Something unique — something with character. I didn’t want anything strapless, gaudy or sparkly. No rhinestones. No mermaids. No long trains. It’s not a slight against anyone who likes those looks, of course; I just knew it wasn’t me. And you’re supposed to feel like yourself on your wedding day, right?


My decision to go dress shopping was a little spur-of-the-moment. I’d spent days pouring over styles from a designer I couldn’t afford, and was generally making myself anxious about the whole experience. I was worried I wouldn’t like the way I looked, would cringe at my reflection. I was worried I’d fall in love with a dress that would take a hammer to my budget — or worse, that I wouldn’t find anything at all.

Dresses don’t always bring out the best in people.

Scared I wouldn’t find what I was looking for at a local chain salon, I’d already contacted designers about custom-making a gown. (Crazy, I know.) But after my sister had success finding her dress a few weeks before, we returned to the same place “just to look.”

And I came home with a dress.

Well, metaphorically — that baby had to be ordered! But after trying on five gowns in varying shapes and styles, I knew the second one was It. That little number had many of the elements I was seeking, though with a few modifications . . . and I’d tell you what they are, but I can’t risk Spencer popping in here! I’m trying to keep the full details under wraps for as long as possible, though I am bursting with them.

What I can divulge? It is vintage-inspired, and it is tea-length. Those were my two biggest requirements. Though I did try on a long dress with gorgeous applique, I really couldn’t picture myself in a gown with a train. And it was heavy. I was tempted for a minute there — really tempted — but I couldn’t commit. The flowing dress just didn’t feel true to my vision.

And I have a vision.

Meg in veil

The wedding itself is taking shape. The hardest part has been combining all of our ideas, thoughts and inspirations into one cohesive plan. After settling on literature/science, the other elements have started falling into place. Spencer’s awesome cousin, Katie, one of my bridesmaids, is a talented artist . . . and she will be designing something so cool for us. We’ve met with other vendors in recent weeks, and will be speaking with our first potential officiant this weekend. It’s exciting and a teensy bit stressful . . . but mostly exciting! And since my wedding coordinator has also become a friend, Jen is helping me stay organized and calm.

Calm is good.

Though the dress was supposed to take months to arrive, I was called to pick it up this week. We ducked into the salon so I could try it on again — and I was relieved to discover I still loved it. It was strange to be there, standing barefoot in this gown — and to feel like “a bride” in the middle of my hometown. Everyone says that moment is one of the moments: the point at which you realize, Hey — I’m getting married.

That was true for me. Putting on a veil, tottering on too-high heels before a floor-length mirror . . . yes, I felt it. Felt that “bride” feeling, however we define it.

But the truth is that I’ve felt that “we’re getting married!” surge of excitement and adrenaline for months — and I feel it every time I look at my guy.

The pretty dress? Just the icing on our (wedding) cake.

P.S. Though I am planning on wearing red heels at the wedding, those heels are not my heels. So, you know, don’t get freaked about the bows.