Tag Archives: wedding dress

The One with the Other Wedding Dress

28 Jan

I cried in a dressing room today.  Not because the dress didn’t fit right or because I felt fat.  Not because it was way too expensive.  Not because it was heavy or uncomfortable.

It actually fit me like a glove– hugging and forgiving in all the right places.  It was dreamy and beautiful and extremely lightweight.  (I twirled in it and felt I might fly away).  And it was incredibly inexpensive for what I saw in it.

And what exactly did I see?  Well… I saw the wedding gown that I should have purchased.  It was elegant without being princessy.  It was modern chic without looking too outrageous.  It looked unique and special– set apart from all the other humdrum gowns that more or less look the same.  It made me feel stunning.  And it was almost exactly 5 times cheaper than the wedding gown I already bought.

The dress I found today

My sister and I took our mother to the mall for her birthday to help her find ‘the dress,’ as she calls it.  The ‘mother of the bride dress.’  But we are our mother’s daughters after all– meaning that, just like her, we like to dress up every chance we get.  So as we were pulling gowns off the racks for her to try on, we were also pulling several choice dresses for ourselves to try as well.  One of them being this dress, the should’ve-been-my-wedding-gown dress.  My sister suggested it, thinking that it would absolutely pale in comparison to the dress that I bought way back in October– the one that the women in my family not only ooh-ed and ahh-ed at, but also the one that I giddily and impulsively committed to spending a fortune on.  I tried it.

Wrong move.  (Don’t do it, ladies.  Never try on a dress that even remotely looks like it could pass for a wedding dress AFTER you’ve already gone and purchased one for the big day.  It’ll end badly.  Trust.  I’ve done this twice now.  And yes, I’m smacking my forehead with you).  I was surprised by how comfortable it was.  How pretty I felt in it.  How unbelievably wallet-friendly it was.  (Again, 5 times cheaper than the wedding gown I’d bought.  How?  What?  Why?!)  “What do you think?my sister asked.

At which I promptly burst into tears.  Torrents and torrents of tears.  Because, when I looked in the mirror, I not only saw a wedding dress, but I saw how much money I could have saved.  I saw how much stress I could’ve saved both the futhubs and myself with that extra money.  Had I bought that dress instead, we might’ve been able to afford proper wedding favors.  Or actual flowers.  Or maybe pay for the bridesmaids to get their hair done.  We might’ve been able to book a nice hotel for our honeymoon night.  Ultimately, it came down to this (as it always seems to): I’m still costing my poor futhubs a fortune.  Pretty much his entire life savings.  (Much of that is due to poor planning/budgeting on both our parts very early on, but it leaves us stuck with that sad fact).  I felt incredibly spoiled and undeserving.  And regretful.  And selfish.  And stupid.  “I HATE MONEY!” I wailed as I flung my arms around my sister‘s neck.  (Yes, I’m totally the youngest child).

My mother and my sister were wonderful.  They doused me in verbal affirmation, telling me that the dress I’d already gotten was to die for.  My sister held me close.  She made kind shushing noises and rubbed my back.

I know that you’re kicking yourself right now,” she whispered.  “But it’s just money.  The futhubs is gonna think you look absolutely gorgeous in your dress.  Really.  And at the end of the day, you’ll be married.  And it’ll all be so happy.  You know?  This is just money.  You don’t have to dwell on what you ‘should’ve done’ instead– it’s not worth it.”  (My sister‘s amazing).

I sighed heavily.  I wiped my drying tears.  I honked my nose loudly into a tissue  my mom produced from her purse.  (She’s got everything in there.  Tissues, tylenol– you name it).  I stood up.  I took a picture in the dress.  And tried on others.  You know how they say: “Keep calm and carry on”?  Screw that.  Have your cry.  Cry it out.  And then carry on.  And if at all possible, be around people who love you and will whisper truth in your ears even when you don’t know that you need to hear it.

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When was the last time you had a good cry?  And what helped you ‘carry on’?