No one was more excited about shopping for a wedding dress than my mom. She works for an accountant, so for the first few months of wedding planning leading up to Tax Day, I was spared from the daily deluge of emails with links to gowns my mom just had to see me try. Once she was done with tax returns, she was in full dress shopping mode and made plans to come to Carolina asap.
Wanting to make the most of our weekend together, I booked five appointments for us between Friday and Tuesday. My friends told me I was beyond nuts, but part of me knew we wouldn't end up going to all five appointments, especially when we started at the creme de la creme of bridal shops in the Triangle--Alexia's Bridal.
Mom and I showed up a few minutes before our appointment. I was a bundle of nerves and excited energy. With all of the craziness of work, I seriously had not given much thought to wedding gowns, and despite my addictions to wedding shows, I wasn't prepared for the emotional element of the appointment. Once we met our consultant, I felt much more at ease. She was attentive, sweet, and seemed to get the feel of the dress I wanted. A few minutes of questions later, and off she went in her platform heels to pull some gowns for me.
I stripped down, got into the bustier she got for me, and stepped carefully into the first gown--a beautiful A-line lace number with cap sleeves and an open back. It was beautiful, and I loved how I looked in it. There's something to be said of that first gown you try on, especially when you add the veil. But, the most I felt about it was that it was a gorgeous gown.
And I felt that way about the next six dresses I tried. I absolutely loved each one; they were beautiful and flattering, except for a very couture Vera Wang gown that resembled a Q-tip. Mom and I were out on the floor to look at one of them in the light when we spotted a lace Monique Lhuillier gown with a sweetheart neckline. I had to try it.
As I slipped into the gown and the consultant zipped up the back, I felt this surge of emotion building up. As I walked out to the mirror where my mom was sitting, my voice got shaky and I got teary. "This is how I want to look on my wedding day," I said through the tears. It was elegant and intricate, yet simple and classic. I couldn't have told you what it was about the gown that made me feel that way, but it all just came together and made me feel like a bride. Like I was actually going to wear this gown to marry the love of my life.
I don't know. It sounds silly, but just like meeting the right partner, you know when you know. And I knew. But I didn't know if my mom knew. She said it was beautiful, but she wasn't reacting any more than she had to any other dress. This kind of made my heart sink. I decided to try on some totally different gowns, just to make sure I knew what I wanted. They were pretty, but they paled in comparison.
Finally, I slipped back into my favorite gown, and that was it. I never wanted to take it off. And once my mom knew that it was the one for me, she let her guard down and the waterworks started. She later told me that she didn't want to influence my decision and tried to be as neutral as possible. I appreciated that, but deep down I wanted my mom to love it, too. Once I knew she did, I was sold.
Buying that gown has made the wedding so much more tangible. I can picture myself getting married now. And as sad as I am to wait nearly a year before I get to wear it, I am so excited. This whole process has been so easy thus far. It's meant to be.