I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.
It doesn't seem that long ago that I was looking for my own wedding dress. As soon as I got engaged, I knew what my dream dress would look like (okay, let's get real - I knew WAY before I got engaged what my dream dress would look like). Now, keep in mind that it was the 1980s, and my friends and I watched the weddings of Luke and Laura and Prince Charles and Lady Diana. You remember ( if you were a teenager in the 80s) what Laura's and Lady Diana's dresses looked like!
Do you see what I see? Puffy long sleeves, sweetheart neckline, full skirt, poufy veil. Yes. That's what I wanted. I don't remember shopping for long. I think I got my dress pretty fast. I remember that I found it in a more upscale wedding dress shop with my mom, and it was above our budget. So I kept shopping. I was going to find that dress! Finally, we were lucky enough to find the exact replica (or at least close enough) at an outlet. It was $300. It was perfect, and I loved it.
Fast forward 25 years. Libby and her bridesmaids went dress shopping the Saturday of Friends' Thanksgiving weekend in November. Since I was cooking and hosting that day, I couldn't go. It was mainly a shopping trip to look for bridesmaids' dresses, so it was fine that I was missing it. I knew what Libby was looking for, and I told her to send me pictures so I could see what they picked.
Katie, my younger daughter and one of Libby's bridesmaids, sent multiple pictures of bridesmaids' dresses photos throughout the afternoon. Then I got this text: "Prepare to cry." She sent me a photo of Libby in an absolutely GORGEOUS and perfect wedding dress. Well, cry I did. Ed saw it and told her she had to buy it! ;-) They did some talking over price, and then she went back to shopping. We weren't quite sure what her final decision was. There was even another picture of another dress. The phone went silent for awhile, so I dried my eyes and kept cooking and getting ready for dinner.
Waitin' on the Bride at David's Bridal
Every year, on the Saturday of Friends' Thanksgiving weekend, we take a picture of the 5 best friends - all of us have been together for a LONG time. Karan, Lisa, and I have known each other since grade school, and we met Jill and Annie at Miami U. and have been friends ever since. It was time to take the picture - we usually try to take it outside before dinner. We were gathered on the deck with our long-suffering husbands who agree to take our pictures every year. It usually requires much patience on their behalves because we do a lot of laughing, rearranging, laughing, retakes, laughing, etc. RIGHT before Ed was ready to snap the first picture on my phone, it started ringing - it was Katie on FaceTime. She was including us in Libby's decision to say yes to the dress! ;-)
At David's Bridal, they do a little ceremony, when a bride-to-be chooses a dress, in which each family member or friend who is there says something and then the bride rings a bell. Katie was making sure I was included in that. However, there was a bonus - ALL of us gathered around the phone with tears in our eyes to watch the ceremony. Because Libby's friends are who they are, they asked if they could join hands and each say a prayer instead of just a few words. They made a circle and took turns praying for Libby and Jamie. Even the salesperson joined in! Here are my friends, Ed, and I (and Annie's husband, Marty, taking pictures of us) watching and listening as it all took place:
Later, Katie asked me if I felt sad that I wasn't there. And honestly, it was okay. I wasn't sad. I think it worked out perfectly for everybody. If Libby and I had gone wedding dress shopping by ourselves, her friends and Katie wouldn't have been there for her, and my friends wouldn't have gotten to be a part of it like they were. I am certainly grateful that Katie FaceTimed us in (at one point she had to mime for us to behave because we started giggling at something we thought we heard during the prayers - so typical of us). We finally recovered and had our pictures taken after all - we ended up going inside because it became too dark, and it was FREEZING. We didn't even feel it (at least I didn't) because we were so focused on what was happening with Libby. What was funny was that they didn't even find bridesmaids dresses that day!!
This past weekend, Libby's dress came in, so this time I DID make sure I went along for the fitting. All the bridesmaids came along again to see if they could make a final decision on dresses (there are nine of them, so it is no small feat). I got to see the dress on Libby, and oh my, she is just stunning in it. Obviously, no pictures of that dress until wedding day! And the bridesmaids found a perfect style that they all liked! So the dress shopping is done! Except for mine, but that's for a different day. ;-)
While the saleswomen made the final alteration plans on Libby's dress, the woman who had helped Libby the day she chose her dress said that it was the first time she got to pray with a bride during the little ceremony they do, and she really loved that. I love that Libby and her friends know where to place their hopes and dreams. And as beautiful as it is, it's not in the dress.