Thursday, June 5, 2014

An Invited Guest - Part I

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day. We see pretty dresses and we wonder how we will look in them. When we have a boyfriend we think of our lives to together. We write Mr. and Mrs. Right on our notebooks. All until the next one comes along......, we are so fickle. We are girls, we are supposed to change our minds often. More than that we romanticize everything we do.

So what happens when we actually get engaged? We start to plan, and so I did. In 1994 my boyfriend, of very few months, and I decided we wanted to get married. I never wanted to be a June bride so I planned to marry in May. At the time we had no home church nor did we know any pastors. My parents arranged for their pastor to preform the ceremony and choose the chapel at UVA. When you marry at a place as popular as the chapel, the date is chosen based on what is available. May 6, 1995 at 7pm was set.

I started looking for a dress immediately. I didn't spend hours or weeks looking for the dress. The few times I went to look at dresses I was confronted by polite associates asking,"how may I help you" and then informing me that I was too large for anything in their store. I stopped looking, why bother. I started looking in magazines. I was fortunate to meet the owner of the bridal shop in the mall and told him what the problem was. He was amazing, he brought down his stock magazines for me to look at and told me to let him know what I decided.

I choose the dress I wanted and several alternatives. He wrote the prices down for me. I then meet my parents for dinner at a place half way between our homes. I told them I had picked a few dresses. Dad asked to see the catalog and mom informed me I was wearing my sisters dress and she was not buying another. (Now you need to understand, the dress had been worn twice already. It was pretty, knit, accordion pleat and a size 10.) In the '70's it was all the rage. This was 1994 and I was a size 26.

My father thumbed through the books and looked at the pictures I had tagged. My mom popped up and said that if she was being forced to buy a dress I could have $150. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS, ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Not one dress I looked at was under $500. I barely held it together as my father suddenly said "I like this one, what do you think?" It was the one I truly wanted. I almost burst into tears as it was over the $150 mark. He then said "order it." I held my breath as mom asked the price and I told her and she said no. Dad said, "it is her wedding and she will wear this gown."


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