Exactly 6 months till my wedding day, I had one of those you show up naked for a big presentation, or you’re late for a final you didn’t study for nightmares. Except the bride-to-be’s dream equivalent—I dreamt that I showed up to my wedding and my dress didn’t fit. And that dream may not be so far from reality because, well, right now the dress does not fit.
So here’s the story of my dress. Once engaged (okay, maybe even before) Bride scours internet looking at dresses. Finds herself very attracted to dresses of the lace variety. Bride investigates pricing of said dress style. Bride learns she could either have food for her guests, or wear lacy dress (and that is a simple lacy dress, for the price of some of the ones I really swooned over, I could rent another reception hall). Bride temporarily resigns self to something plainer. Bride orders something plainer. Bride doesn’t feel all “bridey”. Bride looks wistfully at fancy dresses. Clotheshorse that she is, Bride still cannot justify spending that much money on a dress that will be worn for only a few hours, no matter how amazingly gorgeous and perfect it is. Bride, somewhat of a fashionista and bargainista, is open to many options for finding dress, including non-traditional dresses (white is a very popular color right now), or non-traditional methods for finding dress (eg: secondhand, I mean as long as it doesn’t have bad karma, okay maybe even if it’s the right dress I’ll deal with a little left-at-the-altar-ness). Bride, whilst surfing the interwebs, happens upon Craigslist posting for a wedding dress that is lacy AND her size AND costs a lot less than the original price. In fact 90% discount off original price. Said dress is not even from the 1980s which 90% of the dresses posted on craigslist are (the other 9.99% are size 26 from David’s Bridal). Bride takes a minute to thank her lucky stars. A handsomesmartfunnyloving fiancé AND possibly the deal of the century on the dress of her dreams? Even better, owner is happily married and just doesn’t want dress to hang in closet when she can use some extra cash for an upcoming vacation. And all sentimentalism aside, I totally get it. Especially cuz it works out pretty great for me.
So bride corresponds with ex-bride via email and sets up a time to go try on dress. I don’t know if you all have heard about summers in Kansas City, but it does get hot and humid here occasionally (aka: from mid May thru October) Which makes me wonder why there are buildings without AC in this town. But there are. And one of them is our church. And after sitting through a sweltering service, waving a paper fan (which contrary to all my elementary school teacher’s belief, actually DOES cool you off better than just sitting still) it’s time to go try on the dress. So, even with a 10 minute ride in air conditioned bliss, I am still a bit sweaty from church. I know it may be gross to discuss my perspiration situation this much, but it is relevant to the story. I promise. When I see the dress in person, I am even more smitten. When I touch it, I realize, oh maybe this is why you have to pay a wee bit more for these fancy dresses. You can tell each layer was delicately produced by an army of sweet little Russian grandmothers with glasses on a neck chain and polyester house dresses that get their hair done each week. It was breathtaking (even in someone’s study with shag carpet). So I lifted it off the hanger (note: while they may look fluffy and floaty--all those layers of lace and tulle add up) and stepped into the dress. Actually I think I pulled it over my head (novice wedding dress try on mistake) and shimmied into it…well…I started too…then the combination of an approximately 1 year hiatus from the gym, sweaty limbs and torso and my respect for the hard work of all the Russian grannies, made me realize, I wasn’t going to fit into this dress without ripping something—either their delicate craftsmanship—or my ribcage. Bummer.
Well, at least I still have the handsomesmartfunnyloving fiancé thing going for me, I thought as I explained to the seller that while the dress was amazing and I loved it, I was just too big for it. And left, obsessing over the mermaid style. And drove back home obsessing over the beautiful ivory lace. And sat on the couch obsessing over the amazing price. And sat on the couch longer obsessing over how much I love lace. And sat on the couch and surfed the internet looking for dresses in that same price range. And, being the polite and well bred lady I am, wrote the seller thanking her for taking time to meet me, her dress was gorgeous, but as a result of consuming approximately 48 bags of chips and 7 gallons of salsa in my life/the past year, it, sadly, wasn’t going to happen. And I sighed. And obsessed a little bit more. And do you know what happened then? In the midst of all this obsessing, she wrote me back and said “oh I had to lose a lot of weight to fit in it too. I used “Random Workout Video”. It was hard to do but totally worth it. If your weights the only issue, I’d be willing to sell it to you for $150 less”
At that price, how could I refuse? And a trip the ATM, short drive north of the river later, and the beautiful dress was hanging in my closet… (to be continued…)