I know I’ve said it before but this keeping up with the day thing is a real struggle. I’ve never had to consult my calendar so frequently.
Well it happened. I bought a dress. And not just any ole dress but a wedding dress. The wedding dress. The one I’m going to walk down the aisle in. It’s beautiful and wonderful and amazing and I can’t wait for you to all to see it. All twelve of you.
On Friday afternoon one of my best friends and Stephanie’s bridesmaid Kaitlin came into town. I went to bed that night feeling a little anxious but worked very hard to focus that anxiety into excitement. My alarm went off on Saturday morning at 8:00. I desperately needed to take my car in to get my oil changed. I love my car now (compared to my previous vehicle, Calvin the Cavalier, may he rest in peace) because it does this really nifty thing like tell me when the oil needs to be changed. Or the tire pressure is low. And….well that’s it really. But those two things are incredibly beneficial. My father is a mechanic so while you may think I should be on top of this routine maintenance stuff it’s really quite the opposite. My dad always took care of it for me, so I never had to think about tire rotation or brake pads or wiper blades. I asked Steph to go with me for two reasons: 1. I knew we would be apart for most of the weekend so I wanted to sneak in some “us” time and 2. (honestly this is the main reason) I don’t like running important errands that I’ve never done before by myself. I’ve had the oil changed before, sure, but I always went to the Chevy dealership because they were free and I love free. Sadly that deal has ended. So for the first time I was going somewhere new AND paying for it. I tend to get overwhelmed and mixed up in situations like this one and when that happens I shut down. It’s a terrible habit but one I am at least very aware of and working on fixing. Sort of. I say sort of because I know that I should have just gone to the Auto shop alone, like a big girl, but instead I dragged my fiancée along under the guise of free chick-fil-a breakfast and quality time with me. And while I am working on this wonderful trait of mine, I am also slightly convinced that it will magically disappear when I become an adult. So like 40 or something.
This wedding will be fairly traditional in many ways, one of which is the wedding dress. Steph and I will both be wearing one (just in case you thought either of us might be in a suit, sorry to disappoint) and plan to wait until the day of to see each others’ respective dresses. I have always been in favor of this plan but there is something so strange about not being able to talk to my best friend about what I’ve been looking at. I will regularly begin to ask for her opinion and then remember that’s against the rules. This weekend was no different. I must have asked her no less than 15 times if she wanted to go with me. I tried to be sneaky and ask if she wanted to go “shopping” rather than wedding dress shopping. But alas she saw right through me.
After the car shop we headed home to wake up Kait and wait for Janice. At 10:15 I drove the three of us to our first stop. My friend and Steph’s former coworker Lindsay met us there. We arrived 20 minutes early because I read somewhere on the Internet that that’s what you should do. (I also read to pack snacks. My blood sugar was thankful for this one). This woman looked frazzled. It was clearly a one person store so on top of running appointments and answering the phone she had to field any questions from walk-ins. When I made all of my appointments I did so by email or online form. I don’t like talking to people on the phone about important things because I have a bad habit of not writing things down. And then details get lost in translation or I forget altogether. When I requested an appointment via email she followed up with a phone call. I should have asked her questions like, “what time should I arrive?” or “do I need to bring anything specific?” or “is there anything I need to know?” But I didn’t ask those questions so we showed up 20 minutes early for an appointment that ran 10 minutes over. We spent that time pulling dresses. Looking back on it now, this was a weird appointment. She didn’t pull a single dress for me, she offered very little suggestion and was not all that great at clipping the dresses into place. Also she didn’t jack me up! [Have you ever watched Say Yes to the Dress? “Jack her up” is a terrible phrase they use when they throw a veil and a belt on a bride. It reminds me of meth mouth.] She didn’t ask about my fiancée or where the wedding was or what kind of shoes I would be wearing. While I did find two dresses that I was interested in, I walked out feeling slightly bewildered.
After a lunch of tacos and margaritas, the three of us headed to the 4:00 appointment. I was worried about this place because I knew the majority of the dresses would be outside of my budget. The only reason I set up an appointment was because Steph had informed me that they offered sample dresses starting at $300. I panicked at lunch and worried this might be a mistake. I was afraid of walking in and finding nothing in my price range and feeling deeply embarrassed for wasting people’s time. Steph, being the majestic unicorn that she is, called the store to find out if they still had sample dresses in stock. They confirmed so we continued on as planned. Let me be the first to tell you, if you can only afford the sample sizes at a store, don’t make it one of your first stops. It’s intimidating. We walked in and my attendant (is that what they’re called? Dress girl?) asked my budget and informed me that the dresses on the left ranged in price from 299-999 (why don’t you just say 300-1,000) and the right side ranged from $1,200-3,500. $3,500?! That’s a fucking honeymoon! Is that dress made out of diamonds? Do you get it insured? Do I need special gloves to try it on? Needless to say, I avoided the right side of the store as best as I could and hung out over on my side of town with my fellow commoners. We picked most of the dresses again but this time she pulled a few, offered up suggestions and even threw on a belt or two. Her veil pinning skills could use some work but I won’t judge too hard; her hair was curled and lord knows I don’t understand curling irons so based on appearance alone I was impressed. Again, I left the shop with two dresses in mind.
One of my best friends and bridesmaids, Claire, flew into town from NY around midnight on Saturday. This girl braved the floods for our engagement party and hopped on a plane to dress shop with me. She (and a few others) also gave us an amazing gift this weekend that I will never be able to properly thank her for. She’s pretty swell. I woke up at 7 the next morning unable to fall back asleep and thinking wildly about dresses. I realized there were a few details that my favorites from the previous day were lacking that I decided were incredibly important but I can’t tell you what those details are just yet because Steph reads this thing (she is not one of my 6 followers, however). The 4 of us hopped into the car and arrived at David’s Bridal 20 minutes early (again, the interweb). As it turns out this was unnecessary as I had booked the first appointment at 11am which also happens to be when they unlock their doors. David’s bridal is set up to take 4 appointments at once, by different attendants mind you, but I was worried about getting overwhelmed. The girl who helped me was absolutely amazing. I feel kind of terrible because I have not even the slightest clue what her name is but she was really lovely. If you go there, make sure to make an account and”favorite” some dresses because they print that list off (they are seriously on top of their shit). They only pull 3 dresses at a time so as not to overwhelm you. This is smart. Everyone should do this. As it turns out, the first dress I tried on (and I tried on 6 or 7) ended up being the one. Through the whole weekend I had done such a great job of “not losing my shit.” Even once I had announced my decision to the group I thought, “I did it and I didn’t cry.” A few minutes of picture taking went by and my attendant said she’d be back with a surprise. [David’s Bridal surprise spoiler ahead] She returns with a hand bell and instructs me to close my eyes. They have a tradition in their stores whenever a girl finds her dress she is to make a wish for her wedding day and ring the bell. It felt a little cheesy but I wanted to revel in my moment so I went along. It was the first time all weekend when I truly stopped and centered myself. You know what I wished for, don’t you? I probably don’t have to tell you that I wished for my mom to show up. I might have to tell you though that I followed that wish up with a sort of addendum (that counts, right?) that if my mother doesn’t show, I don’t cry on the day. Well, I obviously started sobbing in the store. And I mean legit sobbing. The girl next to me who was literally seconds from ringing her bell was probably looking at me and thinking I took the tears of joy a bit too far. “Basic bitch.” It’s like I could hear her saying it (not to mention someone in her group referred to me as a “little girl” at one point). I pulled myself together but boy did I feel embarrassed.
All in all it was a good weekend. I got the dress and I have one less thing to worry about.
Thoughts from the weekend:
- bring water. Seriously.
- Get lots of sleep
- snacks should always be on hand. Like in life. Not just dress shopping.
- Be honest
- David’s Bridal doesn’t let you bring champagne
- remember the venue
Quote from from the weekend:
Kaitlin – I know 36 people in New York.
Me – that’s more than I know in Charleston. And I live here.
Claire – I bet you know more than that! You know your therapist, your bartender…
Me – Well yea, that about sums me up right there.
I really need a side table lamp. Poor Steph is hiding under the covers from the tortuously bright over head light. And Max is asleep with his eyes open, so I can’t imagine that’s good. Perhaps I can add that to my list of items to be built….
Note: I wrote this late Tuesday night and edited Wednesday morning so this one might be a tad rough. There used to be a stupid spellcheck button on WordPress but I seemed to have lost it…. Seriously. I’ve looked everywhere.