Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Yes to THE Dress!

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 by Lisa Ricard Claro   16 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized


Image courtesy of Katsu Nojiri via

My daughter, Stephanie, chose her wedding gown. The dress. She looked so beautiful that I cried.

Well, okay, to tell the whole Naked Truth, I was already crying. The waterworks began with the first dress she tried on, and the shop lady—no stranger to Mama tears—handed me a box of Kleenex, gave me a pat on the shoulder, and moved on to the next sniffling mother.

To be fair, I cried the first time I saw my daughter-in-law in her wedding gown, too.

I think it has to do with the radiant joy on the face of a bride-to-be, and moving out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. My daughter walked into the bridal shop looking girl-next-door pretty in her jeans and T-shirt, and when she stepped from the changing room and onto the platform, she was transformed into a fairytale princess. With her dark hair and eyes, her love of books, libraries, and all things erudite, I fancied she looked rather like her favorite Disney princess from her youth—Belle.

Yeah. Cue the waterworks. I was a goner.

Except, just to clarify, lest you get the wrong idea about my precious offspring—predating Beauty and the Beast was The Little Mermaid. Swimming one hot summer day I asked her if she was pretending to be Ariel. She gave me a look that could melt steel and said, “No! Who wants to be Ariel? I want to be the Sea Witch!” She was three-years-old and plotting world domination. I knew it would take a strong man to win her heart. (Good job, David!)

Anyway, there we were in the bridal shop—Steph dreaming of her wedding day, her sister Christina helping her in and out of countless bulky gowns, and me sitting on a little chaise, shredding Kleenex and offering wise bits of advice like, “Oh, my god! I love this one. This one is perfect!” over and over again because she looked gorgeous in every gown she wore.

There was no wrong choice. Most wedding gowns are inherently beautiful, and after you add the happiness of a young bride, fuggedaboutit.  But there is a difference between no wrong choice and the perfect choice, and the perfect choice, as every woman knows, is the dress.

She found it—the one she didn’t want to take off, the one that made her feel different than all of the others—not just the dress, but her dress.

I’d love to post a photo for you, but of course I can’t. Her fiancé isn’t allowed to see her in her gown until their wedding day, 16 months away. You’ll just have to trust me when I tell you she will take his breath away.

Yes, my little baby girl, who is no longer so little, gave up her plans for world domination long ago. She learned that the best way to win her happiness was to open her heart.

I’m glad that she never evolved into the Sea Witch—or Belle either, for that matter. She is most decidedly her own person. But when she puts on her wedding gown for real, she’ll become Princess Stephanie, walking down the aisle toward her handsome prince.

Don’t worry. I’ll bring plenty of Kleenex.

Have you been a mother-of-the-bride? Any advice to help me through? If you’re married, did you go the traditional wedding gown route, or did you choose something different? What’s your story?

Thanks for hanging out with me. See you Friday for Observations From the Tub –


16 Responses to "Yes to THE Dress!"

  1. Comment by Chelley
    June 24, 2015 at 7:45 am  

    Okay,I don’t have girls but you still choked me up!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm  

      You’ll still go through it a little with your boys. First, when your daughter-in-law invites you to come see THE DRESS, and you imagine your son’s reaction when he sees how beautiful she is. And then on the big day when your son is so grown up and handsome. *sigh* I’m such a romantic. 🙂

  2. Comment by Sioux
    June 24, 2015 at 7:51 am  

    Lisa–For my first wedding, I went very untraditional and wore a rust-colored gown (it was the era of quiana? Giana? A lightweight knit.) I chose the color because I looked good in it… or at least better than in white.

    My second one, I chose an off-white dress, cocktail length. Both dresses I loved.

    I had a cousin who had a son and a daughter. With her daughter got married, my cousin was involved in the decision-making… it was a whirlwind year or so. When her son got married, my cousin started to go into overdrive but her son said (lovingly and jokingly) “Mom, all you have to do is show up, shut up and wear beige.”

    It sounds like you are going to have an incredible sixteen months. Sixteen months of tears and laughter and memories… Enjoy!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 25, 2015 at 4:04 pm  

      Sioux – I love that you tossed tradition in favor of a dress that you loved. That is so YOU! One thing I kept saying to my daughter was, “Are you comfortable in it?” I think comfort is as important as beauty, especially on such an important day. And the joyous memories…yes…already in the making!

  3. Comment by Claudia
    June 24, 2015 at 11:06 am  

    What a delightful post! I have only sons so will never be mother of the bride. I went traditional in my own weddding but simple. There was very little money. My mother made my long white dess; my grandmother made my long veil with hand applied lace in abundance. My Gramps provided the lace in a special way I will tell you sometime. You are a busy woman with lots ahead in your future!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm  

      Your gown sounds gorgeous, Claudia, made more so by the love that went into it! How fortunate you were that your mother and grandmother had such talent. And I’d love to hear how your Gramps did his part with the lace…one of your lovely blog posts, perhaps?

  4. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    June 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm  

    Can’t share advice on this one yet. But based on past experiences with my Disney princess, when she has to choose a dress, someone will be crying. (I’m gonna say Dad.) 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 25, 2015 at 4:11 pm  

      Haha…yeah, there’s nothing cheap about a wedding gown. I prepped the hubster ahead of time so he wouldn’t keel over when the bill came in. 🙂

  5. Comment by Lynn Obermoeller
    June 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm  

    None of my three children are married yet… the two girls, I don’t think will go the traditional route. I may have messed them all up for life seeings how I’m on marriage number 4! #1, I wore my sister’s wedding gown. #2, I wore a white suit (and wore same said suit to divorce court – aren’t I a class act?) #3, I wore a little bit more traditional, but it was still considered a bridesmaid dress, although white (as that husband had never been married before) – and I felt silly as all get out, especially with my three little ones part of the wedding party 🙂 and last, but not least, but for sure last, as I say, “Fourth and Final” I wore some kind of cream colored dress – we were married here in the house!
    Lisa, I have no doubt, you will do just fine. Can’t wait to see pictures…

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 25, 2015 at 4:14 pm  

      Well, fourth time’s a charm, right? 🙂 No matter what you wore, I’m sure you were beautiful AND a class act. (Actually, wearing the wedding attire to the divorce…I appreciate your sense of irony!)

  6. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    June 24, 2015 at 11:03 pm  

    Your writing is so descriptive that I could see it all in my mind. 🙂 Only fur babies here so mother-of-the-bride stuff. I will live vicariously through your blog posts. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm  

      In my world, fur-babies count as kids!

  7. Comment by Tammy
    June 25, 2015 at 9:24 am  

    This made me smile and brought tears to my eyes at the same time. And that’s saying a lot, because I’m one of those freaks who was born without the bride gene. But I’m sure it will be different when it’s my children. And I’m with ButtonsMom. No need for a picture, because you painted a beautiful one.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 25, 2015 at 4:20 pm  

      Thanks, Tammy. Bride gene or no, when it’s your daughter’s turn down the aisle you’ll have plenty of fodder for you writing. That’s one of the best things about all this. I’m picking up all sorts of writerly bits and pieces. 🙂

  8. Comment by Karen Lange
    June 25, 2015 at 9:26 pm  

    My heart is with you – I can just imagine the emotions! So far I’ve been a mother of the groom, which required a fair amount of tissues. Haven’t been the mother of the bride yet, and I’m thinking I’ll need a tractor trailer load of them when our daughter marries. Best wishes to all of you; I am sure that the wedding will be lovely! 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 25, 2015 at 9:41 pm  

      Thank you, Karen. We have more than a year to gear up for the big event, so hopefully by then my emotions will be under control. Or not. lol

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