Yes to THE Dress!
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 –